7
Dec

Taste Test for Depression

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Trial-and-Error: Finding the best medication to treat someone with depression has often required a trial-and-error approach. Ten people can respond in completely different ways to the same medication; just because Paxil worked miracles for your best friend doesn’t mean it will do the same for you. Some people test four or five different medications before they know which one really helps with their depressive symptoms. This can also be an expensive process, because any unused medication has to be thrown away – the cost cannot be refunded. When you are suffering from clinical depression and possibly experiencing suicidal thoughts, spending months testing different medications is not something you want to do, especially if the side effects just worsen your depression.

Stick Out Your Tongue: Now Science Daily has published research findings that just might change the picture for people in need of anti-depressant medication. A simple taste test might be able to tell if someone is depressed and which medication would be the most helpful. Studies show that the neurotransmitters, serotonin and noradrenaline (both of which are related to depression), and people’s moods can affect their ability to recognize different tastes. Changes in the levels of these chemicals impact how well people can identify the tastes of bitter, sweet, and sour. If a simple taste test can pinpoint which chemical levels may need adjusting, doctors would be able to pick the best anti-depressant medication right away, instead of having to guess and cross their fingers.

1 Comment
  1. Jenn December 7, 2006

    Very interesting! Although the presence of low levels at a specific time doesn’t mean a chronic problem that needs to be treated with SSRIs or NARIs.
    If they did this study on smokers vs nonsmokers, I have a hunch both groups would show very different tastebuds as well.

    Reply

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