Allergies May Be Linked to Depression

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There is disturbing news from the University of Maryland.  Researchers have found that seasonal allergies might be associated with mood disorders, including depression.  We’ve long recognized the association between seasonal allergies and fatigue.  The latest report echoes what scientists found in 1999.  Back then, a study of 7,000 patients found people with hay fever were twice as likely to be diagnosed with major depression.  Why’s this the case?  Well, the latest theory is very technical.  According to researchers at the Association of Allergies and Scientific Analysis of Allergies, chemicals called cytokines are released in the nose during an allergic reaction.  This activates a chemical called indolamine 2, 3-dioxygenase that slows down serotonin production.  It’s a chemical in the brain that is linked to depression. 

 

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Research on Serotonin and Depression

Research on Serotonin and Depression

We have known for quite some time that depression and serotonin pathways in the brain are connected in some way. Many of our treatments for depression are based on serotonin and its metabolism in the body. How depression and serotonin may be linked? Well, according to information in the journal Science, interactions between a brain protein and a serotonin receptor seem to have a relationship with depression as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder, drug addiction, anxiety, aggression and sleep disorders. Now, without getting too technical, there are aspects of the finding that are very important. The true value might come from the fact that as we learn more about serotonin, we will be able to attack it more specifically. Remember, we use a lot of serotonin-based drugs. We understand how they work and we can definitely put them in position where they can make a difference for people.

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SSRIs for Treating Depression

SSRIs for Treating Depression

Depression can be treated by drugs called the SSRIs. The SSRIs: Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac. They’ve been around for a while and what they do is, by affecting serotonin release in the body, they actually can affect the way transmitters are sent across the body from one side to the other of the brain. This can actually help people deal with depression and many of those alarming and hurtful symptoms associated with it. SSRIs can be a big help!

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