What Is the Pathophysiology of Depression?

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While there is no conclusive evidence of specific pathophysiology of depression, the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that the bodily stress of major depressive disorder may cause minor or major physical disability. Disturbance of the central nervous system and altered hormone secretion are some of the potential negative consequences.

According to the Medical Dictionary, pathophysiology is the intersection between pathology, or what is observed, and physiology, or how a body alters or manifests a change. This means that pathophysiology refers to the physical changes that occur as a result of some kind of disease of other affectation.

According to Medscape, depression can alter brain function and limit effective neural communication in a way that may have long-term consequences. Cell structure deterioration and a reduction in the body’s ability to produce regulating hormones are additional consequences, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. WebMD relates that there appears to be a correlation between depression and the incidence of heart failure or strokes.

Severe depression also increases the risk of substance dependency, which can also lead to health problems, according to WebMD. Although the exact pathophysiology of depression is difficult to define, it is generally agreed that depression leads to other health issues.