Depression Is Caused By A Protein

November 19, 2014


The journal Nature published a recent study that may just change the way we treat depression. A team of researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York has found that the thing responsible for dealing with stress is a protein found in our brains.

One Protein To Rule Them All

According to the study, our reward and motivation center in the brain contains beta-catenin, the protein that is our main defense against depression.

After testing mice that were exposed to chronic social stress, the team found that B-catenin-active animals deal with stress much more efficiently than those with inactive B-catenin.

The fact is the latter actually showed signs of suffering from depression.

And regardless whether the depressed subject took depression medication or not, post-mortem examining showed that there was a suppression of B-catenin in their brains.

Changing The Future For The Better

This study might just enable us to treat depression preventatively and improve our resistance to stress, rather than trying to reverse the damage it already caused.

On Mount Sinai’s website, study co-lead investigator Caroline Dias said: “Our human data are notable in that we show decreased activation of B-catenin in depressed humans, regardless of whether these individuals were on or off antidepressants at the time of death.”

It might be early to say this, but this has great potential in revolutionizing the way we combat depression in the future.