One of the most prominent theories about the cause of depression is that it’s the result of serotonin or norepinephrine shortages in the brain. But the thing is, taking drugs that add more of one or both of these chemicals back into the brain doesn’t fix depression for everyone — at least 30 percent of people are unaffected by antid
Researchers in Japan have come up with another chemical explanation that might account for some cases of depression.
There’s a hormone receptor in the brain called MCHR1 that helps regulate mood. A protein called RGS8 can deactivate that receptor, which the scientists found is a good thing for mood. In a recent study, mice with more RGS8 in their systems showed less depressed behavior.
The scientists are hoping this information, along with more tests, will lead to more medication options for the depressed.