Navigation Links
Patients who use anti-depressants are more likely to suffer relapse, researcher finds
Date:7/19/2011

Patients who use anti-depressants are much more likely to suffer relapses of major depression than those who use no medication at all, concludes a McMaster researcher.

In a paper that is likely to ignite new controversy in the hotly debated field of depression and medication, evolutionary psychologist Paul Andrews concludes that patients who have used anti-depressant medications can be nearly twice as susceptible to future episodes of major depression.

Andrews, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, is the lead author of a new paper in the journal Frontiers of Psychology.

The meta-analysis suggests that people who have not been taking any medication 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.

Andrews and his colleagues studied dozens of previously published studies to compare outcomes for patients who used anti-depressants compared to those who used placebos.

They analyzed research on subjects who started on medications and were switched to placebos, subjects who were administered placebos throughout their treatment, and subjects who continued to take medication throughout their course of treatment.

Andrews says 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 depression.

Though there are several forms of anti-depressants, all of them disturb the brain's natural regulatory mechanisms, which he compares to putting a weight on a spring. The brain, like the spring, pushes back against the weight. Going off antidepressant drugs is like removing the weight from the spring, leaving the person at increased risk of depression when the brain, like the compressed spring, shoots out before retracting to its resting state.

"We found that the more these drugs affect serotonin and other neurotransmitters in your brain -- and that's what they're supposed to do -- the greater your risk of relapse once you stop taking them," Andrews says. "All these drugs do reduce symptoms, probably to some degree, in the short-term. The trick is what happens in the long term. Our results suggest that when you try to go off the drugs, depression will bounce back. This can leave people stuck in a cycle where they need to keep taking anti-depressants to prevent a return of symptoms."

Andrews believes depression may actually be a natural and beneficial -- though painful -- state in which the brain is working to cope with stress.

"There's a lot of debate about whether or not depression is truly a disorder, as most clinicians and the majority of the psychiatric establishment believe, or whether it's an evolved adaptation that does something useful," he says.

Longitudinal studies cited in the paper show that more than 40 per cent of the population may experience major depression at some point in their lives.

Most depressive episodes are triggered by traumatic events such as the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship or the loss of a job. Andrews says the brain may blunt other functions such as appetite, sex drive, sleep and social connectivity, to focus its effort on coping with the traumatic event.

Just as the body uses fever to fight infection, he believes the brain may also be using depression to fight unusual stress.

Not every case is the same, and severe cases can reach the point where they are clearly not beneficial, he emphasizes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Wade Hemsworth
hemswor@mcmaster.ca
905-525-9140
McMaster University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. ICU Patients at Risk for Rare Heart Rhythm Problem
2. Young patients with chronic illnesses find relief in acupuncture
3. For Some Breast Cancer Patients, Shorter Radiation Works Well
4. New Study Uses Adult Stem Cells in Effort to Save Limbs of Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease
5. Patients with Lethal Lung Disease Finally Receive Recognition by Social Security Administration
6. Behavioral therapy improves sleep and lives of patients with pain
7. Protecting patients: Study shows that Johns Hopkins flu vaccination rates twice national average
8. MSU researcher linking breast cancer patients with alternative therapies
9. New American Heart Association Survey Finds Heart Disease and Stroke Patients Face Significant Barriers in Obtaining Quality, Affordable Care
10. Fishy Smell May Keep Patients From Diabetes Drug
11. AGA offers new recommendations for CRC surveillance for certain patients with IBD
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... Walk with God #TruthwithGrace”: a devotional journal chronicling the writer’s path toward true ... How to Walk with God #TruthwithGrace” is the creation of published author Lea ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... ... and Harvest A Cultivation of Christian Love” is the creation of published author, David ... wife, Anna Marie. He and his wife are the proud parents of four grown ... “Shadow and Substance.” , “Love, the agape kind, is seen as more than an ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “The Adventures of Joey, The Dog Who Barks at Puddles”: ... life to the fullest, as God intended. “The Adventures of Joey, The Dog Who ... grandmother pursuing her passion for writing, especially about truth and human behavior. , Published ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Boulder, CO (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... higher bar for entry into teacher preparation programs. The NCTQ report suggests, based on ... boosting entry requirements would significantly improve teacher quality in the U.S. It argues that ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Demonstrating their commitment to ... public health departments have been awarded national accreditation through the Public Health ... the expanding network of communities across the nation whose health departments meet rigorous ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar. 24, 2017 Research and ... Size, Share, Development, Growth and Demand Forecast to 2022" report to ... The global ... expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% during 2016-2022 ... segment held the largest share in the global market in 2015. Among ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017   The Accreditation Council for ... affairs in the pharmaceutical industry has appointed Dr. ... a newly formed scientific advisory board. Dr. Chin ... the first ever medical affairs think tank within ... about the ACMA, please visit  www.medicalaffairsspecialist.org .  ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... YORK , March 24, 2017 FinancialBuzz.com News ... Medical cannabis products ... View Research, Inc., projects that the global medical cannabis market will reach ... is a major market for the new growing industry. By ... place to legally buy and sell medical cannabis. More conservative states like ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: