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September 4, 2012
Depression is a very common health condition of modern people. Though this disorder may not look like something serious, it actually carries plenty of hidden risks and dangers to our overall health. Depression, especially chronic depression, is linked to increased risks of obesity, high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular diseases. It can lead to various emotional, psychological, and even mental problems, starting from inability to do our normal daily activities, and ending up with panic attacks or suicidal thoughts. Such factors as physical changes in human brain and hormonal shifts, imbalances related to neurotransmitters function, childhood traumas, life events, and genetic predisposition are named among possible causes of depression. Fortunately, there are plenty of effective strategies and techniques to help us treating depressions, including medications, special therapeutic programs and recovery groups, relaxation techniques, physical exercises, hobbies, homemade and herbal remedies for depression, and many more.
It is interesting that quite often today’s scientists come up with new approaches and ways of treating depression. For example, it’s been recently announced that body scraping can help in combating winter depression as a seasonal affective disorder. Also, according to a recent publication in the Journal of Affective Disorders, walking in a park or other natural environment can be considered a great natural depression treatment even for those who suffer from clinical depression. Such techniques can be used along with medication treatment, to support the effects of antidepressants. As the findings of the most recent study suggest, using fragrance of flowers like daffodils or South African species of snowdrops can be of a great help when treating depression. The tests of a group of scientists at the University of Copenhagen have shown that this kind of flowers contain a special compound which can pass through defensive blood brain barrier that keeps brain isolated during depression attacks.
This barrier is actually the main problem for specialists when treating depression and other related brain conditions since this barrier is really hard to break through. It was discovered that this barrier is formed from certain proteins which push active compounds in medications, decreasing the effects of antidepressants. As a rule, up to nine of ten compounds of the most common antidepressants can not actually enter the brain and relieve its condition during chronic depression. The findings of Danish scientists can say a new word in treating depression and creating new effective natural depression treatments which would include the discovered compounds of daffodils (Cyrtanthus) or African flowers (Crinum). According to the report about the study published recently in one of the issues of the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, the natural compounds discovered by Danish scientists can be of a great help for delivering active compounds of anti-depressants and drugs to the brain.
‘We examined various compounds for their influence on the transporter proteins in the brain. Our results are promising, and several of the chemical compounds studied should therefore be tested further, as candidates for long-term drug development,’ Professor Birger Brodin, one of the authors of the study and an expert at the University of Copenhagen, commented on the findings of his scientific group. He said that studying natural compounds and potential natural approaches to treating depression are very inspiring because they can give us very valuable knowledge to be used in a very wide variety of contexts. Prof. Brodin underlined that the study should be considered preliminary and further research is necessary before the discovered compound could be developed and released as an effective depression treatment to support the effects of antidepressants. Click here to find more information about this interesting study and the findings of Danish experts related to new effective techniques for treating depression.
Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.