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Depression and Low DHEA

hemidactylus at my-dejanews.com hemidactylus at my-dejanews.com
Sun Apr 18 16:26:12 EST 1999

In article <7fdbot$k1e$1 at nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
  James Howard <jameshoward950 at my-dejanews.com> wrote:
> Thank you for your response.  The following is a quotation from my work of
> 1985.  At the time I had read that many depressed patients report a
> stressful event prior to the onset of depression.  Since my work of 1985
> also includes an explanation of the "fight or flight" mechanism, I used this
> to explain how DHEA could be lowered, remain reduced, and, therefore, be an
> explanation of depression.  Of course, based on this hypothesis, anything
> that lowers DHEA, such as infections, disease, lack of food, etc., may
> result in depression.  At the time, I tried to explain this in terms of
> receptors, which I called "S/A/S receptors," and the ability of DHEA to
> induce them.  In the following years, I have switched my focus to the
> effects of DHEA alone at the cell surface and on DNA.
> "However, stressful consequences of an event subside in most people.
> However, some people remain depressed for unusually lengthy periods and to
> degrees which are not appropriate.  These people, I suggest, are people who
> are prone to down-regulation of S/A/S receptors, that is, most people
> rebound to the event; the depressed person takes an inordinately long time
> to up-regulate S/A/S receptor function.  This would be, in essence, under
> production of DHEA.   .This would be due to a reduction of DHEA production."
> page 127 of "A Theory of the Control of the Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Homo
> sapiens by the Interaction of Dehydroepiandrosterone and the Amygdala,"
> copyright 1985, James Michael Howard, Fayetteville, Arkansas, U.S.A.

Is this a book that is widely distributed? Can it be found or ordered via
interlibrary loan at someone's university for closer inspection?

A general question about ontogeny/phylogeny and the human brain: Are you
familiar with the literature on heterochrony? I've heard somewhat conflicting
views on this (i.e.- paedomorphosis versus peramorphosis) and do not yet have
the competence to evaluate these hypotheses. I can supply some general
references if you're interested.

> I made no "wild claims" about DHEA.

"Wild claims" was aimed in a general direction, not necessarily at you. I'm
just a little worried about herbalists and others that distribute
information. I know I've got a personal gullibility factor to contend with. I
can be easily mislead.

> However, my work suggests DHEA affects
> cell surface receptors and, more importantly, affects transcription and
> duplication of DNA.

What is meant by work? Do you do research on DHEA yourself in a laboratory
setting? Do you keep abreast of the latest developments regarding DHEA and
try to interpret them for a general audience? I acknowledge that there is a
service provided in this, but I just hope you are being responsible, that's
all. Don't get me wrong. There are many people who read these bionet
newsgroups in hopes of finding possible "cures" or whatever for what ails
them and there is some potential for harm, you know.

>Therefore, I am not surprised that the effects of DHEA
> may be quite broad.  My work concerning DHEA is supported by a line of
> reassoning supported by citations; my ideas about DHEA are not wild claims.
> I invite you to read some of my work at http://www.naples.net/~nfn03605/.

I'll check it out. Thanks. One question I'd like to ask is whether you're
familiar with any research that looks at potential detrimental long-term
effects of DHEA? Can one assume that just because DHEA is sold at
supermarkets and health food stores that it is safe for use? Should someone
be careful when using DHEA as a supplement? Are there potential interactions
or contraindications? I'm asking this out of personal interest and for a
concern of safety for friends of mine who have used DHEA as a bodybuilding
aid. I've been VERY sketchy about it. Maybe I'm conflating DHEA and anabolic
steroids. The latter are definitely bad news.

Scott Chase

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