Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum

SCIENCE, SOCIOLOGY, RELIGION => Science and Technology => Topic started by: Ayinde on January 29, 2004, 04:22:09 PM

Title: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Structure
Post by: Ayinde on January 29, 2004, 04:22:09 PM
THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDayNews) -- The area of the brain called the hippocampus is smaller in adolescents with major depression compared to their healthy peers, researchers report.

Major depressive disorder is a severe, common and debilitating illness with alarming rates of medical problems and death. And there is evidence that child and adolescent depression leads to adult depression, says a report in the Jan. 29 issue of BMC Medicine.

"We are finding biological factors that seem to be involved with major depression," says study author Frank MacMaster, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of anatomy and neurobiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "A lot of people have stigmatized depression, but it is a real medical condition."

The hippocampus is associated with motivation, emotional control and memory, and plays a role in controlling the body's response to stress, MacMaster says.

Results of studies that measured the size of the hippocampus in adults with depression have disagreed about whether there is a difference in hippocampal size between healthy and depressed adults.

In this first study to measure hippocampal size in teens, researchers studied 34 adolescents aged 13 to 18. Seventeen of the patients had major depressive disorder, while the others didn't.

All the teens had a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and the researchers measured the volume of their left and right hippocampus.

The investigators found the hippocampus of teens with major depressive disorder was, on average, 17 percent smaller than the non-depressed teens. This size difference was particularly prominent in the left hippocampus, they report.

"I was surprised by the amount of difference in hippocampal size, which is on the high side of the hippocampal size difference seen between depressed and healthy adults," MacMaster says.

MacMaster believes these results indicate there is a genetic component to major depression, which probably involves several genes. "But we have not found the smoking gun gene yet," he says.

With drugs and other interventions, the prognosis of depression in teens is hopeful, MacMaster says. "Becoming aware of a child's depression is the real front line from a clinical point of view," he adds.

The goal of this research is to identify biomarkers that will aid doctors in diagnosing adolescent depression, he says.

MacMaster stresses that depression in adolescents "is a biological, medical condition. It's not a character flaw arising from poor parenting."

Dr. Joseph L. Price, a professor of anatomy and neurobiology at Washington University in St. Louis, says other studies have found differences in hippocampal volume in older patients with major depression.

And some studies have found that women with major depression had a smaller corpus callosum, which connects the left and right halves of the brain. The same thing was found in the children of these women, indicating that they, too, have an increased risk for depression, Price says.

Price adds that, in his own work, he has found changes in some types of brain cells in people with major depression compared to healthy patients.

Taken together, all these studies "indicate that there are several physical changes in the brain that underlie major depression," Price says. "All this might not help us treat the disease, but it will help us understand it."

Dr. Hillary Blumberg, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University, adds this study is important because it may lead to identifying a biological marker that can diagnose depression in teens.

"This is a very hopeful message, because it suggests that we are developing a better sense of where to look in the brain to understand the development of depression." And this may lead to better treatment, she says.

Title: Re: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Struc
Post by: Rootsie on January 29, 2004, 07:01:38 PM
The question I have is whether it is events in the childrens' lives that depress the growth of the hippocampus. I am working now with a bunch of depressed teens. If you look at their histories this makes perfect sense. One girl took an overdose of her anti-anxiety meds yesterday in a half-hearted suicide attempt. She is diagnosed as 'a borderline personality.' The sort of things she says to me are "I'm not going to live very long" and "it's genetic." I have to reply that it is hard for an intelligent person to look around the world today and NOT feel depressed. What I see in all the children I work with is that they are subject to a 'therapeutic model' which tells them that their pain is a result of some defect unique to them. We live in a world that is soul-sick. To imagine that this has no effect on us, particularly on the most vulnerable among us, is to lose the forest for the trees.

Title: Re: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Struc
Post by: out_of_Zion on January 29, 2004, 08:23:09 PM
When I was 19 I was diagnosed as bipolar after staying awake for seven full days straight.  Since that point in my life, any deviance in taking my medicine results in irregular sleep, or complete lack of sleep...I've been in the psych ward of the hospital 2x and it is a very humbling experience.  I go hypomanic and feel as though I am superhuman practically, but those I see around me are often walking zombies.  I could go on and on abou those two experiences, but I will just leave it at that they felt surreal.  No sane person ever expects to end up in a place like that, and even when you're there - it's like I was caught questioning if the experience was even real, if you catch my drift.

