So Close to a Depression Treatment we can Taste It

Learn how I beat Depression

It may be credible to use our sense of taste to determine if an individual is depressed. Sounds strange doesn’t it. New research however points out that we can also use taste in determining which drug is most suitable for our depression treatment.

It is University of Bristol scientists who have headed up the research that has figured out the link. They have uncovered that our ability to know flavours shows improvement with pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of depression.

Antidepressants heighten the production levels in the body of serotonin, neurotransmitters and adrenaline. These antidepressants in the study were given to a range of healthy subjects. With use, the subjects showed a marked improvement in their being better at detecting flavours than they were previously, even when these flavours were at very low concentrations.

Overall their taste and recognition ability with the sense, was improved with use of the antidepressant drug.

Senior author of the study Dr Lucy Donaldson said, “When we increased serotonin levels we found that people could recognize sweet and bitter taste and much lower concentrations than when their serotonin levels were normal.” She went on to say that, “With increased nor-adrenaline levels the same people could recognize bitter and sour tastes at lower concentrations. Salt taste doesn’t seem to be affected at all by altering either of these neurotransmitters.”

Many have been excited by the findings of the study with Dr. Jan Melichar the lead psychiatrist on the study not being the least of them. She is ‘very excited’ by the finding and sees the breakthrough as the chance to not just get the medication right for the patient 60-80% of the time as is the standard. There is potential to get it right all of the time. Getting the drug right first time every time, as opposed to having to wait up to four weeks to determine if the right drug has been given is the new opportunity.

Other findings of the research include a throwing away the belief of old that taste was a genetic hand me down, unchangeable through our lives, it is now seen that taste can be altered by mood and chemicals.

So as to ensure that there was an actual taste differential after the drugs were consumed, the subjects had their tasting abilities checked first before the drugs were administered. Their anxiety levels were also checked, and there was a correlation in how high levels of anxiety lead to a lessening in our abilities to recognise salty and bitter tastes.

Learn how I beat Depression

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