Understanding Depression & Treatments

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Published on July 27, 2015 by HWC

The video explains about depression and how to deal with it. Everybody experiences high and low moods but in some cases, changes in mood will last for longer period and lower your abilities to carry out activities perfectly or damage your relationships.

Around 10% of people suffer from depression at any point of their life. Feeling sad, distressed, unmotivated, excessive tiredness, less social interaction and losing interest in pleasurable activities are few symptoms of depression.

Neuroimaging studies showed that many brain circuits that regulates mood are deregulated in depression.

Located in the deep of the brain, Amygdala is responsible to react towards rewards and potential threats. In depression, the Amygdala overreacts and highly responds to negative events. People with depression may experience lot of stress, which may cause some physical changes in the body.

Amygdala connects to a certain regions of brain such as medial prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus and insula. The hippocampus is involved in memory and medial prefrontal cortex is vulnerable to stress. Depressed people are at increased to stress and can experience physical changes in the brain.

Treatments such as antidepressant drugs, cognitive behavioral therapy and electro convulsive therapy affect the structure and function of these brain regions.

Animals such as mice when depressed show similar symptoms as of depressed humans.

Prolonged treatment with anti-depressants can reverse some of the changes caused by chronic stress. Non-chemical treatments for depression including electro-convulsive shock also promote hippocampus plasticity in mice. Anti-depressant treatment can reverse changes caused due to stress in other areas of the brain. Various treatments may target various regions of the brain.

So, by studying the changes in the brain caused by severe stress and how anti-depressants work, researchers may find new treatments that can work more quickly.

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