A physical performance-enhancing supplement has similar effects on the depressed mind.
Problem: A major roadblock to the successful treatment of major depression is that medical interventions are inexact and slow to elicit change. Antidepressants can take up to eight weeks until any noticeable improvement takes place, and it can take several periods of trial and error to arrive at the optimal drug and dosage. Medical costs accrue while the depressed individual continues to suffer.
Creatine, a performance-enhancing supplement, has previously been shown to aid in treatment of depressed female rats. Recently, it was tested for the first time on women suffering from depression as a booster to standard antidepressant regiments.
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Methodology: In a small, 8-week study, 52 South Korean women with major depressive disorder were treated with the antidepressant Lexapro, an SSRI, along with either creatine supplements or a placebo. Every two weeks, researchers assessed the women's depression using a widely accepted test. Results were based on the 39 women who ended up completing the entire trial.