Treatment for teen anxiety
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., with approximately 4.4 million children and adolescents affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a new National Institute of Mental Health-funded study, led by Strawn and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, UC researchers took a first look at one particular medication for treatment of these disorders in pediatric patients to see if it was beneficial.
SSRIs work by increasing serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is one of the chemical messengers that nerve cells use to communicate with one another. These medications block the reabsorption of serotonin into nerve cells, making more serotonin available to improve transmission of messages between neurons.
Fifty-one patients aged 12-17 were randomly chosen to be treated with either escitalopram or a placebo for eight weeks. Their anxiety symptoms and overall improvement were evaluated in addition to how well they tolerated the medication. They also had their blood drawn to assess how medication blood levels impacted their outcomes. Some patients improved more quickly than others. Patients who were slower metabolizers of the medication had better outcomes and improved faster when compared to patients who had increased metabolism of the medication.
(Content Courtesy: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-08/uoc-tft082020.php)