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Depression linked to low levels of amino acid

Raghu Kshitiz

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Depression linked to low levels of amino acid. Representationla image

KATHMANDU — Reduced levels of an amino acid found in blood samples have been linked to major depressive disorder, according to a new study at the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital.

People suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) have reduced arginine levels, which is an amino acid, the body uses to produce, such as nitric oxide.

Researchers studied 99 adults aged 20-71 with diagnosed MDD and 253 non-depressed control adults in a report published Wednesday in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Nitric oxide, in turn, is a nervous system and immune defence mediator, and it also plays a role in vascular regulation. The global arginine bioavailability ratio (GABR) is an indicator of the body’s arginine levels, and the ratio has previously been used to measure the body’s capacity to produce nitric oxide.

The body uses the amino acid arginine to produce nitric oxide, which is a mediator for the nervous system and immune defender, and plays a role in vascular regulation. Reduced arginine bioavailability is also known to be an independent risk factor of cardiovascular diseases.

“It is possible that depression-induced inflammatory responses lead to reduced arginine levels,” doctoral student Toni Ali-Sisto, the lead author of the study, said in a release.

“This may result in insufficient production of nitric oxide for the needs of the nervous system and circulation. However, we don’t know yet what exactly causes reduced arginine bioavailability in people with depression.”

Researchers analyzed three amino acids — arginine, citrulline and ornithine — from participants’ fasting glucose samples. In addition, symmetric and asymmetric dimethylarginine concentrations were also measured from the serum. This data was used to calculate their global arginine bioavailability ratio.

No significant differences were found in the symmetric and asymmetric dimethylarginine concentrations between the two groups.

“Although our study shows that people with depression have reduced arginine bioavailability, this doesn’t mean that taking an arginine supplement would protect against depression. That’s an area for further research,” Ali-Sisto says.

And there were no significant differences between people who remained depressed and those who had recovered.

With Agency Inputs

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Two died and eight injured in accident

Pratigya Waiju

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KATHMANDU—Today morning, Two died and eight injured when the microbus (Ba 3 Kha 4042) and minibus (Lu 1 Kha 4194)   collided each other in Myagade Rural Municipality-4 of Tanahu district.

Police has identified the deceased as Chija Kumari Batas of 50 and Saraswati Kunawar of 35.

The injured passengers of Microbus are identified as microbus driver Tul Bahadur BK, Sabila Khan Namuk Miya, Chandra Bhandari, Bindu Maya Thapa, Kamala Sura and Satyakala Neupane.

The cause of the accident is not identified yet.

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