“Scarred for Life” Gets a Whole New Meaning

March 1st, 2006 at 10:36 am by Sam
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The National Institute of Mental Health issued a press release on Monday (Feb 27th) about a study led by Eric Nestler, M.D., of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “Sustained hippocampal chromatin regulation in a mouse model of depression and antidepressant action” (Tsankova NM, Berton O, Renthal W, Kumar A, Neve R, Nestler EJ), shows that chronic stress and depression can cause a “molecular scar” in the brains of lab mice.

“The molecular scar induced by chronic stress in the hippocampus, and perhaps elsewhere in the brain, can’t be easily reversed,” said Nestler. “To really cure depression, we probably need to find new treatments that can remove the silencer molecules.”

While not only showing promise for future treatments of depression, it may also give some hints about about genetic predisposition to depression and antisocial behavior.


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