Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Logan Fields

Second Advisor

Dr. Katherine Moore

Abstract

DAVID HARMON The Effects of Bupropion on Suicidal behavior and Risk-taking behavior on a rodent model of Depression Research Mentor: Logan Fields

This study analyzed the effects that the well known antidepressant Wellbutrin (Bupropion) has on risk taking behavior, suicidal behavior, social behavior, and motivation. Despite Bupropion’s ability to improve motivation it has been associated with numerous suicides. There have been reports that state that Bupropion is the worst antidepressant for treating suicidal behaviors and may even play a part in increasing suicidal tendencies among users. This research question will be tested in a sample of 32 Sprague-Dawley rats. 16 of the rats will be male and the other 16 will be female. There will be 4 conditions. The depression group will receive a dose of tetrabenazine which will model depressive symptoms within the rats. The depression + antidepressant group will receive tetrabenazine and Bupropion. The antidepressant group will only be given Bupropion. There will also be a control group. Risk taking behavior will be assessed through a gambling operant chamber test. Suicidality will be measured through the Social Interaction task, and motivation will be measured through the splash test. I expect that the depression + antidepressant group will exhibit increased suicidal behavior, motivation and risk-taking behavior compared to all other conditions. These results would show that bupropion is a dangerous drug to use to treat depression.

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Effects of Bupropion (Wellbutrin) on Suicidal behavior, Risk Taking behavior, and Mood

DAVID HARMON The Effects of Bupropion on Suicidal behavior and Risk-taking behavior on a rodent model of Depression Research Mentor: Logan Fields

This study analyzed the effects that the well known antidepressant Wellbutrin (Bupropion) has on risk taking behavior, suicidal behavior, social behavior, and motivation. Despite Bupropion’s ability to improve motivation it has been associated with numerous suicides. There have been reports that state that Bupropion is the worst antidepressant for treating suicidal behaviors and may even play a part in increasing suicidal tendencies among users. This research question will be tested in a sample of 32 Sprague-Dawley rats. 16 of the rats will be male and the other 16 will be female. There will be 4 conditions. The depression group will receive a dose of tetrabenazine which will model depressive symptoms within the rats. The depression + antidepressant group will receive tetrabenazine and Bupropion. The antidepressant group will only be given Bupropion. There will also be a control group. Risk taking behavior will be assessed through a gambling operant chamber test. Suicidality will be measured through the Social Interaction task, and motivation will be measured through the splash test. I expect that the depression + antidepressant group will exhibit increased suicidal behavior, motivation and risk-taking behavior compared to all other conditions. These results would show that bupropion is a dangerous drug to use to treat depression.

 
 

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