To many, depression may seem like symptoms of having a low mood or lethargic behaviour, but to those who are affected by it, it is so much more than that.
Depression can affect the day-to-day lives of the people who experience it. Things that you once enjoyed can seem like such a burden to do. Even little things like getting dressed, taking a shower, and even getting out of bed can feel impossible to do.
Over 265 million people worldwide experience some form of depression, and this is only one of the many mental illnesses that can affect the day-to-day life of ordinary people.
Symptoms of depression vary from person to person, and no two people will experience it in the same way. One person can have difficulty performing everyday tasks, while others encounter suicidal thoughts due to the fact that they’ve lost hope in things getting better.
There have been many treatment options developed for people suffering from depression, which range from therapy to prescribed medication, but because of how complex the problem is, there is no “one-size fits all” solution, and at Neuroqa, we don’t believe that there ever will be.
Mental health is a very complicated and personal thing, just like physical health, and we believe that prioritizing your mental health means personalizing it.
To understand why mental health disorders are so complex and are in great need of personalized solutions, let’s take a deeper dive into what mental illnesses actually look like.
Your Brain and Your Health 🧠
Like we mentioned before, mental health is a very personal thing and no two people will experience the same thing when it comes to mental illnesses.
There are many theories behind how mental illnesses develop, but still to this day we are unsure. It can be caused by a variety of factors ranging from:
- Traumatic experiences
- Drug and alcohol use
One of the most celebrated theories today revolving causes of depression is that it’s caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain of either serotonin, dopamine or norepinephrine.
Because of this, the majority of modern antidepressants and other mood stabilizers focus heavily on improving this chemical imbalance by either producing more of the “missing” chemicals or helping it bind better to neuroreceptors in your brain, they most common ones being Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).
But the problem is, as popular as this form of treatment is there are still many people who don’t respond to it; let alone those who experience depression (or other mental illnesses) based on a chemical imbalance in the brain.
The thing is depression is much more complicated that not having the right amount of certain chemicals in your brain.
New and promising research is showing that what’s going on in your brain isn’t the only culprit when it comes to mental illnesses; studies have shown that your gut plays a really important role in your mental well being.
The Gut-Brain Axis
It turns out that your gut and your brain are best-friends, and they’re always communicating with each other.
This communication between the gut and the brain is called “the gut-brain axis” and it plays an important role in mental health. It involves direct pathways between the brain’s cognitive and emotional centres with peripheral intestinal functions.
Previously, it had been believed that the brain influenced the gut more than vice versa, but with more information proving that it plays a vital role in mental wellbeing, researchers have decided to dive deeper into this gut-brain axis, and look into how it affected mental health patients.
A study in 2019 showed that the bacteria in your gut play an import role on both synthesizing and producing important chemicals in your brain.
A clinical study in which the microbiomes of mentally ill and healthy patients found that depression was linked to low levels of the bacteria Coprococcus and Dialister in the patients’ microbiomes.
Following these novel observations, other studies continuing this promising researched showed that symptoms of depression were decreased when patients were given fermented foods that stimulated healthy bacterial growth in the microbiome.
This research has lead to conclusions that depression is so much more than what’s going on inside the brain. The strong links between mental health and the microbiome prove that just how the microbiome is complex to each individual, so is mental health and there is no “one-size fits all” solution.
Neuroqa is using this newfound and promising research to personalize treatments for mental health, that is unique to an individual’s needs.
Neuroqa’s mission is to solve issues related to mental health by tailoring treatments, personalized for each and every patient.
Every person’s microbiome is unique, and using the newfound links between your microbiome’s health and mental wellbeing, we want to leverage this information to help you live life more freely.
We don’t believe that one type of medication works for everyone, since each person needs are complex and will not match another’s, so by personalizing treatments, we think that we can help create a better, and happier world.
Instead of developing drugs that repair chemical imbalances in the brain, we’re taking a new approach based on research and conclusions made between the gut-brain axis and your mental health. We’re committed to developing and repurposing probiotics to improve your mental health, based on your personal microbiome health.
Here’s how we’re doing it. 👇
To tailor to each person’s unique microbiome, we need to get to know you first!
- Microbiome Sampling
The first thing we need to do, is get a closer look at what’s going on in each person’s microbiome. To do this, we take a microbiome sample from you, the user, and analyze it.
By doing this, we can understand more about your mental health and analyze what bacterial growth should be encouraged to help you live better.
2. Analyzing the Sample
This point of the process is crucial for us to help personalize your treatment. We analyze the microbiome sample you’ve provided for us, and look closely at the bacteria in your gut.
Using promising researching proving which bacteria are linked to certain mental illnesses, we can better suggest which treatment options would be best for your body to help encourage specific bacterial growth.
3. Tailoring the Treatment
After we’ve analyzed the microbiome sample, Neuroqa will either develop or repurpose already existing probiotics that will encourage healthy bacterial growth linked to improved symptoms of mental illnesses.
Your mental health is personal, and as such, your treatment should be personalized as well.
We are committed to helping you get better, and developing probiotic treatments that are specific to you.
At Neuroqa, our vision is to help you build a better life; the life you deserve.