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Re: Chronic benzos, mood + memory. Hoover + exper

Posted by metric on April 29, 2009, at 14:01:37

In reply to Chronic benzos, mood + memory. Hoover + experts?, posted by mattdds on April 17, 2009, at 3:48:14

> 3. I worry that some of the literature sort of suggests that memory loss from chronic benzos doesn't come back, or comes back slowly and incompletely. This makes me wonder why Ashton and her followers have developed these beautiful protocols to withdraw. What's the point of a hellish prolonged withdrawal if it doesn't get that much better?

I've never seen any compelling evidence that long-term benzodiazepine use causes permanent cognitive deficits. All of the studies I'm aware of involved comparisons of chronic benzo-users with non-users, and there's no way to control for all of the differences inherent in these groups. Nobody is going to conduct long-term randomized placebo-controlled prospective trials of adequate size to measure changes in cognitive function.

I've never seen any human or animal data that demonstrate organic damage from benzodiazepines or even suggest a mechanism by which it might occur (barring massive overdose scenarios that involve hypoxia/ischemia). They are neuroprotective against some types of injury.

In terms of their acute effects of cognition and memory, that's another matter. You're on a very modest dose... You might be able to get away with a single dose at bedtime. That will at least suppress withdrawal during the daytime.

I would be more concerned about long-term SSRI use than benzodiazepines. Worst of all are the antipsychotics, which are *proven* potent neurotoxins (these ought to be generically referred to simply as "poison").

> I don't believe in extra cool points for being "drug free" for the hell of it (although it would be nice not to have to see a psychiatrist periodically and re-explain my whole situation).

I hear ya.

> I remember the hope I had years ago for novel medications like Lyrica and the novel CRH antagonists. But Lyrica is not what we hoped and CRH antagonists...what happened there? I hoped clonazepam would bridge the gap while they developed the good stuff, haha.

Efficacy is a side-issue in psychotropic drug development. The ideal drug candidate is one that lacks "abuse potential"; the rest is amenable to creative marketing.

FWIW, I've taken clonazepam longer than you have.




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