Advertisement

Long-Held Belief About Depression Questioned by New Study

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  August 29, 2014 at 6:28 PM Mental Health News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment
Font : A-A+

A deficiency in serotonin, a chemical messenger in the brain, is believed to play a central role in depression, but a new study puts this long-standing belief into doubt. In the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience, scientists report that mice lacking the ability to make serotonin in their brains (and thus should have been "depressed" by conventional wisdom) did not show depression-like symptoms.
 Long-Held Belief About Depression Questioned by New Study
Long-Held Belief About Depression Questioned by New Study

Donald Kuhn and colleagues at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center and Wayne State University School of Medicine note that depression poses a major public health problem. More than 350 million people suffer from it, according to the World Health Organization, and it is the leading cause of disability across the globe. In the late 1980s, the now well-known antidepressant Prozac was introduced. The drug works mainly by increasing the amounts of one substance in the brain — serotonin. So scientists came to believe that boosting levels of the signaling molecule was the key to solving depression. Based on this idea, many other drugs to treat the condition entered the picture. But now researchers know that 60 to 70 percent of these patients continue to feel depressed, even while taking the drugs. Kuhn's team set out to study what role, if any, serotonin played in the condition.

To do this, they developed "knockout" mice that lacked the ability to produce serotonin in their brains. The scientists ran a battery of behavioral tests.

Interestingly, the mice were compulsive and extremely aggressive, but didn't show signs of depression-like symptoms. Another surprising finding is that when put under stress, the knockout mice behaved in the same way most of the normal mice did. Also, a subset of the knockout mice responded therapeutically to antidepressant medications in a similar manner to the normal mice. These findings further suggest that serotonin is not a major player in the condition, and different factors must be involved. These results could dramatically alter how the search for new antidepressants moves forward in the future, the researchers conclude.

Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

Related Links

More News on:

Adolescence Depression Depression Stress Relief Through Alternative Medicine Andropause / Male Menopause Pregnancy and Complications Bereavement Holistic Management for Depression Tourette Syndrome Dealing with Menopause symptoms through lifestyle changes Tired All The Time 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Advertisement

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

Facebook

News Category

News Archive