Tag: genetics

Giving Lithium to Those who Need it

Lithium is a ‘gold standard’ drug for treating bipolar disorder, however not everyone responds in the same way. New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders finds that this is true at the levels of gene activation, especially in the activation or repression of genes which alter the level the apoptosis (programmed cell death).

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Blood Test Can Determine Depression And Its Subtypes In Teens

A breakthrough blood test which identifies depression and its specific subtypes in teens has been developed by a scientist at Northwestern University. Scientist were able to distinguish 11 specific genetic markers apparent within teens with depression and those without depression. Additionally, 18 out of 26 genetic markers previously identified, distinguished between teens who suffered major depression alone and those whose depression was coupled with anxiety disorders. This research is promising as, not only can depression and its subtypes be diagnosed through a simple blood test, but also gives hope for the development of individualized treatment options.

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Spontaneous gene glitches linked to autism risk with older dads

Researchers have turned up a new clue to the workings of a possible environmental factor in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs): fathers were four times more likely than mothers to transmit tiny, spontaneous mutations to their children with the disorders. Moreover, the number of such transmitted genetic glitches increased with paternal age. The discovery may help to explain earlier evidence linking autism risk to older fathers.

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Genetic Clues To PTSD?

New research released today in PLoS ONE could help to find new treatment options for people suffering from high anxiety disorders such as PTSD. Using mice, researchers at Rutgers have identified genetic clues which pinpoint why some are more resilient to traumatic experiences, while others are still fearful once removed from potentially dangerous situations.

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Genetic Variants Rewire Brain In Autistic Patients

Researchers at UCLA have demonstrated how genetic variants rewire the brain in autistic patients. Examining the role of the CNTAP2 gene, which is believed to boost the risk of autism, researchers discovered a difference in connectivity between the left and right sides of the brain, depending on which version of the gene the patients carried. This research could provide a positive outcome in developing treatments for re-balancing the brain circuitry for autistic patients and promote a more normal neurological development.

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Treating Depression With Gene Therapy

A new study suggests gene therapy might be key to treating major depression in patients who do not respond to conventional drug treatments. Researchers have discovered that the p11 gene seems to play a major role in depression. By disabling the p11 protein in mice, researchers noticed an increase in depression like symptoms. The proposed gene therapy would help restore the p11 protein within the nucleus accumbens, an area of the brain associated with feelings of reward and pleasure, in order to help reduce depression.

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