Effects of Psychotropic Drugs on Developing Brains: Protocol


Animal studies have raised concerns about SSRIs and ADHD stimulants inducing lasting abnormalities in the developing brain. Researchers from the University of Amsterdam are now planning a series of three studies on the effects of Psychotropic drugs on Developing brains (the ePOD study).  The present their proposed protocol and rationale in BMC Psychiatry.

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Bottelier, M., Schouw, M., Klomp, A., Tamminga, H.; The effects of Psychotropic drugs On Developing brain (ePOD) study: Methods and Design. BMC Psychiatry. 2014. 14:48

From the Paper:

. . . Evidence is slowly emerging that the long-term effects of drug exposure are delayed and come to expression once the vulnerable system reaches maturation (i.e., typically during adulthood).  This phenomenon is known as ‘neuronal imprinting’ and occurs when the effects of drug exposure outlast the drug itself.  Still, very little is known on exposure during later brain development . . . We have set up three studies (the effects of Psychotropic drugs On the Developing brain ‘ePOD’ project): two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and a retrospective cohort study, investigating the possibility of the existence of neuronal imprinting in children medicated with these drugs while using several modalities to assess neurocognitive development. Here we report on the objectives and methods of these studies.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].