Depression Part 4: Testing nor-epinephrine, epinephrine, and serotonin

By September 22, 2012 October 30th, 2014 No Comments

What does neurotransmitter testing show and how do we do it? Neurotransmitter testing is able to view the amounts of nor-epinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin both in the periphery and in the central nervous system or the brain through samples of blood or urine. These labs are run through locals labs such as Sonora Quest or Lab Corp from blood draws done in our Mesa Office. The expense of labs is generally covered under most insurance plans. Samples are drawn twice to compare results both at a resting baseline and under stress. First after lying quietly for 20 minutes and secondly after standing one minute from a resting position. Levels of nor-epinephrine and epinephrine are compared along with levels of serotonin to determine how the brain is handling stress and the causes of depression, insomnia, or anxiety. Once treatment is initiated with the use of targeted amino acids and sometime low doses of anti-depressants(typically 1/5th the average dose prescribed), labs can be repeated every 3-4 weeks to evaluate wether the targeted treatment has improved neurotransmitter levels and activity. Our high success rate of treatment of depression and other disorders of mood, hinges upon exact evaluation of the levels of neurotransmitters involved in depression and anxiety. The guess work is removed when we see the numbers. At that point we know what to do and can expect a positive outcome as treatment is initiated. Once a patient’s neurotransmitter levels are restored to optimal and balanced levels, a maintenance protocol is designed to help the patient remain disease or symptom free. In most cases we are able to treat without the use of any medication at all, which is exciting for many due to the many side effects associated with typical anti-depressants.

Depression Part 5: Why SSRI’s lose effectiveness