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Re: SSRI-induced dopamine depletion

Posted by Larry Hoover on December 1, 2002, at 14:04:10

In reply to Re: SSRI-induced dopamine depletion Larry Hoover, posted by BrittPark on December 1, 2002, at 12:40:46

> > Could it? Yes, but I'm answering as a scientist. It has a non-zero probability, so it could.
> >
> > My opinion? I think people are far too attached to explanations. The facts are that antidepressant effects can diminish over time. Thinking we might know why has no bearing on whether or not antidepressant effects diminish.
> As a scientist myself, I think explanations are always desirable. Of course we are (relatively) in the dark about the mechanism of psychopharmaceuticals. It's important that we don't stay that way.
> >
> > If having an explanation makes you feel better, so be it. I don't have an explanation, and I seriously doubt that dopamine depletion is the explanation. If that was the case, taking l-dopa would fix the problem, but it doesn't.
> >
> Has somebody done a study showing this?
> Cordially
> Britt

I've seen anecdote, but I can't find an example right now. As an aside, there seems to be a great deal of confusion between dopamine down-regulation and dopamine depletion. They are not equivalent processes.

Back to the original question, I'm not questioning the utility of mechanistic thinking....certainly that is of prime importance in experimental design and hypothesis-testing. However, I'm becoming more and more an empiricist as time goes on. Observations are the only facts we have. All the rest is speculation.

In the context of the dopamine-depletion hypothesis, it seems to be much like the serotonin-deficiency hypothesis of depression. If it was as simple as that, SSRIs would not have delayed onset.




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