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Re: Assessing Dr. Jensen's methods

Posted by JohnL on December 27, 1999, at 3:42:45

In reply to Re: Assessing Dr. Jensen's methods, posted by JD on December 27, 1999, at 1:46:51

I'm not sure what to think of all this either. It is refreshing on one hand to see someone attempt to lay out a definable strategy. But in reality I think it would be hard to find any local doctor willing to prescribe a handful of different drugs to try in a time period of a couple weeks based on a fax recommendation from some hot-shot pdoc in California. Especially when those recommendations were based on a telephone interview. That may indeed be credible, but it also has snake oil overtones.

With the benefit of hindsight, sampling multiple drugs in a short time would have been beneficial to me. For example, what do these drugs have in common?...
Buspar's metabolite
St Johnswort
What they have in common is this:
They all drastically worsen my tinnitus.
They all made me feel worse very quickly, within hours, and did not improve when I stuck it out for weeks. I became suicidal on several of these.
And finally, they all have action on norepinephrine. That's the common denominator.

From the little I know of Jensen's methods, these reactions are "clues". And I'm assuming it would be logical to deduce that any drug that has action on norepinephrine will predictably cause me problems. And thus, my norepinephrine system is an area of the brain that needs to be totally avoided in treatment. Had I been able to try rapid samples of drugs, I would have narrowed my search in weeks or months rather than years.

Another "clue" is that Naltrexone was completely neutral with me. I assume my opiate system is not involved in any way with my symptoms, or else Naltrexone would have had some kind of impact.

Another clue is that I have responded best to serotonin drugs and/or 5HTP. So my serotonin system is definitely involved. BUT that's not the whole story. Because even though serotonin drugs help me overall, they fail miserably in relieving my primary symptom which is anhedonia/apathy. So at this point I am thinking more in terms of treating dopamine systems, either by agonism or antagonism, to see what effect that has. And simultaneously avoid any action on norepiniephrine. With that in mind, an antipsychotic is looking like a logical candidate. Something like Zyprexa which accomplishes all of these requirements. And perhaps maybe all this is missing the mark. Perhaps valproic acid or something like that is the missing link to it all.

With or without Jensen's methods, I think we all go through the same "gathering clues" approach, whether we define it as such or not. We all learn from each drug trial. I believe his approach is an attempt to speed up the clue gathering process and hasten the time to pinpoint the right drug(s). And he attempts to put some structure into the process.

But many times the miracle cure for someone didn't become evident until after a month or so on a particular drug. Jensen's methods would have bypassed that drug completely if it hadn't showed any promise in a few days. And sometimes we react very positively to a drug in just days, only to have it fizzle miserably weeks later. Jensen's methods would have temporarily misguided us into placing our bets on that drug. So like all theories and strategies, I see both pros and cons with this one. I certainly could have eliminated all drugs that worsen my tinnitus and/or my depression very quickly with his approach. But then again, it's always easy looking backwards isn't it? It's always easy with the benefit of hindsight. But not always so obvious at the moment.

Hey, this is a thought-provoking thread. Sorry to go so long here. I'm just babbling. :) JohnL




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