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diaryme727

Intelligent People(1500+/1600 on the SAT) Get In Here - Accutane Question

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Hello all, I don't mean to offend with the restriction in my question, but I value how well I do in school and I go to a very tough (top 10) university with much success and this is one of the few things I succeed at in life. I don't consider myself better than anyone for having done well in school and on standardized tests, nor do I consider standardized tests a perfect or even good measure of intelligence.

For those of you who go to a top university and/or scored well on standardized tests and value intelligence highly, how has accutane affected your cognition, your reasoning/logic skills, your personality/creativeness, and your intelligence?

I ask because of studies which show isotretinoin (accutane) causes profound changes to the brain in either rat models or in FMRI brain studies:

Accutane kills hippocampal cells: 15251924

Functional brain imaging alterations in acne patients treated with accutane: 15863802

(take the link out of the %7Boption%7D tags)

The second link is the one that particularly scares me. It showed an average 21% decrease in brain metabolism(and thus function) in accutane patients. That number is huge.

I am at my wits end. My life sucks because of acne(i refuse to leave the house, etc). This is the only thing stopping me from taking accutane are these studies. Please, for those of you who are very intelligent(and value intelligence more than "beauty"), please answer my above questions, and thank you so much!

Edited by diaryme727

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I have already passed all highschool exams and went on to one of the best universities in the world, St. Andrews. I was on accutane the whole time I was doing the International Baccalaureate and didn't have any mental side effects.

Dude, just relax. Get into a good study routine with lots of breaks ( a ratio of 50min/10min worked for me) and good sleep at night. Eat well and do a little exercise. Everything else will take care of itself.

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Hello all, I don't mean to offend with the restriction in my question, but I value how well I do in school and I go to a very tough (top 10) university with much success and this is one of the few things I succeed at in life. I don't consider myself better than anyone for having done well in school and on standardized tests, nor do I consider standardized tests a perfect or even good measure of intelligence.

For those of you who go to a top university and/or scored well on standardized tests and value intelligence highly, how has accutane affected your cognition, your reasoning/logic skills, your personality/creativeness, and your intelligence?

I ask because of studies which show isotretinoin (accutane) causes profound changes to the brain in either rat models or in FMRI brain studies:

Accutane kills hippocampal cells: 15251924

Functional brain imaging alterations in acne patients treated with accutane: 15863802

(take the link out of the tags)

The second link is the one that particularly scares me. It showed an average 21% decrease in brain metabolism(and thus function) in accutane patients. That number is huge.

I am at my wits end. My life sucks because of acne(i refuse to leave the house, etc). This is the only thing stopping me from taking accutane are these studies. Please, for those of you who are very intelligent(and value intelligence more than "beauty"), please answer my above questions, and thank you so much!

The Bremner study was funded 80% by Liam Grant, a fervent anti-Accutaner. That study showed a change in "brain function/metabolism" which has not been replicated since and which is a vague/inflammatory result unless there is a corresponding clinically significant effect (e.g. depression/anxiety) demonstrated, but there was not: "There were no differences in the severity of depressive symptoms between the isotretinoin and antibiotic treatment groups before or after treatment."

Go ahead and look at this figure from the study.

Edited by jimmy188

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Don't worry. The FDA approved of this drug and if it possesed a sincere and extreme risk like that, it wouldn't be available. Relax, take your treatment because this WILL help you, physically and emotionally.

But...

Despite your 'disclaimer' you do sound pompous. It shouldn't matter HOW intelligent you are if you just want to see the DIFFERENCE in brain functioning. Someone as 'intelligent' as you should have figured that out. People come here because they're suffering from acne, not because they're looking for some sort of consolidation that proves they are worthy of a top 10 school education. You've implicitly suggested that people here don't value intelligence because they're not up to your standard of brilliance. Goodness. The nature of your question is valid, but the way you put it is so ludicrous.

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Darn, I got a 1480.

*leaves*

lol, I would love to hear what you have to say are willing to tell me after my pompous original post.

