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Lexapro and immediate changes in the brain


PatriciaVP

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Single Dose Of Antidepressant Lexapro Can Change Brain's Wiring In Just 3 Hours

One out of every 10 Americans takes an antidepressant, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, while one in every four women in their 40s and 50s do so. Now, a new study finds a single dose of a commonly prescribed SSRI (serotonin reuptake inhibitor) quickly produces dramatic changes in the architecture of the human brain. Specifically, brain scans taken of volunteers before and after one dose show a reduction of connectivity throughout the brain, with an increase of connectivity in two separate regions — all in just three hours.

 

What are SSRIs?

 

Worldwide, SSRIs are among the most widely prescribed form of antidepressants, often used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and personality disorders. Classified as third-generation antidepressants, they are known for having fewer side effects than older pills and work by increasing levels of serotonin, a brain chemical naturally produced by your body. While serotonin serves many roles within your brain, chiefly it balances mood.

 

For the current study, 22 medication-free participants let their minds wander for about 15 minutes while their brains were scanned with an fMRI, a technology capable of measuring oxygenation of blood flow. Meanwhile, the researchers analyzed the three-dimensional images of each participant’s brain and measured the number of connections between small blocks of neurons known as voxels. After giving each volunteer a single dose of Lexapro (escitalopram), the researchers carefully observed the changes in those connections.

Immediately, the researchers felt surprised to discover the speed with which one dose of the SSRI performed. Within a matter of hours, it had reduced the level of intrinsic connectivity in most parts of the brain, while increasing connectivity within two regions: the cerebellum and thalamus. The cerebellum is responsible for, among other tasks, controling motor skills and balance, while the thalamus regulates consciousness, sleep, and alertness.

 

"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 Dr. Julia Sacher of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences and an author of the study. Sacher believes better understanding of the differences in individual response to SSRIs "could help to better predict who will benefit from this kind of antidepressant versus some other form of therapy.”

 

Introduced in 2002, Lexapro is approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Though headaches, nausea, and insomnia are among its most common side effects, the Food and Drug Administration also warns of suicidal thoughts and tendencies brought on by the drug.

 

Article can be found here - http://www.medicaldaily.com/single-dose-antidepressant-lexapro-can-change-brains-wiring-just-3-hours-303932

 

Wonder what this means for all of us who have been using it for years.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

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That's  avery good question Peggy.

 

To me it seems we will have to go very slow with our tapering giving our brains as much time as it needs to build this connectivity again and in general return to its "normal" state...

Current: Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Futurerecovery

https://www.mpg.de/8426203/escitalopram-brain

 

 

 

standard_sans_both.jpg

 

Comparison of network centrality between placebo (left) and 20 Milligramm escitalopram (right). Orange colors indicate higher centrality. Three hours after the administration of escitalopram the architecture of functional networks changes considerably.
© Schaefer et al., Current Biology 2014

 

Full text of the study:

Serotonergic Modulation of Intrinsic Functional Connectivity (2014)

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/266027346_Serotonergic_Modulation_of_Intrinsic_Functional_Connectivity

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