MAY 24, 2019 3:24 PM PDT

Potential Drug Target for Anxiety

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

In a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, researchers have identified new genetic contributors to anxiety and stress-related disorders—proposing a potential drug target. The study performed a genome-wide association analysis aimed at pinpointing new risk variants, genes, and pathways for the psychiatric conditions.

Among anxiety and other complex psychiatric disorders is an "ever-growing sizes of clinical and population samples are warranted to disentangle independent dimensional psychopathological factors of anxiety, trauma susceptibility, and depression associated with distinct polygenic risk signatures," authors of the study wrote.

One particular target is PDE4B, a gene that codes for an intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate signaling regulator and is "a promising new candidate gene … that crosses classic categorical disease boundaries."

PDE4B was previously investigated in inbred model mice for human anxiety and stress disorders and accustomed to "chronic social defeat”.

Learn more about anxiety and other mental health conditions:

"We highlight the candidate gene PDE4B as a robust risk locus (through studies in mice and humans), pointing to a potential of PDE4B inhibitors in the treatment of these disorders," says first and the corresponding author Sandra Meier, who is currently a researcher in the department of psychiatry at Dalhousie University.

In the study, researchers focused on individuals participating the Lundbeck Foundation's "Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research" (iPSYCH) study that compared array-based genotypes and found six dozen variants on a chromosome 1 region containing PDE4B.

"This study highlights anxiety and stress-related disorders as complex heritable phenotypes with intriguing genetic correlations not only with psychiatric traits, but also with educational outcomes and multiple obesity-related phenotypes," the authors wrote.

Source: GenomeWeb

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
JAN 06, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
JAN 06, 2020
Designing Drugs To Fight off C. Diff Infections
A study published by PNAS explains breakthrough research around designing drugs that target C. diff bacterial infections that result in 15,000 deaths in th...
JAN 15, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
JAN 15, 2020
FDA Approves Drugs Faster than Ever- But is That Good?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is approving new drugs for patients on less and less evidence thanks to special programs that streamline their appro...
JAN 25, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
JAN 25, 2020
Taking Psychedelics Improves Mood, says Yale Researchers
Psychedelics have long been known for their potential to enable deep reflection and modulate people’s moods. But evidence for this mostly came from a...
FEB 17, 2020
Cancer
FEB 17, 2020
Listening in on cancer cells
Research published today in Nature Methods reports a new technique of “listening” to cancer cells. While it may sound odd (no pun intended...
MAR 05, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAR 05, 2020
Molecule Found in Oranges Could Treat Obesity
Scientists at Western University isolated a molecule from oranges and sweet tangerines called ‘nobiletin’. Through the studies on mice the mole...
MAR 29, 2020
Cancer
MAR 29, 2020
Improving ependymoma diagnostics
Have you ever heard of ependymoma? This rare form of brain cancer most commonly occurs in young children when tumors form from ependymal cells in the brain...
Loading Comments...