New finding suggests a way to block stress' damage

by Bill Hathaway
New finding suggests a way to block stress’ damage
Stress can trigger depression by destroying synaptic connections between brain cells, as seen in second panel. However, when single gene called REDD1 is deleted in mice, these synaptic spines are restored. Credit: Duman Lab

Ketamine, an anesthetic sometimes abused as a street drug, increases the synaptic connections between brain cells and in low doses acts as a powerful antidepressant, Yale researchers have found. However, stress has the opposite effect, shrinking the number of synaptic spines, triggering depression.

In the April 13 online issue of the journal Nature Medicine, Yale researchers found that expression of single gene called REDD1 enables stress to damage and cause depressive behavior.

"We found if we delete REDD1, we can block the effects of stress in mice," said Ron Duman, the Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Psychiatry and professor of neurobiology.

In recent studies, the Yale team showed that ketamine activates the mTORC1 pathway, which in turn spurs synthesis of and connections. In the new study, they show that the REDD1 blocks mTORC1 activity and decreases the number of . The new study by Duman and lead author Kristie Ota showed that mice without the REDD1 gene were impervious to the synaptic and behavioral deficits caused by stress. By contrast, when the gene was over-expressed, mice exhibited loss of synaptic connections and increased depression and anxiety behaviors.

In addition, post-mortem examinations of people who had suffered from depression showed high levels of REDD1 in cortical regions associated with depression.

Yale's work with ketamine has already led to development of new classes of antidepressants, which are currently in clinical trials. Duman said these new findings may provide a new drug target that directly blunts the negative impacts of .

More information: REDD1 is essential for stress-induced synaptic loss and depressive behavior, DOI: 10.1038/nm.3513

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julianpenrod
1 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2014
There is a crucial facet of human thinking and that is subtlety. The ability to perceive a problem, even if it's not entirely visible, before it begins. With it, you don't need to know the dangers of storing an open bottle of drain cleaner in one room while a toddler is in the other. Subtlety warns of the dangers of the evident push to make all drugs free and easy to get, while "science" itself only comes up with, "Drugs are fun and, besides, people drink, so there can't be any danger!" Add to that the fact that "government", "science", the "news" and even "religious" institutions are provably engaged in a massive conspiracy to withhold ugly facts on subjects the New World Order wants to promote, to keep the "rank and file" from realizing how dangerous they are.
Tenche
5 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2014
There is a crucial facet of human thinking and that is subtlety. The ability to perceive a problem, even if it's not entirely visible, before it begins. With it, you don't need to know the dangers of storing an open bottle of drain cleaner in one room while a toddler is in the other. Subtlety warns of the dangers of the evident push to make all drugs free and easy to get, while "science" itself only comes up with, "Drugs are fun and, besides, people drink, so there can't be any danger!" Add to that the fact that "government", "science", the "news" and even "religious" institutions are provably engaged in a massive conspiracy to withhold ugly facts on subjects the New World Order wants to promote, to keep the "rank and file" from realizing how dangerous they are.


So what? What the hell is your point? The article is fantastic news. I hope to be able to either disable the gene or suppress it. Why? Because it will prevent brain damage. That's the only reason I need.