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Re: VERY interesting theory on AD time lag..

Posted by Adam on November 8, 1999, at 23:53:47

In reply to Re: VERY interesting theory on AD time lag..., posted by Adam on November 8, 1999, at 17:36:01

> Clearly these guys are looking for more funding from Lily, and I don't applaud their cynicism. But kudos for the intuitive leap that
> lead to this discovery.

OK, I've started mini-flame wars saying things like this before, so please let me apologize right now: My
skepticism about this report I think is warranted, but I have no buisness calling the investigators cynics
because I think their enthusiasm is unfounded. Sorry.

Having said that, I do think it's just plain weird that they would attribute antidepressant action to increased
neurogenesis, given what is known about such phenomena, which is not a whole lot. The paper showing definitively
that neuronal stem cells do in fact exist only came out a short time ago. I don't think this new and very exciting
discovery is all that well understood yet.

And anyway, it doesn't take a genius to see there are some serious holes in this theory. One real problem it
took about ten minutes for me to figure out (and I'm sure these guys thought of this) is why, if Prozac makes you
grow new nerves cells, do the antidepressant effects go away so quickly once you stop taking the drug? They
hypothesize that congenital defects and/or stress lead to a smaller hypothalmus, and this is an underlying cause
of depression. Fine. Without even arguing that point, if in six weeks or however long it takes for the latent
period of antidepressant action to end you have grown back whatever neurons you need to feel better, then why
should you keep having to take the drug? To prevent further damage? Are they suggesting depression is a neuro-
degenerative disease like Parkinsons? Neurodegenerative diseases can lead to depression, but it does not follow that
that is the etiology of all depression, or even a significant fraction of depressive illnesses. Are they suggesting
that neurogenesis in depressed people occurs at a slower rate than healthy individuals? I don't think anyone has
demonstrated that. No one has had time to.

Maybe there's something I'm missing here, but I don't think so. This is too much of a leap too soon for my tastes,
and I have a hard time understanding how these investigators came so confidently to their conclusions.




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