I agree completely that it's tough not to be depressed with the state of the world, but there is a very real biochemical aspect to it all, which in my case, the doctors do not even fully understand.  They know that serotonin is improperly regulated and there are "water pockets" within the bi-polar brain, but all the research I read dealt with EFFECTS and then prevention, while failing to explain the physical and biochemical causes...they have a ways to go before an full explanation emerges on that front.  

I'm thankful that they have medicine these days for this, though, because with the degree I have the illness I would not be able to function and live a normal life without the medicine.  I'd never sleep and I'd die very young...due to lack of rest for my internal organs.

It's tough to deal with reality sometimes.

Title: Re: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Struc
Post by: Kebo on January 30, 2004, 10:05:34 AM

After reading some of the thoughts of Krishnamurti I get his view that the ills and problems and the world originate in the individual psyche. Presently we don't know enough about the brain to get it under control. So our psyches are out of our control and the world is out of our control.

I feel that we are in a stage in evolution where intelligence is forming but hasn't matured, and until we have understood the workings of the brain/mind/psyche and have them under control there will continue to be unrest.


Title: Re: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Struc
Post by: out_of_Zion on January 30, 2004, 09:21:12 PM
I don't think our brain structure has changed at all within the last 6,000 - 10,000 years, namely, all recorded human history.

What you see in terms of dysfuctionality is the cause of having such complex brains that require such differentiation between lobes.  Inadequacies in any given portion (but especially the limbic system and frontal cortex) can impair an individuals' ability to function.  The brain is a very highly tuned machine, more complex than any computer man has made...

Title: Re: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Struc
Post by: Rootsie on January 31, 2004, 08:35:47 AM
There is the plasticity of the brain to consider.  It is possible for example to improve neocortical function and 'lift' out of the reptilian brain. It is possible to grow your brain.

My concern is that when people are told they have a 'defective' brain, they develop a fatalism about their 'disease' which blocks transformations that can occur and certainly do.

I am not denying your experience or your suffering. But the way we are taught to think about things certainly effects outcomes.

If you lived in a traditional society for example, your 'disease' would quite possibly have made you a treasured member of your community.  I have observed that the 'manic' state in very many has visionary aspects.

It is also interesting that bi-polar disorder is becoming the disease of our time, diagnosed more and more. I think it is worth asking what it is in the world that is manic-depressive. The 'war on terror' is manic-depressive for example. Our pace of life in the West. Our cities.

I think it is safe to say that when the children start getting symptomatic it's the adults who are the problem. Collectively speaking. Ramakrishna is right when he says that it is our psyches that create the reality we see, but it is a feedback system, and so our psyches are also permeable, and we are affected by the world.

I hope you pick up a book by James Hillman and Michael Ventura called
We've Had 100 Years of Psychotherapy and the World is Getting Worse.  There are many ways to look at things.


Title: Re: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Struc
Post by: Rootsie on January 31, 2004, 09:14:37 AM
Here are a few quotes from the various works by James Hillman.

'My practice tells me that I can no longer distinguish clearly between neurosis of self and neurosis of world, psychopathology of self and psychopathology of world. Moreover, it tells me that to place neurosis and psychopathology solely in personal reality is a delusional repression of what is actually, realistically, being experienced.'

'Soul enters only via symptoms, via outcast phenomena like the imagination of artists or alchemy or 'primitives', or of course disguised as psychopathology. That's what Jung meant when he said the Gods have become diseases:the only way back for them in a Christian world is via the outcast.'

'When we are told what is healthy we are being told what is right to think and feel. When we are told what is mentally ill we are being told what ideas, behavior, and fantasies are wrong.'

'Reflection in the mirror of the soul lets one see the madness of one's spiritual drive, and the importance of this madness'

'Sometimes, the genius seems to show only in symptoms and disorders, as a kind of preventive medicine, holding you back from a false route.'

'If therapy imagines its task to be that of helping people cope (and not protest), to adapt (and not rebel), to normalize their oddity, and to accept themselves 'and work within your situation;make it work for you' (rather than refuse the unacceptable), then therapy is collaborating with what the state wants. Coping simply equals compliance.'

'By accepting the idea the I am the effect of a subtle buffeting between hereditary and societal forces, I reduce myself to a result. The more my life is accounted for by what already occurred in my chromosomes, by what my parents did or didn't do...the more my biography is the story of a victim'.

'Loving in safety is the smaller part of loving.'

Title: Re: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Struc
Post by: Kebo on January 31, 2004, 11:14:27 AM
Interesting. Why is it that as soon as we start to hear about medications for mental disorders, half the population has a mental disorder. Did people have as many disorders before medications were developed. I pray to God that the government isnt sabotaging the brains of infants in the hospital as mothers are giving birth. Another paranoid conspiracy theory. Can we be too paranoid? I definitely don't like the way most of these anti-depressant medications also give people sexual side-effects. Its like you're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't. Your mind and your sex drive are equally important. If it is all a government conspiracy then its another effective way of defeating many strong people before they have a chance to compete.

