There is a gene present in up to one-fifth of the population that doubles their chances of suffering from depression. Yes, a gene. And Australian scientists have successfully isolated it. People who inherited a shorter than normal version of a gene known as 5-HTTLPR had an 80 percent chance of developing depression when confronted with stressful life events, University of New South Wales researchers found. The scientists said 5-HTTLPR was a “serotonin transporter gene, which helped carry the mood-affecting neurotransmitter serotonin around the nervous system. And this is published in an article this month in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Almost seventy-five percent of patients do recover from depression. Lexapro have demonstrated itself very efficient in treating major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It belongs to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). It appreciably improves the symptoms of MDD and GAD. Lexapro does restore the balance of a chemical called Serotonin. It performs as a neurotransmitter in the human brain. It is largely thought that imbalances in brain chemistry lead to depression. Serotonin is one such chemical in the human brain.
A new pocket-watch-sized device that is also called as ‘a pacemaker for the brain’ is developed to provide better treatment to the patients of depression. FDA has been approved it eight months before and since then more than 550 Americans have implanted a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) in their chests to stimulate parts of brain Cyberonics, the manufacturer of the device are waiting for the approval of the insurance companies for the operation of seven thousand another people who are in the list. VNS is the first device to get approval provided another options to patients whose severe depression is not treated by psychotherapy or even shock treatments. The device is a battery-operated generator attached to an electrode implanted in the vagus nerve in the neck. The generator releases constant electric pulses. The pulses stimulate serotonin and some other brain chemicals that are supposed to normalize mood.
Amanda Geary, a nutritional therapist, has developed an idea meal for the British mental health charity ‘Mind’. Geary is also the founder of the ‘Food And Mood Project’. This is a pasta with pesto and oily fish, avocado and mixed-seed salad. Fruits and oatcakes are also there for pudding. This is wheat free pasta. Wheat causes sensitivities that may cause fatigue and depression later. The meal is rich in tryptophan. This amino acid changes the meal in feel-good chemical serotonin. Slow-burn carbohydrates help in the easy absorption of tryptophan, and the oily fish and seeds, high in omega 3 and 6 fats, helps body to digest the food comfortably. There are some tips those helps to reduce depression while having the diet – # Avoid foods contain trans-fats and hydrogenated fats # Don’t binge and don’t go on low-fat diet # Eat food rich in folate # Ditch caffeine and sugar # Don’t drown your sorrows
If you don’t like eating food any more, as you used to do earlier, and are loosing your sense of taste, it is quite likely that depression has started sprouting out within you. The latest study further uncovers the fact that mood-enhancing chemicals serotonin and noradrenaline are linked to our sense of taste. During the course of study, researchers found that whereas, decline in the levels of these chemicals blunted the taste while boosting the level of these chemicals improved the sense of taste. Through this study, one thing clearly looms out that if your sense of taste is melting down, levels of chemicals like serotonin and noradrenaline are falling drastically, means you are heading to embrace depression. So, take this as a signal of depression and consult your doctor immediately.
A latest study reveals that consumption of cannabis in small amount can be useful sometimes and it helps in reducing depression, but its high doses can prove to be very harmful and it can lead to the polar opposite effect. The study is handled together by McGill University & a research organization allied with the Universite de Montreal points out that cannabis in small quantities mounts the serotonin levels in the brains of lab mice. The reduction of serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that regulates the mental states of a person, results in causing depression. Anti-depression medicines do their job by raising the level of serotonin in the brain. When the amounts of cannabis were raised in the rats, the effect was explained as totally wrong way up, even upsetting. The levels of Serotonin lowered considerably. Francis Bambico, who is the author of the study, mentioned in prepared statement that — We know from anecdotal evidence that (human) smokers of marijuana experience good effects … but they also experience unwanted effects. A number of smokers feel nervousness & they also appears to be quite distressed. But its excessive amount in some conditions can result into depression raising effects, mainly if anyone of you consumes cannabis in large amounts. Depressant People utilizing cannabis as an anti-depressant is quite difficult because it is very hard to manage the quantity when they smoke it as cannabis joints. The research explains that too much consumption of cannabis by the people who have the problem of depression, have greater possibility of having psychosis. Gobbi, who is a psychiatrist by profession, mentioned that she was encouraged to carry out this study after observing a number of her patients who have the problem of depression & they used to do cannabis smoking. But its excessive consumption showed the reverse effects that completely work against the anti-depression effects. Francis Bambico mentioned that – scientists are concentrating their exploration on a new category of medicines that could raise the effects of the endo-cannabinoids — which is a natural material present in the brain and it comes out during extreme pressure or pain, devoid of the anti-depressive side effects. Cannabis shows chemical resemblance with the — endo-cannabinoids. It is quite possible to make medicines that improve endo-cannabinoids for the treatment of pain, nervousness & sadness. The study will appear on 24 Oct 2007 in the Journal of Neuroscience. Image credit Source