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Do you feel persistent sadness? Loss of interest? And you’re sure that your life isn’t just extremely boring and full of rain clouds and woe? While scientists don’t fully understand the causes of the mood disorder that affects more than 350 million people worldwide, there’s new illuminating evidence about depression. According to a recent study:
High levels of hippocampal FGF9 play an important role in the development or expression of mood and anxiety disorders.
Sure, we know insufficient serotonin levels get a bad rap when it comes to depression, but that’s like blaming one person in a full-scale riot. Depression isn’t caused by only one factor. In fact, study co-author Elyse Aurbach says we’re probably not getting to the core of why people are depressed because “the brain is immensely complex.” In this study, the research team conducted eight experiments (four on animal brains, four on brains of the deceased human kind) of varying sample sizes — from 20 to 90 brains in each — and found that the brains of deceased humans who’d been depressed had increased levels of hippocampal FGF9 and that live animals with increased FGF9 levels demonstrated depressive, anxious behavior. “This is not just a correlation,” study leader Huda Akil of the University of Michigan says. Less really may be more, at least when it comes to FGF9./.../