Saturday October 20, 2018

Depression May Reduce Arginine Levels In Your Body

Arginine is an amino acid which the body uses to produce nitric oxide

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Over 5 crore people in India are known to suffer depressive disorders Pixabay
Over 5 crore people in India are known to suffer depressive disorders Pixabay
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  • People with depression have lower arginine levels
  • Taking arginine can help cure depression
  • The tests are still going on

People with a major depressive disorder (MDD) have lower levels of naturally occurring arginine in their body than their non-depressed controls, a study has found.

Arginine — an amino acid which the body uses to produce nitric oxide — is a nervous system and immune defence mediator, which also plays a role in vascular regulation.

Depression reduces arginine levels in the body. Wikimedia Commons
Depression reduces arginine levels in the body. Wikimedia Commons

“It is possible that depression-induced inflammatory responses lead to reduced arginine levels. This may result in insufficient production of nitric oxide for the needs of the nervous system and circulation. However, we don’t know yet what exactly causes reduced arginine bioavailability in people with depression,” said lead author Toni Ali-Sisto, a researcher at the University of Eastern Finland.

“Although our study shows that people with depression have reduced arginine bioavailability, this doesn’t mean that taking an arginine supplement would protect against depression. That’s an area for further research,” Ali-Sisto said.

Also Read: Eat Grapes To Ward Off Depression

The study, published in journal Affective Disorders, involved 99 adults with the diagnosed major depressive disorder and 253 non-depressed controls. The concentrations of three amino acids, namely arginine, citrulline and ornithine, were analysed from their fasting glucose samples, and this data was used to calculate their global arginine bioavailability ratio (GABR).

The GABR is an indicator of the body’s arginine levels, and the ratio has previously been used to measure the body’s capacity to produce nitric oxide.

Arginine can be used to reduce or even cure depression. VOA
Arginine can be used to reduce or even cure depression. VOA

The results showed that people with depression had weaker arginine bioavailability than their non-depressed controls.

However, in people who had recovered from depression the arginine bioavailability was found to be slightly higher than in people who remained depressed, the researchers said. IANS

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Depression in Children Stay Undetected by Parents and Teachers- Study

The gold standard for identifying children who might be at risk for developing depression later in life is to ask the children themselves

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Studies: More Green Space, Less Crime, Depression in Poor Areas Pixabay

Parents and teachers may find it difficult to detect depression in young children, that can affect their social skills and academics, a new study shows.

According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, as many as 2-3 per cent of children aged between 6-12 might have a major depressive disorder.

But parents and teachers face difficulties in recognising depression in children.

The findings, appearing in the Journal of School Psychology, showed that children who show mild to severe symptoms of depression in second and third grades are six times more likely to have skill deficits, such as difficulties with social skills or academics, than children without symptoms.

However, when teachers and parents were asked to rate a child’s level of depression, there was only about 5-10 per cent overlap in their ratings.

Depression
Parents and teachers face difficulties in recognising depression in children. Pixabay

“Some people would view that overlap as the truth about a child’s well-being and areas of disagreement as errors, but we need to explore the possibility that each of them are seeing different aspects of children’s behaviour and mental health,” said Keith Herman, professor in the University of Missouri (MU), College of Education.

For the study, the team completed profile analyses of 643 children in early elementary school to explore how patterns between student, teacher and parent reporting can be used to gain a holistic picture of a child’s mental health.

Herman suggested that mental health professionals could work with teachers and parents to identify depressive symptoms early by including self reports from children in mental health evaluations.

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“The gold standard for identifying children who might be at risk for developing depression later in life is to ask the children themselves,” noted Herman.

“However, even if a child doesn’t say they feel depressed, certain outward behaviours might provide clues to the state of the child’s mental health. It’s important for teachers and parents to catch these behaviours early to prevent long-term problems that occur with depression,” he said. (IANS)