Depression and chronic stress cause loss of brain volume
According to Health24, major depression or chronic stress can cause the loss of brain volume, a condition that contributes to both emotional and cognitive impairment. A team of researchers led by Yale scientists has discovered a single genetic switch that triggers loss of brain connections in humans and depression in animal models.
The research team analysed tissue of depressed and non-depressed patients and looked for different patterns of gene activation. The brains of patients who had been depressed exhibited lower levels of expression in genes that are required for the function and structure of brain synapses.
Researchers found that that - under similar conditions - rodents exhibited depressive-like symptoms, suggesting that a single transcription factor called GATA1 plays a role not only in the loss of connections between neurons but also in symptoms of depression. Researchers hope this may one day assist in identifying people at high risk for major depression or sensitivity to stress, Health24 says.
Read the full article on www.health24.com.