Protein receptor CRF1

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jj
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Protein receptor CRF1

Postby jj » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:22 am

Scientists discover the molecule responsible for causing feelings of depression

Protein receptor is found to release hormones that can cause anxiety and depression

Scientists have used one of the world’s most powerful X-ray machines to identify the molecule responsible for feelings of stress, anxiety and even depression.

The pituitary gland is known to the medical world as a key player in stress and anxiety, as it releases stress chemicals in the blood.

However, scientists have now discovered that the protein receptor CRF1 is responsible for releasing hormones which can cause anxiety and depression over extended periods of time. The protein receptor is found in the brain and controls our response to stress. When it detects stress molecules released by the hypothalamus, it releases these hormones.

The study, conducted by drug company Heptares Therapeutics, was published in the Nature journal on 17 July.

Researchers used a particle accelerator called the Diamond Light Source to understand the structure of CRF1. The X-ray machine’s powerful beams illuminated the protein's structure, according to the Sunday Times, including a crevice that could become a new target for drug therapy.

The information gained from this study will be used to design small molecule drugs that fit into this new pocket to treat depression.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Dr Fiona Marshall, Chief Scientific Officer at Heptares Therapeutics, said: “Now we know its shape, we can design a molecule that will lock into this crevice and block it so that CRF1 becomes inactive — ending the biochemical cascade that ends in stress.”

Writing on Diamond’s website, Dr. Andrew Dore, a senior scientist with Heptares added that the structure of the protein receptor “can be used as a template to solve closely related receptors that open up the potential for new drugs to treat a number of major diseases including Type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis”.

(The independent 21 JULY 2013)
Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder. --Rumi

nenkohai
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Postby nenkohai » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:04 am

This is an interesting development. However, I truly believe its only the beginning. I would predict that even if an effective drug therapy comes from this, sufferers will need to be trained to re-direct habitual thought patterns. Thousands of people will take the drug and then exclaim that nothing is happening. Its too easy and seductive to give up owing to what your mind tells you. Even with a drug, it will require work to re-train the brain. Why not start that work now?

jj
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:24 am
Location: UK
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Postby jj » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:08 pm

((((nenko))))) :) hey!

I think it's just getting at that the discovery of this may be the gateway to developing drugs that are more effective at treating the symptoms of depression which is never a bad thing. Treating the symptoms of depression can help people get to a place where they are more able to start tackling the behavioural aspects and changing the way we think and stuff. And for some people it is purely a chemical thing. I don't think it's implying that the future of treatment for depression starts and ends with medication. Just that the science behind it and the knowledge of how the brain works can lead to more effective meds which can help people along the way. That's what I make of it anyway :)
Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder. --Rumi


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