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Alcohol Mirrors Antidepressants in People With Depression

Alcohol Mirrors Antidepressants in People With Depression

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By    |   Tuesday, 04 October 2016 12:20 PM

Having a few drinks may be as effective as taking an antidepressant for people who are depressed, researchers say. At least when it comes to feeling better.

In a study published in the Nature Communications journal, researchers found that alcohol produces the same molecular changes as drugs that are proven antidepressants. The study found that alcohol followed the same biochemical pathway as rapid antidepressants in animals, while producing behavioral effects comparable to those in people.

"Our findings do provide a biological basis for the natural human instinct to self-medicate," principal investigator, Kimberly Raab-Graham, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, said.

"Because of the high comorbidity between major depressive disorder and alcoholism, there is the widely recognized self-medication hypothesis, suggesting that depressed individuals may turn to drinking as a means to treat their depression," Raab-Graham said. "We now have biochemical and behavioral data to support that hypothesis."

The study warns against self-medicating, however. "This, however, does not at all suggest that alcohol can be regarded as an effective treatment for depression," Raab-Graham said. "There's a very fine line between it being helpful and harmful, and at some point during repeated use, self-medication turns into addiction."
 

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Having a few drinks may be as effective as taking an antidepressant for people who are depressed, researchers say. At least when it comes to feeling better.
alcohol, depression, drinking
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2016-20-04
Tuesday, 04 October 2016 12:20 PM
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