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My neurotransmitter test results from NeuroScience

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Posted

I received back my neurotransmitter results from NeuroScience. Wow. I think I am the most chemically depressed person in the world. Even while being on 10 mg of Lexapro, and 1 mg of Xanax at nighttime, here are my significant numbers...

Epinephrine 6.4 (optimal is 8-11)

Norepinephrine 21.3 (optimal is 35-45)

Dopamine 51.2 (optimal 125-175)

Serotonin 60 (optimal 125-175)

The lab then recommends specific dosages, taken in phases, of various supplements such as...

Adrecor, which includes Rhodiola rosea extract, N-acetyltyrosine, L-methionine, Vitamins B and C

Travacor, which includes 5-HTP, L-theanine, Taurine, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12

Balance D, which includes Vicia faba, N-acetyltyrosine, N-acetylcysteine, Vitamin B6

I have several questions:

1) Has anyone had success or known anyone with success using both this test and this type of treatment regimen?

2) Should I trust the lab and my doctor (Dr. Michael Cantwell, MD, MPH) who are telling me it's okay to combine these supplements with my current meds (Lexapro, Xanax, and occasional Ativan)?

3) If these supplements had any validity at all, why would they not be multi-million dollars sellers as people are constantly searching for ways to feel better emotionally and mentally with "natural" supplements?

P.S. Please don't suggest other psych meds as I've done so many of them, at various dosages for the last 12 years. I'm trying to go in a new direction. Nothing else has worked. Thanks ;)

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Posted

The lab then recommends specific dosages, taken in phases, of various supplements such as...

Are the things they recommend... stuff that the lab also sells?

~ May

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Posted

I never realized there was a test for neurotransmitter levels. What was it like a blood test or something? If that's the case then everyone who sees a pdoc would be given an easy peasy test to determine what neurotransmitter they're deficient in and then Rx meds accordingly.

In other words, I kinda doubt the validity of a test like this but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's something cutting edge that I've never heard of...anywhere.

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Posted

Is this a blood test? Honestly, I don't think it's likely to be relevant. (Someone, please, correct me if I'm wrong.) If anything, you'd want to know the levels of specific neurotransmitters in specific parts of your brain. And of course such a test would be too risky and invasive to do in humans.

I really don't know how your blood levels (if it's blood you got tested) of neurotrasmitters correlate to what's actually in your brain... Serotonin, for instance, is used in your intestines a lot. I don't know how--if at all--it correlates with blood levels of serotonin or with serotonin levels in your brain...

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Posted

Is this a blood test? Honestly, I don't think it's likely to be relevant. (Someone, please, correct me if I'm wrong.) If anything, you'd want to know the levels of specific neurotransmitters in specific parts of your brain. And of course such a test would be too risky and invasive to do in humans.

I really don't know how your blood levels (if it's blood you got tested) of neurotrasmitters correlate to what's actually in your brain... Serotonin, for instance, is used in your intestines a lot. I don't know how--if at all--it correlates with blood levels of serotonin or with serotonin levels in your brain...

Yeah, what you said.

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Posted

You know the old saying... if it's too good to be true..

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Posted

This is junk science designed to sell supplements.

We've had threads on this before.

Isn't this kind of like those "fitness" tests I had when I first subscribed to a gym? They set their equipment to their HIGHEST level, then the results said that I'm fat beyond repair and I need to at least hire a personal trainer, dietitian, etc., which costs like $2000, so that they can do their "business" with another customer.

Heck, even Scientology has their "stress tests" too.

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Posted

Yes, you all bring up many good points...

To answer the questions that have been raised...

-it is a urine test (done after fasting of course)

-I'm an extremely skeptical person but I have had the test 3 times over the last 5 years, and I will admit that the results have shown to be quite "accurate" in the sense that the numbers have really mimicked my symptoms almost to a tee. For example, the first time I did the test years ago, I was on no meds, and my serotonin was absurdly low, and I definitely felt not even functional. Then a couple years later I took it while on Lexapro, and my serotonin had more than doubled (but my level was still far below optimal), and that is about how I felt. I can go into greater detail with regards to my numbers/symptoms but want to keep it brief here.

-I never used the supplements they (or this particular doctor) recommended because I always used the results to try to adjust my regular pharmaceuticals. Since that has not helped one bit, that is why I'm on to trying either regular use of benzos, or these supplements sold by NeuroScience that seem like they can't possibly work.

