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Gene therapy for depression

Mouse experiments deliver genetic material to brain

2:34pm, October 20, 2010

Researchers have pinpointed a region of the brain where scarcity of a key protein may contribute to depression. The new findings, appearing October 20 in Science Translational Medicine, may pave the way to treating some cases of depression with gene therapy.

In the new study, researchers led by Michael Kaplitt of the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City found that depressed people had lower than normal levels of a protein called p11 in the brain’s nucleus accumbens. This brain structure is important for reward, drug addiction and depression. Delivering the gene for the p11 protein to this region eliminated depression-like behavior in listless mice, the res

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