Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anti-depressants bring higher risk of developing cataracts

09.03.2010
Some anti-depressant drugs are associated with an increased chance of developing cataracts, according to a new statistical study by researchers at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and McGill University.

The study, based on a database of more than 200,000 Quebec residents aged 65 and older, showed statistical relationships between a diagnosis of cataracts or cataract surgery and the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), as well as between cataracts and specific drugs within that class.

Published online today in the journal Ophthalmology, the study does not prove causation but only reveals an association between the use of SSRIs and the development of cataracts. The study could not account for the possibility of smoking – which is a risk factor for cataracts – and additional population-based studies are needed to confirm these findings, the researchers say.

This study of statistical relationships is the first to establish a link between this class of drugs and cataracts in humans. Previous studies in animal models had demonstrated that SSRIs could increase the likelihood of developing the condition.

“When you look at the trade-offs of these drugs, the benefits of treating depression – which can be life-threatening – still outweigh the risk of

developing cataracts, which are treatable and relatively benign,” says Dr. Mahyar Etminan, lead author of the article, a scientist and clinical pharmacist at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology at Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and an assistant professor in the Dept. of Medicine at UBC.

Researchers found patients taking SSRIs were overall 15 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with cataracts or to have cataract surgery.

The degree of risk among specific and different types of SSRIs varied considerably. Taking fluvoxamine (Luvox) led to a 51 per cent higher chance of having cataract surgery, and venlafaxine (Effexor) carried a 34 per cent higher risk. No connection could be made between fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), and sertraline (Zoloft) and having cataract surgery.

Co-author Dr. Frederick S. Mikelberg, professor and head of the Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at UBC and head of the Dept. of Ophthalmology at Vancouver General Hospital, notes that the average time to develop cataracts while taking SSRIs was almost two years.

“While these results are surprising, and might inform the choices of psychiatrists when prescribing SSRIs for their patients, they should not be cause for alarm among people taking these medications,” Mikelberg says.

SSRIs, the third most prescribed class of drugs in the world, block the uptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin by neurons in the brain, thereby stimulating more impulses between neurons. Cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens that usually occurs in older people, are routinely treated through surgery. More than 1.5 million people undergo surgery for the condition every year in North America, according to the Canadian Ophthalmological Society.

Co-author Dr. James M. Brophy, of the McGill University Dept. of Medicine, provided the database used for the study. The research was supported in part by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, with Dr. Brophy receiving financial support from the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec.

The UBC Faculty of Medicine provides innovative programs in the health and life sciences, teaching students at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels, and generates more than $200 million in research funding each year. In 2008/09, out of the total UBC research endeavour, 49 per cent or $233 million, came from academic and clinical teams in the Faculty of Medicine. For more information, visit www.med.ubc.ca.

Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) is the research body of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, which includes BC’s largest academic and teaching health sciences centres: VGH, UBC Hospital, and GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. In academic partnership with the University of British Columbia, VCHRI brings innovation and discovery to patient care, advancing healthier lives in healthy communities across British Columbia, Canada, and beyond. www.vchri.ca.

Brian Lin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>