Depression (Biological side)

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  • Created on: 07-01-14 11:44

Explanations- Genetic factors

Harrington et al:

Proband relatives ie parents are 20% more likely to give their relatives depression compared with the average 10% of the population

McGruffin et al:

Studied 177 probands with same-sex twins. The concordence rate was 46% for monozygotic twins compared to 20% for dizygotic twins proving that genetics are important in depression

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Explanations- Neurotransmitter dysfunction

Bunney et al

Indirect markers of noradrenaline levels in the brain were often low in depressed individuals

McNeal and Cimbolic

Suicidal patients contain major reductions of a serotonin by-product, indicating low serotonin levels are connected to depression

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Explanations- Cortisol hypersecretion

Raised cortisol levels are often present in depressed individuals according to a number of studies. the mechanism appears to be that elevated cortisol levels, caused by stressful life events, reduce brain serotonin, which in turn leads to the development of a depressive state

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Therapies- Antidepressants

Tricyclics- Blocks the reduction of serotonin and noradrenaline

SSRI's- Makes serotonin more readily available

MAOI's- Decreases enzyme that prevents 'happiness'

Antidepressants are usually used for a time period of 6 months

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Therapies- ECT

An electrode is usually placed on the non-dominant side of the brain and on the forehead, this is the unilateral form of ECT rather than bilateral ETC as it is thought to be safer. Brief electric shocks are delivered into the brain, sending the recipient into convulsions. ECT is thought to even out hormone imbalances in the brain although scientists are not sure why

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