Decreasing Depression

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News August 2015

Researchers at the University of Washington have found a drug to help people with spinal-cord injury (SCI) who have major depressive disorder (MDD).

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MDD occurs in 25–30% of people with SCI, but there has been little to no research done to find an effective treatment. So, Charles Bombardier, PhD, and Jesse Fan, MD, held a study at the University of Washington to test the tolerability and effectiveness of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release in participants with SCI and MDD.

The study compared the before and after depression issues of 133 participants, some of whom took the venlafaxine and some of who took a placebo. Neither the participants nor the researchers knew who was taking which pill. At the end of the 12-week study, Bombardier and Fan found that most of the participants taking the venlafaxine tolerated the medication and experienced decreased symptoms of depression.

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