Navigation Links
A new generation of rapid-acting antidepressants?
Date:3/1/2010

Philadelphia, PA, 1 March 2010 - Conventional antidepressant treatments generally require three to four weeks to become effective, thus the discovery of treatments with a more rapid onset is a major goal of biological psychiatry. The first drug found to produce rapid improvement in mood was the NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist, ketamine.

In a new issue of Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, researchers from the National Institutes of Health report that another medication, scopolamine, also appears to produce replicable rapid improvement in mood. Scopolamine temporarily blocks the muscarinic cholinergic receptor, thought to be overactive in people suffering from depression.

Drs. Wayne Drevets and Maura Furey recruited outpatients with major depressive disorder who were randomly assigned to receive placebo and then scopolamine treatment, or vice versa, in a double-blinded design so that neither the researchers nor the patients knew which treatment they were receiving.

"Scopolamine was found to reduce symptoms of depression within three days of the first administration. In fact, participants reported that they experienced relief from their symptoms by the morning after the first administration of drug," explained Dr. Furey. "Moreover, one-half of participants experienced full symptom remission by the end of the treatment period. Finally, participants remained well during a subsequent placebo period, indicating that the antidepressant effects persist for at least two weeks in the absence of further treatment."

The efficacy of scopolamine is very interesting because the potent blockade of muscarinic receptors was a property of tricyclic antidepressant medications, the oldest type of antidepressants. With these medications, the muscarinic receptor blockade was mostly viewed as the cause of unwanted side effects, such as constipation, sedation, and memory impairments. Newer antidepressants, such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, were explicitly designed to avoid blocking muscarinic receptors. Yet, the current data raise the possibility that this strategy may have increased safety and tolerability of these medications at the expense of providing effective and timely relief for depression symptoms.

Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, commented that these findings "have the potential to raise expectations for new antidepressant treatments. Three-to-six weeks is a long time to wait for depression symptoms to be alleviated. Depressed people describe their emotional state using terms like 'agony' and others compare their condition to 'living in hell'. Further, depression is a life-threatening condition for some, preventing them from performing basic self-care functions or causing them to exhibit self-destructive behavior."

Although these findings open the door to a conceptually different approach to the treatment of depression, it remains to be seen whether rapid acting antidepressant effects will be viable clinically. One could imagine that they might mitigate hospitalization in some patients and enhance the overall effectiveness of the treatment of depression. However, this possibility remains to be demonstrated empirically in studies that show that a rapid-acting antidepressant treatment can be smoothly transitioned to definitive long-term treatment for depression.


'/>"/>

Contact: Maureen Hunter
m.hunter@elsevier.com
215-239-3674
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Sentillion Introduces Affordable Next Generation Healthcare Single Sign-On Solution Called expreSSO(TM)
2. MSAs Next-Generation Breathing Apparatus for Firefighters First to Receive Full NFPA Approval
3. Stem cells in adult testes provide alternative to embryonic stem cells for organ regeneration
4. VIDEO from Medialink and Siemens: The Next Generation Allergy Test - Nothing to Sneeze At
5. Sentillion Introduces Affordable Next Generation Healthcare Single Sign-On Solution Called expreSSO(TM)
6. Sanarus Announces Partnership With Leading US Breast Care Physicians for the Next Generation Visica 2(TM) Treatment System for Fibroadenomas
7. Smithfield(R) LEAN GENERATION(R) Announces DELI FOR THE CURE(TM)
8. Salugen to Present Research on Generational Associations of Reward Deficiency Syndrome at XVth World Congress on Psychiatric Genetics
9. $37 million financing for company based on macular degeneration research
10. Model to study age-related macular degeneration could pave way for better treatment
11. Starion Instruments Launches Next-Generation Tissue Ligating Shears at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Freed-Hardeman University President Joe ... signed a joint enrollment and degree completion agreement. The agreement, which begins ... degrees at FHU|Dickson. , The agreement allows students to be jointly admitted ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... In the fourth ... country gathered at the La Valencia Hotel in San Diego, California to discuss ... named the year’s most outstanding franchise, walking away with the coveted David Wright ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... SARASOTA, Fla., (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... appetizing recipes just in time for this weekend’s Big Game. Take the stress out ... ingredients that will keep your guests happy at every stage of the game. , ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Stuart Bentkover, MD, FACS is ... to provide the most effective tattoo removal today, Dr. Bentkover is the only doctor ... by Cynosure, the PicoSure has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Health and wellness is a topic that should ... event they are experiencing an illness. Migraines are a severe form of a headache ... migraines would not wish the pain on their worst enemy, the feeling can last ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 4, 2016  Edwards Lifesciences ... patient-focused innovations for structural heart disease and critical care ... accelerated share repurchase (ASR) agreement with Morgan Stanley & ... stock.  This repurchase is part of the Company,s previously ... the Company,s common stock.  --> ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 Worldwide Radiology Oncology ... growth as next generation systems provide a way ... for cancer surgery. New systems pinpoint the delivery ... has been such a problem previously, limiting the ... robots take cancer surgery far beyond what has ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 4, 2016  SciClone ... today announced it has entered into a settlement ... Commission (SEC) fully resolving the SEC,s investigation into ... (FCPA).  Under the terms of the settlement agreement, ... $12.8 million, including disgorgement, pre-judgment interest and a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: