A new study has found that antidepressants can affect our brain at much more higher pace than was actually thought by the doctors and medical professionals.
An estimated 19 million Americans suffer from depression, a devastating and debilitating mental condition.
The small-scale study was conducted by the medical researchers and doctors at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany.
For the study, the researchers involved 22 healthy people having no signs of depression and never had antidepressants before. In a random order, the researchers divided the participants into groups where some were given a dose of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI), one of the most common types of antidepressant drug that hinders the brain from absorbing the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Study lead author Julia Sacher said, “We were not expecting the SSRI to have such a prominent effect on such a short timescale or for the resulting signal to encompass the entire brain.”
After looking at the brain results of the participants who have been given a single dose of an SSRI, the researchers found that the antidepressants had an obvious and near immediate effect on healthy participants’ brains.
“We were surprised. We were not expecting the SSRI to have such a prominent effect on such a short time-scale and the resulting signal to encompass the entire brain,” said Sacher of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences.
Earlier, doctors thought that it was impossible to see the antidepressant’s effect for at least a few weeks.
The researchers, however, sought for a much in-depth research work to better understand the effect of antidepressants on the brains of people both with and without depression and also the effect of long term medication.
The study was published in the journal Current Biology.