Major Depressive Disorder is a complex & one of the most challenging condition which is on the rise among students and teens.
There are so many factors in the life of a student which can contribute to risk factors of depression. Unrealistic academic, social, or family expectations, peer pressure and changing bodies can bring a lot of ups and downs for teens & students, this can create a strong sense of rejection and can lead to deep disappointment.
When things go wrong at college or at home, students often overreact. Many young people feel that life is not fair or that things "never go their way." They feel "stressed out" and confused. To make matters worse, young people are bombarded by conflicting messages from parents, friends and society, a lack of sleep, poor eating habits, and not enough exercise adds up to the recipe for depression.
Today’s teens/students see more of what life has to offer — both good and bad — on television, at school/college, in magazines and on the Internet. And then there is this problem with young love! A breakup will precipitate a bout of depressive feelings. Risks of depression related to a breakup include intrusive thoughts, difficulty controlling those thoughts, and trouble sleeping. As many as 53 percent of students experience insomnia in the months following a breakup.
For some students, the lows are more than just temporary feelings — they're a symptom of depression.
As we know that almost every student goes through these situations, only some will suffer from chronic depression & that's definitely not their mistake.
Technically speaking, as an organism grows and develops, carefully orchestrated chemical reactions activate and deactivate parts of the genome at strategic times and in specific locations. These reactions are influenced by several factors including age, the environment/lifestyle, and disease state. Epigenomes are responsible for these chemical reactions & heritable changes in gene expression that does not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence — a change in phenotype without a change in genotype — which in turn affects how cells read the genes.
This means our experiences or history can very much affect our phenotype & the chances of getting specific diseases. For example Students who had experienced neglect or abuse during childhood, had an insecure attachment style, felt more betrayed, and were more unprepared for the breakup, 70% of such students suffered chronic depression or MDD afterwards.
To be clear depression isn't a weakness or something that can be overcome with willpower, it can have serious consequences and in current scenario it requires long-term treatment. The problem with current treatment methods is that they cannot cure depression, they can only reduce the symptoms.
Current treatment methods that can reduce the symptoms of depression includes:
They way both of these effective medications including the antidepressants & Nootropics work is by altering the balance of certain chemicals in the brain. And, as with all medicines, this change can cause many side effects including the Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome is a condition that can occur following the interruption, dose reduction, or discontinuation of antidepressant drugs, including selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors(SSRIs) or serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
As we discussed earlier, none of the current treatment methods can cure depression because they only hide the symptoms. The reason for this is that the cause of depression is still a topic of debate & discussions, most recent studies shows that Major Depressive Disorders can be linked to our genes itself or at least to our epigenome which is responsible for altering our genome functions.
If we can alter or inhibit the causative gene we can permanently cure the depression without any long term medications which are in most case addictive Psychotherapeutics.
Studies have shown that 85% of the depressed students had a severe form of the disorder called melancholia, which robs people of the ability to feel joy. Similar studies have found two genetic sequences that seemed to be linked to depression: one in a stretch of DNA that codes for an enzyme whose function is not fully understood, and the other next to the gene SIRT1, which is important for energy-producing cell structures called mitochondria. The mitochondrial connection chimes with many previous studies, including some from Flint’s lab3, that has linked mitochondrial abnormalities to depression.
These studies have opened new doors into finding the root cause of depression. We cannot confirm or even fully understand the genetic reasons for MDD unless we analyse exomes more deeply from more patients with Major depressive disorder coming from different nationalities and ethnicities.
This is where products like the B-EDWIG comes into help. With the advanced technologies like B-EDWIG which can produce read lengths of 900 base pairs and will be capable of producing up to 150 million reads within 2 hours, we can now understand our genome better.
Just understanding the cause will not have an effect on patients health & wellbeing unless we work on developing a potent treatment method, a method that can completely cure the disease.
Editing the affected part of the gene is a method under consideration.
At B-Aegis we are working hard on developing a precise & potent DNA editing technology which is based on the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats from Prevotella and Francisella 1, the B-CRISPR/Cpf1 method.
B-CRISPR/Cpf1 method offers us with more options when selecting an editing site by cutting DNA at different places. B-CRISPR/Cpf1 leaves one strand longer than the other, creating 'sticky' ends that are easier to work with. B-CRISPR/Cpf1 is much more able to insert new sequences at the cut site, compared to any other CRISPR methods.
As we are improving our technology & our understanding about life day by day,the future looks bright for humanity.
There will be a day when no one will have to be sad for no reason. There will be a day when everyone will find happiness in whatever they have.
Science is making our world a much better place.