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Posts Tagged ‘depression’


Depression induced or cured within 10 seconds in rats by turning on or off neurons that release dopamine in the ventral tegmental area of the brain with the help of optogenetics (previously changing neurons to make them be turned on or off by focusing light on them). 10 seconds is shorter than the time that antidepressants usually take to work, which is some weeks. Treatment with magnesium may work within one week, and could be combined for best results with vitamin D, vitamin B12, folic acid, and omega-3.

via Stimulating dopamine-releasing neurons in the ventral tegmental area immediately extinguishes depression in mice. | MIT Technology Review.

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Looks like a fast therapeutic approach for chronic depression may be on the horizon. Ketamine provides fast and effective relief for chronically depressed patients. It works on an entirely differently type of transmitter than current antide

pressants. Research suggests it helps regenerate synaptic connections between brain cells which have been damaged by stress and depression.

From the article:
“The improvement in symptoms, which are evident just hours after ketamine is administered, lasts only a week to 10 days. In large doses, ketamine can cause short-term symptoms of psychosis and is abused as the party drug “Special K.”

YaleNews | Yale scientists explain how ketamine vanquishes depression within hours.

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According to a new study by Swedish researchers at GARP (Göteborg Alcohol Research Project), alcohol abuse appears to be much more detrimental to the female brain than to the male brain in the short term. The findings are disturbing, and pretty clear. GARP, a multidisciplinary team, found that both men and women experienced a loss of serotonergic function, but that women showed a significant loss after only four years of excessive alcohol abuse, whereas men showed the same significant loss after 14 years of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol abuse has been associated with reduced serotonin function, dopamine function and a reduction of noradrenaline activity. This was the first time all three functions were investigated in the same alcohol dependent individuals.

Researchers were shocked to note the disparity between females and males. Both showed a 45% decrease in serotonin function, but the decrease was evident in women after just four years of alcohol abuse. Gender difference hasn’t been considered a major factor in the treatment of alcoholism up to this point, but may need to be altered based on these findings. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has enormous influence over many brain functions. Some of the functions it influences are appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation, mood, behavior (including sexual and hallucinogenic behavior), cardiovascular function, muscle contraction, endocrine regulation, and depression. the 45% decrease is significant. It is not known how much of the function can return if abstinence is employed, nor whether it can return fully unaided.

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