Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers hope monkeys can provide new insights into depression

21.01.2005


The scientists found that depressed female monkeys become socially withdrawn and have reduced body fat, low levels of activity, high heart rates and disruptions in hormone levels – all of which are known or suspected characteristics of major depression in women. Their research is based on female monkeys because women are 66 percent more likely than men to experience depression during their lifetimes.

"We believe these monkeys can be a useful model for learning more about depression in women," said Carol Shively, Ph.D., professor of pathology at Wake Forest Baptist. "Current ways to treat depression are only partially successful. This may be an important opportunity to develop and test new treatments."

She said that with current treatments, there’s often a difference between men and women in effectiveness and side effects. The animal model will allow scientists to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment specifically in females, the population at greatest risk.



The study involved 36 adult female cynomolgus monkeys, who normally live in social groups in the wild. For most of the research, the animals lived in groups of four and their social interactions and behavior were observed. Depressive behavior included a slumped or collapsed body posture accompanied by a lack of response to events or objects in the environment in which other monkeys were interested.

The researchers found that the depressed monkeys had suppressed ovarian function, but continued to have menstrual periods. Irregular ovulation can lead to low estrogen levels, which have been associated in both women and monkeys with increased risk of disease in the arteries leading to the heart. "This suggests the possibility that depressed women may have low ovarian function that goes unnoticed because they still have menstrual periods," said Shively. "If this turns out to be accurate, it could explain, in part, the observed relationship between coronary artery disease and depression."

The researchers said monkeys may be particularly useful for learning more about human depression for several reasons. In women, depression is often associated with changes in reproduction, including the beginning of menstruation (premenstrual syndrome or PMS), pregnancy, the post-partum period and perimenopause. Monkeys have menstrual cycles that are very similar to those of women. "Further studies of monkeys may inform us about the nature of the relationship between reproductive function and mood in females," said Shively.

In addition, depression is higher among people with low levels of education and income. Some female monkeys face social stress that is similar to the stress that humans with low socioeconomic status experience. In some cases, these monkeys were also more prone to depression. "What we’ve observed in these monkeys is the first animal model of social stress-related depression in females," said Shively.

In monkeys, the social stress comes from the social hierarchies they naturally form when they live in groups. Monkeys that are the low-status or "subordinate" animals in the group face more aggression, are more vigilant, spend less time being groomed – a friendly behavior by monkey standards – and spend more time alone. Previous research has shown that they have increased heart rates, more of the stress hormone cortisol and more cardiovascular disease than dominant monkeys.

Depressive disorders affect about 19 million Americans yearly. The lifetime prevalence rate of major depression in women is 21 percent, compared to 12.7 percent for men. Depression in women can have negative effects on children as well as marriage. In addition, women who develop depression before age 18 are less likely to obtain a college or graduate degree, reducing their future earning potential.

Other researchers involved in the project were Thomas Register, Ph.D., David Friedman, Ph.D., Timothy Morgan, Ph.D., Jalonda Thompson and Tasha Lanier, all from Wake Forest Baptist.

Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
22.06.2018 | University of Sussex

nachricht New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>