Inhibition of GLO1 enzyme may help treat depression, says study

Inhibition of GLO1 enzyme may help treat depression, says study

People with depression usually take antidepressants to get relief from the symptoms of the mental disorder such as incessant sadness or persistent hopelessness. However, medicines do not have the same kind of effect on all patients – in some instances, the impact may be too slow than anticipated. While looking for an alternative and more effective way to treat depression, researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine recently revealed that impeding enzyme Glyoxalase 1 (GLO1) can help alleviate symptoms of the disorder in mice.

The recent study, titled “Identification of a novel, fast-acting GABAergic antidepressant,” suggested how hindering GLO1 resulted in more improvement in the mental health condition of depressed people compared with the effect of traditional antidepressant Prozac. The study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry in March 2017, was based on the need for an enhanced understanding of the molecular and cellular underpinnings of depressive disorder.

Increased GLO1 activity results in heightened anxiety

To find an efficient recovery procedure aimed at slowing down the onset and severity of depression, the researchers observed the molecular process that has the ability to affect mice models of depression. The research looked at the effect of enzyme GLO1 in removing the byproduct of energy generation in cells. Arresting the GLO1 activity may have a positive impact on the activity of neurons. It has been proved that increased GLO1 activity results in heightened anxiety among mice but the researchers tried to examine if GLO1 activity was also related to depression levels.

The researchers compared the results of various antidepressant tests on three groups of mice – untreated, treated by blocking GLO1 either genetically or using an experimental compound and treatment with Prozac commonly recommended to treat depression patients. The researchers made use of the tail suspension test and forced swim tests initially to assess if the compound used had antidepressant properties. Other tests like chronic forced swim test, chronic mild stress paradigm and olfactory bulbectomy were techniques to find how long it took for antidepressants to show their effect.

In every test, the researchers observed that slowing down the GLO1 enzyme decreased symptoms of depressive disorder in five days, whereas, it required two weeks for Prozac to exhibit the similar effect.

The effects of the obstruction of GLO1 enzyme in treating depression in mice have been studied but not in humans. Further research is required to assess if the same method can be used to treat depression in humans as well. For the moment, the observations do underscore the fact that new methods for treating depression are possible. Elucidating on the importance of the findings, one of the co-authors of the research Dr. Stephanie Dulawa, an associate professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said, “There are currently no approved fast-acting antidepressants, so finding something like this is unusual.”

Getting timely treatment for depression

The rate of depression has been seeing an upward trend and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people across the world are suffering form depression.

Major depression affects 6.7 percent (more than 16 million) American adults every year, says the Mental Health America. If you or a loved one is suffering from any kind of mental illness, contact the California Mental Health Help to know about mental health facilities in California. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-559-3923 or chat online with our representatives to know about one of the best mental health centers in California. One should not delay the treatment or things can get out of hand.

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