Monday, January 25, 2021
Home Life Style Health & Fitness Molecule Deficiency May Help Diagnose Severe Depression

Molecule Deficiency May Help Diagnose Severe Depression

LAC levels were also lower among those patients reporting a childhood history of abuse, neglect, poverty or exposure to violence

Scientists have identified a substance in blood as a biomarker for depression, a finding that could open a novel way to a new class of antidepressants that could have no side-effects and faster-acting functions than those in current use.

Depression is a common mental disorder, with more than 300 million people of all ages suffering from the disorder globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The findings showed that people with a particular type of depression have decreased blood levels of the molecule acetyl-L-carnitine (LAC), also widely available as a nutritional supplement in drugstores.

Those with severe or treatment-resistant depression, or whose bouts of depression began earlier in life, have particularly low blood levels of the substance.

LAC is a crucial mediator of fat metabolism and energy production throughout the body, plays a special role in the brain, where it works at least in part by preventing the excessive firing of excitatory nerve cells in brain regions called the hippocampus and frontal cortex.

The results are “an exciting addition to our understanding of the mechanisms of depressive illness”, said Natalie Rasgon, Professor at the Stanford University.

Depression
Those with severe or treatment-resistant depression, or whose bouts of depression began earlier in life, have particularly low blood levels of the substance.

“In patients with depression, something is causing a problem in the mechanisms related to the biology of LAC,” said Carla Nasca, from the Rockefeller University in New York City.

“And, surprisingly, the deficiency in LAC is even stronger in patients that don’t respond to standard antidepressants,” Nasca added.

The study, published in the journal PNAS, involved 20 to 70-year-old men and women, diagnosed with depression and, amid episodes of acute depression, and had been admitted for treatment.

The patients’ LAC blood levels were found to be substantially lower in both men and women, regardless of age.

Also Read: Greening Vacant Lots can reduce Depression in Urban Areas

LAC levels were also lower among those patients reporting a childhood history of abuse, neglect, poverty or exposure to violence.

However, Rasgon cautioned against rushing to the store to pick up a bottle of acetyl-L-carnitine and self-medicating for depression. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

38% Indian Women Techies Prefer WHF

Almost 38 per cent Indian women working in a tech or IT industry prefer working at home to working in the office, says a...

Telangana Boy Develops Smart Wristband Aiding Alzheimer’s

A 13-year-old boy from Telangana, who developed a smart wristband to monitor Alzheimer's patients, is one of the recipients of Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal...

Diwali 2022 Opens Doors To An Extended Temple In Dubai

A new Hindu temple in Dubai, the foundation stone of which was laid last August amidst the pandemic, will open its doors to worshippers...

Changing Mood In Ayodhya Chronicled In New Book

Fear, apprehension and suspicion has finally been replaced with a sense of ease and excitement and Ayodhya, after the Supreme Court verdict - is...

Scientists Ask For Strict Measures To Restrict New Covid-19 Strain

With new Covid-19 strains reported from several parts of the world giving fresh threats to the fight against the pandemic, a group of scientists...

Pandemic: An Eye-Opener For Health Sector

The Covid-19 pandemic should serve as an eye-opener for the government to increase allocation for the health sector in the Union Budget 2020-21, feel...

Tri-colour, The Colour Code For Republic Day

Republic day is around the corner and so is the end of winter fashion. So why not end it in style? Here are some...

Youth Must Be Made Aware Of Voter Registration

On the occasion of 11th National Voters Day (NVD), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday emphasized the need to spread awareness and ensure voter...

Recent Comments