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:1/21/2017)... ... January 21, 2017 , ... Phytocéane invites ... isolated from the rest of the world with ZANZIBAR SHOWER GEL. Inspired by the ... key ingredients, Virgin Coconut Oil and moisturizing vegetal coral to create this gentle, crystal-clear ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... The Nobel Biocare™ dental implant company ... for its creos™ line of bone regenerative products. Specifically, the Nobel ... utilizes creos™ allo.gain™ bone graft for a variety of bone reconstruction procedures. In ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... Doctor C LLC, a ... the January ECRM trade show to continue the marketing and distribution of its product, ... known for providing 400 percent better absorption than traditional vitamin C supplements. At the ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... Michael and Betsy Brauser celebrated 5 years of ... the clinical trial has been life-saving as she has been on the trial ... Brauser was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009. She underwent standard chemotherapy but a ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... ... Chocolate Biscuit”: a biographical account following a man who went on to support his country ... Ivey, born in Lynn Haven, Florida and at the age of 5, his family moved ... he joined the Navy and got married right out of boot camp. , He ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... -- Entscheidung fällt als Reaktion ... Die internationale humanitäre Stadt soll um knapp 2800 m² erweitert ... Seine Hoheit Scheich Muhammad bin Raschid Al ... Dubai , hat den Auftrag erteilt, ... City IHC) zu verdreifachen, um den Betrieb zur Unterstützung ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- Report Details What can be expected ... to grow at the fastest rates? This visiongain report ... opportunities and prospects. Our 190-page report provides 124 ... in the industry and the future market prospects. Our ... all the major categories of the ophthalmic devices market. ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Jan. 19, 2017 Report Details ... Alzheimer,s ... Leading Companies – our new study reveals trends, R&D ... and events affecting the Alzheimer,s disease therapeutics and diagnostics ... these key questions: - How is the Alzheimer,s disease ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: