Is Depression Curable

Is Depression Curable - I saw this article in the Scientific Daily News; Scientists seem to have "possibly" pinned down the gene that is responsible for depression. If so this could mean that in years to come we are looking at a cure for depression and other mental illnesses instead of just treating the symptoms. There has been a remarkable amount of research that has been done in genetics and we are finding that through genetic engineering, the ability to isolate genes, and work in the area of the connectives between cells - this is all yielding a lot of new information of the causes of mental illness and possibly the ability to cure mental illness in the future. Until such is the case, the anti-depressants that we have are very effective.

"This could be a primary cause, or at least a major contributing factor, to the signaling abnormalities that lead to depression," said Ronald S. Duman, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Yale and senior author of the study.

Scientists have had a difficult time pinning down the cause of depression, which afflicts almost 16 percent of Americans in any given year and carries an annual economic burden of $100 billion.

Symptoms of depression vary widely among individuals. Most now believe that multiple physiological processes are involved in major depressive disorder. That explains why people respond differently to most commonly prescribed antidepressants, which work by manipulating the uptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin. However, as many as 40 percent of depressed patients do not respond to currently available medications, which take weeks to months to produce a therapeutic response.

Duman's team did whole genome scans on tissue samples from 21 deceased individuals who had been diagnosed with depression and compared gene expression levels to those of 18 individuals who had not been diagnosed with depression. They found that one gene called MKP-1 was increased more than two-fold in the brain tissues of depressed individuals. Read the rest of the article: Depression Curable


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