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Old 04-16-07, 08:02 AM
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Faylen Faylen is offline
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The problem is that different drugs work on different receptors, and that's why one drug may work for you and another won't, even though they both affect the same chemical. Someone who does great on one SSRI might have a horrible time on another because each affects a different serotonin receptor, which in turn will affect dopamine and norepinephrine levels later on because all three chemicals affect one another.

Now, it had occurred to Oliver Sacks to give certain patients l-dopa, and it worked for a while, and then the patients reverted back to their noncommunicative states. (A movie was made of this, I think it was called "Awakenings", but I don't know the title of Dr. Sacks' book.) The problem is that we don't know everything about the way the brain processes and/or blocks all of these chemicals. When I was on Wellbutrin and developed tics in my hands that resembled a Parkinson's-like tremor, it occurred to me as well that it should be looked into. Of course, I'd wager there are plenty of researchers out there who've figured that out already, and if it were that simple, there would already be a treatment.

I know that there are illegal recreational drugs out there that can permanently disable the receptors for serotonin, and I'd imagine that a lot of these neurological conditions involve receptor damage, so no matter how much of a medication you're given, nothing will change. Add in individual body chemistry and workings, and you have even more variables. Plus, the brain is only recently being effectively mapped, and its complexity is pretty daunting. Most of what neurobiologists are doing for people with depression, ADD, autism, schizophrenia, and so on is like a game of darts. You take your favorite dart, which has hit the target faithfully over and over and give it a throw - no matter how balanced and perfectly aimed, there's still a chance it's not going to hit the bullseye. Fortunately, though, the technology is still being explored, new treatments are always being tested, so with the ever-growing aresenal there's a chance that a medication that didn't work for someone will soon be joined by one that hits the mark. All we can do is keep trying and not give up.
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