I am highly interested in the concept of lithium essentially causing the neurons particularily in the hippocampus to proliferate. The hippocampus is responsible for turning stuff into short term and long term memories, one of my abilities I that has been decreased since being depressed and I have also heard this from other depressed people. I find it especially hard to memorize things such as learning new vocab in a new language. I found an interesting article on the new research in this area in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v13/n3/abs/4002093a.html#aff2 It claims that neurogenesis levels in this area may predispose people to mood disorders.This is something my psychiatrist brought up to me to. There has also been research done on the ECT indicating this is also what happens after ECT. Although reading a new article on ECT “Global decrease of serotonin-1A receptor binding after electroconvulsive therapy in major depression measured by PET” it still starts off by saying the reason it works biologically is still unknown.
Another interesting fact the paper points out is the statistic that only 60% of depressed patients feel relief from anti-depressants. I think that number is too low but I understand it. I am sure the number high for people who stop responding well to certain medications such as myself.
I read a lot of research papers on mood disorders and still there is no real distinct answer yet.