An amino acid can help fight depression: that’s what they found researchers from the University of Floridaafter studying for over 10 years how brain cells work.
A work that in reality did not have as its main objective the search for a cure for depression, but “just” to understand the functioning of brain cell receptors, turned over time into a great opportunity to discover something more about depression and to the mechanisms that activate it.
First, the researchers started with a receptor called GPR158: recent studies in mice have shown that suppressing this receptor can make people more resistant to stress-induced depression.
This means that in the future new antidepressants will “target” this receptor, which can be slowed down and blocked by glycine, an amino acid present in various foods, mainly meat and legumes. Therefore, glycine is the real key to the future of depression treatment.
“There are still few drugs to treat depression, we desperately need to find more,” said one of the study’s lead authors, Dr. Kirill Martemianov.
The goal is to use this discovery to create new drugs that can act precisely on this receptor, to inhibit it and reduce the risk of depression: “The number of depressed patients has increased significantly in recent years, especially among young people. Glycine and the GPR158 receptor could pave the way for new treatments,” concluded the specialist.
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