The signal substance serotonin plays a significant role in brain functions. The level of serotonin in the brain has been shown to affect our emotions and moods.
The serotonin level in the brain is important in protecting against depression. Modern medicines for depression, so-called SSRI medicines (selective serotonin resorption inhibitors), work by raising the level of serotonin in the brain. The protein TPH-2 (brain-specific tryptophan hydroxylase), which is important for the regulation of the serotonin level in the brain, has long been suspected of playing a key role in the development of depression and manic depression.
The study, which was recently completed and is being published in the prestigious journal Archives of General Psychiatry, is based on an examination of what forms of TPH-2 (at the DNA level) are found in healthy individuals compared with the forms found in individuals with recurrent depression and manic depression, respectively.
The different forms of TPH-2 people inherit can result in differing levels of serotonin in the brain, thus providing varying degrees of protection against depression.
This comparison made it possible to show that the TPH-2 forms differed between healthy and affected individuals, which means that TPH-2 is involved in the development of these conditions. Certain forms were more common in healthy individuals, indicating that they have a protective effect against these conditions. There are as yet no clinical trials that have studied different THP-2 forms. All subjects who participated in the study live in northern Sweden.
The discovery of this hereditary protective factor, which is one of many, is a major piece of the puzzle in our understanding of the genesis and treatment of these disorders. Further research and economic resources are required for the discovery to lead to enhanced treatment and help for those affected.
The research has been carried out in a collaborative effort between a Swedish team of scientists under the direction of Professor Rolf Adolfsson and post-doctoral fellow Karl-Fredrik Norrback at the Research Unit of the Psychiatric Clinic in Umeå and the Department of Clinical Science, Section for Psychiatry, at Umeå University and a Belgian team of researchers from Antwerp University led by Professor Jurgen Del Favero and Ann van Den Boogaert, PhD. The study is being published in the prestigious journal Archives of General Psychiatry (Brain-specific tryptophan hydroxylase, TPH2, is associated with unipolar and bipolar disorder in a northern Swedish isolated population, 2006).
Depression is one of the most common disorders in the Western world, and according to the WHO (world Health Organization) it will be the most frequent disease by 2020. Three of ten Swedes experience depression some time during their lives, but it is still largely not known why. It is estimated that some 10 percent suffer from recurrent depression and an equally large group experience mood swings with varying degrees of manic depressive disease.
Despite the fact that these disorders cause a great deal of suffering, increased risk of suicide, and shortened lifetimes, as well as major socio-economic costs for society, the causes of these diseases are still largely a mystery. However, scientists agree that the conditions develop through a combination of heredity and environment, such as stress. Far too few research resources are still being allocated to scientists wishing to study mental health, even though the attitude toward research on mental health is improving.
Bertil Born | alfa
New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia
New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences