Alcohol shown to act in the same way as antidepressants fast


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Can having a few drinks help people with clinical depression feel better?

Yes. At least in terms of biochemistry.

In a study published in the current issue of the journal Nature Communications researchers found that alcohol produces the same neural and molecular changes such as drugs that have proven effective antidepressants quickly.

“Due to the high comorbidity between major depressive disorder and alcoholism is not the hypothesis widely recognized self-medication, suggesting that depressed individuals can turn to drink as a means to treat their depression, “said the study’s principal investigator, Kimberly-Raab Graham, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “Now we biochemical and behavioral data to support this hypothesis.” This, however, does not suggest at all that alcohol can be considered as an effective treatment for depression.

“There is definitely a danger of self-medicate with alcohol,” Raab-Graham said. “There’s a fine line between what is useful and harmful, and at some point during use of repeated self-medication becomes addiction.” In their study using an animal model, Raab-Graham and colleagues found that a single dose of an intoxicant alcohol level, which has been shown to block NMDA receptors (proteins associated with learning and memory), worked together FMRP with autism related protein to transform an acid called GABA from an inhibitor to a stimulator of neural activity. In addition, the research team found that these biochemical changes resulted in a non-depressive behavior lasting at least 24 hours.

This study showed that alcohol followed the same biochemical pathway as fast antidepressants in animals, while producing effects comparable to those observed in people behavior. In recent years, single doses of rapid antidepressants such as ketamine have proven to be able to alleviate depressive symptoms within hours and last up to two weeks, even in individuals who are resistant traditional antidepressants.

“Further research is needed in this area, but our results provide a biological basis for the natural instinct of human beings to self-medicate,”

Raab-Graham said. “We also define a molecular mechanism that may be a critical factor for comorbidity that occurs with alcohol use disorder and major depressive disorder.”

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