Published on June 28th, 2017 | by Dr. Doug Pucci0
The Antidepressant/ Alzheimer’s Connection
More and more evidence is emerging about the dangers of antidepressant and psychiatric drug use, including correlation between an increase in suicides and related antidepressant use. Recent statistics indicate that antidepressants are now being prescribed at skyrocketing rates around the world—almost as often as antibiotics.
The latest findings published in The BMJ, a highly respected British medical journal, are connecting the dots between antidepressant use and a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. A strange twist to this is the fact that patients that already have Alzheimer’s are being prescribed antidepressants at a higher rate than any other group, according to the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, even though depression is not always present in Alzheimer’s patients.
Although it’s recommended that these medications, such as Xanax, Prozac, Valium, Zoloft and many others, should only be taken for fewer than three months, many patients are on them for life, while studies have shown that even short-term use can cause harm or addiction. It’s not uncommon for patients to suffer severe neurological side effects such as tardive dyskinesia, a movement disorder, and experience increased suicidal thoughts. Even coming off antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs can be a nightmare, and for many young people, they damage libido and coping skills.
Depression and anxiety are typically symptoms stemming from one or more underlying health issues which can be causing these negative emotions, and aren’t normally tested for in the standard healthcare environment. No matter what the root cause, whether biological, neurological, traumatic, environmental or prescription drug-related, antidepressants only serve to block the absorption of serotonin in the brain.
To make matters worse, studies have also shown that even more serious long-term harm to the brain can occur; the connection between brain cells can shrink, and these cannot be restored. Researchers published in the Anxiety and Depression Association of America’s journal, Depression and Anxiety, that this “brain-destroying” damage may make antidepressant users twice as likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and this risk increased for users under the age of 65.
Treatment with antidepressants doesn’t correct the root cause of anxiety or depression. Even when antidepressants boost a patient’s mood or increase concentration and productivity at first, the actual health problem remains. Over time, either higher dosages or more medications will need to be added to achieve the same result. Not surprisingly, studies have revealed that antidepressants typically yield the same results as placebos in many cases. In fact, not all patients experience any positive effect from taking them, and in some instances, the damage they inflict, the suicide risk and their addictiveness is not worth it.
One factor to look at is that anxiety and depression both can be triggered by uncontrolled spikes in blood sugar, which can be treated holistically by studying root causes. Likewise, the progression of Alzheimer’s, also referred to as Type 3 diabetes, can be slowed by controlling blood sugar and insulin response. Comprehensive lab tests for all potential causes of depression will reveal the correct approach to healing the underlying cause of the problem.
For more information about Dr. Doug Pucci, DC, FAAIM, including functional medicine, neurology and nutrition, call 201-261-5430 or visit GetWell-Now.com.