Scientists have discovered a novel pathway in the brain that will hopefully help allay depression.
Scientists have found a new pathway in the brain that can be dealt with in order to alleviate depression. The manufacturing of a special drug that could affect this pathway would be ideal. The search for the perfect antidepressant is on.
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The current list of antidepressants have mostly failed to counter depression. Many patients do not respond to them with much alacrity. Between 10% and 20% of the population has depression and the symptoms may be ameliorated but the disease is for life.
The study concerning this new pathway was published Oct. 4 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
Designer drugs that follow certain specific pathways in the human brain may be the ideal treatment for depression in the future. The research in the lab is a project under construction.
For one thing, how antidepressants work in the human brain is being looked into very closely. The discovery of new chemicals and channels for the relief of depression are underway.
Prozac and other tricyclic antidepressants tend to target a route in the hippocampus termed the BMP signaling pathway. This signaling pathway works in such a manner that it controls cellular functions.
A rush of chemicals takes place and the connections from one molecule to another leads to the cells firing one after the other. The signals thus gets relayed across the length and breadth of the neurons of the brain.
Prozac and tricyclics tend to inhibit this pathway. The result is that more neurons are produced. These neurons affect mood swings and memory functions.
Prozac acts on many centers in the brain. After confirming the BMP pathway, scientists tested a brain protein called Noggin. This was done in mice in the lab. It generated neurons.
The scientists postulated that this could have an antidepressive effect. Yet they were not sure. What they found surprised them. Noggin worked better than Prozac.
It really perked the mice and led to the vanishing of their depressive symptoms. Both depression and anxiety simply melted into thin air when Noggin was administered to the mice.
While the mice given Noggin showed signs of energetic activity, those in the control group simply lay their in a listless manner. This chemical and pathway thus show promise for the future.
Maybe one find day in the times to come we will have overcome depression and have found true happiness and high spirits as a species.