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Posted

I still don't know that urine levels are correlated with brain levels. And synaptic function is more complicated than gross NT levels anyway.

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Posted

Even in the BRAIN, levels of neurotransmitters have not been correlated with mood.

There is nothing harmful in those supplements although some of them are a little odd (fava bean?) and I'm sure they're overpriced. But hey, if that's what you want to try, try it.

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Posted

Fava beans apparently contain a precursor to dopamine.

I wouldn't bother with this stuff, personally. But I don't think it would make anything any worse.

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Posted

I still don't know that urine levels are correlated with brain levels.

maybe the correlation only applies to dickheads! biggrin.gif

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Posted

I wasn't aware that neurotransmitters were shedded through the brain in such a way that they are filtered through the body, into the kidneys, and then into the urine. Remember, those kidneys can only filter certain things - that's how they are made. In my opinion, if the test isn't given the blessing by the AMA (I'm in the US), it doesn't count.

I know you are going to do what you want to do, but please don't set your heart on the items these people sell you on fixing you. That's just setting yourself up for failure, and deeper depression in the long run. These people may truly believe in their product, but ask if they have a money-back guarantee for their products. If they do, that should offer you a way to try their products a try with a way out if (and likely, when) they don't work.

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Posted

Personally, I think it's total BS with this but I did watch this news show a year or so ago that they have this test now for bipolars. It's an MRI basically but it shows the parts of your brain that's being affected by it totally. So they can get the perfect meds for you. At that time though it was really expensive and insurance wouldn't cover it. No idea if it ever would but wouldn't it be amazing to actually see your problem? To have it medically documented with an MRI? Wow. I wish I had access to it.

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Posted (edited)

This is why I love these boards because everyone here shares my healthy level of skepticism. That is why for the life of me, I can't figure out how this test could assess neurotransmitter levels at 3 different points in my life over a span of 5 years that almost match exactly my symptom profile. Especially since each time taking the test my symptom profile was significantly different and completely UNKNOWN to the lab.

I believe the supplements they sell are complete BS, but I'm having trouble discrediting a test that has been so accurate for ME. It may be neither here nor there, just food for thought...

Edited by sunburnt22

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Posted

I've had really accurate horoscopes a tarot card readings.

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Posted

Sunburnt - let me guess, the symptoms they described were stuff like fatigue, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and concentration problems? Those sorts of symptoms are of the type that everybody has, even people without MI. As VE mentioned, this is how horoscopes and tarot card readings work. Say something vague like "You are having problems in an important relationship in your life", then everybody will figure out someway it relates to them.

I took a Social Psychology class in college, and somebody did a study on this phenomenon. Any psych majors who know who did this study or can flesh out the details, please join in. Students were told that their astrological charts were done, and they were given a written report of the analysis. They were asked to rate how accurate the report was. Almost everybody rated it highly.

What the students didn't know was all the reports were identical. Human beings are really good at seeing patterns, even when there are none.

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Posted

Oh yeah, I meant to ask... was this test actually ordered by your pdoc? Or was it something you just did on your own and s/he's simply saying it's OK to take the herbs?

I'd be a little wary of a doctor who would order this test. But that's just me.

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Posted (edited)

I received back my neurotransmitter results from NeuroScience. Wow. I think I am the most chemically depressed person in the world. Even while being on 10 mg of Lexapro, and 1 mg of Xanax at nighttime, here are my significant numbers...

Epinephrine 6.4 (optimal is 8-11)

Norepinephrine 21.3 (optimal is 35-45)

Dopamine 51.2 (optimal 125-175)

Serotonin 60 (optimal 125-175)

The lab then recommends specific dosages, taken in phases, of various supplements such as...

Adrecor, which includes Rhodiola rosea extract, N-acetyltyrosine, L-methionine, Vitamins B and C

Travacor, which includes 5-HTP, L-theanine, Taurine, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12

Balance D, which includes Vicia faba, N-acetyltyrosine, N-acetylcysteine, Vitamin B6

I have several questions:

1) Has anyone had success or known anyone with success using both this test and this type of treatment regimen?

2) Should I trust the lab and my doctor (Dr. Michael Cantwell, MD, MPH) who are telling me it's okay to combine these supplements with my current meds (Lexapro, Xanax, and occasional Ativan)?

3) If these supplements had any validity at all, why would they not be multi-million dollars sellers as people are constantly searching for ways to feel better emotionally and mentally with "natural" supplements?

P.S. Please don't suggest other psych meds as I've done so many of them, at various dosages for the last 12 years. I'm trying to go in a new direction. Nothing else has worked. Thanks ;)

Radiola Rosesia might increase your serotonin levels. I dont think its a good idea to combine hollistic medicine with prescribed medications. You dont want to end up with too much serotonin. I've been taking perika st.John's wort for the past several weeks. You can order it on [edit]. It has great reviews, and you can ween off your prescribed meds.Good luck

Edited by rowen
removed website reference

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Posted

I received back my neurotransmitter results from NeuroScience. Wow. I think I am the most chemically depressed person in the world. Even while being on 10 mg of Lexapro, and 1 mg of Xanax at nighttime, here are my significant numbers...

Epinephrine 6.4 (optimal is 8-11)

Norepinephrine 21.3 (optimal is 35-45)

Dopamine 51.2 (optimal 125-175)

Serotonin 60 (optimal 125-175)

The lab then recommends specific dosages, taken in phases, of various supplements such as...

Adrecor, which includes Rhodiola rosea extract, N-acetyltyrosine, L-methionine, Vitamins B and C

Travacor, which includes 5-HTP, L-theanine, Taurine, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12

Balance D, which includes Vicia faba, N-acetyltyrosine, N-acetylcysteine, Vitamin B6

I have several questions:

1) Has anyone had success or known anyone with success using both this test and this type of treatment regimen?

2) Should I trust the lab and my doctor (Dr. Michael Cantwell, MD, MPH) who are telling me it's okay to combine these supplements with my current meds (Lexapro, Xanax, and occasional Ativan)?

3) If these supplements had any validity at all, why would they not be multi-million dollars sellers as people are constantly searching for ways to feel better emotionally and mentally with "natural" supplements?

P.S. Please don't suggest other psych meds as I've done so many of them, at various dosages for the last 12 years. I'm trying to go in a new direction. Nothing else has worked. Thanks ;)

A urine test is showing what the body excretes. Which of course is different from the neurotransmitters in our brain. I recognize a number of the supplements. For example my doctor suggested Rhodiola. It is very well known. I did not actually like it but it should not be dangerous. 5-HTP precursor to Serotonin. Lots of people take that. I have taken something similar - L-Trytophen which lifts mood, again working with my doctor. And many people take the b vitamins, Vit. D, and Taurine. This does not look very radical to me.

Well it help your depression? Who knows? Since your doctor is involved I would try it. But don't have an enormous hope that this will be a miracle cure. You might be very disappointed. I think alternative care is an adjunct to medication. I hope this helps you.

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Posted (edited)

I agree that urine test for neurotransmitter metabolites is an INaccurate picture of what is going on in your brain. I don't think this test is very meaningful.

Just because their reference range says x value should be 125-150, and you test at 50, doesn't mean 50 is low. A lot of these guys will tell you "Normal is y" and "You are x" just so you feel below normal thus are more likely to buy whatever crap they are selling.

It's like those IQ tests online. The questions are ridiculously easy and then they tell you your IQ is like, 150, just so you feel all jazzed up and ready to buy their "complete report" on your mental strengths and weaknesses which are probably all made up.

No one's horoscope says "you are an average person" or "you are an asshole". It always says "you are a great leader" or "you are quiet, observant, and very intuitive" or something positive. NO one wants to read an in depth report that says more along the lines of "you are a perfectly average boring person with no personality".

Question: has anyone ever had their urine tested and come out normal? Just a question. I am suspicious and suspect everyone probably comes out deficient.

I am a big big advocate of certain supplements for certain mental/physical conditions, but I would be wary of a test of your urine telling you have EVERY NEUROTRANSMITTER DEFICIENCY POSSIBLE. Especially when such a test is notoriously unstable and unreliable. Temporary changes in situation and emotional state can totally jack this up. If you were anxious, your epinephrine would probably be high and your NE as well.

I do think it is a good idea to take supplements that help mood, but not all at once. Try one thing at a time, and see how it affects you. I've had good results, bad results, and no results from supplements.

Tyrosine was bad, it made me either giddy or sleepy at any time and it made me have parkinson-med like hallucies.

5-htp in very low intakes has been good... it seems to make me feel a little mellower and happier and there are no side effects as long as I take it every other day.

