According to University of Illinois at Chicago researchers female depression is often linked to glutamate receptor genes which are overactive. A recent study showed that women who suffer from depression have rates of gene expression which are extremely high, and these abnormal levels occur in the genes which regulate the glutamate system in your brain and body. This is not the only mental or physical health condition that may be caused by glutamate system abnormalities either. In the past these abnormalities have been associated with or linked to epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, autism, schizophrenia, and other disorders. University of Illinois at Chicago pharmacy practice assistant professor Monsheel Sodhi, Ph.D explained the study conclusions and stated “Our data indicate that females with major depression who are at high risk of suicide may have the greatest antidepressant benefit from drugs that act on the glutamate system, such as ketamine.”
The study shows promise for new treatments for female depression which impact the activity of the glutamate receptor gene. According to Dr. Sodhi an overabundance of this neurotransmitter in the brain could explain why women are more likely to attempt suicide when they have female depression. The study results were published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal. The study researchers analyzed brain tissue samples that were recovered postmortem, from both sexes and from individual who both did and did not suffer from mental illness. Many of the individuals whose tissue was analyzed and who were depressed committed suicide. The tissue analysis showed that women who had female depression were more likely to have an overactive glutamate receptor gene.