FSU Professor Helps Unlock Key to Treating Depression

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

It's reported that close to 20 million adults have some sort of depressive disorder. There are even reports now of pre-schoolers as the fastest growing market for antidepressants.

FSU professor Carlos Bolanos is working with a team of researchers to study the gene which triggers clinical depression, and learn how to control it.

"We don't have the therapies to say that we are going to give you a particular medicine that will have an affect on this small brain area. We still have a long way to go," feels Bolanos, who says the gene found in the mid section of the brain, known as the brain derived neurotrophic factor or "BDNF," is closely connected with depression, social phobia, and post-traumatic stress.

When this particular gene was transferred in mice during research, the rodents showed a change in behavior.

"We found that with this particular area in the brain, if we go and delete or silence this gene, the animals recover," adds Bolanos, who says this research could lead to finding cures to different forms of cancer, which also develop when certain genes become overly active.


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