Antidepressant treatment in patients can trigger changes in the brain's gray and white discovered by researchers.
The study about antidepressants took place in Austria which reveals how they can alter the structure of the human brain. Researchers also say that intake of antidepressants also changes white and gray matter to be in a state of more plasticity.
Agreed. Also, serious to be done to research the effects of early childhood medication that alters brain structure, as a human brain grows until around age 25, and drugs - such as an antidepressant and opioids - will alter the structure of the brain and its functioning.— Miquette Caalsen (@MiquetteCaalsen) March 24, 2019
The study shows patients with the best response to the treatment are linked to increased signs of neuron connectivity.
In a media release, Professor Repple, lead author of the study, said that the discovery is conflicting with the previous conception about antidepressants. Additionally, he told the media “there are no time effects in health controls that support our findings that we see something that is related to the disease and more importantly the treatment of this disease”.
During six weeks, the changes to brain structure were quite rapid which confused the researchers. They are puzzled about different factors that why different treatments make different changes, and how these changes take place. But recent discoveries support other research, such as changes in the brain taking place due to physical development and reorganization. These past discoveries also showed the changes in adults were more inflexible.
Dr. Eric Ruhe from Radboud University Medical Center also said that “The results align very much with our current belief that the brain has much more flexibility in adaptation over even short time than we previously thought. Indeed a major idea of what treatment of depression invokes is plastic changes over time. This has been proposed as a common mechanism for antidepressants, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy”.
In conclusion, Dr. Eric shares that “observed changes over time in the study could not be associated with a form of treatment”. More studies may be performed to collect the proper evidence.