Definitely another argument for using antidepressant medications in the treatment of depression.
"The study describes for the first time the molecular mechanisms and the identity of the protein, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which underlie the actions of antidepressants on new cell growth and behavior."
"Duman said recent studies demonstrated that stress decreases the expression of VEGF in the hippocampus, a region of the brain involved in the control of emotion, mood, learning, and memory, and this could contribute to the atrophy and loss of cells caused by stress and depression.
In prior groundbreaking research Duman found that antidepressants increase the expression of growth factors in the hippocampus and other regions of the brain. Duman also found that antidepressants increase the birth of new neurons in the hippocampus.
According to Duman, future studies could look at VEGF and related pathways for genetic mutations that might contribute to depression, or make a person more susceptible to depression. VEGF signaling also could provide targets for the development of novel, faster acting, and more effective therapeutic agents."
Ideally, this could mean eventually creating drugs that specifically stimulate VEGF to treat depression. But what happens when someone who is not under stress, and not depressed, takes antidepressants?