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Benefits of vitamin D treatment for major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder: an overview of the efficacy and suitability of Vitamin D as a treatment option versus conventional treatment

Waalboer, Michiel (2018) Benefits of vitamin D treatment for major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder: an overview of the efficacy and suitability of Vitamin D as a treatment option versus conventional treatment. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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Abstract

Depression is a mental health condition that affects all aspects of human life. It is characterised by negative emotions, anhedonia or even physical discomfort. The precise mechanisms that underlie this disease remain elusive. Nevertheless, there exist several treatment options that help alleviate some of the symptoms that are affiliated with depression. Pharmacological treatments that target the dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways inside brain are often used to treat various forms of depression and can be effective in some cases. However these type of treatments are associated with unwanted side effects. Because to this day no ideal treatment method has been found, it is pivotal to explore alternative methods of treatment. Vitamin D is believed to play a key role for the synthesis of dopamine and serotonin and might therefore be an interesting key player in depression. Low serum levels of vitamin D appear to be positively correlated with the occurrence of depression. However, not all people who are depressed also suffer from low levels of vitamin D. Although it can be difficult to establish a cause and effect relationship, most studies conclude that low levels of vitamin D are associated with depression. In conjunction with more traditional approaches, vitamin D treatment can therefore be worth considering as a viable treatment option. In conclusion, hard evidence that vitamin D could be used to actually prevent or cure depression altogether is at this point unsubstantiated. Therefore recommending vitamin D as the sole treatment for depression is not founded in research. Future research is necessary to conclude on whether or not vitamin D should be advised to use for patients who are suffering from depression.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Supervisor:
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Olivier, J.D.A.J.D.A.Olivier@rug.nl
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2018
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2018 07:54
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/18248

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