How's this for an innovative perspective on the bio medical causes of Depression: according to a group of researchers from the University of Maryland, on a neurological level depression may stem from lack of communication between brain cells. This is an interesting perspective that could shed light on new treatments, since it suggests there could be an unapparent causality behind this disease.
Whereas the conventional medical research of depression suggests (somewhat vaguely) it is likely caused by a chemical and hormonal imbalance in the body, the study published by Dr. Stott M. Thomson and his team suggests further insight: that such imbalance may be caused, at base level, by diminishing effectiveness in the communication of brain cells. You can ready more about this study here, whose main points we'll summarize in this article.
How antidepressants work... and why they lack effectiveness.
Typical antidepressants (like Prozac, Celexa or Zoloft) help prevent the absorption of serotonin (the brain's natural feel-good chemical), as to bring its concentration levels on the brain to acceptable levels. However, this new research suggests such treatment may amount to nothing more than a "patch", thereby explaining why antidepressants are only effective in about half of all prescribed patients. One of the key findings here is that one of the previously undetected functions of serotonin may be to amplify communication signals between the brain cells, which actually helps the antidepressants do their work.
In other words, this research suggests that maybe serotonin actually makes antidepressants effective, as much as the other way around. If supported by subsequent research, these findings could lead to the development of a new generation of anti depressants which are drastically more efficient because they attack the very root of the problem (from a bio-chemical standpoint, that is): ineffective communication of brain cells, which may account to why depressive patients often have memory problems and concentration difficulties.