Inositol has been OVERWHELMINGLY good for me in terms of mood and glucose problems.

Vitamin d3 hasn't had much of an effect, although I think it may have suppressed my immune system too much so I stopped it. Vitamin C helped with my energy and bruising and wound healing. Kava kava, valerian, had short lived and insignificant effects (but then again I don't have anxiety, an anxious person may appreciate these supplements more).

Taurine is very good for stabilizing my mood, but I don't take it that often even though I should since there is an infuriating part of me that likes my highs and forgets the lows.

Ginko had no effect.

Ginseng had no effect, maybe a very slight increase in caffeine potency but nothinge lse.

CAffeine is an awesome stimulant for me but it totally exacerbates any hypomania I have if I am hypomanic. In a normal mood or in depression caffeine is inoccuous.

Hyperforin lifts my mood and helps stabilize it a bit. Helps with sleep.

Hypericin makes me a bit manic and insomniac, but does not increase my instability... it just makes me more apt to be higher than lower.

Melatonin makes me nuts. Probably because I tend toward a SAD pattern to my mood disorder, I have an intolerance for melatonin. Makes me lower than shit and usually quite chaotic type of misery. I've tried many times to tolerate straight mel and there is no dose that is tolerable. Always end up whaleshit. This is why I can only tolerate 5-htp every other day... when I take too much 5-htp I start getting melatonin-y.

Its shown depressives with a SAD pattern have supersensitivity to mel and get depressed from it.

In contrast to mel being awful, a LIGHT BOX is another overwhelmingly good thing for me. This helped not only my mood, but also my reproductive issues (amenorrhea, which is probably a result of mel sensitivity/dominance, which is combated by light).

I've tried lots and lots of supplements. Some were good, some were bad, some were useless.

If you take a pill with lots of shit thrown in there you are never going to figure out what helps and what hurts.

Supplements work, but try different things and see what helps.

Edited by OscillateWildly

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Posted (edited)

Radiola Rosesia might increase your serotonin levels.

Assuming you're actually getting Rhodiola rosea, and assuming it's a great idea to trash the plant's Siberian ecosystem for a natural alternative to cheap allopathic meds, it may work by monoamine oxidase inhibition. So you'll spend extra money for an eco-hostile extract that's only been shown to work with mild to moderate depression, and chronic stress (there's a bit of question even about *that*), and which will NOT play well with numerous other medications.

I dont think its a good idea to combine hollistic medicine with prescribed medications.

The entire point of holistic medicine is to treat the entire person. Therapy of various kinds, exercise, proper sleep hygiene, and a balanced diet that's appropriate to the person's needs and culture are common to both holistic and allopathic medicine.

Combining any old herbal preparation that's alleged to have "antidepressant properties" with whatever psych meds you happen to be on - that can fuck a person up.

You dont want to end up with too much serotonin. I've been taking perika st.John's wort for the past several weeks. You can order it on iherb.com. It has great reviews, and you can ween off your prescribed meds.Good luck

St. John's Wort does work for mild to moderate depression, which really shouldn't call for a long-term course of antidepressants. Since the active ingredients work primarily by inhibiting serotonin reuptake, it's only going to substitute for a serotonergic AD that was too strong for the person to be appropriate.

So no, you can't always "ween off your prescribed meds" just because the max dose of SJW performs roughly as well as a minimum dose of Prozac. People and their mental illnesses are a bit too complex to make that blanket assumption.

Edited by null0trooper
picky syntax thing. I do that sometimes

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No one's horoscope says "you are an average person" or "you are an asshole". It always says "you are a great leader" or "you are quiet, observant, and very intuitive" or something positive. NO one wants to read an in depth report that says more along the lines of "you are a perfectly average boring person with no personality".

You just aren't reading the right astrology books.

Caffeine is an awesome stimulant for me but it totally exacerbates any hypomania I have if I am hypomanic. In a normal mood or in depression caffeine is inoccuous.

If G-d didn't want people to have caffeine He would not have put it into so many tasty things.

Melatonin makes me nuts. Probably because I tend toward a SAD pattern to my mood disorder, I have an intolerance for melatonin. Makes me lower than shit and usually quite chaotic type of misery. I've tried many times to tolerate straight mel and there is no dose that is tolerable. Always end up whaleshit. This is why I can only tolerate 5-htp every other day... when I take too much 5-htp I start getting melatonin-y.

Its shown depressives with a SAD pattern have supersensitivity to mel and get depressed from it.

Got refs for that handy? We occasionally get questions about agomelatine (Valdoxan) and one of these days it may get approved in the US.

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Posted (edited)

Got refs for that handy? We occasionally get questions about agomelatine (Valdoxan) and one of these days it may get approved in the US.

Certainly!

This study says that a light therapy is very good for SAD patterned depression, and symptoms of SAD come back when given oral melatonin. This mirrors my experience - light helps, melatonin rapidly induces depression/crazy symptoms (although, note, my mood disorder is more than just SAD, but many people with mood disorders also have a SAD pattern and so there is overlap).

The researchers conclude there is more to SAD than melatonin, but it seems as if melatonin is a big part of the picture, with SAD people responding to it and making it abnormally.

Regarding the finding a beta-blocker did not have effectiveness in SAD - DUH! Beta blockers are going to exacerbate atypical depression symptoms.I would totally expect a beta blocker to worsen SAD and I am surprised it did not worsen it.

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/3462335

Melatonin in seasonal affective disorder and phototherapy.

Abstract

In several studies we have found that treatment with bright environmental light, capable of suppressing human melatonin, reverses the winter depressive symptoms of patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), whereas light too dim to suppress human melatonin is therapeutically ineffective. This finding, as well as the central importance of melatonin as a hormonal mediator of photoperiodic changes on seasonal rhythms in animals, led us to test the hypothesis that melatonin mediates the effects of shortening days on the winter symptoms of SAD and that the modification of melatonin secretion by bright light mediates its antidepressant effects. We partially reversed the antidepressant effects of phototherapy in 8 SAD patients by oral melatonin administration, but in another study of 19 SAD patients we failed to find any therapeutic difference between the beta-adrenergic blocker, atenolol, which inhibits melatonin secretion, and placebo. In a third study of 7 SAD patients we showed that the anti-depressant effects of phototherapy were not photoperiodic and appeared to be independent of melatonin suppression. There is some preliminary evidence that melatonin secretion may be abnormal in SAD. We conclude that while melatonin may play some role in the symptoms of SAD and the effects of phototherapy, it cannot by itself account for these phenomena.

This next one says taht melatonin is fucked up in a lot of different types of crazy.

Both bipolars and SAD (w/o bipolar/MDD) have a fucked up response to light, with an exaggerated melatonin suppression. This may be partly related to abnormal sensitivity to light, abnormalities in circadian clock, whatever, no one really knows... al

This is probably because both SAD and bipolar are believed to be linked to circadian rhythm fubar-y. Unipolar MDD has not problem with either light or melatonin according to this study.

Note that bipolar often features a SAD pattern (with depressions in late fall/winter) so there may be some sort of overlap between bipolar and SAD.

http://www.nature.co...l/1395342a.html

spacer.gif Both dim and bright light has been shown to suppress the nocturnal secretion of the pineal hormone melatonin. Early reports suggests that an abnormal response to light occurs in patients with bipolar affective disorder, where as patients with major depressive disorder respond similarly to controls. It has been suggested that this abnormal sensitivity of the melatonin response to light could be a trait marker of bipolar affective disorder. However reports lack consistency. Hence, we investigated the melatonin suppression by dim light (200 lux) in patients with bipolar affective disorder, seasonal affective disorder and major depressive disorder. Results suggest that a supersensitive melatonin suppression to light in bipolar affective disorder (p < .005), and seasonal affective disorder (p < .05), whereas patients with major depressive disorder display similar suppression to controls. The supersensitivity may be a mechanism where by phase-delayed rhythms, are re-synchronised to a new circadian position. Conversely, an abnormality may exist in the pathway from the retina to the suprachiamatic nucleus.

So, while this doesn't prove that taking melatonin is bad for crazy people (bipolar or SAD), it does stop and give pause that maybe something in that department is fucked up and should not be tinkered with arbitrarily. And, at least one study has shown oral mel will counteract light therapy in pure SAD patients.

Edited by OscillateWildly

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Posted

HI.

I have symptoms of SAD.

I in fact was prescribed a light box based on this.

I took remelteon, which works pretty similarly to melatonin [in fact the point is to mimic it] and guess what? It made me pretty pissed off. Not depressed. Pissed off and rarin' to go.

BUT, uh... there are a lot of "buts" in your references.

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