Dopamine Dynamics in Depression among Adults: Unravelling the Mediating Influence of Phenylalanine and the Moderating Impact of Genetics in Pathophysiological Pathways

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Nuralieva Nargiza
Abida Rasool
Muhammad Asad Ghafoor
Lixin, Zhang
Chang Ming
Rabia Zahid
Muhammad Masoom Akhtar


Mental Resilience Training, Phenylalanine, Genetics, Depression, pathway


This meta-analysis presents a systematic exploration of the relationships between phenylalanine, genetics, and depression, focusing on the pathway. A comprehensive literature search, employing a well-defined search strategy, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and date range, identified a total of 423 articles. Through a rigorous screening process, 11 articles originating from meta-analyses were retained for further analysis.

The results reveal significant associations between phenylalanine levels, genetic markers, and depression scores. A nuanced examination of 15 studies, incorporating diverse phenylalanine levels and genetic markers, indicates intricate relationships. The study identifies variations in depression scores corresponding to different phenylalanine levels and genetic markers, emphasizing the complexity of these interactions.

A facet plot visually represents the variation in depression scores across studies, categorized by phenylalanine levels. The analysis suggests potential clinical implications, informing targeted interventions or personalized treatment approaches based on observed associations.

However, the study faces limitations, including heterogeneity among included studies, potential publication bias, and methodological differences. The predominantly adult-focused nature of the studies and the cross-sectional design introduce further constraints.

Looking ahead, the study proposes avenues for future research, encouraging exploration of longitudinal studies, precision medicine, lifestyle and environmental influences, advanced neuroimaging techniques, psychosocial dimensions, and multi-omics data. While recognizing the acknowledged limitations, the meta-analysis contributes valuable insights to the existing knowledge of phenylalanine, genetics, and depression, guiding future research directions and interventions in the pursuit of mental well-being.

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