Discuss the neurotransmitters implicated in mood disorders. For this discussion, place particular emphasis on the monoamine hypothesis of depression.
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers in the brain that communicate with each other by way of the nerve cells (Stahl, 2013). The synapse is the space between two nerve cells (Stahl, 2013). When a chemical imbalance occurs in the brain mental health conditions can occur (Stahl, 2013). The most important monoamine neurotransmitters that play a part in mood disorders are norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin (Stahl, 2013). Depression symptoms can improve by increasing the synaptic concentrations of monoamines (Stahl, 2013). The monoamine hypothesis of depression is thought to be believed to have an insufficient amount of monoamine neurotransmitters (Stahl, 2013). At one point in research it was thought that norepinephrine and serotonin were the culprits that caused breakdown in the brain circuits which caused someone to have depression (Stahl, 2013). The hypothesis believes the cause is not just one monoamine not working properly but a lack of all three (Stahl, 2013). Research has shown that a depleted amount of monoamine neurotransmitter in the brain will cause different depression symptoms depending on the individual levels of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin (Stahl, 2013).
This hypothesis is still under criticism from many, and still needs more research for the mental health field to fully understand depression and how we can successfully treat people for this mood disorder (Chvez-Castillo et al., 2019). The thought that there are many different hypotheses for the treatment of depression and the debunking of the monoamine hypothesis of depression still creates confusion among providers when trying to treat this disorder (Chvez-Castillo et al., 2019). With 300 million people being affected by depression it is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in the United States (Potter, 2019). Other neuropsychopharmacological approaches will need to be considered as alternative ways to help alleviate symptoms of depression (Chvez-Castillo et al., 2019).
Many hypotheses have come to light recently as a way to help treat the acute, chronic and sometimes debilitating disorder as depression (Matias et al., 2021). Studies have shown that by using Curcuma longa it helps to reduce inflammation and reduces the release of cytokines in the body (Matias et al., 2021). Often used as a spice, curcuma longa has different concentrations that will need to be standardized to help treat depression in a more stable manner (Matias et al., 2021).
Compare And Contrast Symptoms And Circuit In Depression With Symptoms And Circuits In Mania
Mania is characterized by irritable tendencies sustained across a period. The individual shows signs of intense energy that are accompanied by racing thoughts. As a result, the person can easily engage in extreme and exaggerated behavior. Comparatively, depression is characterized by feelings of loneliness and being demotivated from activities one would usually enjoy. Such parties may choose to detach themselves from the world and are more silent and reclusive (Santini et al., 2020). However, both conditions are similar in that they result in an unrealistic perception of the world. A person suffering from a manic episode can be deluded by feelings of excitement, rushing thoughts, and irritability (Atuk & Richardson, 2021). Similarly, people with depression may fail to see the positive aspects of life and act unpredictably as a result. Notably, people with panic disorders experience episodes with alternating bouts of depression. This combination is often a symptom of bipolar disorder.
From a neurological perspective, the two illnesses are significantly different. Manic episodes are associated with two primary causes. The first is related to bipolar disorder. In these instances, manic-depressive diseases are related to gray matter deficits in several regions of the brain. The most notable ones are the temporal, prefrontal, frontal, and parietal regions (Jiang et al., 2020). Secondary mania is associated with the formation of lesions primarily in the right hemisphere, related to emotional aspects (Cotovio, 2020). This outcome is often associated with brain injury. These lesions do not occur in specific areas of the hemisphere. Instead, they appear in different spots, with the side of the brain being the denominator. These injuries undermine an individuals ability to control emotions.
Comparatively, depression is often associated with the dopaminergic system. A drop in dopamine levels is related to a lack of motivation and interest. This reduction causes a disruptive effect in the aberrant signaling necessary for an individuals motivation and reward circuitry (Knowland & Lim, 2018). Knowland and Lim (2018) further observe that catechol-O-methyltransferase is present among patients with major depressive disorder. This enzyme is primary in degrading dopamine. Similarly, patients have been monitored to have polymorphism in dopaminergic receptors. These incidences undermine an individuals ability to process and perceive motivation, interest, and desire, which are outward symptoms of depression. Notably, these causes can be remedied by treatment and therapy.
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