Re: Prozac & Violence - New Study

From: Ian Goddard (
Date: Tue Mar 14 2000 - 11:52:09 MST

At 02:36 PM 03/14/2000 +0100, Anders Sandberg wrote:

>> IAN: If both Prozac and PCP modify behavior by
>> raising serotonin, I'd say they work in a similar
>> way (which of course is not to say all things they
>> do are similar). PCP, like Prozac, is believed to
>> modify behavior by increasing serotonin levels.
>The main effect of PCP is more complex, and deals with how it messes
>up the dopaminergic activity of the ventral tegmental area and nucleus
>accumbens through its NMDA-antagonist activity, something that
>serotonin to my knowledge does not.
>There are many kinds of serotonin receptors with very different
>functions in the brain. That something increases serotonin levels
>doesn't tell much, the important question is *where* it increases
>serotonin levels. Also, Prozac is a specific reuptake inhibitor, not
>an agonist or antagonist, so the effects would be very much different
>from PCP even if they acted on the same systems.

   IAN: I don't think we can ever say the two drugs
   are the same. But the research I cited along with
   additional studies link PCP-induced pathologoical
   behavior to increased 5-HT. Of all attributes of
   PCP's effect, that's a most-relevant category.

   You mention the nucleus accumbens and the need for
   the two drugs to raise 5-HT in common areas. A study
   in the European Journal of Neuroscience (1999;11(12))
   found that PCP-induced locomotion (tangentially
   associated with aggressive behavior) is linked to
   increases of 5-HT in the nucleus accumbens. A
   study in the Journal of Pharmacology & Experimental
   Therapeutics (1997;282(1)) found that Prozac also
   increases 5-HT in the nucleus accumbens. Indicating
   a common effect on aggressive potential via the
   nucleus accumbens, a study in the journal European
   Neuropsychopharmacology (1999;9(1-2)) found that:
   "Fluoxetine [Prozac] given acutely increased and
   prolonged the PCP-induced locomotor hyperactivity."
   Chronic Prozac use also increased hyperactivity.

   It's important to note that drug effects can be
   highly individualized, and the research generally
   isolates average effects. Not everyone goes insane
   on PCP or on Prozac, but some do, on either drug,
   including hallucinations. Since both drugs are SSRI's
   that alter behavior via increasing serotonin, and
   since hallucinations are also linked to increasing
   serotonin, it's plausible to hypnotize a common basis.

   "There are times when you cannot keep your job and
  put alternative explanations for data on the table."
   Former FBI Special Agent Dr. Frederic Whitehurst


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