Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Tripping the switches on brain growth to treat depression

August 15, 2012
Depression takes a substantial toll on brain health. Brain imaging and post-mortem studies provide evidence that the wealth of connections in the brain are reduced in individuals with depression, with the result of impaired functional connections between key brain centers involved in mood regulation. Glial cells are one of the cell types that appear to be particularly reduced when analyzing post-mortem brain tissue from people who had depression. Glial cells support the growth and function of nerve cells and their connections.

Over the past several years, it has become increasingly recognized that antidepressants produce positive effects on brain structure that complement their effects on symptoms of depression. These structural effects of antidepressants appear to depend, in large part, on their ability to raise the levels of growth factors in the brain.

In a new study, Elsayed and colleagues from the Yale University School of Medicine report their findings on a relatively novel growth factor named fibroblast growth factor-2 or FGF2. They found that FGF2 can increase the number of glial cells and block the decrease caused by chronic stress exposure by promoting the generation of new glial cells.

Senior author Dr. Ronald Duman said, "Our study uncovers a new pathway that can be targeted for treating depression. Our research shows that we can increase the production and maintenance of glial cells that are important for supporting neurons, providing an enriched environment for proper neuronal function."

To study whether FGF2 can treat depression, the researchers used rodent models where animals are subjected to various natural stressors, which can trigger behaviors that are similar to those expressed by depressed humans, such as despair and loss of pleasure. FGF2 infusions restored the deficit in glial cell number caused by chronic stress. An underlying molecular mechanism was also identified when the data showed that antidepressants increase glial generation and function via increasing FGF2 signaling.

"Although more research is warranted to explore the contribution of glial cells to the antidepressant effects of FGF2, the results of this study present a fundamental new mechanism that merits attention in the quest to find more efficacious and faster-acting antidepressant drugs," concluded Duman.

"The deeper that science digs into the biology underlying antidepressant action, the more complex it becomes. Yet understanding this complexity increases the power of the science, suggesting reasons for the limitations of antidepressant treatment and pointing to novel approaches to the treatment of depression," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine.

Elsevier


Related Depression Current Events and Depression News Articles


The Lancet: The hidden truth about the health of homeless people
As many as 4 million Europeans and 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness every year, and the numbers are rising. Homeless people 'are the sickest in our society,' but just treating ill health might not be enough to help get people off the streets, according to a new two-part series on homelessness in high-income countries, published in The Lancet.

Mindfulness associated with better health
A new study that measured "dispositional mindfulness" along with seven indicators of cardiovascular health found that persons reporting higher degrees of awareness of their present feelings and experiences had better health.

Pre-enlistment mental disorders and suicidality among new US Army soldiers
Two new studies suggest that while individuals enrolling in the armed forces do not share the exact psychological profile as socio-demographically comparable civilians, they are more similar than previously thought.

Baby cries show evidence of cocaine exposure during pregnancy
A new study conducted by University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers provides the first known evidence of how a similar acoustic characteristic in the cry sounds of human infants and rat pups may be used to detect the harmful effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on nervous system development.

Indiana Project screenings show need for more mental health services in youth detention
Indiana is at the forefront of providing mental health screening and services to juvenile offenders, but more efforts are needed to improve the services provided to detained youths, according to Indiana University School of Medicine research findings published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

How people view their own weight influences bariatric surgery success
Negative feelings about one's own weight, known as internalized weight bias, influence the success people have after undergoing weight loss surgery, according to research appearing in the journal Obesity Surgery, published by Springer.

Teens whose parents exert more psychological control have trouble with closeness, independence
For teenagers, learning to establish a healthy degree of autonomy and closeness in relationships (rather than easily giving in to peer pressure) is an important task.

Two days later: Adolescents' conflicts with family spill over to school, vice versa
The lives of adolescents at home and at school may seem quite separate, but recent research has highlighted important connections.

Music therapy reduces depression in children and adolescents
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have discovered that music therapy reduces depression in children and adolescents with behavioural and emotional problems.

Teenage self-harm linked to problems in later life
Those who self-harm as teenagers are more at risk of developing mental health and substance misuse problems as adults, new research from the biggest study of its kind in the UK has revealed.
More Depression Current Events and Depression News Articles

The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs

The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs
by Stephen S. Ilardi (Author)


In the past decade, depression rates have skyrocketed, and one in four Americans will suffer from major depression at some point in their lives. Where have we gone wrong? Dr. Stephen Ilardi sheds light on our current predicament and reminds us that our bodies were never designed for the sleep-deprived, poorly nourished, frenzied pace of twenty-first century life.Inspired by the extraordinary resilience of aboriginal groups like the Kaluli of Papua New Guinea, Dr. Ilardi prescribes an easy-to-follow, clinically proven program that harks back to what our bodies were originally made for and what they continue to need. The Depression Cure program has already delivered dramatic results, helping even those who have failed to respond to traditional medications.

The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (Book & CD)

The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (Book & CD)
by Mark Williams (Author), John Teasdale (Author), Zindel Segal (Author), Jon Kabat-Zinn (Author)


If you’ve ever struggled with depression, take heart. Mindfulness, a simple yet powerful way of paying attention to your most difficult emotions and life experiences, can help you break the cycle of chronic unhappiness once and for all.

