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Mood Disorders (3).docx

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Richard B Day

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November 16 , 2012 Psych 2AP3: Abnormal Psychology – Major Disorders Mood Disorders (3) Precursors and Metabolites - amine hypothesis: idea that depression stems from or is associated with lower levels of activity in three different amine neurotransmitters:  action which drugs that are affective: raise functional number of neurotransmitters in the brain - precursors: production of neurotransmitter will increase, effective in reducing the symptoms of depression - metabolites: breakdown neurotransmitters - norepinephrine:  metabolite: MHPG  lower levels of urinary MHPG in depression than controls  especially in bipolar patients - serotonin (5-HT):  precursor: tryptophan  may be antidepressant in mild cases  metabolite: 5-HIAA  small majority of studies find lower CSF levels of 5-HIAA in depression  low CSF levels of 5-HIAA in aggression, impulsivity, suicide Permissive Serotonin - controls the levels of the other two neurotransmitters - serotonin regulates neural activity  dopamine and norepinephrine - reduced regulation = wider activity changes, lead to mania or depression - serotonin stabilization by lithium in bipolar disorders - reports of successful treatment with serotonin precursors Precursors and Metabolites - where do CSF metabolites come from: can’t be sure that the metabolites we are seeing were actually produced in the brain or spinal cord or elsewhere, there is no good way to directly assess the activity of these neurotransmitters - some drugs relieve depression without amine uptake effects - delay between drug effects and lifting of depression - neurons adapt to changes in activity: tries to return itself to the level of activity it once had - depression effect or cause Brain Structure, Function? - perhaps smaller volume in some areas of hippocampus: memories and linking memories to emotions (true in multiple sclerosis cases with depression) - less left frontal EEG activity – associated with reduced positive emotions (reduced right reported in ADHD) HPA axis - UP and BP depression associated with high cortisol levels: stress hormone released by adrenal cortex - Cortisol release is different in people with depression: we release cortisol on a dail
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