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Recent study unveils another causative of depression and opens doors for new treatments

depression

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Researchers believe that uncovering the role of a specific protein present in our bodies, may revolutionize treatment for people going through depression. A new level of complexity to depression has been revealed in a recent study. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide. In the most severe cases, it can also lead to suicide.

It is normal to experience occasional sadness or grief after specific events, but depression is substantially more complex and usually not dependent on triggers. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical issues that reduce the subject’s ability to function at work and at home. Symptoms include feelings of intense sadness that last for extended periods of time, loss of interest in everyday activities, headaches, anxiety, trouble sleeping and sleep disturbances.

Depression is treatable, but it is important to talk to a professional and design therapy based on the cause, symptoms, medical and family history, cultural factors and environmental factors. This discovery and its possible projection might also entail increasing acceptance of the condition’s treatment amongst the population. Mental health is still a taboo in Pakistan and desperately needs recognition.

The journal of  ‘Neuroscience’ published a study conducted at Hiroshima University in Japan. This study is based on the behavior of RGS8, a protein that in humans is encoded by the RGS8 gene.

Orthodox beliefs stop families from supporting any treatment for their relatives, whether psychological or pharmacological. This not only hinders the country’s progress towards modernization but also worsens the chances of many, to live their lives normally. The lack of awareness is an institutional problem, with no concept of mental health leave, or psychological support for employees or students.

Read more: Why social media might be causing depression?

A New Way to Treat Depression

Most antidepressant drugs are developed based on the belief that depression occurs because of two chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine, lacking in people with the clinical condition. The aim of medications is to adjust the levels of these two neurotransmitters back to their normal ranges. According to the American Psychiatric Association, 80 to 90 percent of people respond well to therapies, but for some patients, the drugs available in the market today are not effective.

Some studies found that early risers have a lower risk of depression; another study also confirms that “morning people” have a lower risk of depression. Researchers have been seeking new ways to treat depression. The journal of  ‘Neuroscience’ published a study conducted at Hiroshima University in Japan. This study is based on the behavior of RGS8, a protein that in humans is encoded by the RGS8 gene.

This discovery and its possible projection might also entail increasing acceptance of the condition’s treatment amongst the population. Mental health is still a taboo in Pakistan and desperately needs recognition.

The protein RGS8 controls a hormone receptor called MCHR1, which helps to regulate sleep, feeding and mood. In past years, scientists discovered “that RGS8 inactivates MCHR1 in cultured cells”. Their theory states that as the expression of RGS8 decreases, the condition of depression intensifies or the chances of its occurrence increase.

Read more: The un-spoken truth about motherhood – Postpartum Depression

Successful tests on mice have proved that the MCHR1 hormone and RGS8 protein are related to manifestations of depression which are unaffected by monoamines (serotonin and norepinephrine). This gives rise to a new hope for medicines that could treat the estimated 30%, of the almost 300 million patients, that show no response to conventional anti-depressants. Any achievement in the said manufacture would be groundbreaking and make easy the lives of almost 90 million people.

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