Neuroscience

Tackling the mechanisms behind depression

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Science  23 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6378, pp. 881-882
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6378.881-e

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  • RE: mechanisms behind depression

    I find this both interesting and depressing. The focus on neural mechanisms has taken over the simpler Cartesian thinking 'people in pain aren't happy'. Prof Otsuka showed this in his paper where the highly innervated Trigeminal-linked vascular bed of the jaw joint was compressed by pushing the mandible back. The receptors in the vascular bed are the same as on the Sclera of the eye and few would not object to a poke in the eye. This simple experiment of clenching for 10 seconds was abandoned by some as they were overwhelmed by depressive feelings. fMRI showed the emotive areas were heavily involved. Poor breathing - TMD and other adverse stimulants seem to be left out of the typical circle of considerations in emotive and psychological thinking and commentary. There is only one brain and loading it with afferent signalling, often sub-threshold thereby unrecognised by a patient, still has to be dealt with centrally. When these aspects of compromised breathing - with attendant systemic inflammatory processes is considered in league with pain-signalling, the underlying causes identified and resolved a great percentage of depression goes with it. While the comments are genuinely valid, applicable and clinically useful, there must be a stepping back to look at body-wide physiology. There are few pathologies that do not include systemic inflammation and add to this load an abberant afferent barrage, there is inevitably central emotive change. Otsuka h...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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