Researchers Discovered New Avenue for Anti-Depressant Therapy
Jan 19, 2017 07:41 AM EST
Researchers have recently discovered a new molecular information that explains how the brain regulates depression and anxiety. The ground-breaking study identifies a new molecule that relieves anxiety attacks and depressive behavior in rodents. Eleanor Coffey, the Research Director at Åbo Akademi University in Finland, led the collaborative research, combining scientists in Finland and the US.
The findings suggest that JNK, a mitogen-activated protein, subdues the production of new neurons in the hippocampus when it becomes active. Hippocampus is a part of the brain that centralises emotions and learning. By restraining JNK to solely newly generated nerve cells in the hippocampus, the researchers were able to mitigate anxiety symptoms and depressive behaviour in mice. The mechanism that was previously unknown, unveils new insights on the manner of which the brain works towards regulating mood and provides a new avenue for antidepressant and anxiolytic drug development through the inhibitors of JNK.
Depression and anxiety are some of the most serious disorders worldwide. Having said that, the results obtained from the research carry a great deal of importance in helping many patients, especially patients who do not respond to current treatments or those who find the treatments less effective. A new mechanistic understanding of these disorders is necessary to identify better drugs for treatment-resistant depression.
The EU-funded Marie Curie Initial Training Network r'BIRTH funded the research, alongside the Academy of Finland, Turku Network in Molecular Biosciences and the National Institute on Aging (US). The research findings are published in the Nature Publishing Group's Molecular Psychiatry Journal.