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This might shed some light on the complexity of the brain.Juan Lopez, M.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department ofPsychiatry, and an Assistant Research Scientist in the Mental HealthResearch Institute of the University of Michigan. Dr. Lopez hasclinical expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders,and his research area involves the effects of stress hormones andantidepressants on the brain. His talk was entitled "Stress andAntidepressant Modulation of the Limbic-Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis."Juan discussed experiments in rats in which the effects of stressand antidepressant drugs on the regulation of corticosteroid andserotonin receptors in the brain were studied. He found thatantidepressants prevented the downregulation of corticosteroidreceptors and the changes in serotonin receptors that were caused bystress. He also found that tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) weremore effective than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)for this purpose.I think that the main value of this type of work for CFS is that itsheds some light on the interaction between the HPA axis and theneurotransmitters in the brain. We know that there areabnormalities in both the HPA axis and the serotonin system in CFS.I suspect that the HPA axis is upregulated for a long time prior toonset in many of the cases of sudden onset of CFS, as a result of along-term load of various stressors. Later in the illness, the HPAaxis appears to be downregulated or blunted. On the other hand,there is evidence in the literature for upregulation of theserotonergic system in many PWCs. These characteristics appear tobe opposite to what is observed in major depression, where theglucocorticoid levels are found to be high, and benefit is foundfrom drugs that raise the serotonin levels. In "pure" CFS, I don'tthink antidepressant drugs have been found to be very helpful, andthese opposite characteristics from major depression may be thereason. By contrast, in "pure" fibromyalgia there is evidence forlow serotonergic activity, and SSRI antidepressants have often beenfound to be helpful for alleviating pain in this disorder.Rich Van Konynenburg --------------------------------------------- Too much mail? Try a digest version. See http://www.co-cure.org/digest.htm Send posts to mailto:CO-CURE###listserv.nodak.edu Join or leave the list at http://www.co-cure.org/sub.htm ---------------------------------------------tom
 
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The problem that I have with SSRI's is that they attach to hormone receptors and prevent our bodies' own natural hormones from attaching to those receptors. For a menopausal woman who could care less about sex, this might be OK. For someone like me who cares about it a great deal, it's a nightmare. As long as I can carry on with normal activities of daily living, I choose natural, relaxation therapies over antidepressants, even though I also have CFS.There are also certain kinds of non-impact exercises that can really help to temper the pain of FMS.... more specifically.... swimming and bicycling as well as stretch 'n flex floor exercises such as that in which I participated when I was in modern dance. (I've taken a 2-month respite from dance)Something else that I've learned over the years is that how we view life has a huge impact on how we live it out. Granted, there are some physiological challenges that are undeniable present irrespective of our attitudes, but developing and maintaining a positive attitude helps us to keep on keepin' on in the face of adversity. It's what's kept me going when I was told that most people with my health challenges are not able to work.Evie
 
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Tom... you know better than that.... of course not...... I just know that there is power in positive thinking... which is a real challenge for me on some days as well. C'mon.... you're my friend, you always have been, and I've always looked up to you ..... you know that. And I'll bet you also know that thinking positively helps you to feel better even when you're down? Remember all the times when all you had to do was say one thing to me... it got the wheels goin'... and pretty soon I was feeling better about myself??Tom... you have been, ARE, and always will be... my friend.... OKay?I just want for readers to know that there IS life beyond drugs.Love, Evie
 
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Understandable..... but many of us might also be in your shoes in the near future.And you're entitled to feel a bit sensitive.Now give me a hug and get some sleep....
Evie
 
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