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Re: Do antidepressants really work?

Posted by snapper on April 5, 2004, at 23:04:08

In reply to Re: Do antidepressants really work? Althea8869, posted by SLS on April 5, 2004, at 8:11:17

> > Scott - please excuse my acronym ignorance, but what is DST?
> DST = dexamethasone suppression test
> Dexamethasone is a synthetic cortisol. In a negative feedback loop arrangement, ACTH secreted by the pituatary gland stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol. In healthy people, an increase in the blood level of cortisol signals the pituitary gland to reduce its output of ACTH. So too does the introduction of dexamethasone. However, in a sizable percentage of people diagnosed with major depression, dexamethasone fails to suppress the secretion of ACTH. The negative feedback loop fails to limit cortisol production. The DST was investigated intensively during the 1980s, and was used to aid in the diagnosis of endogenous depression.
> Some studies suggest that people who are non-suppressors (abnormal) are statistically more severely depressed and, perhaps more importantly, more likely to respond to ECT or medication than suppressors.
> - Scott

> Hi Scott, you are correct on the DST thing. At least in my experience. When I had the DST done in 1992' and was almost disappointed that it came back as normal, so to speak. I thought, how come that test came back neg. for me. I wanted a real reason for why I felt so awful. I thought it was a definitive type thing but we obviously know it is not!! Would'nt it be nice if it were that simple?




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