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Scientists Discover Brain's 'Misery Molecule'

Scientists from Heptares Therapeutics, a medical company in Hertfordshire, England claim to have discovered the brain's "misery molecule," which may cause feelings of stress, depression and anxiety.

A protein named "CRF1" is found in pituitary cells in the pituitary gland, which releases stress chemicals into the blood.

CRF1 appears to be the trigger causing those chemicals to be released by the pituitary gland, notes the Daily Mail.

"Stress related diseases such as depression and anxiety affect a quarter of adults each year, but what many people don't realize is that these conditions are controlled by proteins in the brain, one of which is CRF1," Fiona Marshall, chief scientific officer at Heptares, told the Sunday Times.

Scientists used the Diamond Light Source, a machine that produces powerful x-rays, to study CRF1's structure and find areas that could be targeted by new drugs.

Marshall believes her team may someday be able to develop drugs that target and block CRF1, effectively getting rid of undesirable feelings that all humans experience.

Source: Sunday Times and Daily Mail


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