The Bioamine Theory of Depression In this essay a review of the literature in relation to the Bioamine Hypothesis of Depression will be carried out, and an explanation made that shows that the bioamine theory is no longer thought of as being a satisfactory explanation of depression. Also in the is essay the Mental Health Nurses role will be looked at and the implications of such a biological theory has on nursing practise. If such a theory were to be true what treatment would someone with depression be involved in?
Also what would a Nurses day to day tasks involve? The Bioamine Theory of Depression is caused by the deficiency of monoamine neurotransmitters and in particular noradrenaline and serotonin. It was discovered in the early 1950’s be researchers that a decrease in monoamines can cause depression and that an increase in monoamines could help to relieve depression (Depression Resource Centre, 2012) The symptoms of depression are many and can include a feeling of sadness, gloomy and low spirits can all be evident.
Emotional responses can be greatly reduced and several other physical factors can show that depression may be being suffered. These include disturbed sleep patterns, loss of appetite and lack of interest or engaging in normal day to day activities that life brings. A feeling of hopelessness can also be shown in more extreme cases which, can lead to the thought of suicide and a general feeling of worthlessness. These feelings are usually accompanied with no feelings of responsibility and any caring towards friends or loved ones (Norman and Ryrie, 2009).
The Monoamine Hypothesis of Depression has been supported quite considerably since it was first put forward over 30 years ago since it attempts to provide the medical world with a pathophysiologic explanation of how antidepressants work. In it’s original form though is quite clearly inadequate in that it does not provide a complete explanation for the actions of antidepressants. Therefore the pathophysiology of depression still remains unknown. It is known that on the basis of this hypothesis, there is a deficiency of the monoamine neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain.
Over the years various antidepressants have been developed to help increase the levels of monoamines within the synaptic cleft. This is done by inhibition of their degradation or by the blocking of their reuptake (Hirschfield, 2000). As the theory proposes that there is a fall in levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and/or dopamine in the central nervous system the use of the drug, reserpine in the 1950’s was shown to induce depression. It did this by depleting central stores of monoamines.
When using the monoamine oxidase inhibitor, iproniazid, which when administered to patients suffering from tuberculosis gave them an antidepressant effect and it was later found that it improved the mood in depressed nontubercular patients (Delgado, 2000) The Bioamine Theory of Depression implicates nor-epinephrine and serotonin. In clinical use most of the drugs are believed to act by influencing the re-uptake of nor-epinephrine. Some antidepressants such as Fluoxetine, belonging to the SSRI group, work by enhancing nor-epinephrine levels.
Atypical antidepressants like Trazadone are believed to work by having an influence on the serotonin receptors. This can increase the firing of GABA which in turn leads to decreased firing from the involved neurons (Chavan et al. 2010) REFERENCES CHAVAN,V. R. et al. , 2010. Studies on the role of 5-HT2a and 5HT2c receptor antagonist and effects of co-administration of Fluoxetines in regulating generalised seizures in rats. Al Ameen J Med Sci, 3(3), pp 201-207. DELGADO, P. L. , 2000. Depression: The Case for a Monoamine Deficiency.
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 61(6), pp7-11. Depression Resource Centre, 2012. Depression: A Short Textbook for GP’s. Theories of Depression. http://www. nevdgp. org. au/info/topics/depression_theory. htm. (Accessed 16/12/12). Hirschfield, R. M. A. , 2000. History and Evolution of the Monoamine Hypothesis of Depression. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 61(6), pp 4-6. NORMAN, I. , and RYRIE, I. , 2009. The Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing. 2nd ed. New York: Open University Press.