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Brainmaster, Board Certified MD
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 58
Experience:  ABPN certified. 6 years of outpatient general neurology practice experience. No malpractice cases
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If someone has damaged serotonin receptors - what would be

Resolved Question:

If someone has damaged serotonin receptors - what would be the symptoms to diagnose
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Brainmaster replied 7 years ago.
one can not "damage" serotonin receptors. But one can have low serotonin levels in cerebral spinal fluid - this will manifest as depression or other behavioral manifestations (depression more likely) and hould be treated with SSRI or SNRI. Low level of serotonin would come from low production as oppose to low levels of receptors.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

My sister (21 in 2 weeks) suffers with depression and has convinced herself it is a result of 9 months use of ecstasy which has damaged her serotonin receptors. She has come to this conclusion after researching on the web after going from an A grade over achieving physcology student to being a drop out who does not want to get out of bed because she can't be happy.

She has been clean for over 18 months but her mood / depression has not improved. She also suffers with hallucinations 24/7 and I need help to help her as her local doctor has been unsupportive in diagnosis, preferring to keep giving her fluoxitine which she says 'numbs' her.

Expert:  Brainmaster replied 7 years ago.
hallucinations should be treated with meds like Seroquel or abilify. Prozac can and should be switched to another SSRI
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Are her visual hallucinations likley to be linked to receptor damage or another cause?

She is currently on fluoxitine, not prozac sorry. What are the differences between them - do they target different types of depression?

Do you have any experience or knowledge of patients with similar symptons presenting that have been 'cured'?

Expert:  Brainmaster replied 7 years ago.

I can not tell you the etiology of hallucinations - I do not think anybody else definitively ID the reasons. You just have to deal with symptoms and adjust treatment accordingly.

prozac and fluoxetin are the same thing - one is branded one is generic. Visual hallucination are also part of depression with psychotic features - medicines which i listed before work fairly well. "cured" need to be redefined -I would better use the term managed or controlled -= the answer is yes

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Does having these symptoms mean that low serotonin is presnt or can they be caused by other problems.

Is there research available that can back up success stories because my sister says that she has never seen success stories of someone in her situation being 'cured'.

Expert:  Brainmaster replied 7 years ago.
Studies which were done indicate that depressed people have low serotonin level in the spinal fluid. I am not aware of specific studies in individuals who used ecstasy. any one who would "fit" the profile would be treated "as if". routine measurement of serotonin in CSF is not customary, should not be done and should not guide treatment protocols. I would approach this case in "team approach" way with involvement of several specialists including psychology, social worker and psychiatrist/neurologist
Brainmaster and other Neurology Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your time and responses.

Do you happen to know or be able to recommend anybody for her to see in London / England?

Expert:  Brainmaster replied 7 years ago.

unfortunately, I do not know anyone there

Good luck