Why antidepressants don't work for all patients? Answer might be in your genes

Antidepressants Reuters

Taking antidepressants might not always be useful in the battle against depression, as a group of researchers has found that every individual does not respond to these medications the same way.

Even though most of the psychiatrists prescribe antidepressants to the patients, according to a recent research these medications don't work for everyone when it comes to major depression symptoms. The researchers have also said that the main reason behind the effects of such drugs is lying within the genomes.

The victims of major depression usually experience suicidal thoughts, excessive crying, loss of interest, excess sleepiness, weight gain or weight loss and poor appetite. Dr. Marianne Müller, a psychiatrist at Johannes Gutenberg University, has said that these victims of the disease depend on the available antidepressants such as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRIs) Tricyclic, Atypical etc.

Müller and her colleagues started an experiment on mice to understand the effects and the variation in the response to antidepressants. First, they divided mice into two groups and dropped one of the groups into the water pools before giving them SSRIs antidepressants.

Later the researchers found that while some mice continued to swim to escape, which showed a positive response to the drug, others were just floating and doing nothing.

The researchers analysed the blood samples of the mice and classified them as good and bad responders. They found that the 'good' responders had higher blood levels of a product of a gene compared to the 'bad' responders. However, according to them, that gene is related to stress response.

Since this experiment, the results of which were published in PLOS Biology, has been done on non-human species, the research team had to dig deeper to know how it will help humankind.

The researchers observed a group of humans, who are the victims of depression and keeping in mind the difference between mice and humans, they found that their results in mice mostly held up in humans with 76 percent accuracy.

But according to Newsweek, Müller said that since the percent is not enough to develop a new treatment, "It would be wrong to say we can model depression."

On the other hand, Professor Edmund Rolls, Professor Jianfeng Feng, Dr Wei Cheng from Warwick's Department of Computer Science and colleagues had done a research to find out the root of the problem which triggers symptoms of depression. But the recent experiment and the research by Müller and the entire research could open a new avenue to combat this mental disease.

This article was first published on December 29, 2017