Gene Therapy for Major Depression
Treating major depression can be challenging in that what works for one person is ineffective for another. While medications and psychotherapy can be successful, it is important that we continue to learn more about how depression occurs. In this way, we can develop a wider range of successful treatments for sufferers.
Treating the Cause of DepressionA recent study found that a key gene in a small section of the brain could potentially reverse major depression. The study was, however, only done in animals and would require extensive investigation in humans before treatment could become a reality. In particular, this treatment could offer hope for those who have not responded to traditional treatments for depression, such as medications and psychotherapy.
Getting to the Roots of DepressionModern treatments today often treat the symptoms of depression rather than the root causes. Researchers suggest that the new treatment may soon change this approach to depression treatment. The result could be a lasting treatment for depression that is more effective than current approaches such as antidepressants and counselling.
Brain Proteins and DepressionInside your brain is a protein that plays a key role in your feelings of pleasure and reward. These sensations are ones that tend to be lacking in people who are depressed. With depression, a person struggles because they can’t find the pleasure that comes from positive experiences in life.
Depression and NeurotransmittersThis particular protein is important to deliver serotonin, a neurotransmitter, to nerve cells in the brain. Serotonin has long been investigated because it plays such a vital role in regulating moods and other functions such as sleep.
The vast majority of medical treatments for depression aim to regulate serotonin. Yet without the brain protein, even if a neuron produces sufficient serotonin receptors, they won’t get to the surface of cells where they can connect with a neurotransmitter.