Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


How does serotonin effect depression


Depression investigators at The Research Institute of University Hospitals of Cleveland have zeroed in on the neurotransmitter serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates emotion. Their tactics: reduce serotonin levels in each study subject to learn who is vulnerable for developing major depression.

This new study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, is designed to help scientists better understand the role of serotonin in people who get major depression. By examining the way people feel when serotonin is briefly reduced, UHRI investigators hope to discover new ways of predicting who is at risk for major depression and when treatment with antidepressants can safely be discontinued, according to Pedro L. Delgado, MD.

Dr. Delgado, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at UHC and Case Western Reserve University, is the primary investigator for this study. In the study, tests are conducted on healthy participants and upon people having previously suffered from depression. Serotonin levels are temporarily reduced for up to 8 hours and the study team then carefully monitors how the participant feels.

Both groups of study subjects will have their serotonin levels reduced through a process called "tryptophan depletion." Tryptophan, an essential amino acid, does not occur naturally in the human body but is found in certain foods. When an individual consumes those foods, his or her body uses the tryptophan to produce serotonin. Study subjects in both groups will drink a beverage that causes tryptophan depletion, thereby reducing their serotonin levels.

"It is our hypothesis that reducing serotonin in a person who is vulnerable to depression will cause depressive feeling while the same procedure in someone who is not vulnerable will have no effect," Dr. Delgado says. "We believe that the serotonin depletion procedure might be used to predict when patients no longer need medication. We also hope to identify those people who, though they never had depression, are at increased risk for it in the future."

Recent studies have shown that imbalances in serotonin levels can trigger depression. Doctors treat some patients with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) because these medications can help to regulate serotonin levels.

"The unanswered question is: why do some people become depressed when serotonin is low while others with low serotonin levels remain depression-free?" Dr. Delgado says.

Healthy participants in this study must be 18 to 85 years old and have no personal or family history of mental illness. People who have been previously diagnosed with major depression must be 18 to 85 years old and be currently in remission with or without antidepressant medication. Study participants will be involved with the research for 14 months. For more information, please call 216-844-2827.

Eric Sandstrom | EurekAlert

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>