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anti depressants
parts of the brain
hopelessness
genes
Depression And Gene Expression
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Depression And Gene Expression

Depression is one of those studies that are still debatable and is still up in the air. Depression is when an individual lacks the energy for life, and feels hopelessness. They also have a very unstable mental state of mind and can possibly be harmful to themselves. Does this have any relations to genes or it is clearly environmental? In recent studies, it showed that an individual couldn’t just inherit depression from either mom or dad. It’s the inherited combination of genes that may leave the individual to be predisposed to certain illnesses such as depression. There is not a depression gene; it can be any numbers of genes acting together.

A study showed that a gene called the MPK-1 from the pathway MAPK is not regulated like it should be in some parts of the brain in a depressed patient. This study was done by using patients that were post-mortem and were compared to patients who were controls. The signaling of gene expression was then monitored. The research showed that when there’s a high level of MPK-1, depressive symptoms were more prominent and that when anti-depressants were used, the level of MPK-1 decreased. When there’s too much MPK-1 hanging around it disturbs the signaling pathway (MAPK) that is involved in neuronal plasticity, functioning, and survival. This in turns lead to irregularity in neurons is parts of the brain that maybe in business with depression known as the hippocampus.

A second study was done on mice through gene therapy. These mice were missing the gene p11. The gene p11 is known for regulating the production of serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for mood, sleep, and memory. A low level of serotonin can induce depression like behaviors.

Using gene therapy, the researchers used a virus to introduce a working p11 gene into the mice’s DNA. Once the mice’s DNA accepts the p11 gene, it is said that the depressive symptoms went down. Clearly, gene therapy is now a very popular approach with these types of diseases. When an individual is missing a gene, simply introduce it back into the body through a virus.

Further studies are being performed on other diseases of the brain such as Parkinson’s disease. Even with the studies down above, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the absence of the p11 gene or the dysfunctional MPK-1 protein leads to depression, but it is clearly a factor in the disease.


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