Archive Tag: Depression Causes

Discovery Neuroscience Demonstration Project: Using tools to reveal the role of specific brain regions in depression

Studies looking at depression in humans and models of depression in animals show that depression involves changes in a part of the brain called the striatum. The striatum controls how we process rewards and attribute value to our experiences, while also regulating our goal-directed and habitual actions. Read more

Discovery Neuroscience Demonstration Project: Astrocytes may have a big impact

Depression—the most common cause of disability in the world— places serious demands on health services and is a major contributor to suicide.  Yet our ability to develop new, more effective treatments continues to hit obstacles largely due to a lack of understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of the causes. One exciting opportunity arises from recently acquired knowledge about the function of astrocytes—a cell type Read more

Discovery Neuroscience Demonstration Project: Shining a light on reproductive depression

About 20% of women develop depression at some point in life.  Depression can occur at any age, but it is most common in women between the ages of 40 and 59. Although women are twice as likely as men to experience depression, studies involving animals usually ignore this important aspect of the disease. The term “reproductive depression” denotes the depression in women that relates to the hormonal changes of Read more

Discovery Neuroscience Demonstration Project: Studying flies holds the answer to misfiring brain circuits

One of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants is Fluoxetine (commonly known as Prozac), which targets transporters of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. However, our knowledge of this drug stops here, which leaves us unable to improve existing drugs or create new ones.  Past research suggests that antidepressant medications alter the cellular and molecular machinery responsible for Read more

Examples of gene networks in the hippocampus affected by brain trauma. UCLA researchers report that the “master regulator” genes (in red) influence many other genes responsible for the effects of brain trauma.
Qingying Meng/UCLA

UCLA researchers are the first to identify master genes that may control hundreds of genes linked to diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s and many more. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) seems to damage these master genes, which then alters gene expression and/or protein production of genes linked to the master gene. Using an animal model, researchers simulated TBI among a cohort of rats and drew RNA from the rats. Among rats with simulated Read more