New study highlights effects of Antidepressants

Julia St. Amand, Staff Writer

Antidepressants have various effects on a person’s body and brain.

There’s no question that they are used fairly commonly throughout American society, though one might wonder whether or not they are actually beneficial.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have observed how antidepressant medications affect developing brain.

They conducted tests on stem-cell lab-grown miniature brains, and these brains are so tiny that they are not visible to the human eye.

However, the functions of these organisms closely resemble the actions of a full sized developing human brain.

These researchers noted in Science Daily, that these mini brains were negatively affected by antidepressants such as Paroxetine, also known as Paxil and Seroxat. There are many adolescents taking numerous medications, antidepressants included, on a daily basis. With this information in mind, one can only wonder what the long-term effects of drugs like these have on growing people.

Paroxetine has numerous warnings when being considered for personal medical use, particularly in pregnant women.

There is a high risk for birth defects such as lung and heart complications, and these mini brains, also called Brain Spheres, can show researchers some red flags that will determine the long-term ramifications of using externally created chemicals on the insides of our bodies.

One disturbing piece of information that was noted is that a majority of chemicals and substances in the line of consumer products, drugs, and foods, have not been tested for toxicity, due to the large cost of money that is required for animal testing.

This is quite unfortunate and goes to show that putting foreign substances into our bodies is not a great idea in the slightest.

However, Eureka Alert has reported that the creation and testing of these Brain Spheres only costs a few thousand dollars compared to millions, which is much more helpful and can be a great opportunity for future testing, leaving animals out of the equation entirely.

Future research will focus on building a greater understanding of the effects of chemicals on the developing brain and body.