Gene Therapy to Treat Depression

"Researchers find they can alleviate depression in mice by boosting a protein in one part of the brain." Technology Review on how gene therapy could be used in humans.

"For decades, medications for depression have acted pretty much the same way—by manipulating levels of serotonin and other chemical messengers in the brain. New drugs have offered only modest changes from the old ones. Now a team of researchers, led by Michael Kaplitt, an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, has proposed a different way to attack depression: by using gene therapy to boost levels of a protein called p11 in an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. 'We do believe that the deficiency of this gene in this area of the brain may be one of the underlying root causes of depression, and that addressing that could help improve symptoms,' says Kaplitt."

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