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


Study identifies 53 approved drugs that may block Ebola infection
Researchers found 53 existing drugs that may keep the Ebola virus from entering human cells, a key step in the process of infection, according to a study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and published today in the Nature Press journal Emerging Microbes and Infections.

Depression in dementia more common in community care, study finds
Researchers studied 414 people with severe dementia along with their carers in England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

Are transgender veterans at greater risk of suicide?
Veterans of the U.S. armed forces who have received a diagnosis consistent with transgender status are more likely to have serious suicidal thoughts and plans and to attempt suicide.

Medicaid is a very good investment even if it does not lower cholesterol or blood pressure
Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health analyzed the results of the Oregon Health Experiment, where eligible uninsured individuals were randomly assigned Medicaid or to stay with their current care.

Bugs life: The nerve cells that make locusts 'gang up'
A team of biologists has identified a set of nerve cells in desert locusts that bring about 'gang-like' gregarious behaviour when they are forced into a crowd.

Hugs help protect against stress and infection, say Carnegie Mellon researchers
Instead of an apple, could a hug-a-day keep the doctor away? According to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, that may not be that far-fetched of an idea.

'Darwinian' test uncovers an antidepressant's hidden toxicity
Because of undetected toxicity problems, about a third of prescription drugs approved in the U.S. are withdrawn from the market or require added warning labels limiting their use.

CCNY Psychologist Links Burnout and Depression
Research by City College of New York psychology Professor Irvin Schonfeld in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership suggests a strong connection between burnout and depression.

Study sheds new light on relationship between personality and health
Researchers have found new evidence that explains how some aspects of our personality may affect our health and wellbeing, supporting long-observed associations between aspects of human character, physical health and longevity.

Swarms of Pluto-Size Objects Kick Up Dust around Adolescent Sun-Like Star
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) may have detected the dusty hallmarks of an entire family of Pluto-size objects swarming around an adolescent version of our own Sun.
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...

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...

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

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


Winner of the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, 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...

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...

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
-...

Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness

Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness
by Edward T. Welch (Author)


Where Is God in the Struggle? Looking away from despair towards hope can feel risky. What if God doesn't come through for you? What if you don't feel instantly better? Instead of offering simple platitudes or unrealistic "cure-all" formulas, Edward T. Welch addresses the complex nature of depression with compassion and insight, applying the rich treasures of the gospel, and giving fresh hope to those who struggle. Originally published as Depression: A Stubborn Darkness Light for the Path, this new edition is updated with added content.

I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression

I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression
by Terrence Real (Author)


A revolutionary and hopeful look at depression as a silent epidemic in men that manifests as workaholism, alcoholism, rage, difficulty with intimacy, and abusive behavior by the cofounder of Harvard’s Gender Research Project.

Twenty years of experience treating men and their families has convinced psychotherapist Terrence Real that depression is a silent epidemic in men—that men hide their condition from family, friends, and themselves to avoid the stigma of depression’s “un-manliness.” Problems that we think of as typically male—difficulty with intimacy, workaholism, alcoholism, abusive behavior, and rage—are really attempts to escape depression. And these escape attempts only hurt the people men love and pass their condition on to their children.

This...

How to Help Someone with Depression (Updated)

How to Help Someone with Depression (Updated)


Can your loved one ever be happy again?

They need all the support we can get. But what should we say and how can we help to make sure they’re on the right track to living an optimistic life?

With a remarkably honest perspective, the author gives practical tips on how to help a loved one through depression without sabotaging an otherwise healthy relationship. Real life stories bring you into the world of depression to help you understand what they are going through.

Depression is not the end of the world. Your loved one can get better and happier!

"Laura is a struggling mother of three who works two jobs a day and juggles through her miscellaneous payments to make ends meet by the end of a week. Being a single mom has wreaked its toll...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com