The findings of an eight-week study were recently presented at the Fifth International Congress on Psychiatry and the Neurosciences in Athens, Greece. The study involved severely depressed bipolar patients who seemed resistant to treatment.
It is known that chronic pain is associated with a degree of depression, and that adding certain anti-depressants to the regime of pain management for many patients can significantly improve their pain levels and/or pain tolerance. This new report has looked at a novel application on the combination of anti-inflammatories and anti-depressants.
Anti-depressants can often take four to six weeks to make an appreciable difference, and this may be too slow for those who are severely depressed. This new study looked at adding a specific ant-inflammatory (NSAID) to treat depressed patients who had not responded to standard anti-depressants. On this combination, 78% of patients reported at least 50% decrease in their depression, while 63% reported that their depression had completely disappeared. Furthermore, the benefits were felt within a week of starting. The group receiving placebo had significantly less improvement.
Depression is associated with a heightened state of inflammation, and this hinders the function and normal balance of neurotransmitter substances in the brain. This study proposes that the NSAID combatted the inflammation, thereby allowing the anti-depressant to be more effective.
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