Sample Nursing Paper on Effect of Depression on the Nervous System

Effect of Depression on the Nervous System

 The increase in cases of depressed individuals in different parts of the world can be linked to several aspects including the changing weather patterns, economic conditions, and individual complications. Most of the groups affected by this condition include smokers, stressed persons and those having medical problems. Moreover, depression affects different parts of the human body including the digestive, nervous and the immune systems (Schimelpfening, 2018). Some of its symptoms when it affects the nervous system include poor judgment, slowed breathing, increased confusion, and slowed heart rate. Moreover, it also affects other areas of the nervous system including neurotransmitters, synapses, and neuron function.

Effect on Neurotransmitters

 Primarily, neurotransmitters are responsible for mood regulation in the body and exist in three types including serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine. Depression in human beings results from the insufficiency of norepinephrine in certain parts of the brain. However, the change in this chemical has little or no effect of the mood. On serotonin deficiency has also been linked to cause of depression and the ability to control moods of an individual. Lastly, dopamine is the substance responsible associated with aspects such as reinforcement or reward in the body and also has a significant contribution to depression (Learn Tech, 2018). Considerably, the condition reduces the level of this neurotransmitter thus resulting in different symptoms including inability to concentrate, feeling overwhelmed, feeling miserable, indecisive and lack of confidence.

 When an individual suffers from depression, a limited amount of these chemicals are produced by the body thus resulting in a decreased ability to control one’s moods. Symptoms of this occasion can be linked to the reduced production of any of the neurotransmitters, lack of enough receptor sites, that the neurotransmitter may be taken back too quickly, short supply of chemical precursors and short supply of molecules that help in the production of neurotransmitters.

Effect Depression on Synapses

 The human brain uses cells called neurons to transfer chemical messages to other parts of the body. These cells are spaced by a tiny gap called the synapse. Thus in a simple communication chain in the human body, one neuron can send a message to another through the neurotransmitter across the synapse (Khan Academy, 2018). Specifically, the connections between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons facilitate synapses. These connections are made throughout the human body to help in easy conveying of any information developed in the brain. In the case of depression, the space between the axon and dendrite terminals of the sending and receiving neurons increases thus reducing the ability to transfer information to the affected cell or muscle. As such, depression minimizes the effectiveness of synapses thus delaying human response to different stimuli.

Effect of Depression Neuron Function

 Neurons are cells within the nervous system that communicate with each other and help in conveying messages from the brain to other parts of the body including muscles and gland cells. Basically, a neuron contains three essential parts including axon, the cell body, and dendrites. These structures communicate with each other through synapses.

 To effectively transfer any information, the neuron must release a chemical substance called the neurotransmitter into the synapse that later crosses through the space to the key sites known as receptors in the receiving neuron. Once these chemical substances attach to the next receptor, they enhance changes in the new neuron depicting receiving of information (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2017). The complex transfer of information in these structures are enabled by the wide network that interconnects all of them. When an individual experiences depression, the change on the level of the different types of neurotransmitters limits the time taken to convey the message from one neuron to another thus reducing their ability to transfer information from the brain to other parts of the body.


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Schimelpfening, N. (2018). What Is the Chemistry Behind Depression? Retrieved from