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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Is Desensitization of Nervous System Receptors A Good Thing ? Is 'Desensitization' A Natural Process?

A : It depends on the Receptor being Desensitized - It's impossible to generalize the effects of 'desensitization' if we do not define the Receptor being desensitized.

Additionally, it depends on the *reason* and pathway of desensitization.

Example ::: 5-HT(1)A Autoreceptors may be desensitized by Stress; in which case, serotonin release is increased pathologically, but , in addition to this, other important receptors are downregulated thus discriminating the two effects under the blanket of one central stress response becomes difficult. 

Under other physiological conditions, such as depressed neural connections and synaptic connectivity, certain receptors being desensitized can be beneficial to bridging new connections and creating new neurons.

Is Desensitization A Natural Process?
  1. It certainly can be, some Receptors can get desensitized after being exposed to endogenous hormones Cortisol and Estrogen; which are secreted during Stress and hormone surges/ovulation - Respectively.
  2. Many natural compounds and pharmaceutical agents produce desensitization of certain receptors; keep in mind , this is not always a bad thing, again, it depends on what receptors are being desensitized.
  3. Desensitization , thus, is NOT purely a pharmaceutical - induced - is both natural, and chemical induced , depending on other factors ; both endogenous (natural, within the body) and external factors (from the outside, dietary etc, exposure to chemicals, like heavy metals).


A: Much of the Research of Depression is botched based on conflicting pharmacology's of researched compounds - in essence, there aren't enough  'CLEAN' pharmaceutical agents to produce a higher 'absolute consistency' in study results. 

  • Research shows that desensitization is not necessary in terms of one receptor OR another to treat Depression, but under certain gene conditions; where one has a family history of Depression and specific allele's / gene alterations , defined by science, then desensitization may be the way to Go..
  • However, desensitization can be beneficial because it bypasses the need for multiple mechanisms to be used in increasing one neurotransmitter; specifically with the serotonin system (1A,1B).

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