WORLD FIRST DISCOVERY Kolling Institute scientist Dr Yo Otsu and a team of researchers have discovered a unique receptor in the brain which can regulate negative moods. The finding is the culmination of eight years of investigation, involving Dr Otsu and researchers from France, published in the top academic journal, Science, highlighting the discovery of the excitatory glycine receptor in a little known region of the adult brain, the medial habenula. the receptor plays a role in regulating negative moods. “The function of the medial habenula is not very well understood, but it is thought to play a role in depression, stress, anxiety and nicotine addiction,” said Dr. Otsu. “Therefore, the discovery of this rare type of receptor and Dr Otsu, said he and his colleagues now believe Canada and Hungary. The research has been
Dr Karin Aubrey and Dr Yo Otsu
up a whole new area of brain research. “Yo has brought such a depth of knowledge to the group. He interrogates every aspect of the data – an approach which has enabled him to consistently produce data of the highest level and impact. We are very fortunate to have a researcher of his calibre working with us, and I can’t wait to see what he does
its role in modulating anxiety means that it has the potential to be a highly specific target for mood regulating drugs. “Existing medications to treat conditions like anxiety and depression have side effects because they affect the whole brain. “The discovery of this receptor offers the potential to create much more targeted medicines with fewer side- effects.” Dr Karin Aubrey from the Pain Management Research Institute’s Neurobiology of Pain Lab, where Dr. Otsu now works, said the finding opens
next,” Dr Aubrey said. “We are starting new
research within the Kolling to further understand the role of this receptor, with the ultimate goal of developing medications to target it.” NSLHD Launches new health and wellbeing plan
The new NSLHD 2019-2021 Health and Wellbeing Plan is now a reality, going live across the district. The plan places our workforce as our most valued asset and recognises the importance of a healthy, happy and productive workforce. It has been designed with staff in mind and aims to set a strong commitment to assist them with their health and wellbeing. For more information on the NSLHD Health and Wellbeing Plan, head to the Health and Wellbeing intranet page.
Reading online? You can read the plan by clicking here.
6 NSLHDNEWS | ISSUE 21| 21 NOVEMBER 2019
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