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Despite your 'disclaimer' you do sound pompous. It shouldn't matter HOW intelligent you are if you just want to see the DIFFERENCE in brain functioning. Someone as 'intelligent' as you should have figured that out. People come here because they're suffering from acne, not because they're looking for some sort of consolidation that proves they are worthy of a top 10 school education. You've implicitly suggested that people here don't value intelligence because they're not up to your standard of brilliance. Goodness. The nature of your question is valid, but the way you put it is so ludicrous.

You know, you're right, it was pompous and perhaps my reasoning in posting that restriction was in poor judgement. However, based on my limited experience, I came to the conclusion that people who consistently do well would be more cognizant to changes in performance and in their ability to do well in school. It was never an intention of mine to imply that others do not value intelligence, and I apologize if I did just that. For what it's worth, I don't really think (most) any one person is significantly more or less intelligent than anyone else. I was just looking for people who I thought would be most cognizant of changes in their creativity and of their performance in school.

Edited by diaryme727

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*holds tongue*

During your course you may find it harder to concentrate, especially if you don't drink enough water, but it shouldn't affect your results at school. If you're worried, wait till long holidays to do the course.

After your course, you may even do better at school due to an increase in confidence resulting from clear skin.

Edited by jimmy188

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Darn, I got a 1480.

*leaves*

lol, I would love to hear what you have to say are willing to tell me after my pompous original post.

I really do wish I had something to tell you, but to be honest I am in the exact same situation as you are. I am considering pursuing a prescription, but the side-effects are quite a turn-off.

My perspective, based on my research thus far, is that you may get "foggy," "spaced," or have an attention-deficit of sorts, but that it only persists while you're on the drug. And it doesn't even seem that likely. If I pursue a prescription, it will be for a course during the summer (soon) in order to avoid complications with school.

Of course, there will always be someone to tell you otherwise.

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I got a 1400 but since I'm such a nice guy I'll disregard your pompous post and reply anyway.

During my course, it was definitely more difficult to concentrate and even more so difficult to stay awake if I was studying past 7PM...even on a full night's sleep. However, I made adjustments to combat this. Surprising right? Even non-intelligent people are able to recognize a problem and make a change. Anyways, I started going to bed really early (9PM) and getting up early to study before class (7AM). I also started utilizing my weekends a lot more. This helped a lot.

My GPA was unaffected, and after my course everything went back to normal.

By the way, I currently study biochemistry at the top public institution in New York state. I was admitted to many other top tier schools, but being apart of a middle class family I was unable to afford it especially with my postgraduate plans. If that's not enough for you, then you may to check out a STUDENT at my institution, yes STUDENT, who has gained national attention for his advances in the area of gene therapy for cancer patients.

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Hello all, I don't mean to offend with the restriction in my question, but I value how well I do in school and I go to a very tough (top 10) university with much success and this is one of the few things I succeed at in life. I don't consider myself better than anyone for having done well in school and on standardized tests, nor do I consider standardized tests a perfect or even good measure of intelligence.

For those of you who go to a top university and/or scored well on standardized tests and value intelligence highly, how has accutane affected your cognition, your reasoning/logic skills, your personality/creativeness, and your intelligence?

I ask because of studies which show isotretinoin (accutane) causes profound changes to the brain in either rat models or in FMRI brain studies:

Accutane kills hippocampal cells: 15251924

Functional brain imaging alterations in acne patients treated with accutane: 15863802

(take the link out of the tags)

The second link is the one that particularly scares me. It showed an average 21% decrease in brain metabolism(and thus function) in accutane patients. That number is huge.

I am at my wits end. My life sucks because of acne(i refuse to leave the house, etc). This is the only thing stopping me from taking accutane are these studies. Please, for those of you who are very intelligent(and value intelligence more than "beauty"), please answer my above questions, and thank you so much!

This "21%" study was made with 1mg/kg dose [which in my opinion is kinda high].

In other study [perfomed on mice with 1mg/kg dose] scientists showed "issues" in learning:

"Report demonstrates that a clinical dose (1 mg/kg/day) of 13-cis-RA in mice significantly reduces cell proliferation in the hippocampus and the subventricular zone, suppresses hippocampal neurogenesis, and severely disrupts capacity to learn a spatial radial maze task".

But at the same time they proved that dose lower than 0.25mg/kg [0.15 mg/kg to be exact] "helps to reverse an age-related deficit in long-term potentiation amplitude and improve the ability of the mice to perform relational learning tasks".

Another low dose isotretinoin study:

These results suggest that RAs at high concentrations cause a negative effect on the dendritic morphology of cultured hippocampal neurons through RA receptors, while RAs at low concentrations exert a positive influence on cultured hippocampal neurons.

So as u can see, 13-cis-retinoic acid [isotretinoin] can do some positive things on your brain [but only in low doses <0.25mg/kg].

So if u are afraid about your brain, then u could try to take 1 pill of 10 mg isotretinoin daily or 4 times per week. Maybe this wouldn't be as effective on your acne like a standard dose [0.5mg/kg -1mg/kg] but there is a big chance that it could still work very well for your skin without any side effects on your brain.

Edited by VanceAstro

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loll... jimmy 188... i want to "hold tounge" too :P

sigh....

You will be fine.

i studied and took the MCAT and GRE THROUGH my period of taking accutane.

( yess i had a change in career path)

nevertheless, I did very well on both and was recently accepted to 3 top 10 Universities for graduate programs and will be going to one. From my own experience, I don' think accutane will obstruct your pathway to obtaining your undergrad college degree

Edited by cheeseblu

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loll... jimmy 188... i want to "hold tounge" too :P

sigh....

You will be fine.

i studied and took the MCAT and GRE THROUGH my period of taking accutane.

( yess i had a change in career path)

nevertheless, I did very well on both and was recently accepted to 3 top 10 Universities for graduate programs and will be going to one. From my own experience, I don' think accutane will obstruct your pathway to obtaining your undergrad college degree

Nice! What did you change your education path to? Are you pursuing a Ph.D.? What school(s) are are you leaning towards matriculating at? Why did you decide against medicine?

Thank you everyone for the insight. After a lot of reading, I've decided that I'm going to be taking accutane. I'll begin my course in about a week. I've been fighting this battle too long.

If anyone has any insights/recommendations please let me know. Thanks.

Edited by diaryme727

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hi! good luck with your course! I'm sure you will not regret accutane!

i decided against med school because i'm just being practical for my own personal life goals.

As a female I don't think i'm up for the whole schooling and residency thing. I'll be over 30 by the time i can open practice. I know for others this is what they want. but as each year passes, I come to my own realizations... about when i want to start a fam, have kids, etc.

I've shadowed female residents in the past and they they all tell me, i need to LOVE LOVE LOVE practicing medicine to go through the whole ordeal.

If I'm not sure already, I dont want to end up deciding I don't prefer this path after I'm already in med school. By then i'll be a med school dropout with a humongous load of debt. This is why I've decided to go the doctoral research route and received merit awards and research grants from these grad schools.

I can graduate sooner to start working in the field I am passionate about... best of all.. barely any loans to worry about!

However, this is completely my OWN reasons so it is def not applicable to everyone. if you have more q's check out teh sdn forums ;)

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If you don't consider SAT scores to be a good measure of intelligence, whats with the thread title? The type of questions the SAT asks are trivial if you are reasonably intelligent. A better disclaimer might be to ask for "analytical individuals", i.e. people who think quantitatively and understand statistics, marginal benefit, and how to rationally measure risk and reward.

Anyways you should realize that if accutane had a strong correlation with decreased cognitive function, you would have heard more about it. Having personally done a lot of research, this is the first I've heard of anything like this. Now there may still be a small correlation, but you can't expect anecdotal evidence from a handful of people on the internet to provide you with a meaningful answer on something that is at most marginal.

