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:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ... introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad ... comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major ... to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric ... peers in Washington, D.C., for the 49th Congress of the International Society of ... Vice President of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Health Literacy ... health literacy software tool, and the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent ... today announce a new strategic alliance. , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Farm Forward joins Bon ... leading institutions in announcing the launch of the Leadership Circle , a ... are raised for food. , Founding members of the Leadership Circle also include ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... 2017  True Health, a leader in integrated ... during National Breast Cancer Awareness month to educate ... Research recently published ... more than 10 million American women are at ... or BRCA2 and have not had testing. These mutations ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... --  Provista, a proven leader in the supply ... power, today announced a new resource area on Provistaco.com ... is the online home for case studies, articles on ... releases, slideshows and events. ... at their fingertips, viewers can also watch short videos ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... LAWRENCE, Mass. , Oct. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... developer of single-use, self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today ... National Health Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional ... ®. The first single-use, cordless surgical retractor with ... ONETRAC provides optimal access, illumination and exposure of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: