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April 24 2014

Protein that shrinks depressed brains identified


Could preventing the brain shrinkage associated with depression be as simple as blocking a protein?

Post-mortem analysis of brain tissue has shown that the dendrites that relay messages between neurons are more shrivelled in people with severe depression than in people without the condition. This atrophy could be behind some of the symptoms of depression, such as the inability to feel pleasure. As a result, drugs that help repair the neuronal connections, like ketamine, are under investigation.

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