Depression May be Helped by Blocking Protein in the Brain, Johns Hopkins University Study

Published: Feb 08, 2013

Blocking a protein in the brain that prevents neural stem cells from maturing may lead to a potential new way to treat depression, one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. After the gene that makes the protein, called sFRP3, was deleted in mice their brains behaved as though they were on antidepressants, researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found. When sFRP3 is overactive, neural stem cells can’t mature into neurons, a process that’s been linked to the success of antidepressant treatments, according to the study published today in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

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