Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tiny molecule may help battle depression

Date:
June 8, 2014
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Levels of a small molecule found only in humans and in other primates are lower in the brains of depressed individuals, according to researchers. This discovery may hold a key to improving treatment options for those who suffer from depression. The discovery may provide "a potential target for the development of new and more effective antidepressant treatments," one researcher notes.

A sample from the Douglas-Bell Canada Brain.
Credit: Douglas Institute

Levels of a small molecule found only in humans and in other primates are lower in the brains of depressed individuals, according to researchers at McGill University and the Douglas Institute. This discovery may hold a key to improving treatment options for those who suffer from depression.

Related Articles


Depression is a common cause of disability, and while viable medications exist to treat it, finding the right medication for individual patients often amounts to trial and error for the physician. In a new study published in the journal Nature Medicine, Dr. Gustavo Turecki, a psychiatrist at the Douglas and professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry at McGill, together with his team, discovered that the levels of a tiny molecule, miR-1202, may provide a marker for depression and help detect individuals who are likely to respond to antidepressant treatment.

"Using samples from the Douglas Bell-Canada Brain Bank, we examined brain tissues from individuals who were depressed and compared them with brain tissues from psychiatrically healthy individuals, says Turecki, who is also Director of the McGill Group for Suicide Studies, "We identified this molecule, a microRNA known as miR-1202, only found in humans and primates and discovered that it regulates an important receptor of the neurotransmitter glutamate."

The team conducted a number of experiments that showed that antidepressants change the levels of this microRNA. "In our clinical trials with living depressed individuals treated with citalopram, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, we found lower levels in depressed individuals compared to the non-depressed individuals before treatment," says Turecki. "Clearly, microRNA miR-1202 increased as the treatment worked and individuals no longer felt depressed."

Antidepressant drugs are the most common treatment for depressive episodes, and are among the most prescribed medications in North America. "Although antidepressants are clearly effective, there is variability in how individuals respond to antidepressant treatment," says Turecki, "We found that miR-1202 is different in individuals with depression and particularly, among those patients who eventually will respond to antidepressant treatment."

The discovery may provide "a potential target for the development of new and more effective antidepressant treatments," he adds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Juan Pablo Lopez, Raymond Lim, Cristiana Cruceanu, Liam Crapper, Caroline Fasano, Benoit Labonte, Gilles Maussion, Jennie P Yang, Volodymyr Yerko, Erika Vigneault, Salah El Mestikawy, Naguib Mechawar, Paul Pavlidis, Gustavo Turecki. miR-1202 is a primate-specific and brain-enriched microRNA involved in major depression and antidepressant treatment. Nature Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nm.3582

Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Tiny molecule may help battle depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140608152544.htm>.
McGill University. (2014, June 8). Tiny molecule may help battle depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140608152544.htm
McGill University. "Tiny molecule may help battle depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140608152544.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Things You Didn't Know About Depression

5 Things You Didn't Know About Depression

Odyssey Networks (Nov. 21, 2014) According to a new survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 60% of Americans with a diagnosed mental illness believe their condition worsens around the holidays. Stress, high expectations and loneliness are contributing factors that contribute to the "holiday blues." Video provided by Odyssey
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins