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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by spin-1/2-nuclei View Post
    In my opinion this is a good article explaining the basics of what we know about the chemistry behind depression (& it's a quick read). - The Chemistry of Depression

    There are some questions regarding the effectiveness of antidepressants. The major ones being related to 1.) down-regulation of neurotransmitter receptors, 2.) adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus & 3.) variations in individual biochemistry. There is evidence that antidepressants are helpful for some patients but my friend with a PhD/MD in psychology and psychiatry says that about 30% of patients are not helped by these medications. Obviously that is still a significant number of people.

    Another major contribution to this problem, which is more related to my area of knowledge, are the side effects. The purpose of these drugs is to regulate the synthesis and degradation of the key monoamines associated with depression. So one problem is that their ideal concentration in the serum is not exact for every human. It's a one size fits all approach that we are using now and that typically only works well for a small percentage of the population. Many things can effect a person's biochemistry like environment, diet, genetics, and disease. This can be related to the difference between a carpet bomb and precision/smart bomb in the military. Carpet bombs can be effective at destroying a target some of the time, but occasionally they miss the target and they almost always involve collateral damage and are required in excess.

    Therefore currently some scientists in computational biomedicine and drug design and delivery are researching the development of drugs that are adaptive and/or personalized i.e. smart/precision bombs. This would do away with many of the side effects (collateral damage) and also decrease the number of patients who cannot find any benefit from taking the drug (missed target). So there is hope that there will be effective pharmaceutical help for the people with severe clinical depression that cannot benefit from counseling.
    And your missing the point, why is it that happens in the first place?

    I know that, I've studied this for a long time, I think going through severe depression for 15 years would make a person want to understand everything that is happening to them wouldn't you?

    I disagree on the 30%, more like 80%. Your friend in psychology and psychiatry is being misled and shall either notice the red tape after awhile or turn a blind eye to it.

    Did you know the endocrine system is a system of glands, each of which secretes hormones. Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers that regulate the body. They influence almost every cell, organ and function of our bodies…when they are disrupted then do you think its just a mental problem that is due to a lack of serotonin uptake.

  2. #102
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    Consider this

    What do you think the use of aluminum in deodorants and other products, fluoride in drinking water and products, bisphenol A and xenoestrogens in plastics, bromide in bread and other products, thimerosal in vaccinations, mercury in dental fillings and many more plus a lack of iodine in food, lack of magnesium in the diet, lack of zinc in the diet, lack of selenium, lack of tyrosine the building blocks of thyroid health and more have in common…endocrine disruption and regulation…wearing down the body to deplete serotonin levels. Replacing the right stuff with the wrong stuff, there is more but I'm trying to show people the current thinking is at best weak.

    Just one example.

    Brownstein. Halogens: fluorine, chlorine, bromine -- Research
    Once bromide is absorbed, it binds tightly to the iodine receptors in the body. In addition, bromine can bind to the transport cells for iodine (sodium-iodide symporter--NIS) and damage the transporter cells. The oxidized form of bromide--bromine--is stored in the fat tissues. Taking iodine in physiologic doses can help to competitively inhibit the binding of bromine. Also, iodine supplementation allows the body to detoxify itself from bromine, while retaining iodine.
    So much so that even endocrinologists are misinterpreting results and have learned that only T4 medication is necessary without T3. I mean for goodness sakes, going on a tangent that is relevant, they teach people in medical school that celiac disease, gluten or wheat intolerance, is so rare that less than 1% of the population have it and its almost a myth. My mother has it. Lo and beheld supermarket shelves now stock gluten free bread, is that because there is less than 1% of the population who are gluten intolerant, nope. And then my mother is surprised to find that she has a thyroid condition now as I kept telling her, that is connected. Issues mayn't necessarily be due to depression exclusively.

  3. #103
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    It takes intuitive people who see past the red tape like Dr. Arem Ridha an endocrinologists whose view is that

    Scientists now consider thyroid hormone one of the major "players" in brain chemistry disorders. And as with any brain chemical disorder, until treated correctly, thyroid hormone imbalance has serious effects on the patient's emotions and behavior.

    Once the important thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, are released into your blooodstream, they enter cells of organs and play an important role in regulating major functions in the body. Adequate amounts of thyroid hormone are also required throughout your life if your brain is to function normally. Most of your cognitive abilities -- such as concentration, memory, and attention span -- as well as mood and emotions depend on normal thyroid hormone levels. Mounting evidence suggest that T3, the most potent form of thyroid hormone, is a bona fide brain chemical. It is found in the junction of nerve (synapse) cells that allow these cells to communicate with one another. This thyroid hormone also regulates the levels and actions of serotonin, noradrenaline, and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), now accepted as the main chemical transmitters implicated in both depression and some anxiety disorders. Maintaining normal serotonin and noradrenaline levels in the brain depends to a great extent on whether the correct amount of T3 is available. Extensive animal and human research has led scientists to conclude that serotonin levels in the brain decrease if T3 is not delivered in the right amount. Also, a deficit of T3 in the brain is likely to result in noradrenaline's working inefficiently as a chemical transmitter, and noradrenaline deficiency or inefficiency is, in some people, the chemical reason for depression.
    I'll reemphasis how can that not be the case if brain cells have more T3 receptors than any other tissues, which means that a proper uptake of thyroid hormone is essential for the brain cells to work properly. Of course it mayn't necessarily always be just a single hormone, thyroid is just the most prominent in regards to depression and other issues.

    Just a thought I guess.

  4. #104
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    ^True. This is recognised by general medical practitioners.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    I recommend to you all Viginia Heffernan's great essay on depression from Unholy Ghost. I want to share excerpts because I think they can give an insight to people who have never experienced depression and because I think they illustrate the haywire rumination well. She describes how she viewed her depression, not as a sickness, but as work. Classified work with a strict confidentiality clause. her theory that most alarms her loved ones:
    so these passages sound to me like example of rumination the OP was discussing. So what then?
    That was interesting. Thanks for posting.
    I wonder why depressives are such gifted writers/
    writers are such gifted depressives...?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    I think it is good to recognize that all sad feelings do not constitute depression. I think people are too quick to casually say they are depressed when they just mean sad. And I do think it is good to express depth of emotion and feelings, obviously it has given the world many timeless works of art. But when it comes to celebrating the thinking process of the depressed mind, I get wary. As a person who ruminates, I appreciate the benefits of this thoughtfulness, this kind of temperament. But I think that in depression it typically leads nowhere but down.
    But sometimes sad feelings do lead to depression. I reject the notion that it is only depression if you need to implement heroic efforts to overcome it, or it really wasn't depression at all. Depression, just like any other human emotion, carries with it many expressions and manifestations, perhaps even stages. Where someone needs intervention depends on their individual brain chemistry, mindful ability, and social circumstances. A 'sad' person might elect to take daily zoloft, whereas a truly depressed person might elect to ride it out and see what they can glean on the other side of the psyche.

    I recommend to you all Viginia Heffernan's great essay on depression from Unholy Ghost. I want to share excerpts because I think they can give an insight to people who have never experienced depression and because I think they illustrate the haywire rumination well. She describes how she viewed her depression, not as a sickness, but as work. Classified work with a strict confidentiality clause. her theory that most alarms her loved ones:
    so these passages sound to me like example of rumination the OP was discussing.

    "...when it hit me. I didn't need a cure; I wasn't depressed at all. I had broken free, in fact, and was out from under some social tyranny. I was let loose into a liberty of desperate unhappiness, which was in fact glory. Maybe I was getting a true religion, after my lifetime of shallow faith; maybe these were revelations that would enlighten and stabilize me or even raise me up."


    "I took the antidepressant the next day and almost immediately I began shelving the voluminous theories that had occupied my mind for six months. That was humbling. It seemed I had been working in isolation on dead-end research. My special, classified work had produced mostly obsolete and esoteric exercises. And the questions I had considered matters of life and death now struck me as a style of toy thinking (akin to "Does Truth exist?" and "How do we really know what the color 'blue' is?") to be put aside in adulthood. Even now it scares me to realize that my months of depression study came to so little; maybe I haven't realized it yet.So what then?"
    I think this is lovely. But it's not unusual or unique to feel this way in life. She expresses a lot of questioning during her depression, and crying. I see this as grieving of the soul for events that transpired that she did not share here. Depression is part of the grief process. That's why I said to Morgan earlier that depression usually always occurs when something has happened to us; when Life happens. The grief process is: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

    When the author goes on to say the she "broke free" and it felt like relief, even though she describes it as "desperate unhappiness," I see this as her ending the loop of mental thought that goes nowhere (or rumination of the problem that has caused her depression) if you will. And an acceptance that some things cannot be understood, only given up. It felt like relief because her mind accepted that it would never understand some things; those things that were foremost in her mind, or her history.

    Unlike her family, I see this as a sign of progress, of moving forward into acceptance of something hard which has happened; the beginning of the final stage of the grief process, acceptance. If she hadn't turned to drugs the very next day, she could have gone on to feel better and better. Or she could have kept cycling through the whole thing over and over again. Giving up and letting go is a hard place to get to, and those who try to end their grieving before getting to this place, are missing out on one of the great growing opportunities life gives us; an experience that can help us tap into greater depth and wisdom than we knew before; a happiness heretofore unknown.

    I think humans do their greatest work when we are blissfully happy or mournfully sad. At these times we tap into a mind deeper than can be reached by 'normal' living. Most people don't want to be sad or depressed, especially today when time is money, and when our social net is broken. We don't know how to be sad or depressed anymore. Therefore it scares us; we fear the worst. If you think about it, we reject all hard feelings either way; we pop pills for pain consistently, physical pain or emotional pain; for being awake too much, for being too tired, for being too grumpy, for being too hungry, for having a mild infection, for everything. And if it's not pharmacological agents, it's recreational drugs or alcohol. We are afraid of being human, simply put.

    Quote Originally Posted by Synapse View Post
    Consider this

    What do you think the use of aluminum in deodorants and other products, fluoride in drinking water and products, bisphenol A and xenoestrogens in plastics, bromide in bread and other products, thimerosal in vaccinations, mercury in dental fillings and many more plus a lack of iodine in food, lack of magnesium in the diet, lack of zinc in the diet, lack of selenium, lack of tyrosine the building blocks of thyroid health and more have in common…endocrine disruption and regulation…wearing down the body to deplete serotonin levels. Replacing the right stuff with the wrong stuff, there is more but I'm trying to show people the current thinking is at best weak.

    Just one example.

    Brownstein. Halogens: fluorine, chlorine, bromine -- Research

    So much so that even endocrinologists are misinterpreting results and have learned that only T4 medication is necessary without T3. I mean for goodness sakes, going on a tangent that is relevant, they teach people in medical school that celiac disease, gluten or wheat intolerance, is so rare that less than 1% of the population have it and its almost a myth. My mother has it. Lo and beheld supermarket shelves now stock gluten free bread, is that because there is less than 1% of the population who are gluten intolerant, nope. And then my mother is surprised to find that she has a thyroid condition now as I kept telling her, that is connected. Issues mayn't necessarily be due to depression exclusively.
    You are right that there are so many overlooked common deficiencies that can cause us to be sick. As for T3 and serotonin, it looks like there is some debate about the efficacy of that etiology any more.

    Most antidepressant medications increase the levels of one or more of the monoamines—the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine—in the synaptic cleft between neurons in the brain. Serotonin is hypothesized to help regulate other neurotransmitter systems; decreased serotonin activity may allow these systems to act in unusual and erratic ways.

    In the past two decades, research has revealed multiple limitations of the monoamine hypothesis. Experiments with pharmacological agents that cause depletion of monoamines have shown that this depletion does not cause depression in healthy people nor does it worsen symptoms in depressed patients—although an intact monoamine system is necessary for antidepressants to achieve therapeutic effectiveness. According to an essay published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), the monoamine hypothesis, already limited, has been further oversimplified when presented to the general public as a mass marketing tool.
    So, again, other things must be going on in the brain.
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  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synapse View Post
    It takes intuitive people who see past the red tape like Dr. Arem Ridha an endocrinologists whose view is that



    I'll reemphasis how can that not be the case if brain cells have more T3 receptors than any other tissues, which means that a proper uptake of thyroid hormone is essential for the brain cells to work properly. Of course it mayn't necessarily always be just a single hormone, thyroid is just the most prominent in regards to depression and other issues.

    Just a thought I guess.
    I suffered from undiagnosed hypothyroidism for about ten years. (TSH>200, at least I win at something).

    It induces a strong sens of slowness and mental lethargy. Some fatigue, but overall an inability to enjoy and find pleasure in things. You become sort of robotic.

    When people are treated for hypothyroidism, many find supplementation with T4 only to leave them very depressed and tired-where if they take natural thyroid replacements T4/T3 synthetic mixes they feel much better.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synapse View Post
    And your missing the point, why is it that happens in the first place?

    I know that, I've studied this for a long time, I think going through severe depression for 15 years would make a person want to understand everything that is happening to them wouldn't you?

    I disagree on the 30%, more like 80%. Your friend in psychology and psychiatry is being misled and shall either notice the red tape after awhile or turn a blind eye to it.

    Did you know the endocrine system is a system of glands, each of which secretes hormones. Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers that regulate the body. They influence almost every cell, organ and function of our bodies…when they are disrupted then do you think its just a mental problem that is due to a lack of serotonin uptake.
    I'm quite familiar with the chemistry of the body it just so happens to be a major portion of a couple of my doctorate research projects. Either way there is no need for hostility, you are free to maintain whatever opinions you like. Sure suffering with something for 15 years can motivate someone to spend time researching it, but that doesn't guarantee expertise in all areas related to the topic nor does the fact that I do not suffer from depression invalidate my input. My friend is PhD/MD in psyche/psychiatry and I am a graduate student working on my PhD. I collaborated with him a few years ago on the chemistry side of one of his PhD projects which focused directly on the synthesis of neurotransmitters and certain potential anit-depressants. Therefore I have also obtained a certain amount of knowledge related to this topic and you are free to take or leave my input as you see fit.


    However, the fact is simply that the principle monoamines are critical in both the cause and regulation of abnormal brain chemistry. Why this happens in the first place can have many different causes(genetic, biochemical, and/or environmental). The connection with the endocrine system and depression would have more to do with the hypothalamus which is regulated by some of the same neurotransmitters associated with depression. The endocrine system monitors the hormone levels in the body etc, and it is possible that the changes in brain chemistry can effect hormone levels which would in turn effect the endocrine system but that system is not the cause of depression.

    Many of our biological pathways are interconnected - often in ways we have not yet fully defined. Upregulation/downregulation of different pathways caused by excess or shortage of metabolites is not always predictable. If you were to receive a specified hormone treatment to assist the endocrine system and mask your symptoms of depression there is no guarantee that different symptoms would not manifest somewhere else since this would not address the root cause which is disruption of the delicate chemical equilibrium of the key monoamines/neurotransmitters associated with your brain chemistry. Their shortage or excess will simply materialize in the form of disruption somewhere else along the interconnected network of biological pathways which may or may not result in physiological symptoms.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by aphrodite-gone-awry View Post
    So, again, other things must be going on in the brain.
    Of course there are other things going on in the brain. That's the example of the primary issue, though the theme is the same.

    When the immune system is repressed as it tends to do through various good intentions and innovations there is a lot going on and that was the primary. I hardly took a look at sugar, and how the immune system responds when damaged and weakened leaving the intestinal flora to candida overgrowth which goes back to a whole host of other bacteria to flourish like mycoplasma that funnily enough tends to be in some vaccines too, looks at it a bit.

    Mycoplasma

    Most of us have an immune system which can eradicate mycoplasma. In people without an optimal immune system, mycoplasma can cause both acute and chronic infections.
    Symptoms are caused by the release of 3 types of toxins into the blood:
    1. Endocytokines that cause inflammation and pain.
    2. Neurocytokines that produce neurological symptoms including the demyelinisation found in multiple sclerosis and psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety.
    3. Allergens causing allergies.
    Mycoplasma infections can be occult. That means they can be asymptomatic and lie dormant until another bacteria, virus, parasite, stress or toxin activates it and causes the symptomatic phase.
    Not normally a problem because the intestinal flora that is healthy will regulate this but when you deplete your reserves in essential minerals that are being replaced by deleterious toxins like fluoride, bromide, chloride and the like that compete for the same ions as iodine and the like then this destroys your bodies capacity to manufacture the right elements to be healthy, magnesium and zinc come to mind. And that goes without saying the effect of heavy metals that are a causative factor in endocrine disruption.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    I suffered from undiagnosed hypothyroidism for about ten years. (TSH>200, at least I win at something).

    It induces a strong sens of slowness and mental lethargy. Some fatigue, but overall an inability to enjoy and find pleasure in things. You become sort of robotic.

    When people are treated for hypothyroidism, many find supplementation with T4 only to leave them very depressed and tired-where if they take natural thyroid replacements T4/T3 synthetic mixes they feel much better.
    Yep, it can be a contentious issue especially with the Gq/11 connection. Its ridiculous that is how it ends up, I can relate.

    The Gq/11 connection
    The effectiveness within the cells themselves of thyroid hormone, and we’re now talking about liothyronine (T3), in raising the metabolic activity of the cell, is governed by substances which switch the process on, or switch it off. The alpha-adrenergic receptors are one such, and the enzyme phosphodiesterase is another. But of crucial importance are the G1 proteins, of which for thyroid receptors there are four, two to switch on and two to switch off. The chief and most important switcher off is the one called Gq/11.

    The object of the Gq/11 especially is to inhibit or slow down the activity if T3 in stimulating cellular metabolism. If blood thyroid hormones are low, this is picked up by the hypothalamus and it respond by producing TRH, which now is passed to the pituitary to stimulate it to produce more TSH. TSH stimulates the thyroid to produce T4 & T3, but the T3 stimulates the production of Gq/11, which reduces the activity of T3 in the cell until blood levels have normalized. This is all very well and good unless there is, for some reason, an abnormal exaggerated over-activity of Gq/11. This, it turns out can happen under influence of fluoride compounds, and silica, beryllium and aluminum; the result is that the metabolic activity of the cell is wrongly reduced.

    It gets worse. Some fluoride compounds actually prevent the TRH – from the hypothalamus – binding to the pituitary cells which make TSH. Consequently, the circulating TSH drops even though (due to low thyroid levels) it should be high. This of course means the TSH blood test may be quite wrong. So we have two really awful problems to worry about. One is that the Gq/11 proteins in our modern polluted environment may overwork and shut down thyroid activity – thus reducing metabolism – and the other is that if this does happen, blood tests may not show it, especially the widely used TSH test.

    Unfortunately, we cannot even leave it here. We noted that these Gq/11 proteins are over-activated by the presence of fluoride, and that fluoride can also work to reduce TSH output; but fluoride has not finished its evil work yet. Fluoride can actually displace the iodine in thyroid compounds, which means those with fluoride in their makeup don’t work, although blood tests will show no sign of this, since being halogens the chemical response is the same. And if that wasn’t enough, the conversion of T4 to T3 can also be interfered with. What happens here is that the 5’-deiodinase enzymes are targeted and reverse T3 in manufactured at the expense of normal T3, which as you will recall is biologically inactive, promoting a hypothyroid state.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by spin-1/2-nuclei View Post
    I'm quite familiar with the chemistry of the body it just so happens to be a major portion of a couple of my doctorate research projects. Either way there is no need for hostility, you are free to maintain whatever opinions you like. Sure suffering with something for 15 years can motivate someone to spend time researching it, but that doesn't guarantee expertise in all areas related to the topic nor does the fact that I do not suffer from depression invalidate my input. My friend is PhD/MD in psyche/psychiatry and I am a graduate student working on my PhD. I collaborated with him a few years ago on the chemistry side of one of his PhD projects which focused directly on the synthesis of neurotransmitters and certain potential anit-depressants. Therefore I have also obtained a certain amount of knowledge related to this topic and you are free to take or leave my input as you see fit.

    However, the fact is simply that the principle monoamines are critical in both the cause and regulation of abnormal brain chemistry. Why this happens in the first place can have many different causes(genetic, biochemical, and/or environmental). The connection with the endocrine system and depression would have more to do with the hypothalamus which is regulated by some of the same neurotransmitters associated with depression. The endocrine system monitors the hormone levels in the body etc, and it is possible that the changes in brain chemistry can effect hormone levels which would in turn effect the endocrine system but that system is not the cause of depression.

    Many of our biological pathways are interconnected - often in ways we have not yet fully defined. Upregulation/downregulation of different pathways caused by excess or shortage of metabolites is not always predictable. If you were to receive a specified hormone treatment to assist the endocrine system and mask your symptoms of depression there is no guarantee that different symptoms would not manifest somewhere else since this would not address the root cause which is disruption of the delicate chemical equilibrium of the key monoamines/neurotransmitters associated with your brain chemistry. Their shortage or excess will simply materialize in the form of disruption somewhere else along the interconnected network of biological pathways which may or may not result in physiological symptoms.
    I disagree with you to a certain extent.

    And agree they are very connected. And yes shortages are going to create problems, the root causes that disrupt the delicate chemical equilibrium and yes monoaminos are associated with brain chemistry, should that be the focus and then what, hormones are supposed to be the side kick!? When they are the primary issue in the role of depression and a host of issues?

    Funnily enough fluoride masks hormonal function, being a neurotoxin. But then I hardly talked about estrogen and testosterone mimicking substances like plastics and how that affects the brain amongst other things? Its very systemic actually, the progression to degeneration of the mind and the body and its got everything to do with the immune system and hormonal function you could say monamine, dopamine, serotonine, noradrenaline is part of the smaller picture…

    Its like a good jigsaw puzzle, to put all the pieces together is the best outcome unfortunately people tend to focus on a part of the jigsaw without looking at many pieces of the jigsaw.

    Does it not seem strange that diabetes seems to have similar symptoms to thyroid states, the exception being the poor functioning of insulin.

    How can you be so sure that the endocrine system isn't the cause. If its a trigger point then wouldn't it makes sense it starts there and not the other way around.

    What about demyelinisation. The Myelin Sheath is very important in the transportation of appropriate signals between the brain and the nerve signals in the body right. What do you think would thin the myelin sheath? The immune system may play a role in demyelination causing demyelination by overproduction of cytokines via upregulation of interferon.

    And what about the role of estrogen, testosterone and melatonin aren't they influenced by the endocrine system, and the pituitary, adrenal, pineal, thymus glands, pancreas, kidney and liver too, more hormones and their functionality in the brain would be dismissed.

    Then would that mean now that my depression went away and chronic fatigue and hypoglycemia formed in its stead from adrenal burnout that I'll get depressed again like I used, nope.

    Would post natal depression be mental disorder and not a thyroid disorder? Even though when the baby is born they deplete the mothers hormonal levels leaving the mother lacking in thyroid hormone. Then would it be appropriate to put them on anti depressants when its a hormonal imbalance funnily enough because the 'diagnosis' tends to say otherwise.

    Looks into it.

    Main Frame in AnPhystemplate

    Structurally many of the endocrine systems glands and tissues are rooted in the nervous system, Such glands as the hypothalamus and posterior pituitary are examples of nerve tissues that influence the function of a gland and it’s secretion of hormones. Not only does the hypothalamus secrete hormones into the bloodstream, but it regulates the release of hormones in the posterior pituitary gland. Those that are not made of nervous tissue once were. The adrenal medulla is derived from the same cells that produce certain ganglia.

    Chemically both the endocrine and nervous system function in communication by means of the same transmitters but use them in different ways. Hormones are utilized by both systems in signaling an example of this can be seen in the use of Norepinephrine. Norepineprine functions as a neurotransmitter in the nervous system and as an adrenal hormone in the endocrine system.
    There has been a great deal of interest in the relationship between hormones and behavior and it has been found that the natural variation in the amount of hormones present is correlated with variation in behavior.

    Due to the possible implications of gender issues this research is controversial. The same can happen with males. Thyroid hormones can also influence a person's mood due to the changes in the thyroid's activity. Little is known about the mechanisms by which thyroid hormones elevate mood, but it has a connection to the neural functions in the brain, which have influence over hormone release.
    Consider this, causes of neurotransmitter failure whose failure results in depressive illness.
    1. Increased a2 -adrenergic receptors. These receptors respond (or bind) to noradrenaline (called norepinephrine in the USA), which acts in the brain as a neurotransmitter, being secreted by certain specialist brain cells. The noradrenaline passes to the hippocampus (the part of the brain especially concerned with the maintenance of mood) and promotes mood elevation. If any mechanism inhibits the production of the noradrenaline it will result in depression. Loss of proper levels of thyroid hormone or resistance to its uptake will do this. Low thyroid hormone causes extra levels or extra activity of these adrenergic receptors, hence causing depression

    2. Decreased β-adrenergic receptors. On the other hand, loss of thyroid hormone activity lessens b-adrenergic receptors, allowing a dominance of the a2-adrenergic receptors. The overall effect is a slowing down of intracellular metabolism. As we saw, the increased density of a2-adrenergic receptors and the decreased levels in the brain of noradrenaline are one major cause of the depression seen in hypothyroid patients (and those suffering from fibromyalgia/ME/CFS).

    3. Low serotonin. Serotonin is a fundamental component of the neurotransmitter hierarchy, its main role being its involvement in emotional states. Receptors bind serotonin released by neurons, and the amount of serotonin produced and bound is reduced in depression. Deficiency of thyroid hormone will reduce the amount of serotonin binding. The standard therapy is the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which lessen the natural decay of the serotonin, so allowing it to remain longer in the synaptic area ( that is, the area between the neurotransmitter and the receiver cell) – which therefore increase the overall concentration. This enables the mood to return to normal. Obviously then, when thyroid hormone is deficient, as soon as replacement is provided, the situation will return to normal without an SSRI.

    4. Monoamine oxide activity. The noradrenaline we were looking at earlier is removed (like serotonin) by a process of deamination (removal of NH2 radical), by an enzyme called monoamine oxidase working at other synaptic areas. This enzyme activity increases with low thyroid states, so more of the noradrenaline is degraded – which then lowers the mood. No longer much used, themonoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) group of antidepressants work to lessen the activity of the enzyme, so increasing the available noradrenaline and thus making us more cheerful. Where there is reduced thyroid function the supplementation of thyroid hormone will have the same effect on the enzyme system without using MAOI.]

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