[Paleopsych] inner judges on the rampage

Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. ljohnson at solution-consulting.com
Thu Dec 16 15:09:20 UTC 2004

Your comment reminded me of the studies suggesting that the hippocampus 
atrophies secondary to long depression. Thus the depressed person cannot 
recall good experiences and is unable to make decisions. Psychotherapy 
or anti-depressants will prevent that atrophy.

Also, there is substantial evidence that fish oil, likely the EPA in 
fish oil, is a preventative of depression. Population studies (Iceland, 
Japan) show very low levels of depression among those who eat fish. The 
EPA seems to prevent inflammation, so clearly the body is attacking 
itself during depression.

DHEA is converted by the body from pregnenalone, but so is cortisol. 
Parasympathetic arousal produces DHEA, while sympathetic arousal 
produces cortisol. Cortisol is elevated in depressed persons and may be 
the agent causing the hippocampus artophy. Long-term cortisol elevation 
is damaging to the body. 90 mgs q day of DHEA was shown to reverse 

SAMe seems to treat depression well and there are some studies about it 
also helps slow arthritis, so the inflammation / self-attack notion 
seems to hold up there. If I were prone to depression, I would take it. 
Since I have osteoarthritis and a family history of heart attacks, I 
take fish oil and flax seed / walnuts, and they seem to help. I am 
planning on adding SAMe to keep my knees working until I am 70.

Ross' idea about two depressions is intriguing, and I would like to 
learn more about that.


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