A talk with Olivier Berton, Ph.D. about his research into the genetic roots of depression prevention.

What if diseases like major depressive disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder could be prevented by pharmaceutically boosting stress resilience in susceptible people? Olivier Berton, Ph.D., One Mind Rising Star Research Award winner, has made the amazing discovery that a gene called HDAC6 governs stress resilience. His lab has found

  • Too much HDAC6 expression produces mice susceptible to depressive and anxious behavior following stress.
  • Less HDAC6 expression produces resilient mice.

This is important because

  • HDAC6 could be a biomarker to diagnose depression and anxiety susceptibility when found to be overexpressed in someone’s epigenome.
  • HDAC6 inhibitors, or drugs based on these, could potentially be used to prevent the onset of depression or post-traumatic stress in people who are found to be susceptible.

Watch the interview with Dr. Berton. Comments for this Brain Waves segment are now closed. Many thanks to Dr. Berton for sharing his groundbreaking research, and special thanks to CER and ghsmindy for participating again!

-Brandon

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DepressionOlivier BertonPreventionStress Resilience