Posted by SLS on December 3, 2010, at 0:42:09
In reply to eason behind this post?, posted by violette on December 2, 2010, at 18:46:20
> Thought it would encourage discussion/debate and wanted to hear the opinions of the "scientific people" who write here.
Why did you choose to use quotation marks here?
It is certainly important to survey different sources of information and opinions in a field of medicine for which there is so much yet to be understood.
> Sometimes i think theres an imbalance in discussion content here and on other sites of coursePerhaps the reason you feel
Perhaps this imbalance in discussion content is a manifestation of an imbalance in the validity of one explanation over the others that have been proposed. The current consensus provided by decades of scientific investigation into the phenomenology of major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD) indicates that a deviation in the function of the brain is present during depressive episodes of these illnesses. With bipolar disorder, some of these anomalies in brain function persist even during periods of remission.
> There are plenty of discussions about every and any cause of depression,...
Can you suggest at least one cause of depression that you believe is representative of the dynamics extant in the evolution of MDD or BD?
> ...but very little about emotional and social causes.
That depends on what you use as sources of information. Psychosocial stress is considered by most researchers to be an important component to the evolution of affective disorders. For those individuals who possess biological vulnerabilities that will allow for the precipitation of depressive episodes, there is often a chronic psychological pathology or an acute trauma that triggers a cascade of events in the brain that results in observable and measurable abnormal brain activity.
It is *very* old news that no single gene is fully responsible for expressing MDD.
> Stilll, in my humble opinion, I really do not think a psychiatric drug will actually cure depression.
If by cure, you mean that a finite period of treatment will indefinitely prevent subsequent recurrences, I believe that you are correct in stating that such a treatment does not currently exist. In my humble opinion, a cure will eventually be developed. It may involve drugs. It may involve gene therapy. It may involve tissue ablation. It may involve the induction or inhibition of neural activity using magnets. Regarding drugs, there is no scientific reason to believe that a cure cannot be achieved through pharmacotherapy. Perhaps you know of one.
> but only cure symptoms
I don't understand. What do mean by this? I hear this said over and over again.
If you accomplish resolving all of the symptoms in a case of depression, how do you know that you haven't effected a persistent normalization of brain activity? There are several loci in the brain that have been identified as being important in the regulation of circuits known to influence mood and cognition. It is my guess that manipulating neural activity at these key sites induces the reestablishment normal gene activity. Note that I am commenting on the mental illnesses known as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Contrast this with the ubiquitious use of the generic term "depression", which is commonly used to describe a great many human conditions involving mood. If we don't standardize our nomenclature regarding depression, it will be extremely difficult to establish the insights that will provide treatment algorithms tailored for the different types of depression once they are identified and characterized.
Some see things as they are and ask why.
I dream of things that never were and ask why not.