The spirited lovechild of Kaylee Fry and River Tam (ladymalchav) wrote,
The spirited lovechild of Kaylee Fry and River Tam

School Work

This is what I've done so far on the paper due in less than an hour.  I just need to put in about a page worth of my opinion on the article I've summarized.  Thing is, I really have no opinion.  It's interesting, but that's about it.

Beyond Prozac

       Depression is a serious disease which affects millions of people every day. Some medications seem to work to lessen the symptoms of depression, even though no one knows exactly why. It is believed depression is caused by a sort of communication problem in the brain. Neurons communicate by sending chemical signals to neighboring neurons which in turn send a corresponding electrical signal along a nerve fiber called an axon. The neuron on the receiving end of this signal then pumps chemicals on to the next in line and so on. It is though that when this process is disrupted, by not enough chemicals being released, too few receptors being active, or any number of other issues, it can cause depression. Antidepressants seem to work on this process, like the popular drug Prozac, which blocks the action of a pump that sucks serotonin, a key mood-regulating chemical, out of the gaps between two neurons. This leaves more of the serotonin in the gaps between neurons, which seems to improve the flow of messages between neurons. How or why this affects a person's moods is not exactly known, and mood-regulating drugs don't even work 50 percent of the time, or at all on those who are severely depressed and most vulnerable to suicide.

      Another treatment for depression is ECT, or Electroconvulsive Therapy, where in electricity is delivered to the patient's entire brain by means of electrodes placed on the head. This, again, does not work with all patients, and has serious side effects including loss of short-term memory. A new experimental therapy tries to bypass the chemicals and skull by acting on the neurons themselves, sending electrical shocks directly into the brain. Deep-brain Stimulation, or DBS, was first developed as a treatment for Parkinson’s and other movement disorders. Two electrodes were inserted directly into the brain to normalize activity in the basal ganglia and thalamus to calm the shaking associated with these disorders.

      A new clinical trial is using the technology to combat depression. The electrodes are instead inserted into a part of the brain currently believed to be a key regulator of mood. Instead of flooding the brain with electricity, DBS can deliver a targeted strike directly into the bundle of neurons doctors are hoping to stimulate. Like medications, the exact mechanism this acts on is still undetermined, but it is thought that DBS works on the axons themselves, boosting the signal being carried and allowing more
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