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Research Links Gene to Depression

Updated August 15, 2017

A new study has identified a gene that plays a central role in either protecting from stress or contributing to depression, depending on its level of activity in a part of the brain associated with motivation, pleasure and reward-seeking. David Dietz, PhD, associate professor and interim chair of pharmacology and toxicology, said little was known previously about the biological basis of depression in the brain. “We’re starting to really get an idea of what does the depressed brain look like,” he said. “When you put the whole puzzle together, you see where the problem is…. For the first time this is one of those bigger pieces you can slide into the jigsaw puzzle.”