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The Importance of the Periphery in Depression

Geerlofs, Anne, AJ (2023) The Importance of the Periphery in Depression. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.


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Depression is a common mental disorder that is characterized by a low mood and the inability to experience pleasure. The disease is currently the leading cause of disability worldwide and its prevalence is still increasing. Depression is caused by a depletion in serotonin levels. Current treatment methods aim to increase serotonin levels in the brain. Most of the serotonin in our body is actually produced in the periphery and not in the brain. It has been established that the periphery and the brain interact with each other via the gut-brain axis. Depressive patients often show gut problems and conversely, individuals with gut problems show often depressive-like symptoms. The gut microbiota plays a key role in this bidirectional communication system. Dysbiosis in the gut has been associated with several mental disorders including depression. Diet seems to be an important factor in the development of dysbiosis and thereby in the development of depression. Future research should look beyond treatments that aim to directly increase serotonin levels in the brain and should give attention to the periphery instead. Novel treatments that seem to be effective in restoring the gut microbiota are fecal microbial transplantations, probiotics and changing the diet of depressed patients.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor name: Scheurink, A.J.W.
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2023 11:39
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2023 11:39

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