A brain chemical can combat depression

Astrocytes transport nutrients such as lactate to neurons. Lactate activates certain genes linked to neurons’ plasticity, particularly at the nerve junction known as synapse, contributing to the formation of long-term memory. When astrocytes’ population dwindles, lactate levels in the brain fall, causing neurons to malfunction and leading to brain disorders such as depression.

Now, a new study in Molecular Psychiatry is proposing a treatment that can reverse such depressive-like behaviours in mice; lactate treatment has the potential to restore lactate levels in the brain, causing an antidepressant effect.

The research “will possibly open new therapeutic avenues for treating depression,” says neuroscientist Pierre J. Magistretti. read more

Leave a Reply