I'm not sure if the publishers do have an anti-accutane agenda like a previous poster recommended. But "decreased brain metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex (21%)" is still hard to unravel, assuming it is true. First of all, this is only in one specific region of the brain, second, without reading the paper it's not clear whether or not that is permanent. This page says it's a free article but I can't figure out how to access it.

The other study that suggest hippocampal cell atrophy does not include any quantitative data in the abstract, nor dosage information (it says clinical but most animal studies with accutane use like 1.3x, 3x, and 5x normal maximum clinical dosage of 1mg/kg/day).

It's entirely plausible that accutane might lower your IQ a few points. There would be no way to do a study in humans, as comparing intelligence across individuals would have to control for: the placebo effect, 6 months time in what is most often formative high-school and college years, and most importantly the changes brought about by having ones acne cured.

I am interested in further discussion and information because I value my cognitive capacity more than anything else, and I just started a course of accutane (only 10mg). On the other hand I'm starting to realize that intelligence without confidence and social success is more or less worthless.

Edited by fr00t

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To my knowledge there is no scientific evidence that Accutane affects cognitive function in human beings during or after treatment.

However, there is evidence that Accutane ultimately improves quality of life and alleviates depressive symptoms.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21137117

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19126049

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19382995

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15897376

None of those studies was funded by drugs companies.

Edited by biggs881

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If you don't consider SAT scores to be a good measure of intelligence, whats with the thread title? The type of questions the SAT asks are trivial if you are reasonably intelligent. A better disclaimer might be to ask for "analytical individuals", i.e. people who think quantitatively and understand statistics, marginal benefit, and how to rationally measure risk and reward.
Hello, and thank you for the reply. The SAT is not a direct measure of "intelligence," but it is certainly an indirect measure of particular knowledge, general writing and reading skill, etc. It is by no means good, and I understand that there are extremely intelligent people who have mediocre scores and vice versa. I am careful to use the word intelligent - I feel it is rather meaningless.

Anyways you should realize that if accutane had a strong correlation with decreased cognitive function, you would have heard more about it. Having personally done a lot of research, this is the first I've heard of anything like this. Now there may still be a small correlation, but you can't expect anecdotal evidence from a handful of people on the internet to provide you with a meaningful answer on something that is at most marginal.
I understand why this would often be the case, but this is not necessarily true. For example, there is evidence suggesting American Football can lead to decreased cognitive ability. http://mtenorio.com/reprints/PO%20020774_4...2000-688329.pdf is one link to a study on this. However, these results are neither widely studied nor widely publicized.

I'm not sure if the publishers do have an anti-accutane agenda like a previous poster recommended. But "decreased brain metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex (21%)" is still hard to unravel, assuming it is true. First of all, this is only in one specific region of the brain, second, without reading the paper it's not clear whether or not that is permanent. This page says it's a free article but I can't figure out how to access it.

The other study that suggest hippocampal cell atrophy does not include any quantitative data in the abstract, nor dosage information (it says clinical but most animal studies with accutane use like 1.3x, 3x, and 5x normal maximum clinical dosage of 1mg/kg/day).

The studies definitely do not stand alone; there also may be ulterior motives behind the studies.

It's entirely plausible that accutane might lower your IQ a few points. There would be no way to do a study in humans, as comparing intelligence across individuals would have to control for: the placebo effect, 6 months time in what is most often formative high-school and college years, and most importantly the changes brought about by having ones acne cured.

I am interested in further discussion and information because I value my cognitive capacity more than anything else, and I just started a course of accutane (only 10mg). On the other hand I'm starting to realize that intelligence without confidence and social success is more or less worthless.

I have come to a similar conclusion as you. Good luck with your dose. I haven't began mine yet and am actually going to push it back even further, about 2 more weeks. I will be taking a higher level dosage than you, and I'm hoping I can beat this once and for all.

