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People Suffering from Depression Have New Hope

by Kathy Jones on June 9, 2014 at 7:44 PM
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 People Suffering from Depression Have New Hope

A small molecule that predicts treatment response for depressed patients has been discovered by researchers.

According to researchers at McGill University and the Douglas Institute, levels of a small molecule found only in humans and in other primates are lower in the brains of depressed individuals.

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This discovery may hold a key to improving treatment options for those who suffer from depression.

Dr. Gustavo Turecki, a psychiatrist at the Douglas and professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry at McGill, together with his team, discovered that the levels of a tiny molecule, miR-1202, may provide a marker for depression and help detect individuals who are likely to respond to antidepressant treatment.
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Turecki, who is also Director of the McGill Group for Suicide Studies, said that they identified this molecule, a microRNA known as miR-1202, only found in humans and primates and discovered that it regulates an important receptor of the neurotransmitter glutamate.

The team conducted a number of experiments that showed that antidepressants change the levels of this microRNA. "In our clinical trials with living depressed individuals treated with citalopram, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, we found lower levels in depressed individuals compared to the non-depressed individuals before treatment," says Turecki.

He said "clearly, microRNA miR-1202 increased as the treatment worked and individuals no longer felt depressed."

The new study has been published in the journal Nature Medicine.

Source: ANI
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