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Dr. arutt's stand on the chemical imbalance hypothesis


__________JJ Thiret__________ There's a lot of talk about chemical imbalance. "I have depression; major depression because I have chemical imbalance in my head"And yet I haven't read even to this day in empirical evidence supporting the chemical imbalance theory. So my question to you is where do you stand on that? __________Dr. Cheryl Arutt__________ Well, there are two levels that I want to respond in this. In terms of the trauma and the brain changes. Do you know about FMRI? Machines functional MRI? I don't know if you ever seen it but it's really exciting because it's basically allows us to look at brain's activity in real time. It tracks a derivative of when blood increases in different parts of the brain. So you basically can put somebody in there and you can show an alcoholic a movie of someone drinking and you know trauma all kinds of stuff. One the things that we are doing with the brain changes is can actually out somebody in a functional MRI machine who has PTSD for example and they can be expose to somebody who were mind some of the upsetting event and their brain will react in a very specific way. __________JJ Thiret__________ Sure. Uhmmm... __________Dr. Cheryl Arutt__________ And then you can do some like EMDR and put them back with the functional MRI and their brain looks smaller like a normal brain with the same stimuli. It's fascinating. So that's one piece of it that we can actually see the brain changes on that level. When we look at chemical level and the idea of "I have depression" is that a chemical imbalance and that's really the main thrust of your question. The thing about medication is that medication tend to help somewhere between one third and two third of these kinds of people. I do thinkhaving more Dopamine and nor Epinephrine in the synapses between the neurons can help certain people who don't have enough to keep themselves regulated. But I don't think that it is only a chemical issue. It might experience first of all that a lot of people don't have success with medication because it's an art and a science to prescribe it. It takes very specialize training and too many general practitioners are saying "Ah yeah you know the Prozac people can buy. Here are some samples. Try this, try that" and just because they are allowed to prescribed doesn't necessarily mean they should like you would go to your Psychiatrist for blood pressure meds you know. So people are getting not the right medication for them or not the right dose or they are not being told this could take a month and a half to two months for it to reach its optimum level and the first couple of week you might feel kinda weird and that they gonna go away if you stick with it or it may take two or three tries.

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