New approach to mood disorders

Using gene chips and genotyping, EU project aims to get beyond serotonin

Stephen Pincock(Stephen@thescientisteurope.com)
Apr 5, 2004

BERLIN—A multicenter project to identify new targets for antidepressant therapy has been launched in Europe, the project's coordinator announced at the Human Genome Meeting here on Monday (April 5).

The New Molecules in Mood Disorder Project will involve 13 research groups in 10 European countries and is funded with €7.3 million from the European Commission. The aim is to spread the focus of antidepressant therapy and research wider than its current limitations.

“We want to get beyond the serotonin synapse,” said Bill Deakin from the University of Manchester. “We really haven't made any progress in the past 40 years in how antidepressant drugs work and what causes mood problems.”

The project will begin by looking at the core features of depression in about 10 rodent models, including knockout mice, and by correlating depressive symptoms such as nonresponse to reward, anxiety, and helpless behavior, with mRNA extracted from brain samples.

The...

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