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Serotonin and Depression: A More Specific Corrolation Identified

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posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 01:20 AM
A gene referred to as p11 has been associated with the release of serotonin. Decreased serotonn levels have been a common factor in depression levels, regardless of intensity levels. The finding suggests the possibility of both prediction of the susceptibility for depression as well as an improved capacity for treatment.
For the more than 18 million Americans who suffer from depressive illnesses, the best pharmacological treatments are those that increase levels of serotonin, the brain chemical that regulates mood, sleep and memory. New research by an international team of scientists, led by Rockefeller University researchers in Paul Greengard's laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, shows that a gene called p11 is closely related to serotonin transmission in the brain -- and may play a key role in determining a person's susceptibility to depression.

"We have shown that a gene called p11 is involved in the multiple complex changes that underlie depression," says Per Svenningsson, a research assistant professor and first-author on the paper. "Our findings demonstrate that patients with depression, and mice that model this disease, have decreased levels of p11 protein, and they suggest that drugs that increase p11 are likely to have anti-depressant properties."

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I find that I am torn on the literacy of scientists to identify the chemical distinctions of our common psychological issues. And I hesitate with the use of the term psychological, insufficient a connotation as it is. But there is the problem. Using depression as a casepoint, it is in my opinion a multi faceted problem stemming from the problems incurred from a given individual's perception in tandem with reality. Many people have the impression that life should turn out in a certain way, as dictated by religion, Hollywood, parental pressure, etc.... We all have our own idea of how our lives should unravel by our own seperate experiences and subsequent beliefs.

But reality does not necassarily corrolate with how we think it should be.

Our physiological reactions are a response to our experiences. As such, relating a genetic expression/inclination is not a universal solution. "Correcting" a chemical imbalance ignores individual experience.

While I agree that identifing the specific electro-chemical interplays within ourselves is an important endeavour, I have to wonder at how precise the subsequent treatments will be on a popular scale. The specific experiences that make up our distinctive self images are not necassarily going to be addressed with a simple chemical supplement.

It occurs to me that science is becoming much more aware of the chemical representations of our commonly deferred to diagnosis'. Thus I wonder if this more central focus is compounded or assuaged by personal our experiences differ greatly. Depression in one individual, due to financial concerns, will greatly differ from the depression in another individual whose problems stem from an emotional inclination......

Some background information on serotonin....

[edit on 7-1-2006 by MemoryShock]

[edit on 7-1-2006 by MemoryShock]

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[edit on 9-1-2006 by asala]

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