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Re: question for chemist (or other knowledgables)

Posted by Tony P on May 25, 2004, at 12:29:35

In reply to question for chemist (or other knowledgables), posted by linkadge on May 25, 2004, at 10:23:02

> I keep reading that ginkgo biloba may help depression becase it increases the number of
> 5-ht1a receptors that decline with aging.
> I though that antidepressants worked by downregulating the number of 5-ht1a receptors.
> Are more 5-ht1a receptors better? or is this another presynaptic-postsynaptic issue.
> Can someone clarify ??
> Linkadge
I am not expert on the details of all the various receptors, but my strong impression is that the more research is done, the more complex the whole process of depression and its relief are realized to be. And after all, the body (including the brain) usually tries to maintain some sort of equilibrium, so one short-term effect can eventually stimulate its exact opposite or some other rebalancing.

There's even some recent research suggesting that one reason many ADs take so long to work is that they actually stimulate regrowth of the parts of the brain (such as the amygdala) that are known to atrophy in long-term depression. That's contrary to the central dogma of brain function research, that neurons can never regrow, but they're discovering that peripheral nerves can be stimulated to regrow - so why not neurons? I am sure there will be much heated discussion of this for years to come!

It seems to me that Gingko might assist in this latter process, just by increasing blood flow, but I hadn't heard of it working as an AD by itself. The usual doses didn't seem to help my depression, but maybe it takes more quantity or time than I allowed.

Tony P




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