The American Caliban (substitute) wrote,
The American Caliban

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The antidepressant-debunking study

There was a news release today about a study that appears to show the uselessness of popular antidepressants.

This was reported in the Guardian, among other places. The publication can be read here.

There are problems, as summarized:
  1. PlOS is not an academic peer-reviewed journal. edit: They are in fact peer-reviewed, based on better information I have received by comments. Read the threads. They say they are peer-reviewed, but when you read their FAQ, you'll see this: "We involve the academic community in our peer review process as much as possible. After professional staff have determined that the paper falls within the scope of the journal, and is of a minimum acceptable quality, decisions on whether to send a paper out for in-depth review are made via a collaboration between experienced, professional editors who work full time at PLoS, and academic editors who are experts in their field."

    I'm not saying this is Wikipedia, but it's not the same thing as a traditional journal, either.

  2. It's one study. Beware of an equivalency between "one metastudy showed that these three or four drugs didn't show a good outcome under these conditions" and "antidepressants don't work."

  3. The study measured outcomes at six weeks. That isn't very long in a depression treatment, whether you're using Prozac or a trampoline.

That having been said, anything that keeps family doctors from throwing the best-advertised drug at every problem is going to be helpful at this juncture. And using any kind of medication (except possibly the trampoline) without counseling is, well, crazy.
Tags: brain
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