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Researchers seek greater understanding of depression

Researchers seek greater understanding of depression
15th August 2012

Researchers are looking to improve their understanding of depression and the effects of treatments on the condition.

A study at the Medical College Georgia Health Sciences University is aiming to 'connect the dots' between two molecules whose levels are decreased in depressive patients and increased by antidepressants.

Serotonin and brain-derived neurotrophic factor aid in brain connectivity and are much lower in those with depression. However, they can be increased using antidepressants.

Researchers now believe that a piece of the protein transglutaminase 2, or TG2, is associated with serotonin deficiency and may explain why levels rise and fall in sync with brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

Depression interrupts this process and understanding the relationship could be key in enhancing depression knowledge and creating new treatments.

It may also create an opportunity for earlier interventions, in which those with depression are more accurately targeted.

However, Dr Alvin V Terry Jr, co-investigator on the study, stated: "We need to learn more about how all these pieces fit to ultimately design new therapies for depression and related psychiatric disorders."

Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.