Study Suggests Depression is Driven by Networks of Genes that Span Brain Circuits
Previous research on depression has focused in on multiple regions of the brain come affect the patients while focusing on three “master regulators” of the gene networks. In this study, researchers focused on identifying how groups of genes operate as networks to control communication across the areas of the brain that become altered during depression. Because of this study, the research team was able to identify large gene networks. None of these genes had previously been linked to depression before this study. Furthermore, they found that manipulating these genes in mice could make them either susceptible or resilient to chronic stress. “Our study is the first to identify and validate the gene networks at play across the brain circuits, showing that manipulating their activity alters the activity of brain cells and ultimately, depression behavior,” says Rosemary C. Bagot, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the Nestler Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry at Mount Sinai. “By considering both activity of individual genes and the relationship between groups of genes in several brain regions, our team found that depression may reflect fundamental changes in the architecture of gene networks, rather than just simple increases or decreases in the activity of genes.” To read more, click here.
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