Posts Tagged ‘prozac’

Risk of SSRI / Anti Depressants during pregnancy is there a link to Autism ? Are there alternatives ?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A new study has suggested that women who take SSRI’s during pregnancy may be putting their unborn child at risk of developmental problems . This latest research has raised questions about the impact of SSRI’s during pregnancy . As you will see from other research omega 3 EPA has been found to be as effective as  SSRI’S  ie Prozac  in the treatment of  medium to severe depression – DHA in similar studies has not been effective .TakeOmega3 offers the highest concentration of EPA  available and at 85% concentrate it means highest purity with 750mg EPA per capsule – no other product offers the purity of TakeOmega3 . As well as that it is the only brand used by  certain NHS Psychotherapy services , obviously under no circumstances should anyone currently on SSRI’s stop taking them however if you are concerned you should consult your GP to discuss any concerns you may have .

So what is an SSRI
SSRI’s is the shortened form of Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors Many of the SSRIs have become common household names, such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline).
In the study scientists treated more than 200 rats with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram during key stages of brain development.
A study by researchers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco shows that rats given a popularly prescribed antidepressant during development exhibit brain abnormalities and behaviors characteristic of autism spectrum disorders.

The findings suggest that taking a certain class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – SSRIs – during pregnancy might be one factor contributing to a dramatic rise in these developmental disorders in children.

“We saw behaviors in the treated rats and neurological problems that indicate their brains are not properly conducting and processing information,” said Dr. Rick C.S. Lin, professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences at UMMC and principal investigator on the study.

“However, based on this study alone it would be premature to conclude that a pregnant mother should stop taking SSRIs. A pregnant mother may do more harm to her baby through untreated depression than by taking prescribed SSRIs. This study is a starting point and a lot more research needs to be done.”

The study appears online Oct. 24, 2011 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences at www.pnas.org.

The researchers treated more than 200 rats with the SSRI citalopram during key stages of brain development. Rats are born at an earlier developmental stage than humans, equivalent to the end of the sixth month of fetal development in humans.

Most rats received treatment for two weeks, beginning eight days post birth, a neurodevelopment period equivalent to the third trimester and early infancy in humans.

In contrast with control-group rats, the investigators found the treated populations were uninterested in play when young and displayed poor social behaviors as adults. The treated rats also showed abnormal responses to changes in their environment. For example, they froze at the sound of a novel tone and showed little interest in exploring new toys.

“These results demonstrate that rat pups, when exposed perinatally to SSRIs, exhibit behavioral traits often seen in ASD,” said Dr. Kimberly Simpson, the paper’s first author and UMMC associate professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences.

Those behaviors occurred more often – and sometimes exclusively – in the treated male rats than in treated females. Similarly, autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is diagnosed more often in males.

Of numerous SSRIs available, the researchers chose citalopram because it is one of the most specific in targeting the serotonin system with little overlap on other neurotransmitters.

Michael Merzenich, UCSF professor of otolaryngology and physiology, analyzed the rats’ primary auditory cortices using electrophysiologic techniques. In the treated, month-old rats Merzenich found functional abnormalities consistent with ASD.

“What we see in this experiment is a strong impact on the auditory cortex. These animals are not maturing in the normal, progressive way, and those differences are substantial,” said Merzenich, a senior author on the paper. “The cortex is sluggish and represents sounds with low accuracy. The listening cortex is delayed in development and is impaired into adulthood.”

Delayed development of the representation of aural speech is a hallmark of ASD in children, Merzenich said. It contributes to these children’s struggles with language and reading.

Another brain abnormality common in ASD is a thinner corpus callosum, particularly in the forward third of the structure. Like a massive nerve-fiber bridge, the corpus callosum connects the brain’s two halves and transmits electrical signals between them. It also plays a key part in higher intellectual function, said Dr. Ian Paul, UMMC professor of psychiatry and human behavior.

“This nerve fiber tract was disrupted in the same way in these rats’ brains,” he said.

Many callosal axons in the treated rats had abnormal or missing myelin sheathing, a coating necessary for proper neuroconductivity. Omega3 especially EPA is believed to be critical with regards the myelin sheaths ,Myelin is an insulating layer that forms around nerves, including those in the brain and spinal cord. It is made up of protein and fatty substances.
The purpose of the myelin sheath is to allow impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently along the nerve cells. If myelin is damaged, the impulses slow down.It is believed the omega3 active ingredients ie EPA not only acts as an anti inflammatory but also helps repair damage to the brain by promoting neuronal growth.

