Antidepressant can change intrinsic connectivity of brain

23/09/2014 10:25

by Abby Smith

In a new study it was found that even a single dose of antidepressant can affect our brain and is enough to produce dramatic changes in the functionality of the human brain. Brain scans were taken before and after giving an acute dose of SSRI (serotonin reuptake inhibitor), and the drug showed its adverse effect within three hours.

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“We were not expecting the SSRI to have such a prominent effect on such a short timescale or for the resulting signal to encompass the entire brain,” said Julia Sacher of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany.

Lead researcher Julia Sacher conducted the study over 22 healthy people having no signs of depression. What they found was mind boggling. The drugs were believed to affect human brain over a long period of time. But the study revealed that drugs affect human brain instantly and changes the brain connectivity in important ways.

Participants were given a single dose of escitalopram. Researchers scanned their brains and took three-dimensional images of  their brains and measured number of connections between structures called voxels. It was revealed that SSRI reduced the level of intrinsic connectivity in most part of brains but increased activity between cerebellum and thalamus was recorded.

“The hope that we have is that ultimately our work will help to guide better treatment decisions and tailor individualized therapy for patients suffering from depression,” Sacher said. This new study will help in clinical studies of patients suffering from depression.

 

For the past few years, researchers have also given reports about other medicines that fall in the category of painkillers. It was reported that these medicines have a serious impact on the body and the brain, and can eventually result in reduced immunity.

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