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One dose of antidepressants ‘alters the mind within hours’

by on October 4, 2016


One dose of antidepressants ‘alters the mind within hours’


It’s broadly thought that patients using antidepressants have to take the medication for approximately 4-6 days before they notice any improvement in depressive signs and symptoms, but new research claims just one dose can trigger significant alterations in the mind within hrs.


Researchers say just one dose of SSRI triggered brain alterations in healthy participants within 3 hrs.

The study team, including co-author Dr. Julia Sacher from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany, publish their findings within the journal Current Biology.

Around 10 % adults report some type of depression, and 10 % individuals with depression aged 12 years or older take antidepressants for that condition.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most generally prescribed antidepressants. Brands of these drugs include Prozac, Zoloft and Lexapro. The medicine is thought to alter brain connectivity and boost manufacture of a natural chemical known as serotonin, that is thought to lead to maintaining mood balance.

“However,” they say, “the entire scope of serotonergic action on functional connectivity within the mind is not explored.”

For his or her study, Dr. Sacher and colleagues attempted to observe how SSRIs labored within the brains of twenty-two healthy participants.

SSRI ‘altered brain connectivity within 3 hours’

Each subject went through a 15-minute brain scan that measured the oxygenation of bloodstream flow within the brain. These were then given just one dose of the SSRI referred to as escitalopram (Lexapro), before undergoing another brain scan a couple of hrs later.

They then measured the amount of connections between voxels within the brain – the same to pixels within an image – to produce a 3D picture of each brain. The 3D pictures of brain scans pre and post SSRI usage were compared.

When analyzing the network from the whole brain, they discovered that the SSRI reduced intrinsic connectivity levels in many regions of the mind within 3 hrs. However, it elevated connectivity in 2 specific brain regions – the cerebellum (involved with voluntary movement) and also the thalamus (involved with physical perception and motor function).

“I was not expecting the SSRI to possess this type of prominent impact on this type of short timescale or the resulting signal to encompass the whole brain,” states Dr. Sacher. These bits of information, they say, claim that SSRIs may reorganize the mind early to lessen depressive signs and symptoms later.

Speaking to Medical News Today, Dr. Sacher stated:

“Our findings demonstrate that SSRIs affect brain connectivity immediately which these changes encompass the whole brain. It’s possible these connectivity changes are the initial part of remodeling the mind, as there’s evidence using their company experiments that such functional connectivity changes can reflect neuroplastic change. However, additional research is going to be needed to help solve these mechanisms of neuroplasticity.”

Such findings can lead to a much better knowledge of which patients with depression react to SSRIs and that do not, Dr. Sacher states, adding:

“Anticipation we have is the fact that ultimately our work will assist you to guide better treatment decisions and tailor individualized therapy for patients struggling with depression.”

They now intends to move toward numerous studies and wishes to compare the mind connectivity of depression patients who’ve taken care of immediately treatment with individuals who’ve not.

“We wish to compare the acute, subacute and chronic results of SSRIs around the functional architecture from the brain in health insurance and disease,” Dr. Sacher told us. “Ideally, we’d like to incorporate more diverse antidepressant treatment strategies within our studies, for example psychotherapy, lack of sleep or light-therapy, and investigate whether we are able to identify characteristic patterns in functional connectivity for every treatment option.”

Medical News Today lately reported on the study printed within the journal Science, by which scientists claim they’ve identified a part of the brain that controls mood disorders.


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  • sosul
    October 10, 2016 at 3:28 am

    A slightly related point: Robert Bringhu1t’s book ‘The Elements of Typographic Style’ explai1 the purpose and genesis of typography by comparing letterforms and the typographic shapes in words and sentences to musical scales. It’s a really odd mix – for someone learning about typography for the fi1t time there’s no rational reason that an explanation relying on music could work well as a teaching tool. But it does.nIt’s worth thinking about that kind of thing when comparing games to art (particularly to visual art). The article describes games and art as each having a very different purpose and vernacular, and I think that’s correct. It might be a convincing enough point to lead us to imagining the two as permanently separate cousi1, or even disciplines moving like parallel lines.nBut I think you made a very good point in your initial reply to the article: the argument beneath the heading ‘E1hrining Something as Art is Death’ is the author attempting to close the conve1ation down. His argument that art is all just “dead culture” is inherently wrong.


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