Medical News Summary: Doubts over the real cause of depression


About: Doubts over the real cause of depression
Date: 26 January 2005
Source: The News Tribune
Author: M. Alexander Otto
Medical News Summary (summary of medical news story as reported by The News Tribune): It is claimed by some that the belief that depression is caused by a reduction in levels of the brain chemical called serotonin may not be right. Thus, it is feasible that the idea that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can heal depression may also be inaccurate. Proponents of the idea believe that a genetic fault in liver enzymes may inhibit metabolization of the drug resulting in a toxic build up that can lead to adverse reactions such as suicidal tendencies. History has repeatedly shown that health ideas promoted are not necessarily always accurate. For example, postmenopausal women were previously encouraged to take hormones for their health but now they are informed that the hormones may increase their risk of heart attacks and cancer. Some believe there is not enough evidence to support the serotonin idea and people may be taking medications which may not only be ineffective, but may also cause side effects such as impotence, constipation, yawning and other psychiatric disorders such as the recently highlighted suicidal tendencies. Irish authority’s skepticism of the benefits of serotonin reuptake inhibitors is expressed by the fact that drug companies are not allowed to promote the theory that chemical imbalances in the brain level of serotonin are responsible for depression.
Related Disease Topics: Depression, Suicide, Psychiatric disorder, Menopause, Heart attack, Cancer, Impotence, Constipation, Yawning (see Drowsiness)

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