I know that it is still summer and it may be a bit
early for talking about Seasonal Affective Disorder, however for those of you
that start getting sad when the weather turns, you might want to get ready to
rev up your biolights and/or get your medications ready.
I have found that many people start to get sad
as early as labor day. And speaking of depression
When you are depressed, the world really does look gray
A recent study has found that those who are depressed really do see the world differently. It has long been thought that depression alters our vision as regard to white/black contrasts. However, up until now, the studies relied on subjective data. A group of German scientists took 40 healthy people and showed them flashing checkerboards.
The researchers were able to study the retina response using a tool that works like an EKG for the eye. They found that those who were depressed had a sluggish response as compared to those who were not depressed. This response occurred regardless of whether the subjects were on antidepressants or not.
The researchers think that this response has to do with the fact that the cells in the eye that are responsible for helping us see contrast between black and white are dependent on dopamine. When dopamine is low, the contrast will not be as easy to decipher. Dopamine is low in depression.
The results of this study point out the fact that depression is more than a
state of mind. It is an illness. Hopefully, using this technique will help to
determine the effectiveness of certain antidepressant medications. Now,
physicians are dependent on trial and error and there are some that use
expensive specialized brain scans to help with determining proper medication.
This may be the start of a brighter future for many.