Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 287022

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The press gets it right for a change

Posted by stjames on December 5, 2003, at 22:48:21

Going Beyond Prozac
Depression: 10 million American adults suffer from a major depressive disorder
By Michael C. Miller, M.D.

According to the new model, depression stems not from a “chemical imbalance” (too little serotonin, too little norepinephrine) but from unhealthy nerve-cell connections in the regions of the brain that create our emotions. If that’s true—and the evidence is compelling—then the real goal of treatment is not to alter the brain’s chemistry but to repair its blighted circuitry.

Overexposure to stress hormones slows the growth of nerve fibers in a region of the brain called the hippocampus. This brain center allows us to soak up sensory input, link experience to emotion and store all of it as coherent memories. The hippocampus is typically small in depressed people, with some brain cells lost and some shrunken. Experts suspect it is one of the structures central to the condition.

The idea that depression is linked to stalled nerve-cell growth or faulty connections may explain an old mystery. If antidepressant medications boost neurotransmitter concentrations immediately (which they do), why does it often take six weeks or longer to feel better? Recent experiments in mice tell us that antidepressants stimulate the growth of new hippocampal nerve cells, which form new connections with older nerve cells. This process takes several weeks. If drugs like Prozac ease depression by inadvertently boosting neurogenesis, the thinking goes, drugs designed specifically for that purpose might bring surer relief while causing fewer side effects.

It may take us decades to understand the biology of depression. What we need in the meantime is as many unique treatments as we can get. We may not want a mood dialer as close at hand as the TV remote. But for those stuck on the despair channel, the need for new options is urgent. With any luck, these new ideas will soon deliver better ways to tune the only mood organ we have: the brain.

<end quote>

So, an almost decades old model of depression
and neurogenisis is the "new" model ?!


Re: The press gets it right for a change » stjames

Posted by noa on December 5, 2003, at 23:55:26

In reply to The press gets it right for a change, posted by stjames on December 5, 2003, at 22:48:21

Interesting. Thanks, James.


Re: The press gets it right for a change

Posted by Emme on December 6, 2003, at 7:45:17

In reply to The press gets it right for a change, posted by stjames on December 5, 2003, at 22:48:21

I've been wondering - do any of the anticonvulsants also promote neurogenesis (in my case, Lamictal)? And what about things that work very quickly, like amino acid precursors?

Are those in the bipolar spectrum who are not taking any of the common ADs missing out on neurogenesis? For example, I'm taking selegiline and am hoping to use it sporadically to "spot treat" the worst of my depression? It seems to work rather quickly.



And what about atypical APs? (nm)

Posted by Emme on December 6, 2003, at 7:47:37

In reply to The press gets it right for a change, posted by stjames on December 5, 2003, at 22:48:21


Re: And what about atypical APs?

Posted by stjames on December 6, 2003, at 13:18:26

In reply to And what about atypical APs? (nm), posted by Emme on December 6, 2003, at 7:47:37

I know Li increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) & therefor enhances neurogenesis.
I would try googeling on neurogenesis+bipolar or
neurogenesis+antipsychotics. I did a quick search
and it looks good for AC's BUT with AP's considerable damage is being done to neurology
even if pro neurogenesis exists :

Antidepressants May Protect Against Neuronal Loss in Mood Disorders

According to Dr L Trevor Young, from McMaster University in Ontario, studies have shown that in the rat hippocampus and cerebral cortex, long-term treatment with antidepressants -- including selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors -- increases the expression of several target genes such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and enhances neurogenesis.

Furthermore, long-term treatment with lithium and anticonvulsants increases the expression of several neuroprotectant factors in rodents. There are increasing reports of cell loss, both neuronal and glial, in key cerebral cortex regions in patients with mood disorders. Changes in the size of brain areas such as the hippocampus and amygdala have also been reported.

Postmortem studies suggest that antidepressant treatment may increase BDNF levels in the hippocampus and that lithium treatment may lead to small, but potentially relevant, increases in grey matter volume in patients with bipolar disorder. Dr Young said, "Enthusiasm and excitement about the neuroprotective effects of these psychotropic drugs is warranted, but more evidence is needed before clinicians can use this data to influence practice."

Researchers (especially those funded by the drug companies) are forever looking for new uses for antidepressants as the reality of their lack of effectiveness becomes more widely recognized. However the real point here is that depression, especially when it is due to early childhood trauma, causes a stunted development of certain areas of the brain and mis-wiring in others. Neurogenesis, the creation of new neurons (brain cells), thought impossible only a few years ago, is now seen as the great hope. Professional observers of our Uplift Program believe that the phenomenal success of the program can be explained by its ability to canalize the process of neurogenesis. BM


Re: And what about atypical APs? » stjames

Posted by Emme on December 7, 2003, at 11:10:14

In reply to Re: And what about atypical APs?, posted by stjames on December 6, 2003, at 13:18:26

Thanks! I took a look at the web site. Looks like they have a lot of interesting current news. What did you think of the rest of the web sites and their philosophy and programs? Maybe they have come up with the ultimate cure for depression. ;)

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