To Treat Depression, Trigger More Depression?

Sounds a little out there.  To help people with depression, activate other parts of the brain that induce depression. 

Say what?  That's what researchers are saying.  Apparently triggering different parts of the brain can foster the growth of strength and resilience.

To put it scientifically, "Instead of dampening neuron firing found with stress-induced depression, researchers demonstrated for the first time that further activating these neurons opens a new avenue to mimic and promote natural resilience."

“To achieve resiliency when under social stress, the brain must perform a complex balancing act in which negative stress-related changes in the brain actively trigger positive changes. But that can only happen once the negative changes reach a tipping point," newswise.com quotes Allyson K. Friedman, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and the study’s lead author.

“To our surprise, we found that resilient mice, instead of avoiding deleterious changes in the brain, experience further deleterious changes in response to stress, and use them beneficially,” said Ming-Hu Han, PhD, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who leads the study team as senior author at newswise.com.

In other words, If a drug could enhance coping and resilience by pushing depressed (or susceptible) individuals past the tipping point, it potentially might have fewer side effects, and work as a more naturally- acting antidepressant.

Seems a little Twilight Zone to me.  But if it works in mice, maybe it could work in humans.



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