New CU Boulder research, published in the journal eLIfe, sheds light on one reason those individual differences may exist. Turns out a key protein in the brain called AKT may function differently in males than females.
The study also offers a closer look at where, precisely, in the brain things may go wrong with it, marking an important step toward more targeted and less harmful therapies.
“The ultimate goal is to find the kink in the armor of mental illness — the proteins in the brain that we can specifically target without impacting other organs and causing side effects,” says Charles Hoeffer, an assistant professor of integrative physiology at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics. “Personalization is also key. We need to stop hitting every mental illness with the same hammer.”
Discovered in the 1970s and best known for its potential role in causing cancer when mutated, AKT has…