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Depression study pinpoints genes that may trigger the condition

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Nearly 80 genes that could be linked to depression have been discovered by scientists.

The findings could help explain why some people may be at a higher risk of developing the condition, researchers say.

The study could also help researchers develop drugs to tackle mental ill-health, experts say.

Depression affects one in five people in the UK every year and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Life events - such as trauma or stress - can contribute to its onset, but it is not clear why some people are more likely to develop the condition than others.

Scientists led by the University of Edinburgh analysed data from UK Biobank - a research resource containing health and genetic information for half a million people.

They scanned the genetic code of 300,000 people to identify areas of DNA that could be linked to depression.

Some of the pinpointed genes are known to be involved in the function of synapses, tiny connectors that allow brain cells to communicate with each other through electrical and chemical signals.

Read more: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/uoe-dsp041318.php

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Guest Nicole

Forty-four genomic variants linked to major depression

Date:

April 26, 2018

Source:

University of North Carolina Health Care

Summary:

A new meta-analysis of more than 135,000 people with major depression and more than 344,000 controls has identified 44 genomic variants, or loci, that have a statistically significant association with depression.

A new meta-analysis of more than 135,000 people with major depression and more than 344,000 controls has identified 44 genomic variants, or loci, that have a statistically significant association with depression.

Of these 44 loci, 30 are newly discovered while 14 had been identified in previous studies. In addition, the study identified 153 significant genes, and found that major depression shared six loci that are also associated with schizophrenia.

Results from the multinational, genome-wide association study were published April 26 in Nature Genetics.

Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180426130031.htm

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      The suit says Crockett had never before seen a dead body and the experience left her 'shocked, overwhelmed, panicked, distressed and completely distraught.'  
      For confidential support in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255. 

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3685865/Woman-sues-construction-company-electrician-working-skyscraper-jumped-53-stories-death-landed-car.html



    • By io.porog
      Depression is more than just a fleeting downer. We all have downers but they usually short lived. However, when a downer lasts several weeks, it is likely that a person has clinical depression. One's perception of themselves, others and their environment becomes noticeably negative and it can be very hard for a person to lift themselves out of the mire. Telling them to snap out of it, or that it is temporary often has the reverse effect desired. Often just a very patient listening ear is the best treatment that I've found with friends who suffer from depression. What do you think depression is? How do think it should be viewed? What do you think can help a person recover?
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Scientists report that diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reverse the damage
      Date:
      April 22, 2016
      Source:
      University of California - Los Angeles
      Summary:
      Consuming fructose, a sugar that's common in the Western diet, alters hundreds of genes that may be linked to many diseases, life scientists report. However, they discovered good news as well: an important omega-3 fatty acid known as DHA seems to reverse the harmful changes produced by fructose.
       
