Scientists believe that the main “field” in which biochemical processes develop, leading to the manifestation of depression, are the structures of the so-called midbrain, located deep in it, under the cerebral cortex.
In essence, a closed, vicious circle arises: the processes developing in the nervous system affect the behavior of the patient with depression, and the behavior, in turn, affects the dynamics of these processes. On the one hand, being determines consciousness, and on the other , consciousness actively influences being …
Of particular importance are disorders that occur during depression in the so-called limbic system of the brain, which is responsible for the regulation of emotions and a number of other physiological processes.
Figuratively speaking, the limbic system is an ancient, “animal” brain inherited from us , on which, in the process of evolution, systems have “grown” that have become a unique property of man.
The limbic system includes several important structures. This is the hypothalamus – the center responsible for eating behavior, sleep and its regulation, human sexual activity, response to stress, and a number of other processes. The hypothalamus affects the work of the pituitary gland, which is a kind of “conductor” of the endocrine system, since it regulates the production of hormones in other endocrine glands. The hippocampus and amygdala, in turn, affect the motivational activity of a person associated with his drives and memory work.
With the help of modern methods of studying the brain, it was noted that during prolonged depression, its lateral ventricles often expand, which indicates the destruction of hippocampal cells.
It was also revealed that in a situation of chronic stress, the processes of nerve cells in the structures of the brain close to the stem sections atrophy . At the same time, the introduction of certain antidepressant drugs before the onset of stressful exposure prevented the process of destruction of nerve cells. This is one of the evidences of the effectiveness of correctly selected drug therapy, which affects deep biochemical processes.
Depression scientists have found an increase in the number of nerve cells in the hypothalamus. In his work, special substances called mediators play a huge role. They are directly related to depression. These are norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine.