For over 30 years, scientists believed that monoamines - chemicals such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine - are low in the brain during major depressive episodes. However, no one had ever found a convincing explanation for monoamine loss.
Dr. Jeffrey Meyer and colleagues discovered that in major depression, higher levels of MAO-A is the primary process that lowers monoamine levels. Having more MAO-A leads to greater breakdown of chemicals like serotonin.
Based on these results, and work from four previous publications, Dr. Meyer developed an advanced monoamine model of depression. This is a huge step forward in the disease frontier, the centre said in a news release. It brings the study of mental illness closer to the advancements seen in research into physical illness such as cardiac disease, and offers one of the most comprehensive disease models in mental illness.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's leading addiction and mental health teaching hospital. The centre has central facilities located in Toronto, Ontario and 26 community locations throughout the province. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto and is a Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. CAMH was formed in 1998 as a result of the merger of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, the Addiction Research Foundation, the Donwood Institute and Queen Street Mental Health Centre.
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