      A range of diseases -- from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer's disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- are linked to changes to genes in the brain. A new study by UCLA life scientists has found that hundreds of those genes can be damaged by fructose, a sugar that's common in the Western diet, in a way that could lead to those diseases.
      However, the researchers discovered good news as well: An omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, seems to reverse the harmful changes produced by fructose.
      "DHA changes not just one or two genes; it seems to push the entire gene pattern back to normal, which is remarkable," said Xia Yang, a senior author of the study and a UCLA assistant professor of integrative biology and physiology. "And we can see why it has such a powerful effect."
      DHA occurs naturally in the membranes of our brain cells, but not in a large enough quantity to help fight diseases.
      "The brain and the body are deficient in the machinery to make DHA; it has to come through our diet," said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a UCLA professor of neurosurgery and of integrative biology and physiology, and co-senior author of the paper.
      DHA strengthens synapses in the brain and enhances learning and memory. It is abundant in wild salmon (but not in farmed salmon) and, to a lesser extent, in other fish and fish oil, as well as walnuts, flaxseed, and fruits and vegetables, said Gomez-Pinilla, who also is a member of UCLA's Brain Injury Research Center.
      Americans get most of their fructose in foods that are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, an inexpensive liquid sweetener made from corn starch, and from sweetened drinks, syrups, honey and desserts. The Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans consumed an average of about 27 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup in 2014. Fructose is also found is in most baby food and in fruit, although the fiber in fruit substantially slows the body's absorption of the sugar -- and fruit contains other healthy components that protect the brain and body, Yang said.
      To test the effects of fructose and DHA, the researchers trained rats to escape from a maze, and then randomly divided the animals into three groups. For the next six weeks, one group of rats drank water with an amount of fructose that would be roughly equivalent to a person drinking a liter of soda per day. The second group was given fructose water and a diet rich in DHA. The third received water without fructose and no DHA.
      After the six weeks, the rats were put through the maze again. The animals that had been given only the fructose navigated the maze about half as fast than the rats that drank only water -- indicating that the fructose diet had impaired their memory. The rats that had been given fructose and DHA, however, showed very similar results to those that only drank water -- which strongly suggests that the DHA eliminated fructose's harmful effects.
      Other tests on the rats revealed more major differences: The rats receiving a high-fructose diet had much higher blood glucose, triglycerides and insulin levels than the other two groups. Those results are significant because in humans, elevated glucose, triglycerides and insulin are linked to obesity, diabetes and many other diseases.
      The research team sequenced more than 20,000 genes in the rats' brains, and identified more than 700 genes in the hypothalamus (the brain's major metabolic control center) and more than 200 genes in the hippocampus (which helps regulate learning and memory) that were altered by the fructose. The altered genes they identified, the vast majority of which are comparable to genes in humans, are among those that interact to regulate metabolism, cell communication and inflammation. Among the conditions that can be caused by alterations to those genes are Parkinson's disease, depression, bipolar disorder, and other brain diseases, said Yang, who also is a member of UCLA's Institute for Quantitative and Computational Biosciences.
      Of the 900 genes they identified, the researchers found that two in particular, called Bgn and Fmod, appear to be among the first genes in the brain that are affected by fructose. Once those genes are altered, they can set off a cascade effect that eventually alters hundreds of others, Yang said.
      That could mean that Bgn and Fmod would be potential targets for new drugs to treat diseases that are caused by altered genes in the brain, she added.
      The research also uncovered new details about the mechanism fructose uses to disrupt genes. The scientists found that fructose removes or adds a biochemical group to cytosine, one of the four nucleotides that make up DNA. (The others are adenine, thymine and guanine.) This type of modification plays a critical role in turning genes "on" or "off."
      The research is published online in EBioMedicine, a journal published jointly by Cell and The Lancet. It is the first genomics study of all the genes, pathways and gene networks affected by fructose consumption in the regions of the brain that control metabolism and brain function.
      Previous research led by Gomez-Pinilla found that fructose damages communication between brain cells and increases toxic molecules in the brain; and that a long-term high-fructose diet diminishes the brain's ability to learn and remember information.
      "Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain," said Gomez-Pinilla. He recommends avoiding sugary soft drinks, cutting down on desserts and generally consuming less sugar and saturated fat.
      Although DHA appears to be quite beneficial, Yang said it is not a magic bullet for curing diseases. Additional research will be needed to determine the extent of its ability to reverse damage to human genes.
      The paper's lead author is Qingying Meng, a postdoctoral scholar in Yang's laboratory. Other co-authors are Zhe Ying, a staff research associate in Gomez-Pinilla's laboratory, and colleagues from UCLA, the National Institutes of Health and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
      Yang's research is supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant R01DK104363), as is Gomez-Pinilla's (R01DK104363 and R01NS050465).
      Story Source:
      The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
      Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160422091900.htm

      Americans get most of their fructose in foods that are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, an inexpensive liquid sweetener made from corn starch, and from sweetened drinks, syrups, honey and desserts. The Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans consumed an average of about 27 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup in 2014.
      Credit: © AlenKadr / Fotolia
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Joseph Sabbatino leaped to his death from the 53rd story of L.A.'s Wilshire Grand Center on Friday The married 36-year-old, who was taking medication for depression, landed on the hood of a passing car below  Sabbatino was also found to have removed his helmet and had not been wearing a safety harness A Los Angeles County Coroner has now ruled that Sabbatino's tragic death was a suicide; no note has been discovered  Motorist Donna Crockett was hysterical after he landed on her car and said it had 'really taken a toll' on her  A statement from Turner Construction says the death was not a work related incident, indication it may have been a suicide  
       
