A new study by Naguib Mechawar and his team, published in Molecular Psychiatry, sheds light on the role of a class of cells called astrocytes in depression and suicide. This research provides evidence that networks of astrocytes are altered specifically in areas of the brain associated with mood regulation. In addition, in describing the existence of new subtypes of astrocyte, this study reveals features specific to the human brain.
Read more about this story in a press release by the Douglas Mental Health Institute, or read the original research publication in the Journal Molecular Psychiatry:
Torres-Platas SG, Nagy C, Wakid M, Turecki G, Mechawar N. Glial fibrillary acidic protein is differentially expressed across cortical and subcortical regions in healthy brains and downregulated in the thalamus and caudate nucleus of depressed suicides. Mol Psychiatry. 2015 Jun 2. doi: 10.1038/mp.2015.65.