Revealed — how anti-depressants work inside the brain

April 23, 2014 3:08 PM

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Revealed — how anti-depressants work inside the brain

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center has identified a major mechanism by which ghrelin (a hormone with natural anti-depressant properties) works inside the brain. Simultaneously, the researchers identified a potentially powerful new treatment for depression in the form of a neuroprotective drug known as P7C3. Dr Jeffrey Zigman, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at UT Southwestern, and co-senior author of the study, said by investigating the way the so-called ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin works to limit the extent of depression following long-term exposure to stress, they discovered what could become a brand new class of anti-depressant drugs.

The current findings identify ghrelin’s ability to stimulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis, the formation of new neurons, in animal models. In addition, Dr Zigman and his colleagues also found that the regenerative process inside the hippocampus – a region of the brain that regulates mood, memory, ...

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