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Different to all previous studies, a latest study published in the journal Current Biology notes that a single dosage of an antidepressant can produce changes in the brain within just a few hours.
Investigators took brain scans of 22 fit and strong people who were not demoralized and who had never taken antidepressants before, which chart blood flow in the brain, giving a sign of the brain’s electrical activity. Every study contestant underwent three scans on separate days: a baseline scan; another done three hours after a dose of a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a commonly prescribed antidepressant pill.
According to the report, a separate brain scan three hours later disclosed a spectacular change and visible brain connectivity changes could be seen.
There was an extensive drop in connectivity throughout the brain, except where it was better in two regions: the cerebellum and the thalamus so further study also will be needed to explain why the useful connectivity of the cerebellum and thalamus actually enhanced. The cerebellum, or “little brain” is a comparatively primitive structure that gives signals from the spinal cord, conveying them to the thalamus and on up to the cortex and all of those pathways are controlled by serotonin.
According to the research, the consequences may mean that antidepressants may change brain connectivity much quicker for increased serotonin. The author of the research said “We were shocked and we were not imagining the SSRI to have such a major effect of such a short time-scale and the resulting sign to encompass the complete brain.”
The author further said that “It is probable that these connectivity signs are the first step in changing the brain, as there is proof from other experiments that such functional connectivity changes can reproduce neuroplastic change, though, much work remains before we recognize how different antidepressants influence the brains of people with and without depression, not only after the initial dosage, but also over the longer term. After this study, our expectation for future studies are to discover major differences in brain connectivity between anxiety patients who eventually react to an antidepressant and those who do not.