Biomedical Laboratory Science

Friday, November 18, 2016

Neurometabolic Disorders Could Contribute to Depression

Impairments in the production of neurotransmitters may lead to depression in some patients, preliminary results show, opening new avenues for research.

In 2002, psychiatrist Lisa Pan, a depression and suicide prevention researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), met Kyle, a 19-year-old suffering from depression (name altered to preserve confidentiality). He was among the estimated 15 percent of depression patients in the U.S. for whom treatments such as antidepressants or therapy do not help. He “had been through every available treatment” including electroconvulsive therapy, but nothing worked, Pan recalls. “At one time, he was on 17 medications simultaneously.” The teenager had attempted suicide, and doctors determined that he was at risk for similar episodes. The next step for him would be state hospitalization.


STAVING OFF DEPRESSION: Deficiencies in key compounds that help the body make
neurotransmitters may contribute to the intractability of depression in some people
© ISTOCK.COM/JM1366
Source: TheScientist

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