Biological Explanation for Depression

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  • Biological Explanations For Depression
    • Inheriting genes
      • Twin studies A01
        • Monozygotic twins share same genes so should be a high concordance rate for depression
        • Allen - 40% concordance rate between MZ twins and 11% between DZ twins
      • Adoption studies A01
        • Investigate if depression inherited from parents excluding environmental factor
        • Wender et al - 8x more likely to be depressed if biological parents had depression
      • Supporting Evidence A02
        • McGuffin
          • 177 Pps with depression and their twin
          • 46% concordance between MZ twins and 20% between DZ twins
          • If all biological would have 100% concordance rate
            • Inherit gene makes them vulnerable to comorbidity
    • Imbalance in Neurotransmitters
      • Low levels of seretonin - A01
        • Ruhe et al
          • Patients in remission given drug which temp. decreases seretonin
          • Experience relapse
      • Noradrenaline - A01
        • drugs which reduce noradrenaline caused depression
        • drugs which increase levels act as anti-depressants
        • Kraft et al
          • 96 majorly depressed given reuptake inhibitor which meant N was available in synapse for longer
          • Those given drug improved more than those given placebo
      • A02
        • Success of treatments
          • SSRIs like Prozac block re-uptake of seretonin + are very effective
          • But aren't successful for everyone
          • They increase levels to normal immediately but there is a delay
            • Drugs actually alter brain structure - make neurons more sensitive
        • Does depression cause imbalance or imbalance cause depression
          • Cause issue with treatment and validity of explanation
          • When non-depressed people given drug to reduce levels, did not experience depression
            • Diathesis stress model - inherit vulnerability which shows when exposes to stressors

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