[ExI] Meaningless Symbols.

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Jan 16 12:36:34 UTC 2010

2010/1/16 Spencer Campbell <lacertilian at gmail.com>:

> Regarding antidepressants and other mind-altering drugs: I'd like to add
> that simply because we have a drug which produces happiness, this does not
> necessarily mean anyone actually understands why that is yet. Gordon and
> Stathis seem to be implying otherwise.
> A quick Google search for "history of antidepressants" turns up the
> following:
> http://web.grinnell.edu/courses/sst/f01/SST395-01/PublicPages/PerfectDrugs/Chris/history/index2.html
> Four sentences in, and sure enough the telltale term "accidental discovery"
> appears. No one knows what happens beyond the blood-brain barrier. There
> aren't even that many convincing theories, as far as I can tell, and even
> fewer subject to scientific testing.

We do know what most antidepressant drugs do, insofar as we know what
receptors they affect and how exactly they affect them. What we don't
know is why this should have an effect on mood. It's a similar story
with other psychoactive drugs. The other point to make about
antidepressants is that they don't work very well: they work in about
30% of patients who have clinical depression, and not at all in people
who are simply unhappy. Clinical trials show a 60% efficacy, but the
placebo has at least 30% efficacy in these trials.

Stathis Papaioannou

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