Kebo i

Title: Re: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Struc
Post by: out_of_Zion on January 31, 2004, 06:16:37 PM
An important thing to realize regarding these disorders is that, like any physical ailment, there is a spectrum.  There are people, like myself, who literally could not live without their medication; and then there are those who would live much more difficult lives; and last, those who medicine is just a minor improvement to an relatively ordinary life.  

What you say about if I was in another time period or cuture that I could be regarded as a visionary was mentioned to me by my mom's boyfriend.  He's a deist of sorts and his viewpoint on prophets and visionaries is that they all suffer from "mental illnesses" and to a degree much like mine.   Such that, they are able to stay awake in trance-like states, reaching that euphoric level of harmony with the universe that I described to him regarding the few times I have gone manic (it can be such a powerful and incredible experience, really).  Then, from there, these people staying out of the realm of normal brain wavelengths begin to project what is regarded as prophecy for x amounts of days and the result is "The Book of _____", "The Qu'Ran", "The Book of Mormon", et al.  

In a period of about 62 hours once I wrote a 42,000 word document called "The Unsacred Doctrines."  It was a collection of about thirty essays on various topics...Some of the essays were decent, others I'm not so fond of admitting I wrote.  But the point is that, when in a hypomanic state, it's possible to think and process information at a high speed.  (You probably already know this).  

I dream about the days toward the end of my life, because I've determined I think I would like to go off my medication and just let my brain runs its wild & natural course until it kills me when I am in old age.  That sounds fatalistic maybe, but there's an element of beauty in there - it's hard to understand or explain.

Title: Re: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Struc
Post by: gman on February 04, 2004, 09:02:44 PM
Hey Out-of-Zion
  I'm bipolar too and I know what you're talking about. I only ever had one real episode but it was like you say, impossible to sleep, limitless energy, wild ideas and non-stop screamed prophecies (I dunno if you did that but I did, 24/7 to everyone everywhere I went)... I gotta go now but I just thought I'd mention that, maybe we can discuss it later. It's at least as much a blessing as a curse, as I look at it.

Title: Re: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Struc
Post by: out_of_Zion on February 04, 2004, 09:32:09 PM
gman - yeah, I had a really religious aspect to it, too.  But sadly enough (or perhaps humorously) I thought it was my "mission" in life to unite the sects of Christendom, which I now - years later - realize is the great whore in Revelation.

I do also agree with you that it's a blessing.  One of the true blessings is that I think it enables us to be more empathetic for others, and that's definitely something lacking in this world sadly enough.  Yeah, I do hope we can talk later brother.  

Title: Re: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Struc
Post by: Raison_Detre on March 06, 2005, 10:55:10 AM
If i said, Canaan = The Depressed, in it's original Hebrew/Chaldee form, then what station are you at in depression is marked out in Exodus, and if "the inheritance of the Lord is Canaan", then how come no one see's the door to the other side?

Title: Re: Depressed Adolescents Have Altered Brain Structure
Post by: Motingwa I on November 28, 2014, 06:33:48 PM
'...and ye shall into the land of the Canaanites' - Muta Baruka

Israel and Arab fighting for Canaan land? Or Israel as Afrika? Taking over the land of the Canaanites?

I arrived here after entering 'bi-polar' in the search. I was looking for a post I once saw on africaspeaks, or rastafari speaks that said something like that not finding ones 'life-work' can lead to symptoms like bi-polar until a one does find their 'mission.' Can anyone help me to locate the post? What kind of work constitutes 'life work'? Is it normal everyday professions like Babylon trains us for and hires us to do, or does it have to entail something deeper than that; like artists, musicians, healers, shamans, spiritual workers?

One of the elders on this forum once said how they don't like to use links when reasoning (yet it seems the longest posters on these forums have remained here by using links in their reasoning; while others have left for places like facebook...), so I will only say I once read an article on a black social network about how psychiatry as a profession was born out of sinister motives like eugenics or race-based genocide. The article said that psychiatrists are the real psychotics. Also Dr Umar Johnson spoke about how they made a drug before they came up with the disease. Someone once explained to me how the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist is that the former is taught the exact same thing in school as a doctor in understanding the workings of the anatomy, and biological processes. Today I am being told that psychology is the study of human (and animal) behaviour, and psychiatry is the treatment of mental illnesses.