Chaudhury et al. and Tye et al. highlighted several key issues in the ways both the research community and society at large can sometimes view depression and its treatment. Depression is often seen is often used an umbrella terms that describes a wide array of contrasting symptoms that can arise from starkly different conditions. This is in part evidenced by the fact that broad-sweeping antidepressants have been used for years without specific knowledge into the exact mechanism these drugs are working on. Many individuals suffering with depression simply cycle through antidepressants until they find one that works for their specific presentation of depression. These research articles use targeted methods, both optogenetic stimulation and electrophysiology, to isolated specific neural circuitries. By doing research that is so explicitly looking at one thing, these articles show that there is benefit to figuring out exactly what mechanisms are at play in different facets of depression. Research like this could lead to more targeted and specific treatment of depression.
I also found the use of optogenetic phasic stimulation in Chaudbury at all particularly interesting for the topic of specificity in treatment of mental health. At the very least, optogenetic stimulation can and has been incredibly useful in improving animal models of mental health. As stated above, depression and other related illnesses are complex and highly dependent on condition. The ability to instantly create specific conditions and isolate precise neural circuitries provides the most accurate as possible model of mental illness. Furthermore, optogenetics could provide an innovative new treatment option for various mental illnesses, especially in terms of acute treatment of patients with known disorders.