In The Mindful Way through Depression, four uniquely qualified experts explain why our usual attempts to “think” our way out of a bad mood or just “snap out of it” lead us deeper into the downward spiral. Through insightful lessons drawn from both Eastern meditative traditions and cognitive therapy, they demonstrate how to sidestep the mental habits that lead to despair, including rumination and self-blame, so you can face life’s challenges with greater resilience. Jon Kabat-Zinn gently and encouragingly narrates the accompanying...

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It
by Kamal Ravikant (Author)


In December of 2011, I gave a talk to an audience of scientists, Pentagon officials, politicians, and CEOs on the secret of life and how I'd figured it out the previous summer. Afterwards, people came up individually and told me how much what I'd shared meant to them. This book is based on the truth I spoke about. It's something I learned from within myself, something I believed saved me. And more than that, the way I set about to do it. This is a collection of thoughts on what I learned, what worked, what didn't. Where I succeed and importantly, where I fail daily. The truth is to love yourself with the same intensity you would use to pull yourself up if you were hanging off a cliff with your fingers. As if your life depended upon it. Once you get going, it's not hard to do. Just takes...

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
by David D., M.D. Burns (Author)


The good news is that anxiety, guilt, pessimism, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other "black holes" of depression can be cured without drugs. In Feeling Good, eminent psychiatrist, David D. Burns, M.D., outlines the remarkable, scientifically proven techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life. Now, in this updated edition, Dr. Burns adds an All-New Consumer′s Guide To Anti-depressant Drugs as well as a new introduction to help answer your questions about the many options available for treating depression.

- Recognise what causes your mood swings
- Nip negative feelings in the bud
- Deal with guilt
- Handle hostility and criticism
- Overcome addiction to love and approval
- Build self-esteem
-...

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
by Andrew Solomon (Author)


The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policy makers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Andrew Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has on various demographic populations -- around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness. With uncommon humanity, candor, wit, and erudition, award-winning author Solomon...

The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression: A Step-by-Step Program

The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression: A Step-by-Step Program
by Dr. William J Knaus EdD (Author), Albert Ellis PhD (Author)


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most widely used treatment for depression for one simple reason: it works. The CBT program in this workbook has helped thousands of readers defeat the depressive thoughts and beliefs that keep them from enjoying life and feeling like themselves. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression delivers evidence-based tools you can confidently use to do better, feel better, and prevent depression from coming back.Through a series of worksheets and exercises, you’ll evaluate your depression and learn key skills for overcoming it. Once you have your depression symptoms under control, you will appreciate the additional information on preventing relapse that is special to this new edition. This workbook also...

The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress

The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress
by John D. Teasdale PhD (Author), J. Mark G. Williams DPhil (Author), Zindel V. Segal PhD (Author), Jon Kabat-Zinn PhD (Foreword)


Imagine an 8-week program that can help you overcome depression, anxiety, and stress--by simply learning new ways to respond to your own thoughts and feelings. That program is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), and it has been tested and proven effective in clinical trials throughout the world. Now you can get the benefits of MBCT any time, any place, by working through this carefully constructed book. The expert authors introduce specific mindfulness practices to try each week, plus reflection questions, tools for keeping track of progress, and helpful comments from others going through the program. Like a trusted map, this book guides you step by step along the path of change.

Guided meditations are provided on the accompanying MP3 CD and are also available as...

Talking to Depression: Simple Ways To Connect When Someone In Your Life Is Depressed: Simple Ways To Connect When Someone In Your Life Is Depressed

Talking to Depression: Simple Ways To Connect When Someone In Your Life Is Depressed: Simple Ways To Connect When Someone In Your Life Is Depressed
by Claudia J. Strauss (Author), Martha Manning (Foreword)


When someone suffers from depression, friends and family members naturally want to help—but too often their good intentions come out all wrong. This practical, compassionate guide helps readers understand exactly what their loved one is going through, and why certain approaches help and others have the potential to do damage. Talking to Depression offers specific advice on what to do and what not to do—and what to say and what not to say—to avoid frustration and give the kind of caring, effective support that will make a difference.

Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You

Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You
by Richard O'Connor (Author)


Like heart disease, says psychotherapist Richard O'Connor, depression is fueled by complex and interrelated factors: genetic, biochemical, environmental. In this refreshingly sensible book, O'Connor focuses on an additional factor often overlooked: our own habits. Unwittingly we get good at depression. We learn how to hide it, how to work around it. We may even achieve great things, but with constant struggle rather than satisfaction. Relying on these methods to make it through each day, we deprive ourselves of true recovery, of deep joy and healthy emotion.

UNDOING DEPRESSION teaches us how to replace depressive patterns with a new and more effective set of skills. We already know how to "do" depression-and we can learn how to undo it. With a truly holistic approach that...

Depression: My Battle - A Young Man's Staggering Journey From Hopeless To Hopeful

Depression: My Battle - A Young Man's Staggering Journey From Hopeless To Hopeful


UNDERSTANDING DEPRESSION

Depression has definitely become more recognized in recent years in general society. But that doesn’t mean it’s widely accepted, understood, or properly dealt with. I believe that one of the best ways to improve this is through education, especially through hearing from people who are brave enough to share their stories. That is my intention with this book: to use my story to help you understand depression and learn how you can help yourself if you’re struggling.

In this book, I share my secrets and show you some of the darkest times of my life. It’s been hard to write about these times, but above all, I want you to know that you’re not alone. I got through my dark times, and with the right information and help, so can you.
© 2014 BrightSurf.com