Exercise gene presents blockbuster drug target

Stimulating an "exercise" gene has a profound therapeutic effect on mice, raising the likelihood that a new drug that can trigger the same effect in humans could work as a blockbuster antidepressant. By tracking which genes in the hippocampus region of the brain became active during exercise, the investigators at Yale School of Medicine narrowed their search to the VGF gene, which plays a role in developing nerve cells. A chemical used to stimulate the gene in mice changed their behavior in a manner consistent with antidepressants.

"The VGF exercise-related gene and target for drug development could be even better than chemical antidepressants because it is already present in the brain," said Ronald Duman, professor of psychiatry.

- and here's the release for more info
- here's the report from the BBC

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