Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How does serotonin effect depression

11.06.2002


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 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

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: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>