Posts tagged with antidepressants
December 30, 2011 by Adrian Frost.
According to today’s Guardian
“The use of antidepressants has risen by more than a quarter in England in just three years, amid fears that more people are suffering from depression due to the economic crisis. The number of prescriptions for antidepressants increased by 28% from 34m in 2007-08 to 43.4m in 2010-11, according to the NHS information centre”.
But elsewhere of course there are doubts regarding the usefulness of such treatments, for example according to a “meta-analysis carried out by evolutionary psychologist Paul Andrews, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour. His findings suggest that people who have not taken medication for depression are at a 25 per cent risk of relapse, compared to 42 per cent or higher for those who have taken and gone off an anti-depressant”.
Furthermore “Paul believes that anti-depressants interfere with the brain’s natural self-regulation of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, and that the brain can overcorrect once medication is suspended, triggering new episodes.”
(See links here and here for full details)
January 16, 2010 by Cara Flanagan.
Long-time depression researcher Eva Redei recently reported some of her latest findings. She has spent decades breeding rats who are severely depressed (mating depressed rats with depressed rats so you get ‘who are believed to be the most depressed rats in the world’ (!!)). This meant she could identify genes linked to depression. Next she exposed a different group of rats to stressful situations for two weeks which enabled her to identify the genes that consistently were associated with a poor response to stress.
The big news is that there was no overlap between the depression genes and the stress genes. This suggests that the idea that stress causes depression may be wrong. And, furthermore, she claims the reason antidepressants are often ineffective is because they treat stress and not depression and she has now shown that the two are not linked, though they may co-occur. So that’s one reason why antidepressants only work for some people (those suffering from stress and depression). Before you say ‘ah well, this is just an effect in rats’, Redei claims that rat brains are very similar to human brains, so it is reasonably to draw analogies. It also may explain why we like cheese. (No, that last bit was a joke).