Biological off-switch causing depression

A new collaborative study between the University of Aberdeen and Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London could be paving the way for tailor made anti-depressants .

Researchers have found the gene BDNF is located in the same region of the brain known to control mood. The gene determines how much BDNF protein is produced, if there is either surplus amounts or too little BDNF protein in the brain then behavioural changes including symptoms of depression arise.

Published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, the researchers suggested that these findings indicate a new opportunity to develop more effective ‘tailor-made’ drug therapies based on a better understanding of the genetics of individual patients suffering from depression.

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