An extensive study of people who have been prescribed GlaxoSmithKline's Paxil, known generically as paroxetine, has suggested that the medicine, which is essentially a treatment to combat depression, might also treat factors like neuroticism in users, which is the root cause of depression.
The study was conducted by lead researcher Tony Tang, a Psychology Professor at Northwestern University, Illinois, and takes its cues from previous studies that have linked high neuroticism with a high risk of being depressed. Those who are neurotic experience negative emotions very often, and are emotionally unstable, and they tend to experience major mood swings throughout the day.
"Our data suggests that modern antidepressants work partly by correcting key personality risk factors of depression", said Professor Tang. "There is also some suggestion that people who are extroverts -- those who tend to be both socially outgoing and have a more positive outlook on life -- are less likely to become depressed", he further explained, while stressing another finding of the study.
The details of the study, which was conducted on as many as 120 volunteers, have been published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.
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