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 Ayahuasca compound changes brainwaves to vivid 'waking-dream' state
19.11.2019 | Imperial College London

nachricht A step closer to cancer precision medicine
15.11.2019 | University of Helsinki

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: Atoms don't like jumping rope

Nanooptical traps are a promising building block for quantum technologies. Austrian and German scientists have now removed an important obstacle to their practical use. They were able to show that a special form of mechanical vibration heats trapped particles in a very short time and knocks them out of the trap.

By controlling individual atoms, quantum properties can be investigated and made usable for technological applications. For about ten years, physicists have...

Im Focus: Images from NJIT's big bear solar observatory peel away layers of a stellar mystery

An international team of scientists, including three researchers from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has shed new light on one of the central mysteries of solar physics: how energy from the Sun is transferred to the star's upper atmosphere, heating it to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher in some regions, temperatures that are vastly hotter than the Sun's surface.

With new images from NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), the researchers have revealed in groundbreaking, granular detail what appears to be a likely...

Im Focus: New opportunities in additive manufacturing presented

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden demonstrates manufacturing of copper components

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...

Im Focus: New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.

New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Structure of a mitochondrial ATP synthase

19.11.2019 | Life Sciences

The measurements of the expansion of the universe don't add up

19.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Ayahuasca compound changes brainwaves to vivid 'waking-dream' state

19.11.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>