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The Mayor
503 Posts
This is what I have been working on today, it's part of a take home final.
Can anyone help?:r
Question I. (50 points) Dr. White
As discussed in the nervous system lectures, many mental illnesses, including depression, result from over activity of the monoamine neurotransmitters. Given this fact, when considering developing a medication to treat depression, one would logically assume that since the problem is over activity (i.e., overproduction and secretion) of the neurotransmitter, that the strategy to treat these disorders would work to reduce production and/or secretion of that neurotransmitter. For the following questions, you must develop a hypothesis to explain the observed phenomena.
Upon further consideration, however, this solution of reducing neurotransmitter synthesis or secretion CANNOT work.

Q1) What would be a reason why this solution cannot work?

Furthermore, when examining the mechanism by which the medications work, it turns out that they all involve reducing the reuptake of the secreted neurotransmitter by the presynaptic neuron. This, at first, seems counterintuitive since this approach results in increased presence of neurotransmitter in the synaptic cleft. This approach does, however, work. In light of these facts, provide answers to the following questions.

Q2) What will happen to the presynaptic neuron’s production of neurotransmitter once the patient starts taking this medication (initially and over time)?

Q3) What changes will occur in the postsynaptic neuron once the patient starts taking this medication?

Q4) Why does it take 6-8 weeks for the medication to begin to produce positive results (in terms of reduction of their symptoms) for the patient?

Q5) Why do some patients report feelings of “jitteriness” or “hyperactivity” during these first 6 – 8 weeks of taking the medicine?

Q6) Why must the patient take the medication for a minimum of 6 – 12 months? Your answer must be in the context of cellular changes within the neurons.

Q7) Why do some patients begin spiraling downward back into depression once they stop taking their medication after 12 months? Your answer must be in the context of cellular changes within the neurons.

Q8) Why do some patients no longer suffer from depression as a result of taking this medication and can discontinue it after 12 months? (Assume their depression was not the result of an acute event, e.g., unexpected death of a loved one) Your answer must be in the context of cellular changes within the neurons.
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