Depressed fish could help in the search for new drug treatments

Depressed fish could help in the search for new drug treatments

Antidepressant normalizes the behavior of zebrafish with a defective stress hormone receptor.

via ScienceDaily: Top Health News:

Aug. 5, 2013 — Antidepressant normalises the behaviour of zebrafish with a defective stress hormone receptor.Chronic stress can lead to depression and anxiety in humans. Scientists working with Herwig Baier, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, recently discovered a very similar link in fish. Normally, the stress hormone cortisol helps fish, as in humans, to regulate stress. Fish that lack the receptor for cortisol as a result of a genetic mutation exhibited a consistently high level of stress. They were unable to adapt to a new and unfamiliar situation. The fishes’ behaviour returned to normal when an antidepressant was added to the water. These findings demonstrate a direct causal link between chronic stress and behavioural changes which resemble depression. The findings could also open the door to an effective search for new drugs to treat psychiatric disorders.In stressful situations, the body releases hormones in order to ready itself for a fight or flight reaction. But it is equally important for the hormone level to return to normal after a certain time. …

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ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Depressed fish could help in the search for new drug treatments

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