      An electrician who plunged 53 floors to his death after leaping from the West Coast's highest skyscraper committed suicide, a coroner has ruled.
      Joseph Sabbatino was only on his second day on the job at the construction site of the unfinished, $1billion Wilshire Grand Center when he plummeted 800 feet onto the trunk of a car that was passing below.
      Coroner's Lt. David Smith confirmed today that the 36-year-old's death was a suicide.
      Sabbatino's father Vance revealed that his son had a long battle with depression and had been taking medication before his death.
      His devastated wife Melken Sabbatino wrote on Facebook after his tragic death that she was 'thinking about my husband. Missing you.' 
      Authorities found that the married Jehovah's Witness had removed his helmet and had not been wearing a harness before the fall on Friday- as he was only contracted to work on the lower levels
      Turner Construction has since released a statement to say there had been a safety barrier on the 53rd floor to prevents falls, and that the incident had not been work related. Around 1,000 employees were given the day off following Sabbatino's death.
      Horrified witnesses described the moment they saw Sabbatino fall to his death and land on a car below.
      James Armstrong III had been walking to a nearby bank moments after the fall said motorist Donna Crockett had been 'hysterical' and waving her hands in the air.
      'It's really taken a toll on me, because right now, I'm not strong and right now I am hurting,' Crockett told KTLA. 'It was traumatic, it something that I never thought I would have to see.'
      She was taken to hospital after the incident in shock.
      Mel Melcon, an LA Times photographer, was on assignment at the building when he noticed the man's body lying 'off the driver's side of the car.'
      'It sounded like a bag of cement fell off the edge of the building,' he said.
      'No one thought it was a body,' Melcon told his paper. 'We heard no screams.' 
      The vehicle escaped major damage but the rear side panel was splattered with blood, officials said.  
      'We have confirmed with (California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health and Los Angeles police) that the incident which occurred at the Wilshire Grand project site on March 17 was not work-related,' a statement issued by Turner Construction read.
      Work was shut down Friday and counselors would be on hand for employees, the statement said.
      Ed Winter, assistant chief Los Angeles County Coroner, said as far as he knew, there was no suicide note.
      Winter said the man, a new employee on his second day on the job, died instantly. The investigation will continue. 
      Chris Martin, CEO of Martin Project Management, which is supervising the construction, said there were barricades around the edge of the building and other safety measures in place.
      All of the building's 891 workers had undergone training, Martin said.
      'There's safety training for every worker on the job, and certain locations there's very specialized training. So these are all smart people,' Martin said. 'We had no injuries up to this date.' 
      When asked whether there might have been any electrical work that needed doing near the edge of the building, Martin said there wasn't.
      The paper also reported that there was an eight-foot-high 'integrity fence' in place to keep workers and equipment from falling off the tower.
      No tethering harness was seen on the man's body, although employees are required to wear one when working.
      A construction worker who spoke to the Times on condition of anonymity said that he saw the man's body, and initially thought the woman had run him over. 
      'We asked the driver: 'Did you run this man over?' She said no,' the worker said. 'That's when I knew he had fallen off the building.'
      He added that when he returned to the building he found a hard hat with the dead man's employee number on the 53rd floor.
      Maurice Lopez, who works at the neighboring Bonaventure said he was saddened to hear that someone working on the building he watched go up for years had died.
      That's crazy. Usually when you walk by here, you see the guys up there attached to something,' Lopez, 50, of Los Angeles told the LA Times. 'Now I'm gonna feel sick walking by here.'
      This is the first accident to happen at the location, the Times reported. There were around 850 workers on the site as of last week.  
      The Wilshire Grand Center is located on South Figueroa Street, at one of the busiest intersections in the city. The man's fall resulted in disruption to traffic flow.
      Upon completion, the $1billion skycraper, which has been under construction for two years, will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi. It will reach a height of 73 stories and will be 1,100 feet tall, including a 100-foot spire.
      It is expected to open early 2017. 
      Family and friends paid tribute to the 'sweet' man with a 'good heart' that was always so full of life.
      Susanne Dean wrote on Facebook: 'Joseph was very sweet and made us laugh and we had some good times with him...my boys thought he was so cool to invite them over to play video games and just hang out.
      'He was full of hope and life. That is the Joseph that we will remember.'
      Eric Mutuc added: 'Joseph was a friend of mine when we were children. He had a good heart, and although he may not have ever known it, I loved him like a brother. 
      Jerron Ragan said: 'Rest in peace Joseph Sabbatino. You were always a good friend. I'll miss you.'

      Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3508352/LA-electrician-36-plunged-53-stories-death-West-Coast-s-highest-skyscraper-committed-suicide-coroner-rules.html
       








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