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Okay I would like to point out some obvious things that seem to get both sides of the fence riled up. Yes Accutane and Isotretinoin can make you have beautiful skin...sometimes. You have to admit though there is a small population out there that has had some major side effects and you can't deny that they don't happen. Roche, has said for years they don't know how this drug works. Which is BS because we know how Isotretinoin works. Can it have a negative effect on mood and behavior yes. It has been proven to cause systemic "Cell Death" or Apoptosis. Why do you think it is such an effective Cancer Treatment. People seem to forget that this drug was created for that purpose and then they realized oh snap...it also cures acne...probably while they were treating a Cancer patient that had acne. Don't know for sure. All the people on these forums that say that the drug was great and that the people that have had long term dibilatating side effects are crazy are just plain ignorant and cruel. There is a new study coming out this year that explains these all more in depth. Here is the link to the study: Now whether it will be proven to be true by further studies I can say without out a doubt I know first hand that taking this drug while still growing up especially during adolescents is crazy. It has been linked to negative hormone problems. Especially as an Androgen blocker. It also causes Endocrine issues that most likely is where the depression and other psychosis problems stem from. Not only that we know that Iso basically gives you a Hypervitaminosis A Syndrome Effect.

These are just a few things I have found. While like I said this does not say that everyone will have these problems. It does happen, I am one of them...though I took the drug at 14-15yrs old. Which could be an increased risk because your body is still developing. The drug has not been out long enough really to determine if these effects will ever reverse or not. I don know however that these symptoms and effects are real. Please be more considerate for those of us that do suffer....and again you also need to realize dosing has changed over the years they don't generally prescribe people to have 80-100mg a day anymore...much lower doses now.

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Charlie84,

Nobody is denying that people get severe side effects from Accutane; good luck with your recovery. The point is that the severe side effects are rare (<1%) like all drugs, despite extensive media coverage to the contrary.

See here and the thread in my signature for evidence of "<1%".

I've never seen a scientific study showing a higher than 1% prevalence of severe side effects from Accutane. Have you?

Edited by biggs881

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Well I agree it's low....1% not sure if it is that low. It might be possible that people don't notice the subtle things. Like the reduced hormone levels if it isn't enough yet or you just don't attribute your problems to it yet. Cellular Apoptosis does happen....and once that happens it is not reversible as far as I am aware except maybe through stem cell work. The fact is Isotretinoin could cause little things like itchy skin or increased nightime urination. It is a Chemotherapy....for cancers....come on folks I don't care who you are this drug even if you say you don't have side effects you probably do you just don't realize it. Anyway , I am done fighting thanks for making us people feel like we should just have to deal with this problem even though the drug company never once said anything about hormonal imbalances or gynecomastia.

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if you were as smart as you *think* then you would have posted this is the right place to begin with...

that being said, your acne is probably not the only reason why you don't "leave the house"... you seem like sort of an asshole/weirdo...its sad this is apparent over the internet.

chill out... I read a study once in lab rats that concluded with "pompous jerks have been known to have a 73.456% greater chance of suffering moderate and persistent acne"... so shit, your brain function decreasing because you're taking accutane compounded with your initial breakout due to accutane is gonna make you one uggo d-bag

peace dude... remember, nobody gives a shit where you go to college after you graduate and are working... I bet the internet makes you feel real cool haha

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if you were as smart as you *think* then you would have posted this is the right place to begin with...

that being said, your acne is probably not the only reason why you don't "leave the house"... you seem like sort of an asshole/weirdo...its sad this is apparent over the internet.

chill out... I read a study once in lab rats that concluded with "pompous jerks have been known to have a 73.456% greater chance of suffering moderate and persistent acne"... so shit, your brain function decreasing because you're taking accutane compounded with your initial breakout due to accutane is gonna make you one uggo d-bag

peace dude... remember, nobody gives a shit where you go to college after you graduate and are working... I bet the internet makes you feel real cool haha

Lol, wow, you must be an incredibly miserable person to attack people over the Internet... that is the only bit of information I could glean from your post Edited by diaryme727

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