Drug Awareness Big News – What We Have Been Putting Together For You!!!!

WE ARE EXCITED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT WE ARE STARTING A DRUG AWARENESS MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM TO BETTER HELP TO SHARE INFORMATION & EDUCATE AS MANY AS POSSIBLE ABOUT THESE DRUGS…WHAT HAS GONE ON IN MEDICINE & IN COURTROOMS, & IN THE MEDIA SINCE THEY WERE FIRST INTRODUCED. WE HAVE PUT TOGETHER AN ENTIRE LIBRARY OF AUDIO & VIDEO TO TAKE YOU THROUGH THE HISTORY OF THE PAST 20+ YEARS SINCE THESE DRUGS WERE INTRODUCED. (YOU MAY SKIP BELOW TO OPPORTUNITY TO SEE WHAT WE HAVE PUT TOGETHER FOR YOU OR SEE OUR HISTORY DETAILED BELOW.)

HISTORY/BACKGROUND: Most of you know that since 1990 I have been researching serotonin & antidepressants & gathering information from the media & court cases on these drugs. You also know that I began gathering cases involving these drugs at the same time. At a local meeting in Salt Lake City of those concerned about Prozac people begged me to become the local director for the Prozac Survivor’s Support Group. I graciously declined explaining that I did not see how I could spend the time researching & writing my book about antidepressants & do that as well. My world turned upside down the following day when the 20 year old son of a local attorney jumped to his death outside my downtown office window. His dying words to the responding officers included the fact that he was on Prozac. That was the day I agreed to become the Utah director for the Prozac Survivor’s Support Group. In September of that year I testified before the first FDA hearing on Prozac & now am the only one who has attended every FDA hearing on SSRI antidepressants ever held.

When Rosie Meysenberg & I met in 1996 we joined forces in gathering & documenting these cases. We began with gathering a group of antidepressant cases of women who were committing very violent murders & murder/suicides – something that stood out in society as a rarity. Rosie & I continued this effort gathering cases of murder/suicide, parents killing children, children killing parents, school shootings, workplace violence, road rage, air rage, False Accusations of Sexual Abuse, soldiers committing suicide, murder & murder/suicides, female school teachers seducing male students, etc. A decade later Rosie & her husband Gene paid me a visit to gather and consolidate as many cases as possible gathered over the years to began putting together a searchable database of these cases to post on the internet. That database is now located at www.ssristories.drugawareness.org & has been the basis for two major medical research studies so far. Sadly Rosie left us a week ago to join those whose battle we have been fighting for two decades before getting a chance to see in action what she knew we were working on.

Then in 1997 Mark Miller, who had recently lost his 13 year old only son, Matt, to a Zoloft-induced suicide, after only one week on the drug, joined Rosie & I to put up our website at www.drugawareness.org . He did a marvelously impressive job taking Drug Awareness quickly to the top of the charts on the net as so many families searched for answers as to what had happened in their families! This was the humble beginnings of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness. Over the years many have joined us in this battle for truth about antidepressants & their impact upon our society.

Also over the years everyone seemed to expect me to gather the media coverage in the newspapers, magazines & television. It seemed that I quickly became the antidepressant library for the planet documenting the peddling of these drugs to our world. That is what we are opening up now to make available to everyone. Since 1991 I have been doing radio & television shows & newspaper & magazine articles/interviews on the SSRI antidepressants. I have lost track of just how many, but they are all safely tucked away to document this antidepressant age & stand as a witness of all that has happened as a result. We are pulling them all out, dusting off the cobwebs & making them available to our members. More & more will be added each & every month.

DRUG AWARENESS MEMORIAL: We also want you to be aware of the memorial area we made available a few years ago. This is for you to place videos or just pictures of your loved one lost to these deadly antidepressant drugs. If you have not yet put together a video collage of your loved one we do have professionals who will do so for you at a discount so that you too may post your own video. I encourage you to go to the memorial area of our website to see how to go about this. Please allow people to see how much our world has lost with the loss of your loved one – their talents & contributions they would have offered to our world that we will now never see because of these drugs. You understand & feel that loss more than anyone because you were blessed to know them so well. Make the world see what you saw in them so that they can understand too what all was lost when we lost them! I refuse to allow them to remain numbers! I want to world to see them for who they were.  Memorial

OPPORTUNITY:
 We are going to offer three membership packages with perks for access to this information & additional educational opportunities. Of course as a member your dues support the many causes and projects of Drug Awareness:

Membership Package #1 SILVER: You receive instant online access to 17 audio/radio shows by Ann Blake-Tracy (Well over $100 worth  of audios with many more to come soon!), instant access to the 1/2 hour long withdrawal CD by Ann Blake-Tracy PLUS FOR THE FIRST 100 WHO SIGN UP THEY WILL RECEIVE: a MP3 download of the CD to share with others PLUS another download of Ann Blake-Tracy’s most favorite of lectures over the past 20 years: a dynamic delivery of information presented to a group of 2000 gathered for a Young Living Oils Convention. Ann Blake-Tracy received a standing ovation for this lecture.

Membership Package #2 GOLD: You receive instant online access to 17 audio/radio shows by Ann Blake-Tracy (Well over $100 worth  of audios with many more to come soon!), instant access to the 1/2 hour long withdrawal CD by Ann Blake-Tracy plus an MP3 download of the CD to share with others AND another download of Ann Blake-Tracy’s most favorite of lectures over the past 20 years: a dynamic delivery of information presented to a group of 2000 gathered for a Young Living Oils Convention. Ann Blake-Tracy received a standing ovation for this lecture. PLUS YOU GET instant access to all DVDs & videos offered through our Drug Awareness Book Store (Well over $100 retail value of audio & over $100 retail value of DVDs!) PLUS FOR THE FIRST 100 WHO SIGN UP THEY WILL RECEIVE FOR THE FIRST THREE MONTHS: a 1/2 hour free either personal withdrawal or legal consultation with Ann Blake-Tracy (a $62.50 – $125 value!! for the first three months of membership then changing to a 1/2 hour long monthly conference call with Ann Blake-Tracy)

Membership Package #3 PLATINUM: You receive instant online access to 17 audio/radio shows by Ann Blake-Tracy (Well over $100 worth  of audios with many more to come soon!), instant access to the 1/2 hour long withdrawal CD by Ann Blake-Tracy plus an MP3 download of the CD to share with others AND another download of Ann Blake-Tracy’s most favorite of lectures over the past 20 years: a dynamic delivery of information presented to a group of 2000 gathered for a Young Living Oils Convention. Ann Blake-Tracy received a standing ovation for this lecture. PLUS YOU GET instant access to all DVDs & videos offered through our Drug Awareness Book Store (Well over $100 retail value of audio & over $100 retail value of DVDs!) PLUS FOR THE FIRST 100 WHO SIGN UP THEY WILL RECEIVE FOR THE FIRST THREE MONTHS: a 1 hour free – either personal withdrawal or legal – consultation with Ann Blake-Tracy (a $125 – $250 value!! for the first three months of membership then changing to an hour long monthly conference call with Ann Blake-Tracy)

Sign up here: http://www.drugawareness.org/book-store/membership

There will be many perks & free CDs & DVDs to share with others as we go along. Education is the only way to stop this nightmare! Without understanding too many are lured right back into the web of deceit woven by the drug makers about these deadly drugs!

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org & www.ssristories.drugawareness.org
Author: *”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare –
The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon
Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”

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FROM Ann Blake-Tracy: WELCOME BACK TO DRUGAWARENESS!!!!!!

Intern’tl Coalition for Drug Awareness Newsletter

Newsletter Posted by: “Ann Blake-Tracy”

Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:44 pm (PST)

It has been a very long time – far too long – since we have sent out newsletters from our Drugawareness site. I am starting them back up again & want to update you on all that is happening. Over the past two weeks I have had three experiences that have made me realize that no matter how overwhelmed I have been over the past couple of years, I MUST find the energy and means by which I can step up the pace of educating the world about antidepressants because I know what is happening in my life is happening in everyone else’s lives as well because antidepressants are EVERYWHERE!!

Besides the school shooting that just happened in Ohio with every earmark of yet another antidepressant induced school shooting, last night a friend called to let me know that her cousin was the teen boy who walked in front of a train in my old neighborhood last week. The grandmother of this boy has now lost two of her grandchildren in a violent suicide induced by antidepressants!!! The first was a teen girl who shot herself about a decade ago. And her son was sent to prison because of false accusations of abuse made by someone on these meds. THAT IS ONE FAMILY!!!!!

Then last week a good friend I have known for 20 years & who has helped set me up for lectures and radio shows to spread the word about antidepressants called to let me know that his 32 year old niece on antidepressants had just committed suicide leaving her husband and three children behind.

Then two weeks ago a friend I have had for 30 years called to let me know that her daughter had given her son-in-law ONE pill of Zoloft after which he made several serious suicide attempts & was now in a psych ward.

Now if I am being hit with this many tragedies this close to me in my life when I know what I know about these drugs, how bad is has it become in everyone else’s lives????!!!!!

So we are gearing up the website to offer more & more info.

We welcome all of you back to our Drugawareness family!!!
You can find us on Facebook under the International Coalition for Drug Awareness. And you can find me on Facebook at Ann Blake Tracy where we have been sharing MUCH new information. Please come and friend us there!

Our Texas Director, Rosie Meysenburg, & I have worked very hard for many years to gather as many antidepressant-induced cases of violence, suicide & other adverse reactions. And Rosie has put all of these plus many more she has gathered from the internet into an incredible database which you can search in so many different ways! You can search by patient name, by state, by what happened (school shooting, teacher seducing students, suicides, child cases, etc.) The website for that is located at www.ssristories.drugawareness.org

We are also gathering your stories on the site. There will be a spot for you to enter yours as well.

We are preparing a membership site as well with several ways of learning more and more about these drugs & how to educate others to prevent these tragedies.

I also have new DVDs available on several subjects:

1: On the subject of Bipolar induced by the use of antidepressants

2: Antidepressants & Mind Control

3. False Memory Syndrome caused by antidepressants

4. The Effects of Antidepressants Upon Spirituality

5. The REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) (We now know that 86% diagnosed with RBD are taking antidepressants!!!)

I also just learned Leslie Demeniuk’s antidepressant-induced nightmare is going to be on the Bio Channel Friday evening at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. http://www.biography.com/tv/weekly-schedule It is a program called Women Behind Bars. Leslie shot her twin 4 year old boys while in a psychosis produced from going from Zoloft to Paxil. Her fiance, Anthony Ortiz, was one of our Drugawareness group who came to Houston from Florida for the press conference we had on the courthouse steps during Andrea Yate’s second case. Leslie’s case is found on our SSRIstories database of cases athttp://ssristories.drugawareness.org/archive/show.php?item=497

So that you have some background as you watch this program: Leslie was suffering the hypoglycemic reaction that comes from the use of antidepressants coupled with the stronger impact upon blood sugar brought on by the shock to the body of abrupt changes in dose of an antidepressant. This reaction brings on overwhelming cravings for either alcohol or sweets or both. She was therefore drunk also at the time of the shooting. This alcohol craving was the first reaction to Prozac that caught my attention & caused me to begin researching the SSRI antidepressants. I was shocked to see those who had never touched alcohol in their lives become alcoholic almost overnight on these antidepressants!

Of course the cases never end. Just last week a pharmacist in Tampa, FL drowned her baby while on antidepressants. We have just had another school shooting which I am sure involved the drugs & not far from there a young father shot & killed his wife & three children. In Utah last night I learned a friend’s teen cousin walked in front of a train in my old neighborhood to commit suicide after several months on antidepressants. Amazing that as hard as you try & as much evidence as there is when there is so much $$$$$ being made the truth just does not make it out – unless we do it ourselves to save those we love!!!

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness, www.drugawareness.org & www.ssristories.drugawareness.org
Author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? Our Serotonin Nightmare & Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

 

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1 dead, 4 injured in NE Ohio school shooting – 2-27-2012

YET ANOTHER SCHOOL SHOOTING!!! How can these continue? Basically non-existant before antidepressants hit the market. Now there is another one every time you turn around & in almost every case there is you will find an antidepressant involved as we will likely find in this one as well. How this can continue to go on right under the noses of everyone and so few “get it” is beyond me!!! Orwell could not have pegged our age any better than he did in his book 1984!

www.wmbfnews.com

Chardon Fire has confirmed they were called to the high school for a shooting. The Fire dispatcher said students are possibly injured.

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Xanax Facts and Whitney Houston

 Whitney-Houston-Drugs
I have to agree with Dr. Peter Breggin on this article & would encourage you to read it & educate yourself about this drug.

But what I would add that was not addressed here is how often Xanax is prescribed in antidepressant withdrawal thereby causing Xanax to take responsibility for what the antidepressant withdrawal actually caused or exacerbated the effects. If that is a possibility in Whitney Houston’s case we do not know because that information has not been shared & is rarely addressed or considered.

Another important issue not addressed here is that Ambien is in this same group of drugs & most are aware of the very serious problems with this Benzo.

Also when Xanax was introduced to the market ~ supposedly to replace its extremely addictive sister drug, Valium ~ it is amazing to see it made it to approval when you consider that 1/3 of those in the clinical trials for Xanax could not withdraw from this drug due to its extremely addictive properties!!!

www.huffingtonpost.com

Reports that Xanax and other benzos are not usually lethal when taken alone are vastly misleading. Xanax is rarely taken alone. Why? Because as much or more than any other prescribed drug, Xanax causes medication spellbinding.

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Wellbutrin destroyed my soul

Wellbutrin destroyed my soul
Matt
I’d like to share my account of the complete and total destruction of my soul as a result of antidepressant withdrawal. I didn’t even think such a thing was possible, but I now know that it is.
I’d been on a high dosage of Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion) for 5 years for depression. I decided to stop taking it because I felt it was losing its effect and I was becoming apathetic. In the months that followed my withdrawal, I gradually began losing my ability to feel emotions. When a close relative died and I could literally feel nothing towards this event, I knew something was wrong.
That is when I decided to reinstate the drug, as I thought I might have been better while taking it. Strangely, reinstating the drug for a month did not help, but instead made things worse. I felt like I kept losing more and more of myself inside. This confused me, and I didn’t know what to do. When I stopped the drug again and reinstated a second time, I experienced one tremendous day of improvement followed by a seizure while sleeping, and waking up in a confused state. After this I regressed and felt completely dead inside.
This waking up in a confused state happened 2 more times, once in May 2010 and once in September 2010. Both of these were preceded by sudden improvements. But upon waking I felt like I had lost a basic part of my self. Not just feelings, but the core of my being. What I felt to be the complete and final destruction of my inner being happened on September 7th, 2010, and there hasn’t been a change since (it has now been 6 months).
I’ve been in an extremely peculiar state for the past 6 months. I have literally lost everything inside of me and no longer have a sense of ”inner being”. My personality has been completely erased, along with the inner psyche I’ve spent a lifetime building. When I attempt to ”look inside”, it is impossible because there is literally nothing there. Everything that made up my specific sense of personal being is gone, including including my hopes, fears, dreams, goals, opinions, values, morals, likes/dislikes, and most strikingly, all emotions and feelings.
I have no feelings associated with past events, and no emotional connections with anything in the world. Specific emotions that defined my personal sense of being are no longer there. People, places, things and events that I thought were etched in my soul as having significance no longer mean a thing. Absolutely nothing, I can’t stress this enough.
I am unable to look backward or forward, have no sense of past accomplishments and no desire for future ones. The strangest thing is, I cannot feel anything toward being in this state, as that part of me is gone too. It’s like a recursive erasure of everything I ever was, am, and will be.
It doesn’t feel like life is a conscious experience that I am having anymore, as there is no inner construct within me to absorb an experience on any level. I see, hear, touch, and smell, yet each of these is so devoid of emotional content that they don’t coalesce into anything meaningful I can call a human consciousness. My sense of being has been replaced by a constant void of nothingness that is unchanging, 24/7, I feel nothing towards the nothingness. It is not like feeling empty inside, there is no inside to feel empty within.
Obviously, antidepressants affect neurotransmitters. Maybe my neurotransmitters were severely imbalanced by the manner in which I withdrew, along the seizure(s) (there is only one I am sure of). What I don’t understand is how a neurotransmitter imbalance could completely erase me as a human being. What I’m experiencing is not depression, anhedonia, or flat affect, but a permanent change in my consciousness that literally destroyed my humanity. All the parts that made up my being are literally gone. I don’t understand how this is even possible, or what (if anything) I can do to change it. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

1,667 total views, no views today

Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion)

Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion)
Matt
I’d like to share my account of the complete and total destruction of my soul as a result of antidepressant withdrawal. I didn’t even think such a thing was possible, but I now know that it is.
I’d been on a high dosage of Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion) for 5 years for depression. I decided to stop taking it because I felt it was losing its effect and I was becoming apathetic. In the months that followed my withdrawal, I gradually began losing my ability to feel emotions. When a close relative died and I could literally feel nothing towards this event, I knew something was wrong.
That is when I decided to reinstate the drug, as I thought I might have been better while taking it. Strangely, reinstating the drug for a month did not help, but instead made things worse. I felt like I kept losing more and more of myself inside. This confused me, and I didn’t know what to do. When I stopped the drug again and reinstated a second time, I experienced one tremendous day of improvement followed by a seizure while sleeping, and waking up in a confused state. After this I regressed and felt completely dead inside.
This waking up in a confused state happened 2 more times, once in May 2010 and once in September 2010. Both of these were preceded by sudden improvements. But upon waking I felt like I had lost a basic part of my self. Not just feelings, but the core of my being. What I felt to be the complete and final destruction of my inner being happened on September 7th, 2010, and there hasn’t been a change since (it has now been 6 months).
I’ve been in an extremely peculiar state for the past 6 months. I have literally lost everything inside of me and no longer have a sense of ”inner being”. My personality has been completely erased, along with the inner psyche I’ve spent a lifetime building. When I attempt to ”look inside”, it is impossible because there is literally nothing there. Everything that made up my specific sense of personal being is gone, including including my hopes, fears, dreams, goals, opinions, values, morals, likes/dislikes, and most strikingly, all emotions and feelings.
I have no feelings associated with past events, and no emotional connections with anything in the world. Specific emotions that defined my personal sense of being are no longer there. People, places, things and events that I thought were etched in my soul as having significance no longer mean a thing. Absolutely nothing, I can’t stress this enough.
I am unable to look backward or forward, have no sense of past accomplishments and no desire for future ones. The strangest thing is, I cannot feel anything toward being in this state, as that part of me is gone too. It’s like a recursive erasure of everything I ever was, am, and will be.
It doesn’t feel like life is a conscious experience that I am having anymore, as there is no inner construct within me to absorb an experience on any level. I see, hear, touch, and smell, yet each of these is so devoid of emotional content that they don’t coalesce into anything meaningful I can call a human consciousness. My sense of being has been replaced by a constant void of nothingness that is unchanging, 24/7, I feel nothing towards the nothingness. It is not like feeling empty inside, there is no inside to feel empty within.
Obviously, antidepressants affect neurotransmitters. Maybe my neurotransmitters were severely imbalanced by the manner in which I withdrew, along the seizure(s) (there is only one I am sure of). What I don’t understand is how a neurotransmitter imbalance could completely erase me as a human being. What I’m experiencing is not depression, anhedonia, or flat affect, but a permanent change in my consciousness that literally destroyed my humanity. All the parts that made up my being are literally gone. I don’t understand how this is even possible, or what (if anything) I can do to change it.
Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

952 total views, 0 views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Famous Supermodel Jumps Six Floors to Her Death: Columbia

Paragraph 2 reads: “According to a Colombian newspaper, police are
confirming that Marulanda leaped out of the window of her Bogota, Colombia
apartment. Reports are also indicating that Lina was experiencing depression as a
result of a recent separation from her second husband, Carlos Onate. The
stress of the split and a rumor also has surfaced that Lina was on
antidepressants to help her cope with her most recent troubles. According to
reports, Lina had only been married to Onate for four months.”

http://www.rightcelebrity.com/?p=8523

Lina Marulanda, a famous and successful supermodel from Columbia has died
at the young age of 29. She was born on May 15th, 1980 in Medellin,
Colombia. Not only was Marulanda a popular television host, but she will be
remembered as one of Columbia’s most successful models. The news came April 22,
2010 that Lina jumped to her death, falling from her sixth floor apartment,
surely to be devastating news to those close to her.

According to a Colombian newspaper, police are confirming that Marulanda
leaped out of the window of her Bogota, Colombia apartment. Reports are also
indicating that Lina was experiencing depression as a result of a recent
separation from her second husband, Carlos Onate. The stress of the split
and a rumor also has surfaced that Lina was on antidepressants to help her
cope with her most recent troubles. According to reports, Lina had only been
married to Onate for four months.

Lina started modeling at the age of 12 years of age and went on to work as
a television presenter on the Colombian news show, CM&Y Caracol.

There has been no official statement from Lina’s family, friends or
employer. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends. This has to be
devastating news for those close to Lina Marulanda.

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SSRIs: Sharp Drop in Brain Activity + Worsening Depression & Suicidality

NOTE BY Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):

Hopefully if you have followed my work or read my book, “Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare,” you know that I have made the argument for a decade and a half that antidepressants are the most similar drugs we have ever seen to dissociative anesthetics like PCP or Ketamine. They just work in a little slower motion is all. This research would confirm that by showing adrop in brain activity within ONLY 48 hours of use! All one needs to do is go to the one color page inmy book with brain wave patterns of a 31 year old male on Prozac for six months. The brain waves show that the patient is in a total anesthetic sleep state and dreaming while talking with those doing the test on him!
_______________________________________
Paragraph five reads:  “Prior research, Hunter said, has shown that between 8 and 14 percent of depressed patients develop thoughts of suicide while taking the most common forms ofdepression drugs, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Although reports have suggested that SSRIs are to blame, no firm link between these drugs and thoughts of suicide has been established.”

Paragraphs seven and eight read:  “The researchers treated 72 people suffering from majordepressive disorder (MDD) with one of two SSRIs, fluoxetine or venlafaxine, or with a placebo. All were evaluated by a clinician using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, a standard instrument that assesses the severity of a wide range of depression symptoms. Of the 37 participants on medication,five (13.5 percent) had worsening thoughts of suicide.”

“All of the participants were also examined using QEEG, which evaluates brain function based on thebrain‘s electrical activity. Among the 13.5 percent of participants who got worse, the researchersfound a sharp drop in brain activity within 48 hours of the start of medication. The dropoccurred in the midline and right-frontal sections of the brain, areas known to control emotions.”

SSRI Stories note:  In regard to placebo & suicidality, it should be remembered that the majority of placebo patients are ‘wash-out’ patients from other antidepressants and thus are actually inantidepressant withdrawal which can be extremely dangerous.

http://www.physorg.com/news189972383.html

Simple test can detect signs of suicidal thoughts in people taking antidepressants

April 8, 2010 By Mark Wheeler

(PhysOrg.com) — UCLA researchers have developed a non-invasive biomarker that may serve as a type of early warning system for doctors and patients.

While antidepressant medications have proven to be beneficial in helping people overcome majordepression, it has long been known that a small subset of individuals taking these drugs can actually experience a worsening of mood, and even thoughts of suicide. No clinical test currently exists to make this determination, and only time  usually weeks  can tell before a psychiatrist knows whether a patient is getting better or worse.

Now, UCLA researchers have developed a non-invasive biomarker, or indicator, that may serve as a type of early warning system.

Reporting in the April edition of the peer-reviewed journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Aimee Hunter, an assistant research psychologist in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, and colleagues report that by using quantitative electroencephalographic (QEEG), a non-invasive measurement of electrical activity in the brain, they were able to observe a sharp reduction of activity in a specific brainregion in individuals who proved susceptible to thoughts of suicide  within 48 hours of the start of treatment.

Prior research, Hunter said, has shown that between 8 and 14 percent of depressed patients develop thoughts of suicide while taking the most common forms of depression drugs, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Although reports have suggested that SSRIs are to blame, no firm link between these drugs and thoughts of suicide has been established.

This study suggests, for the first time, a link between worsening suicidality and specific changes inbrain function while on these medications.

The researchers treated 72 people suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) with one of twoSSRIs, fluoxetine or venlafaxine, or with a placebo. All were evaluated by a clinician using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, a standard instrument that assesses the severity of a wide range of depression symptoms. Of the 37 participants on medication, five (13.5 percent) had worseningthoughts of suicide.

All of the participants were also examined using QEEG, which evaluates brain function based on thebrain‘s electrical activity. Among the 13.5 percent of participants who got worse, the researchers found a sharp drop in brain activity within 48 hours of the start of medication. The drop occurred in the midline and right-frontal sections of the brain, areas known to control emotions.

Of note, eight of the 35 participants taking a placebo (22.9 percent) also had increased thoughts of suicide. However, the placebo participants did not show the precipitous drop in brain activity within the first 48 hours.

“This is the first study to show a change in brain function after the start of medication that appears to be linked to the subsequent development of worsening thoughts of suicide during antidepressant treatment,” Hunter said. “Importantly, changes in this biomarker did not predict worsening suicidal thoughts in the placebo-treated subjects, so the results suggest that the biomarker specifically detected medication-related worsening only.”

QEEG is a relatively inexpensive instrument that is non-invasive; measurements are obtained by placing electrodes on the scalp. As a result, Hunter said, further development of this biomarker could potentially lead to a tool that could be used by clinicians to predict, in the early stages of treatment, whether an individual suffering from depression will develop thoughts of suicide.

Provided by University of California Los Angeles

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