As a growing number of people are affected by depression in our life today, the mental disorder has caught the attention of many researchers across the globe. Depression has been regarded as the most widespread disorder by the World Health Organization. A research team at the Department of Human Physiology of the UMA Faculty of Medicine have designed a new therapy in order to treat depression.
Although previous research have suggested of therapies that act on the serotonin system, the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), the effect of antidepressants however take about two weeks’ time and the recipients are mostly deemed as resistant to the drug.
The research works on one of the main symptoms in depressed patients. “Galanin” neuropeptide –which is an endogenous molecule of the brain is allegedly involved in anhedonia, which causes loss of capacity to feel pleasure in daily activities. This includes meals, social activity or sex.
Researcher Carmelo Millón said in a statement, “We have verified through different experiments how animals modify their response to high-reinforcement appetitive stimuli, such as saccharine or sexual attraction, after the administration of the Galanin fragment.”
Moreover, a study performed by scholars from Karolinska Institute Sweden also confirmed that the Galanin fragment acts directly on neurological mechanism which reduced circuit activity. The neurological mechanism being the circuit charge which reinforces positive behavior for individuals and species.
Millón suggests that understanding of the mechanisms of Galanin fragment is essential to modulate the brain reward circuit. It paves way to interesting applications that will go beyond treatments for depression and use in drug-related activities. “The understanding of these mechanisms opens the way for endless therapeutic strategies, hence its importance”, reported Millón.