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Tests for neurotransmitter levels or damage


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Are there any tests and scans one could do in order to know what is the status of neurotransmitters after taking a neuroleptic? Is there a way to see what is the chemical imbalance of a brain?

 
 

 

Took Risperdal (4 mg for one week, 2 mg for some weeks and 3 mg for three days) from early August to early September 2016.

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No, there is no way to test brain chemical balance in a living brain. The tests some alternative practitioners offer, which test various body fluids, are not helpful, they don't reflect brain chemistry, which is actually fluctuating all the time.

 

From your signature, it looks like you weren't taking the neuroleptic for very long, so I would assume any changes are minimal and temporary. Permanent brain damage usually only occurs in long term, high dose use, so stop worrying.

 

Anxious thoughts cause stress and stress can slow healing, so focus your thoughts on something pleasant. This topic may help:

 

Changing the channel

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • 8 months later...

Is there a way to see if withdrawal has caused brain damage? Eeg maybe?  After 17 years on effexor and the way I came off I'm starting to wonder.  

 

 

Started weaning from Effexor XR (put on these in 1999)in September 2013 150 mg by removing a few little balls a week and ended at 8 mg January 2017. ER doctor stopped them January 3rd, 2017 due to what she thought was seratonin syndrome. I now know it was withdrawal.

 

Reinstated 2.25mg Effexor Xr February 4, 2017

 

Previous meds Zoloft 1997-1999 stopped abruptly July 1999. A few months later I was diagnosed as bipolar and put on Effexor XR, Epival, and Trazadone. A few years after that I was told the bipolar was a misdiagnoses and they stopped the Epival. At some point I stopped the trazadone myself.

 

Supplements:omega 3 fish oil, vitamin d, magnesium, high dose probiotic.Ativan when needed

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On 7/24/2017 at 3:28 PM, Shortcake said:

Is there a way to see if withdrawal has caused brain damage? Eeg maybe?  After 17 years on effexor and the way I came off I'm starting to wonder.  


Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain.

My withdrawal journey (click)

 

"If you're going through hell - keep going".

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  • 2 months later...

I work in MRI... And have had an MRI of the brain... Didnt show anything.  They werent looking for brain damage though.  Though I think itd be hard for them to tell if there's any damage if they dont have a full MRI of beforehand.  

Started weaning from Effexor XR (put on these in 1999)in September 2013 150 mg by removing a few little balls a week and ended at 8 mg January 2017. ER doctor stopped them January 3rd, 2017 due to what she thought was seratonin syndrome. I now know it was withdrawal.

 

Reinstated 2.25mg Effexor Xr February 4, 2017

 

Previous meds Zoloft 1997-1999 stopped abruptly July 1999. A few months later I was diagnosed as bipolar and put on Effexor XR, Epival, and Trazadone. A few years after that I was told the bipolar was a misdiagnoses and they stopped the Epival. At some point I stopped the trazadone myself.

 

Supplements:omega 3 fish oil, vitamin d, magnesium, high dose probiotic.Ativan when needed

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've heard that a qeeg or spect scan will show damage caused and levels of functioning in certain areas in the brain. You must seek out a neuropsychologist for this kinda testing. 

Dec 2016 Risperidone 1 mg, Seroquel 25mg, Latuda 40mg 

Jan - Mar 2017 Paliperidone (invega) 6 -9mg, Zoloft, Mirtazapine, Proprananol, Ativan

Mar - Apr 2017 Aripiprazole (abilify) 10 mg

Apr 2017 - July 2017 Olanzapine (zyprexa) 5 mg tapered to 0mg

Oct 2017 - Present Effexor 37.5mg and Prozac 10mg 

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Finding out neurotransmitters damage
  • Administrator

There is no reliable test that shows any kind of damage from going off psychiatric drugs. Withdrawal is a condition of dysregulation rather than actual damage.

 

We have had hundreds of members get all kinds of tests that don't show any abnormalities. However, once in a while, someone does find organic brain damage that probably started before taking psychiatric drugs and may have been the cause of the person seeking psychiatric treatment. You should get neurological examination only to rule out actual brain damage as a cause for your symptoms. Do not expect that the tests will show damage from withdrawal.

 

The SPECT scans popularized by Dr. Amen for diagnosing psychiatric problems are largely a sham. See

 

Brain scans -- fMRI, QEEG, PET, or SPECT -- for psychiatric problems

 

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Finding out neurotransmitter damage
  • 1 year later...

Hello, 

 

I was wondering if there is any test to measure serotonin in your brain or other part of your body.

I'm still dealing with withdrawal symptoms after one year off antidepressant medications ( cipralex and amitriptyline at he same time ) 

I believe I had mild to severe serotonin syndrome for the period I was taking those drugs. It is possible that my serotonin levels are still high, cause at night I have still numbing in my hands, and twitching muscles, still dry mouth... I didn't have any of those before they diagnose me with anxiety, I was just worried, but none physical symptoms like those. I read that high serotonin and low serotonin cause those symptoms. In my case I had them after the medication to increase serotonin so I believe I have serotonin built up in my system.

I've heard most of serotonin isn't in the brain but in other part of your body, and can be measure. 

Here there is a study: 

https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/22012

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3034914/

 

Does any one know any thing about this ? 

Apparently the information in the internet is quite controversial, some people say there is no way to measure the level of serotonin and then you find some studies already done 

 

Thanks!

 

Had at almost the same time the following medications: 

amitriptyline 10mg : On = 10th of March 2018, Off=  20th May 2018

cipralex 5mg ( escitolopram) : On = 25th April 2018, Off= 20th May 2018

Had to stop them abruptly due to side effects, now I'm  suffering withdrawal

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No, you cannot measure serotonin in your brain. Your gut contains a huge amount of serotonin to aid digestion. Serotonin levels in the rest of your body are constantly changing. Testing them is not useful.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Tests for neurotransmitter damage
  • 1 year later...
  • Mentor
On 5/29/2019 at 2:40 PM, Altostrata said:

No, you cannot measure serotonin in your brain. Your gut contains a huge amount of serotonin to aid digestion. Serotonin levels in the rest of your body are constantly changing. Testing them is not useful.

 

This is a topic I've been thinking about quite a bit.

 

I have 2 questions.

 

- Is there any sort of procedure, test or really any way to precisely measure serotonin levels in the brain of a living person?

- If the answer to the question above is yes - are there any guidelines to what "healthy" serotonin levels would be? I imagine even healthy non-drugged people have vastly different serotonin levels in their brains (if they can even be measured) so I don't think there can be any guidelines.

 

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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The answer to both your questions is NO.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Mentor
1 minute ago, Altostrata said:

The answer to both your questions is NO.

That's what I thought.

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Mentor

This means being "genetically predisposed" to mood disorders such as depression/ anxiety is also non-sense, correct?

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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10 hours ago, Yesyes123 said:

This means being "genetically predisposed" to mood disorders such as depression/ anxiety is also non-sense, correct?

 

Despite billions of dollars being spent on decades of research trying to find such predisposition, it has not been demonstrated.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Tests for neurotransmitter levels or damage

I had a brain scan after 1 year of drugs (mostly antidepressants) and after 6-7 years (mostly antipsychotics) and I do have brain atrophy due to the pills. I'm in the middle of withdrawals with a lot of trauma and no support from my family. They are also abusive... I'm scared of going crazy, honestly... I feel like it's way too much...

 

I'm also scared of how much of this is the pills and how much is the trauma.

 

I'm just 23... I was sane before this...

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