Link Between Depression and Motivation Neurons Revealed

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The brain region that regulates motivation in humans is the anterior insular cortex. Among this region, a set of neurons (Fezf2 neurons) that activate a gene called Fezf2 remains active during both the physical and cognitive tasks of the mice.

Evidenced by this, the team hypothesized that these neurons do not affect the mouse’s ability to do the task; rather, the brain cells influence the mouse’s motivational drive.

With sets of experiments the team successfully proved that fine-tuning the human equivalent of these neurons may serve as a powerful treatment against mental illnesses due to lack of motivation — depression.

“We want to selectively increase the motivation of the person so that they can do the things that they need to do, but we don’t want to create addictive drugs,” says Professor Bo Li from CSHL.

Source: Medindia

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