Summary: The major neurotransmitters are Serotonin, Dopamine and Norepinephrine. Fluctuations or a deficiency in some or all of these neurotransmitters are thought to be a primary cause of depression, anxiety, panic, aggression and other mood disorders. There is convincing evidence that the abuse of Androgenic Anabolic Steroids can alter the balance of these substances which may contribute to these mental conditions. The fluctuations attributed to AAS use may contribute to these conditions via a direct mechanism or may elicit a feedback response that may invoke these conditions during or after cessation of use of AAS.
Bottom line: AAS have a very high likelihood of increasing the severity or setting off these mood disorders in those genetically susceptible.
Increased dopaminergic and 5-hydroxytryptaminergic activities in male rat brain following long-term treatment with anabolic androgenic steroids.
Thiblin I, Finn A, Ross SB, Stenfors C.
Department of Forensic Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
1. The effects of treating groups of rats with four different anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) (testosterone, nandrolone, methandrostenolone, and oxymetholone) on 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) neurones in different brain regions were examined. The AAS was injected six times with 1 week's interval and the rats were sacrificed 2 days after the final injection. 5-HT and its metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), DA and its metabolites 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) were measured. The effect on DA and 5-HT synthesis rate was analysed as the accumulation of 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-alanine (DOPA) and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), respectively, after inhibition of the amino acid decarboxylase with NSD-1015 (3-hydroxy-benzylhydrazine dihydrochloride). Additionally, the monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity was analysed in the hypothalamus. 2. The DOPAC + HVA/DA ratio was increased in the striatum in all treatment groups. However, the synthesis rate of DA was significantly increased only in the methandrostenolone treated group. 3. The 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio was increased in all treatment groups in the hippocampus, in the frontal cortex in the methandrostenolone-treated animals and in the hypothalamus in the testosterone- and oxymetholone-treated rats, while the 5-HT synthesis rate was not affected by the AAS-treatments. 4. The MAO-A activity was increased in the oxymetholone-treated rats while the other treatment groups were unaffected. The MAO-B activity was not changed. 5. The results indicate that relatively high doses of AAS increase dopaminergic and 5-hydroxytryptaminergic metabolism in male rat brain, probably due to enhanced turnover in these monaminergic systems.
The brain functions on a delicate balance that allows nutrients to pass through or across the blood brain barrier where essential fatty acids, and amino acids, notably: Phenylalanine, Glutamine, Tryptophan, Tyrosine and Taurine can have a direct effect on the brain.
During anabolic/androgenic steroid cycles many essential amino acids that are targeted for the brain, which assist in the formation of neuro-transmitters, an example: epinephrine and norepinephrine, serotonin and cholecystokinin) are inhibited or blocked totally. These critically important neuro-transmitters are interfered with as a result of the increased ammonia and urea levels in the blood stream, that are a direct result of anabolic and especially androgenic steroid use. Additionally, the athlete's diet typically consists of a high protein intake in addition to training at a higher level of intensity. Both of these conditions increase the plasma concentration of protein fragments, which result in increased ammonia levels in the body.
What you have now in the body is literally a metabolic traffic jam of proteins, and amino acids that are circulating in the blood stream (plasma) competing for absorption with other amino acids for the limited number of receptor sites within in body. As a result necessary amino acids are blocked from their metabolic destination, which can interfere with the manufacture of certain essential neuro -transmitters in the concentrations that the body requires maintaining psychological homeostasis. This can and has resulted in the steroid rage or "roid rage" which has been documented and used a defense for violent behavior in those individuals that have been convicted of serious crimes. In the first ever published study done solely on the psychological effects caused by anabolic /androgenic steroids.
Doctor Ritchi Morris, Ph.D., ND, a New York based sports psychologist found some startling revelations. Dr. Morris took a group of 16 elite bodybuilders and professional football players who regularly use anabolic/androgenic steroids and found a direct correlation between the drug use and a depression syndrome commonly found among alcoholics and cocaine users. Dr. Morris further noted that all the athletes in the study experienced significant depression during their "off drug cycles". Several in his study developed a psychological dependency, choosing to stay on steroids year round rather than face the "black dog" of depression and the negative self image that has been associated with the down cycle.
Conversely, Dr. Morris's control group demonstrated almost no mood swings between peak and off peak training sessions. A few members of the control group actually said they felt better when they were in a more relaxed maintenance cycle due to the fact they had more time to spend in other of life's endeavor's. In all cases of the study the natural athlete's confidence level remained at a near constant "high", while the steroid users confidence rose and fell regularly. Dr. Morris who has a large practice in the White Plains, NY, was a world class elite powerlifters, states: "They come off the stuff (steroids) and watch themselves deflate like a balloon with a slow leak. They cannot bench 450 pounds anymore, and their bodies begin to go back to what they were, sometimes even weaker than before." In reality, the athlete's bodies are never the same again, as certain neuro-chemical changes and damages that have been sustained to the central nervous system are permanent.
