Researchers Identify Biomarker Responsible for Depression

Depression has become quite a common mental health problem nowadays. A large part of the population worldwide is suffering because of this problem. There are several factors which may lead to depression including stress.

Recently, the researchers from the University of Illinois, Chicago, United States, have successfully identified the bio marker which can help in tracking depression. The researchers have identified a bio marker present in human platelets that helps in tracking the extent of depression. Mark Rasenick, who led the team of scientists, said that when we are depressed, adenylyl cyclase remains low. Adenylyl Cyclase is a small molecule inside the cell which is created in response to neurotransmitters like serotonin and epinephrine.

According to UIC Today, Rasenick said that the reason adenylyl cyclase is attenuated is that the intermediary protein that allows the neurotransmitter to make the adenylyl cyclase, Gs alpha, is stuck in a cholesterol-rich matrix of the membrane — a lipid raft – where they don’t work very well.

The new study, titled ‘A Novel Peripheral Biomarker for Depression and Antidepressant Response’, published in Molecular Psychiatry has identified a cellular bio marker responsible for the translocation of Gs alpha from lipid rafts. This biomarker is identified through a blood test.

Rasenick said that they have not only developed a test which identifies depression and also signifies therapeutic response with a single biomarker. Rasenick said that this has not existed till date, according to UIS Today.

The researchers feel that they will be able to test the efficiency of antidepressants by this blood test.

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