“Without that myelin wrapping the signal slows or doesn’t get through at all. The abnormalities in these rats would suggest the left and right sides of their brains are not communicating properly,” said Paul, a senior co-author on the paper.

Lin said the researchers analyzed multiple aspects – behavior, pathology, brain morphology, neurochemistry and neurophysiology – to conduct a broad survey and get a sense of structural and functional abnormalities.

A $1.3 million grant to Lin from the National Institute of Mental Health funded the study.

The study in rats follows an epidemiologic study in humans, published in July in the Archives of General Psychiatry. That investigation found that children of mothers who took SSRIs during the year prior to giving birth ran twice the normal risk of developing autism.

“While one must always be cautious extrapolating from medication effects in rats to medication effects in people, these new results suggest an opportunity to study the mechanisms by which antidepressants influence brain and behavioral development,” said Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the NIMH. “These studies will help to balance the mental health needs of pregnant mothers with possible increased risk to their offspring.”

The incidence of pregnant women taking SSRIs has grown from about .5 percent in 1985 when the first one came on the market to nearly 10 percent today, Paul said.

Autism was initially described in 1943 and through the next decades the parameters expanded. In 1996, the rate of incidence was less than 1 in 1,000 births and by 2007 it reached about 1 in 200. The rates of incidence of ASD have roughly doubled every three-to-five years to 1 in 91 currently, he said.

“The diagnosis has widened with the awareness that it’s a spectrum disorder that encompasses a whole range of communication problems, but that doesn’t account for all the increase by any means,” Paul said.

Merzenich said a genetic component for autism risk is found in certain families, more strongly expressed in some members than in others.

“Genetic weakness can put a child at risk for autism origin,” he said. The neurological distortions attributable to SSRIs plausibly add to the child’s neurological burdens. We think that SSRIs may thereby increase the risks of ASD. In any event, further study in child populations should determine if this is or is not the case.”

Lin cautioned that pregnant women shouldn’t quit taking prescribed antidepressants based solely on the study’s results.

“In this study we eliminated as many external factors as possible. But real-life situations are much more complex,” he said.

Stress hormones – which affect the same neurological systems as SSRIs – can also be detrimental to a developing baby, Simpson said, indicating another significant difference between the laboratory study and real-life situations.

“We intentionally looked for treatment effects in groups of rats that were considered normal at the beginning of the study and were birthed from normal mothers. The effects of SSRIs on babies carried by depressed mothers are not known,” she said.

Lin also emphasized the findings call for more study of SSRIs, particularly in humans.

“We need to know which one causes minimal damage but also at what dose, for how long and at what points in pregnancy. So basically, we still have a lot to learn,” he said.
He credited a multidisciplinary team of investigators for the work.
“This kind of work could never have been done in one lab,” Lin said. “It’s absolutely the result of a team approach that took people in pediatrics, pharmacology, neurobiology and anatomical sciences, psychiatry, physiology and otolaryngology.”

Deficiency of Omega 3 fish oil in the diet may explain high rates of depression

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Deficiency of Dietary Omega-3 May Explain Depressive Behaviors
— How maternal essential fatty acid deficiency impact on its progeny is poorly understood. Dietary insufficiency in omega-3 fatty acid has been implicated in many disorders. Researchers from Inserm and INRA and their collaborators in Spain collaboration, have studied mice fed on a diet low in omega-3 fatty acid. They discovered that reduced levels of omega-3 had deleterious consequences on synaptic functions and emotional behaviours.

TakeOmega has the highest levels of EPA per capsule available globally , EPA has been found to be as effective as Prozac in the treatment of medium to severe depression . It is manufactured entirely in the UK and each capsules has over 950mg Omega 3 , other brands are as low as 15% in active ingredients.
Details of this work are available in the online version of the journal Nature Neuroscience.
In industrialized nations, diets have been impoverished in essential fatty acids since the beginning of the 20th century. The dietary ratio between omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-3 increased continuously over the course of the 20th century. These fatty acids are “essential” lipids because the body cannot synthesize them from new. They must therefore be provided through food and their dietary balance is essential to maintain optimal brain functions.
Olivier Manzoni (Head of Research Inserm Unit 862, “Neurocentre Magendie,” in Bordeaux and Unit 901 “Institut de Neurobiologie de la Méditerranée” in Marseille), and Sophie Layé (Head of Research at INRA Unit 1286, “Nutrition et Neurobiologie Intégrative” in Bordeaux) and their co-workers hypothesized that chronic malnutrition during intra-uterine development, may later influence synaptic activity involved in emotional behaviour (e.g. depression, anxiety) in adulthood.
To verify their hypotheses, the researchers studied mice fed a life-long diet imbalanced in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They found that omega-3 deficiency disturbed neuronal communication specifically. The researchers observed that only the cannabinoid receptors, which play a strategic role in neurotransmission, suffer a complete loss of function. This neuronal dysfunction was accompanied by depressive behaviours among the malnourished mice.
Among omega-3 deficient mice, the usual effects produced by cannabinoid receptor activation, on both the synaptic and behavioural levels, no longer appear. Thus, the CB1R receptors lose their synaptic activity and the antioxidant effect of the cannabinoids disappears.
Consequently, the researchers discovered that among mice subjected to an omega-3 deficient dietary regime, synaptic plasticity, which is dependent on the CB1R cannabinoid receptors, is disturbed in at least two structures involved with reward, motivation and emotional regulation: the prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens. These parts of the brain contain a large number of CB1R cannabinoid receptors and have important functional connections with each other.
“Our results can now corroborate clinical and epidemiological studies which have revealed associations between an omega-3/omega-6 imbalance and mood disorders,” explain Olivier Manzoni and Sophie Layé

EPA omega 3 fish oil Improves Symptoms in Patients with Bipolar Disorder

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

study from the Institute of Psychiatry in London reported encouraging results from a randomized controlled trial of EPA in 75 patients with bipolar disorder. Published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the study found that the consumption of 1 or 2 grams of EPA daily for 3 months resulted in significant clinical improvements, notably in reduced depression. It is usually the gloomy depression phase of the illness that is most difficult to manage. Hence, improvement in this condition offers considerable hope to people afflicted by it. There was no difference between taking 1 or 2 grams of EPA, so the lower amount supports other reports of benefits with 1 gram of EPA daily.

It should be noted that patients continued with their current medications throughout the study. In addition to the observed improvements, treatment with EPA was without serious side effects, an important factor, as most drug therapies have unwelcome side effects.
studies in people with bipolar disorder have reported significant improvements in mood with the consumption of fish oil or supplements of EPA, a marine omega-3 fatty acid. These studies indicate that EPA rather than DHA, another marine omega-3, appears to be the most effective. Even better, the amounts associated with clinical improvements are relatively low (1 to 2 grams/day).
On a worldwide basis, bipolar disorder and depression are significantly more common in countries where fish consumption is low.

Omega3 fish oil EPA as effective as Prozac in the treatment of medium to major depression

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

EPA Plus Prozac Better Than Either Treatment Alone for Major Depression

Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFAs) have been used as an adjunct therapy in treating patients with major depressive disorder with mixed, but often encouraging, results. A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials concluded that n-3 PUFAs have significant antidepressant effects, but there are insufficient data to distinguish whether combined treatment with the two major n-3 LC-PUFAs in fish oils, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or each fatty acid given individually provides greater benefit. Studies have tended to find positive results with EPA rather than DHA and a rationale for this observation has been suggested. In most, if not all, trials to date, n-3 LC-PUFAs have been provided in conjunction with current antidepressant medications. Difficulties with patient compliance, unwanted or adverse side effects of medications and resistance to treatment make treating depression especially challenging.

In this study, Shima Jazayeri and colleagues at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran sought to evaluate the effectiveness of fluoxetine (Prozac), EPA or a combination of them in patients with major depressive disorder as indicated by Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores of 15 or greater. Patients did not have other psychiatric disorders or any other significant medical problems or substance abuse. They were not taking n-3 PUFA supplements nor eating more than one serving of fish/week. All participants were free of medication for at least 6 weeks prior to enrolment.

Sixty patients were recruited from referrals to the Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital in Tehran and randomized to consume 20 mg of fluoxetine or 1 g EPA or a combination daily for 8 weeks. Each participant consumed either a fluoxetine placebo or a rapeseed oil placebo to mimic the type of capsules taken in each group. No placebo-only group was included for ethical reasons. Patients were assessed by the Hamilton Scales at baseline and every 2 weeks thereafter. Of the 60 patients enrolled, 48 completed at least 4 weeks of the study.

Over the course of the 8-week study, all patient groups exhibited significant reductions in their Hamilton depression scores as early as 2 weeks from baseline. Scores for patients treated with fluoxetine or EPA did not differ throughout the study. At 4 and 6 weeks, those consuming both EPA and fluoxetine showed a significantly greater improvement in their Hamilton ratings (as determined by analysis of covariance) compared with either treatment alone. Depression scores continued to improve from the 4th to the 8th week. Response rates for achieving at least a 50% reduction in depression score were 50% for fluoxetine, 56% for EPA and 81% for those taking both fluoxetine and EPA. More adverse events occurred in the fluoxetine and combination groups than in the EPA group and ranged from gastro-intestinal effects, anxiety and decreased appetite to single reports of tremor, nightmare and constipation.

These results suggest a greater improvement in depression with the combination of EPA and fluoxetine, but the effects of either one alone may have been no different from a placebo, had there been one. Other studies have reported a placebo effect of trial participation. This study supports those that have reported significant improvement in depression using a modest dose (1 g/day) of EPA as an adjunct treatment to current medication.

Jazayeri S, Tehrani-Doost M, Keshavarz SA, Hosseini M, Djazayery A, Amini H, Jalali M, Peet M. Comparison of therapeutic effects of omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid and fluoxetine, separately and in combination, in major depressive disorder. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2008;42:192-198. [PubMed]

Scientific research reveals brain alterations linking omega 3 fish oil deficit with depression

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The link between deficits of omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids (AGPO-3) and the onset of depressive disorders is not new in the medical field. However, what has not been known until now is the brain mechanism by which diet can condition mental health to a certain extent. Research undertaken by scientists in Bordeaux (France) and at the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and published in Nature Neuroscience, provides new clues to understanding this phenomenon.

The name of the research work, ‘Omega-3 nutritional deficiencies annul the neuronal functions of the endocannabinoid system’ describes the research findings, endocannabinoid system being linked to the onset of depressive disorders.

According to Doctor Susana Mato, researcher in the Ramón y Cajal programme, attached to the Neurosciences Department of the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology at the UPV/EHU and member of the Neurobiology Group, “we have observed that, in mice subjected to a diet low in omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids, they have lower AGPO-3 brain levels, and this fact is associated with an alteration in the functioning of the endocannabinoid system”. More concretely, the researcher points to the confirmation of “the existence of a deficit in the signalling of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This protein — the CB1 cannabinoid receptor — has been linked, over the last decade and in various studies, to depressive disorders.”

Doctor Rafael Rodríguez-Puertas, research worker responsible for the Neurochemical and Neurodegeneration team at the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology at the UPV/EHU, points out that “certain forms of synaptic plasticity — a change in the efficiency of neuronal communication — measured by the brain’s endocannabinoid system, disappear specifically from certain zones of the brains of mice with AGPO-3 deficit”.

Despite several example in the scientific literature referring to the existence of a link between the low presence of AGPO-3 in the diet and depressive disorders, Susana Mato recognises that “little more is known about how modern Western diets, poor in AGPO-3, affect brain function and what might be the reason for a greater rate of depression associated with a deficit of these fatty acids”.

As doctor Rodríguez-Puertas points out, “thanks to the results of this research new possibilities are opened up for undertaking deeper research, such as how diet modifies the functioning of the brain in general and the endocannabinoid system in particular, and how this is linked to mental disorders”.

It also, “reinforces the idea that manipulating the endocannabinoid system can be useful for the treatment of depressive disorders, although the data we have up to now is very green for us to say what would be the ideal way to do so”, pointed out Dr Mato.

Collaboration amongst European researchers

The research work started with two French teams located in Bordeaux and led respectively by doctors Olivier J Manzoni and Sophie Layé. They have been working for a number of years with mice which show low levels of AGPO-3 in their brain, due to a low diet in these fatty acids.

“Dr Manzoni’s team discovered that the synaptic plasticity of the neuronal connections, which is mediated by endocannabinoids, disappears in these animals”, pointed out Dr S. Mato. To this end, in 2008, they made contact with researchers at the Faculty of Medicine at the UPV/EHU in order to obtain their collaboration in undertaking new research in order to identify possible change sin the expression and activity of the cannabinoid receptors.

In fact, in order to draw conclusions from the study, it has been necessary to employ a large number of research techniques, amongst which were “the analysis of the brain’s fatty acids, electrophysiology, autoradiography of receptors, the western blot (for quantification of proteins), the determination of levels of endocannabinoids and behaviour tests”, listed Doctor Rodríguez-Puertas. “In fact”, continued the researcher, “in our research team we are experts in the autoradiography of receptors technique and in anatomically identifying the activation of the receptors of the endocannabinoid system”.

Great Britain Flag
Made in the UK - Take Omega 3 Suspendisse lacinia ultricies justo, at ultricies nisi tempus ac. Cras sed vehicula metus. Phasellus...