Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

EU ‘Newmood’ research investigating genetic links to treat depression with new drugs

29.06.2004


120 million people worldwide suffer from depression. An EU-funded research project launched recently will help to uncover the genetic factors linked to depression to develop new drug treatments. The Integrated Project, named NEWMOOD, has received €7.2 million in funding from the EU’s Sixth Research Framework Programme (FP6) and aims to identify genes involved in triggering depression. This will help researchers to develop new drugs over the next five years to treat it and improve understanding of its causes. The drugs are set to revolutionise antidepressant drugs, which have not changed much over the past 30 years. The project, co-ordinated by the University of Manchester (United Kingdom) involves partners from 13 laboratories in 10 European countries including Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Spain.

“Depression is a widespread issue and represents a serious health problem in Europe. Everybody can feel sad. But depression is a severe and long-term problem where people feel hopeless and their professional and private life is hampered,” says European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. “Traditional drugs mainly target brain chemicals, and are only partially effective. By looking into the genetics of depression EU researchers can go to the very roots of the illness, and help prevent and cure it in innovative ways. European scientists working together can make a difference and achieve a quantum leap in the fight against depression”.

Feeling blue



Depression, which is marked by symptoms of reduced interest and pleasure, weight and appetite changes, agitation and fatigue, is believed to be caused by genetic and environmental factors. Chronic stress, such as long term illness or bereavement, can trigger depression in those genetically predisposed to the condition. Counselling is often used alongside drug treatment, but the NEWMOOD research hopes to find more effective drug treatments by identifying genes affecting depression in mice and rats, and later in humans.

New drugs to take effect sooner

Currently, most antidepressants work by boosting levels of serotonin in the brain, a chemical that allows nerve cells in the brain to communicate with one another. However, such treatments can take weeks to have an effect and only work in around 50% of patients. It is hoped the new drugs will be more effective and quicker to take effect.

Targeting and understanding depression

This gene research will help to provide new targets for the drugs and improve understanding of the key causes of depression. Researchers will develop a microchip carrying 800 genes to test which ones are active in healthy and depressed animals and humans. They will test the effects of these depression-related genes by altering their activity in genetically modified mice. Animal depression can be observed in mice by lower than usual interest in sweetened water and a tendency not to struggle as much when suspended from their tails.

Fabio Fabbi | EU Commission
Further information:
http://europa.eu.int

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>