About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Novel Nerve Cell Modulator Offers Hope for Mental Disorders

by VR Sreeraman on August 7, 2007 at 3:39 PM
Font : A-A+

Novel Nerve Cell Modulator Offers Hope for Mental Disorders

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have discovered a novel molecular switch which is capable of modulating nerve cell activity, raising hopes that new treatments for mood disorder and epilepsy may soon become available.

The researchers looked at the role of cholecystokinin (CCK)-peptides in the brain that are linked to psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression and schizophrenia-in modulating communication between cells in the brain.

Advertisement

They found that CCK functions in the brain as an extremely specific switch with a highly unusual, dual action.

On the one hand, it enhances the synthesis and release of natural marijuana-like (endocannabinoid) substances from a particular class of nerve cells known to modulate neuronal excitability in brain circuits critical for cognition and mood. On the other hand, CCK robustly increases electrical activity in a different class of nerve cells that play critical roles in learning and memory.
Advertisement

"These results reveal a new mechanism for CCK to regulate nerve cell activity in a highly specific manner," Nature magazine quoted the study's lead author, Csaba Foldy, postdoctoral researcher in anatomy and neurobiology, as saying.

The researchers focused their study on the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in learning, memory and emotion. Damage or alterations to the hippocampus can cause cognitive disorders, epilepsy, and mental illness.

"By linking CCK actions to endocannabinoids, the study provides novel possibilities for the future development of therapies for a number of neurological diseases. Cannabinoid compounds are interesting because they act through special receptors on nerve cells to modulate these cells' behaviour," said Ivan Soltesz, professor and chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and senior author of the study.

"This discovery offers the potential for new drug therapies because the link between CCK and cannabinoids can now be further investigated to determine how its modulation by either pharmacological or genetic means alters excitability in the hippocampus," he added.

Source: ANI
LIN/J
Advertisement

Advertisement
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 Category
What's New on Medindia
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccines May Improve Mental Health
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Bulimia Nervosa Brachial Plexus Injury 

Recommended Reading
Depression
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders affecting approximately 340 million people in ...
High-stress Jobs Increases the Chances of Depression, Anxiety
Stressful jobs double the risk of depression and anxiety in young adults, warn UK researchers. ....
Boffins Find Evidence for Novel Brain Cell Communication
Scientists have found a strong evidence for a novel type of communication between nerve cells in ......
Brachial Plexus Injury
Brachial plexus is a network of nerves that transmits signals from the spine to shoulder, arm and .....
Bulimia Nervosa
The term ''Bulimia'' refers to episodes of uncontrolled excessive eating, known as "binges," followe...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use