Neurochemical processes in depression

There are about 30 neurotransmitters in the brain . With their help, a signal is transmitted from one neuron to another. Three neurotransmitters are involved in the development of depression – dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine.

Neurotransmitters and spheres of the human psyche

serototin : sleep disturbance and anxiety norepinephrine: emotions, memory, physiological drives, stress response


dopamine: the emotional sphere of a person.

The serotonergic theory of the onset of depression emerged in 1969-1976 of the last century. According to this theory, serotonin was a major factor in the development of depression. He was responsible for the level of aggression, attraction, including sexual attraction, the sleep-wake cycle, sensitivity to pain, regulation of appetite.

Scientists have proven a correlation between the level of the final metabolite of serotonin (5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid) and depression. But the level of decrease in 5-OIAA did not reflect the severity of depression.

The adrenergic ( catecholamine ) theory of the onset of depression was based on the works of J. Shildkraut N. Praag , I.P. Ashmarin in the middle and late 20th century. According to her, depression is associated with a decrease in the synthesis of catecholamines (norepinephrine) in some areas of the brain.

The dopaminergic theory of the onset of depression postulates that inadequate levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine lead to various depressive disorders. Dopamine is involved in the formation of behavioral stereotypes, motor regulation, and stimulates the psychoemotional sphere.

In addition to mediators, endorphins neuropeptides responsible for pain and mood, play a role in the development of depression . Thus, neurochemical processes in the brain during depression should be the locus of diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

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