Research: A Lifeline to Hope

Questions About Depression

For those who endure depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, research is a lifeline to hope. And since the “H” word is such a huge component of what we do here on chipur, it’s my responsibility to keep you dialed in.

We’ll always discuss specific coping strategies and techniques for the mood and anxiety disorders. But every so often it’s important to include a few tidbits about what’s going on in the world of research.

Granted, much of what we review may not have immediate impact upon your depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder circumstances. However, knowing what the world’s brightest minds are looking into and discovering generates hope.

Neuroscience 2011, organized by the Society for Neuroscience, is the premier venue for neuroscientists from around the globe to debut cutting-edge research on the brain and nervous system. This year it was held in Washington, DC, ending a week ago.

Here are just some of the revelations that hold the potential to bring relief for the mood and anxiety disorders…

Childhood anxiety and depression alter the way the amygdala (our emotional and fear response headquarters) connects to other regions of the brain. Understanding this dynamic may help explain how early life stress can lead to future emotional and behavioral issues. (Image credit: Life Science Databases)

Researchers have identified a brain chemical important to antidepressant response in mice. Granted, we’re talking mice; however, the findings may help in the design of therapies for the mood and anxiety disorders.


The connections between two specific areas of the brain – the prefrontal cortex and the dorsal raphe nucleus (located in the brainstem) – may contribute to depression. It’s been observed that stimulating these circuits in rats had an antidepressant effect.

Again, only a few tidbits, but the potential for significant future healing applications is great. Check-out what Neuroscience 2011 press conference moderator Carol Tamminga, MD had to say…

“If we can fully understand the roots of mental illness in brain circuitry and systems, we may be able to develop better treatment targets for the millions suffering from these diseases.”

Makes all the sense in the world to me! I’ll continue to keep you posted on research developments.

Thanks to for the resource material.

Would you like to read more chipur articles on the biology of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder? Just tap here.