This excerpt comes from a landmark paper published in In other words, the molecular building block of serotonin – tryptophan – is in lower quantities, leading to a decrease in serotonin production. The so-called serotonin theory has been the leading explanation of depression’s etiology for many years.
“Antidepressants may help body fight HIV and cancer” was the headline in Although the current research will be of scientific and medical interest, claims about the efficacy of antidepressants in HIV and cancer should not be made prematurely. Halaris hopes this small-scale study will induce further research into the potential neuroprotective actions of SSRIs. It is possible that other drugs, such as Prozac, might also show these anti-immune, neuroprotective characteristics. They excluded any women with a chronic illness other than HIV, neurological disorders or history of schizophrenia or psychosis, alcohol or substance abuse, who were pregnant, or had used any antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications within the past month. The study, after drop-outs, utilized data from just 20 patients. There are three regulating systems in the human body that have been extensively studied for their potential effects on stress and depression; the serotonin, neurokinin and glucocorticoid systems.
As far as pharmaceutical aids are concerned, they have proven to be effective in many cases, but how they actually weave their magic still holds a certain degree of mystery. As a result, your immune system attacks the organ as it would attack any foreign cell. This discovery led to the production of a successful class of depression medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The lead author is a consultant to a number of pharmaceutical companies, including the company that makes citalopram, the antidepressant that was used in the study.It has been suggested that, possibly due to changes in the immune system, depression is a risk factor for more severe illness and increased risk of mortality in several diseases including HIV. The two drugs were equally effective. 5. The viral load and use of anti-retroviral therapy did not seem to make a difference on the effects that the drugs had on NK activity.The researchers concluded that, in the laboratory, an SSRI and an SP inhibitor both enhance NK activity in blood samples taken from HIV positive women. Certain Medications. As a result, the researchers warn, the results must be approached with caution. They say that clinical studies are needed to see whether NK activity can be improved in the patient, and to look at the potential role these drugs could have in delaying HIV progression or improving survival.Although the current research will be of scientific and medical interest, claims about the effects of antidepressants in HIV and cancer are premature.As the authors say, “These findings represent an initial step in identifying serotonin and substance P regulation of immunity in HIV infection.” Much further research will be needed in people with HIV to see whether the drugs could have any role as treatments to enhance immunity.At the current time, antidepressants should continue to be viewed in their role as treatments of depression, stress and anxiety – not as potential treatments for HIV or anti-cancer drugs.This is an interesting idea, but we are a good few years from an answer.Evans DL, Lynch KG, Benton T, et al. If you’re one of the millions of women affected by this group of diseases, which includes lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease, you may be wondering why your immune system is … Newsletter. Of the nine substances, eight were found to be elevated above normal levels in the depressed participants. The results of the study showed that the patients treated with escitalopram displayed a significant drop in the levels of two neurotoxic compounds over the course of the trial.
The immune systems of people with depression have been found to produce an increased inflammatory response. The newspaper says the drugs could increase the activity of Natural Killer (NK) cells, a part of the immune system that targets cancerous and infected cells and induces “apoptosis” or “cell suicide”.