Norepinephrine and Depression
Norepinephrine functions both a neurotransmitter and hormone in the body. It is classified as a catecholamine hormone which is significant in the body's fight or flee response. This hormone, also known as noradrenaline works hand in hand with epinephrine or adrenaline in responding to threatening and stressful situations. However, norepinephrine is related more to maintaining a normal heart rate, blood pressure and sugar levels as compared to adrenaline which gives the muscles the much needed boost to respond to certain situations. As neurotransmitters, they are classified monoamines. As a neurotransmitter, it is important for attentiveness, emotions, sleeping, dreaming, and learning. Norepinephrine has been suspected to have its role in causing depression since discovering that medications that reduce noradrenaline in the brain leads to depression. Norepinephrine is secreted by the adrenal medulla and is also produced by the nerve endings.
To maintain a normal mental and emotional function of the body, a certain level of norepinephrine must be sustained. It is important to bear in mind that this substance plays a critical role as a brain and body stimulant, thus, when there is a low level of norepinephrine present, depression symptoms may occur. Some of these symptoms may include lack of energy and motivation. Those with a low level of this hormone may have low energy and may be less alert than usual. Memory retention and loss of interest can also be noticeable. Low mood and low self-esteem may also be felt by a person with a low level norepinephrine.
These depression symptoms caused by low level norepinephrine may be treated. There are medications available to counter the effects of low level norepinephrine in the body and treat the depression symptoms associated with it. These drugs are formulated to target both dopamine and norepinephrine levels to revive a normal chemical balance in the brain.
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