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There Is Accounting for Taste in Treatment of Depression

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - MedPage Today Action Points

o Explain to patients who ask that depression, anxiety, and other mental and physical disorders can alter taste perception. This study suggests that the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, levels of which are targeted by newer antidepressants, may be involved in taste alteration.

BRISTOL, England, Dec. 6 -- For newly diagnosed depression patients, there may be a tell-tale taste test for selecting the right antidepressant.

On the basis of their finding that serotonin and norepinephrine can alter taste thresholds, investigators here think they may have found a tasteful way to choosing the antidepressant that fits the patient.

In a study of 20 healthy adult volunteers, those who were exposed to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor Paxil (paroxetine) had significantly lower thresholds for sweet and bitter tastes than they normally did, wrote Lucy F. Donaldson, Ph.D., of the University of Bristol, and colleagues, in the Dec. 6 issue of Journal of Neuroscience.

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