Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Depression - Can You Change Your Genes?
As anyone with depression probably knows, our brain chemistry is screwed up. We've got neurotransmitters, but we're either not using them efficiently or their levels are imbalanced
According to the scientists behind the drug Deplin, our body breaks folic acid down to a type of compound that helps balance the levels of our neurotransmitters. Furthermore, they claim that many of us with depression have a specific genetic factor that messes up our ability to break down folic acid into the compound that we need to do this.
So, if our body can't break it down for us, then why not just take that compound to make up for it? That's the idea behind L-Methylfolate. You can get the generic version or go with the brand Deplin. Either way, it helps to increase our body's natural balancing of neurotransmitters. When taken with antidepressants, it has been shown to help alleviate symptoms more than the use of antidepressants alone.
Now, before you go running out to your doctor and asking for it, take a moment to talk to your insurance. Many insurance companies view L-Methylfolate as a vitamin or supplement and will not help cover any of the cost. The pamphlet my doctor gave me included a savings card for me to show at the pharmacy. Pro - It saved me a few bucks off of the Brand name, making it cheaper than going with the generic. Con - Not all pharmacies accept the discount card.
I've only been taking for about two weeks, so I can't speak yet to it's effectiveness, but I think it's worth a try. I believe that I'm genetically pre-disposed to depression, so, if my genes mean that I can't break down chemicals correctly, then I'll just get them a different way!
If you have any experience with this drug, please share your experiences!