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Testosterone can help fight depression

New Delhi, Tue, 03 Apr 2012 NI Wire

Scientists have found that the male sex hormone, Testosterone, also keeps depression away.

Nicole Carrier and Mohamed Kabbaj of the Florida State University have found that a specific pathway in the brain's hippocampus that is involved in the formation of memory and regulation of stress response plays an important role in formation and stress response regulation, plays a major role in conciliating the effect of testosterone.

The research involved many experiments carried out on the adult male rats by Carrier and Kabbaj. The rats developed depressive behaviour that was changed with testosterone replacement, the journal Biological Psychiatry reports.

They also "identified a molecular pathway called MAPK/ERK2 in the hippocampus that plays a major role in mediating the protective effects of testosterone", said Kabbaj, according to a Florida statement.

This shows that proper functioning of ERK2 is very essential before the occurrence of the anti-depressant effects of testosterone. In addition to that, it also suggests that these findings can prove a quite promising target for anti-depressant therapies.

Women are likely to suffer twice more from the depression as men. Men with hypogonadism, where the body produces no or low amount of testosterone, also suffer increased levels of depression and anxiety. Testosterone replacement therapy has been quite effective in the improvement of mood.

-With inputs from IANS.


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