Newly Discovered Trigger for Major Depression Opens New Possibilities for Treatments

A common amino acid, glycine, can deliver a “slow-down” signal to the brain, likely contributing to major depression, anxiety and other mood disorders in some people, scientists at the Wertheim University of Florida (UF) Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology have found. The discovery, outlined Thursday March 30, 2023 in Science, improves understanding of the biological causes of major depression and could accelerate efforts to develop new, faster-acting medications for such hard-to-treat mood disorders, said neuroscientist Kirill Martemyanov, PhD, corresponding author of the study. The Science article is titled “Orphan Receptor GPR158 Serves As a Metabotropic Glycine Receptor: mGlyR.” “Most medications for people with depression take weeks before they kick in, if they do at all. New and better options are really needed,” said Dr. Martemyanov, who chairs the neuroscience department at the institute in Jupiter, Florida.

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