Scientists have identified a new target that may help treat major depressive disorders. Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Depression is a disorder characterized by negative frame of mind, which negatively impacts the way you think and act. Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have managed the feat in their new research which was published in the journal eLife. The research revealed that individuals with high levels of an enigmatic receptor called GPR158 may be more susceptible to depression following chronic stress.
"The next step in this process is to come up with a drug that can target this receptor," said senior author of the study Kirill Martemyanov, from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in the US.
GPR158 was narrowed down as a key player in depression, according to the researchers the protein was found to be elevated in people with major depressive disorder.
For the study, the scientists studied male and female mice with and without GPR158 receptors. As per the findings based on the behavioral tests, both male and female mice with elevated GPR158 show signs of depression following chronic stress.
On the other hand, suppression of GPR158 protects mice from developing depressive-like behaviours and make them tough to deal with stress.
The study revealed that GPR158 affects key signaling pathways involved in mood regulation in the region of the brain called prefrontal cortex, which affects the stress pattern. However, the researchers emphasised that the exact mechanisms remain to be established. The researchers explained that GPR158 is a so-called "orphan receptor". This is because its binding partner/partners are unknown -- with a poorly understood biology and mechanism of action.
There may not be a sure shot cure for depression, but there is a possibility manage it better . Your diet may play a crucial role in doing so. Here are some foods you must include in your diet if you are facing depression.
1. Complex carbohydrates: Include foods that are rich in complex carbs in your diet like whole grains and brown rice. A lot of studies have shown that low carb diets have been linked to nervousness, anxiety, decreased concentration and insomnia.
2. Vitamin D: A deficiency of this nutrient if often linked with mood swings and depression. Add natural sources of Vitamin D like mushrooms, eggs and soy milk to your diet.
3. Antioxidants: Antioxidants can help in reducing the oxidative stress on your mental health. Berries and foods like cherries, grapes and dark leafy greens are your best bet.
4. Good quality proteins: Protein rich foods are known to boost alertness. Some of them contain an amino acid called tryptophan which helps your body make the mood boosting brain chemical, serotonin. Peas, beans, soya, lentils and paneer are good options and so are chicken and fish.
A good diet and a healthy fitness regimen can go a long way in keeping depression, stress and anxiety at bay. Depression is often neglected as a state of mind and not given the due importance it deserves. Perpetual state of depression can manifest in various other disorders. If you are facing even minor symptoms of depression, one must not hesitate to ask for help and take prescriptions by physicians and doctors unfailingly.
(With Inputs IANS)