Antidepressants Actually Change The Structure Of The Brain, According To A Study
The 35th Annual European College of Neuropsychopharmacology in Vienna saw researchers present a startling discovery. Researchers discovered certain antidepressants can alter the brain in drastic ways. It is possible that they can even rewire brains affected by major depression.
This mental illness is defined as a persistent, depressing mood, dark thoughts, and a general lack of interest in any activity. MDD is referred to as a “massive depressive disorder” in this article. Those who suffer from it experience major impairments in their daily lives, but we may be able to treat it by altering the brain’s wiring with certain antidepressants.
It has been found in the past that MDD patients aren’t all helped by antidepressants or behavioral therapy. A German group of researchers, however, now claims that anti-depressants are capable of altering brain structures themselves. It is unclear, however, whether those changes will last for a long time.
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Researchers have found that severe bouts of depression are often accompanied by a reduction in gray matter and white matter. Various types of brain matter play different roles in our bodies, so changes in them can drastically change the way our brains react. It is therefore important for anti-depressants to be able to alter the brain’s structure.
We may be able to improve how we diagnose and treat depression if we can prove a strong link between the structure of the brain and how depressive thoughts function. Research in Germany believes that the link is strong and consistent enough to be used as a tool in diagnosing and treating disorders such as MDD, but others disagree.
Out of 109 patients with MDD, researchers found that the biggest changes in symptoms were correlated with the amount of brain structure changes caused by antidepressants and other treatment options. Furthermore, their brains were compared to those of “healthy” individuals without the disorder to determine if patients with MDD had the disorder.
In a statement, psychiatrist Jonathan Repple said they were surprised at how quick the response came. Repple also said they did not have an explanation for the changes in the brain that occurred, or how antidepressants and other treatments actually do it.
It’s important to note that depression is caused by a variety of factors. You can change your mood dramatically by the amount of daylight you get. If you are left-handed, you are more likely to suffer from mental disorders like MDD. It is also possible to trigger changes in the brain faster with some anti-depressants, like a nose spray.
Maybe we could find new ways to treat disorders like MDD if we could better understand those changes.
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