Friday, May 01, 2009

Antidepressant Medications Increase Hippocampus Volume

Antidepressant medications get a lot of bad press, some of which is fully deserved. In my opinion, they are prescribed WAY too often for WAY too many people. A little sadness is good for the soul and should not be medicated away.

However, for people with real, clinical depression - which correlates with a smaller hippocampus - taking these medications over a period of time can increase hippocampal volume through the process of neurogenesis.

This article looks at that issue in detail.

Regulation of adult neurogenesis
by antidepressant treatment

Duman RS, Nakagawa S, Malberg J.
Division of Molecular Psychiatry,
Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities,
Department of Psychiatry,
Yale University School of Medicine,
Connecticut Mental Health Center,
34 Park Street, 06508, New Haven, CT, USA
Neuropsychopharmacology 2001 Dec;25(6):836-44


Demonstration of neurogenesis in adult brain represents a major advance in our understanding of the cellular mechanisms underlying neuronal remodeling and complex behavior. Recent studies from our laboratory and others demonstrate that chronic administration of an antidepressant, including either a 5-HT or norepinephrine selective reuptake inhibitor, up-regulates neurogenesis in adult rodent hippocampus. Up-regulation of neurogenesis could block or reverse the effects of stress on hippocampal neurons, which include down-regulation of neurogenesis, as well as atrophy. The possibility that the cAMP signal transduction cascade contributes to the regulation of neurogenesis by antidepressants is supported by previous studies and by recent work. Although additional studies must be conducted to determine the significance of adult neurogenesis in humans, these findings will stimulate new avenues of research to identify the cellular and molecular basis of stress-related mood disorders as well as the development of novel therapeutic strategies.
Genes and mental illness
BDNF and new brain cells
Basic fibroblast growth factor
Antidepressants and neuroplasticity
Antidepressants and new brain cells
Tianeptine and stressed out tree shrews
Sleep deprivation triggers new brain cells
A new theory of depression and antidepressants
Depression: recent developments and controversies
A neurotrophic model for stress-related mood disorders
Is hippocampal neogenesis critical for therapeutic response?

and further reading

No comments: