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Hi, I'm Mark Rasenick and welcome to
this installment in the series of talks on
G-proteins, GPCRs and G-proteins signaling.
I'm a professor of physiology, biophysics,
and psychiatry at the University of Illinois College of Medicine,
and also a Research Career Scientist at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center,
which is adjacent to the University of Illinois campus in Chicago.
Today I'll be talking about G-proteins and the biology of
depression and the biology of antidepressant action.
The picture you see is my own antidepressant.
I'm out on Lake Michigan on a boat that belongs to someone else,
something I do every Wednesday.
While I'm doing that,
the people on the right have contributed to the data that we're going to discuss today.
The people on the left had been collaborators from
other laboratories that have worked with us to make those data possible.
These are my disclosures.
The one that's most relevant to what we will be discussing today is PAX Neuroscience,
a startup company that was formed to market the notion of biomarkers for
depression and how they would be used both to help
a diagnosis of depression and to facilitate antidepressant therapy.
Before we talk about the science,
I want to give an overview as to why we're doing this.
These figures in front of you are figures from the United States.
But basically it doesn't change worldwide.
In the US, we have a constant stream of violence that's always talked about in the news,
and it results in about 13,000 homicides per year;
compare that to the 48,000 suicides we have per year.
In other words, more than three times as many.
One attempt a minute.
As I said, I met a VA Medical Center and 21 veterans per day complete suicide.
Right now, depression is the number one cause of disability in the world.
Depression increases mortality and morbidity from somatic disease.
In other words, if you have heart disease, and you're depressed,
you're more likely to be sicker from or
die from it than you would be if you weren't depressed.
Finally, and most soberingly,
one in six of the people listening to this today either have been,
are, or will be depressed, and that's worldwide.
This is a major public health problem.