Research has demonstrated that the utilization of three nutrients in particular can have a beneficial effect on the restoring normal brain biochemistry. This is just a suggestion for further discussion.
A. The active form of the vitamin B-6 (Pyriodoxal 5 Phosphate), 20 mgs. per capsule or caplet, 2 caps 30 minutes before breakfast, 2 caps mid-morning and 2 caps prior to retiring.
B. The amino acid L-Tyrosine, 800 mgs per capsule or caplet, 2-3 capsules 30 minutes prior to breakfast and 2-3 capsules mid-morning. *It is important to remember not to take Tyrosine with food and to take it before noon. The bodies' natural levels of Tyrosine are highest in the morning. This process acts as a precursor to the neuro-transmitters epinephrine and norepinephrine, which have been depleted as a result of either steroid, alcohol or cocaine usage.
Note (by PDP) 5-HTP is legal and maybe better
C. The amino acid L-Tryptophan, 500 mg. capsules, 2 early evening or after training, and 2-3 capsules @ 500 mgs. ea. prior to retiring. Tryptophan is now by prescription only in the United States. Tryptophan is the pre-cursor to the neuro-transmitter serotonin, which assists the brain in preparation for deep relaxation and sleep
Several studies indicate that depression and suicidal ideation often accompany the feelings of uncontrollable violence and paranoia experienced by steroid users (Perry 1997). In fact, testosterone, which was once used to treat depression is now known to cause it (Corrigan 1996).
Drs. William Annitto and William Layman warn that "...we should be alert to the possibility that a schizophrenic-like reaction in an athlete may be related to the ingestion of anabolic steroids" (Annitto & Layman 1980).
AND if you want more research:
American College of Sports Medicine, Position Paper on Anabolic Steroids, 1992. Interview with Dr. Ritchi Morris, Ph.D. Vital Quests: Performance Improvement Associates.914.333.9455 3. Bigger, Stronger, Faster, Sports Illustrated, April 14, 1997 Goldman, R. Death In The Locker Room, 1986. Tyson & Associates, Hawthorne, Ca., 1997. 310.675.1080 Aatron Medical Laboratory, 1997 7. J. Clinical Nutrition, 1987,46, 78-85. Annitto, William J., M.D. and Layman, William A., M.D. (1980). "Anabolic Steroids and Acute Schizophrenic Episode." Journal of Clinical Psychology, 41:4, 143-144. Conacher, G.N., M.B., CH.B, M.R.C. Psych. and Workman, D.G., M.D. (1989). "Violent Crime Possibly Associated with Anabolic Steroid Use." American Journal of Psychiatry, 146:5, 679. Corrigan, Brian (1996). "Anabolic Steroids and the Mind." The Medical Journal of Australia, 165:222-226, http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/MJA. Dalby, J. Thomas, PhD (1992). "Brief Anabolic Steroid Use and Sustained Behavioral Reaction." American Journal of Psychiatry, 149:2, 272. Lubell, Adele (1989). "Does Steroid Abuse Cause -- or Excuse -- Violence?" The Physician and Sports Medicine, Volume 17, Number 2, 176-185. Nuwer, Hank. (1990). Steroids. New York: F. Watts. Parrott, A.C., B.Sc., PhD and Choi, P.Y.L., B.Sc., PhD and Davies, M. (1994). "Anabolic Steroid Use by Amateur Athletes: Effects Upon Psychological Mood States." The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, September 1994, 292-298. Perry, Paul J., PhD and Alexander, Bruce, Pharm. D. and Ellingrod, Vivki L., Pharm. D. (1997). "Steroid Induced Mental Disturbances." The Virtual Hospital: Clinical Psychopharmacology Seminar, http://indy.radiology.uiowa.edu/Prov...es/CPS/27.html. Pope, Harrison G., M.D. and Katz, David L., M.D. (1988). "Affective and Psychotic Symptoms Associated with Anabolic Steroid Use." American Journal of Psychiatry, 145:4, 487-490. Pope, Harrison G., M.D. and Katz, David L., M.D. (1990). "Homicide and Near Homicide by Anabolic Steroid Users." Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51:1, 28-30. Svare, Bruce, PhD (1990). "Anabolic Steroids and Behavior: A Preclinical Research Prospectus." Anabolic Steroid Abuse. Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Hay guys, if you remember my threads from the old board, I showed some pretty convincing research that AAS use contributes and may cuase serotonin deficiency. That said, if you need to use an SSRI... DO NOT USE AAS!
Interesting post bro... I guess it could also be said that if you use AAS then an SSRI may be helpful? I'm just saying this because of the nature of this board and who we are, we are more likely to take AS and seek seratonin help as opposed to not taking AAS (just the nature of the probably majority of the people who frequent a board like this). Your posts were definteily an interesting read bro. I personally take 5-HTP myself, I don't "feel" a noticable difference but I figure it can have a synergestic effect with my paxil if it does what it says it does and can't hurt.