Navigation Links
Marijuana-like brain chemicals work as antidepressant

Irvine, Calif., Nov. 5, 2007 American and Italian researchers have found that boosting the amounts of a marijuana-like brain transmitter called anandamide produces antidepressant effects in test rats.

Led by Daniele Piomelli, the Louise Turner Arnold Chair in Neurosciences and director of the Center for Drug Discovery at the University of California, Irvine, the researchers used a drug they created, called URB597, which blocks anandamide degradation in the brain, thereby increasing the levels of this chemical.

These findings raise the hope that the mood-elevating properties of marijuana can be harnessed to treat depression, Piomelli said. Marijuana itself has shown no clinical use for depression. However, specific drugs that amplify the actions of natural marijuana-like transmitters in the brain are showing great promise.

The researchers administered URB597 to chronically stressed rats which showed behaviors similar to those seen in depressed human patients. After five weeks of treatment, the stressed rats treated with the drug were behaving similarly to a comparison group of unstressed animals. The study appears in the Nov. 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

URB597 works by inhibiting FAAH, an enzyme in the body that breaks down anandamide. Dubbed the bliss molecule for its similarities to the active ingredient in marijuana, anandamide is a neurotransmitter that is part of the brains endocannabinoid system and it has been shown in studies by Piomelli and others to play analgesic, anti-anxiety and antidepressant roles. It also is involved in regulating feeding and obesity. Blocking FAAH activity boosts the effects of anandamide without producing the high seen with marijuana.

Piomelli and colleagues at the Universities of Urbino and Parma in Italy created URB597. A patent was issued in 2007. The European pharmaceutical company Organon holds the license to the patent and will begin clinical studies on the drug in 2008, according to Piomelli.


Contact: Tom Vasich
University of California - Irvine

Related medicine news :

1. Draining away brains toxic protein to stop Alzheimers
2. Vision restoration therapy shown to improve brain activity in brain injured patients
3. Clinical depression linked to abnormal emotional brain circuits
4. Brain imaging reveals breakdown of normal emotional processing
5. Brain cells work differently than previously thought
6. Vaccine Stops Alzheimers Brain Tangles
7. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
8. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
9. Free will takes flight: how our brains respond to an approaching menace
10. Alcoholics With Cirrhosis Have More Brain Damage
11. Brain Lesions Predict MS Progression
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Avid collector, Andrew Hawley from Vintage Rock Posters, announces his ... is one of Joplin's most famous and beautiful concert posters. The concert was held ... Ann Arbor. The According to Hawley, "It is hard to believe that Joplin's stardom ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Cambridge, ON (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 ... ... availability of a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. ... mammography, BMD and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating their record books yet again with ... flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment for the PRMA team, says ... it’s an honor to have served all of these women.” , PRMA is one ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and ... an application server to improve system efficiency and reliability. , The new Q-Suite 6 ... these standards, the system avoids locking itself into a specific piece of software for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Cokato, MN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve on several models of traditional and far-infrared saunas. ... . Nordic Spruce is the most traditional Finnish sauna wood, and Finnleo uses only ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... total global healthcare industry is expected to grow at a ... has the highest projected growth at 12.7%, and ... ), is second with growth projected at 11.5%. ... In 2013-2014, total government funded healthcare was nearly 68%. Federal ... in 2013-2014. In real terms, out of pocket expenditure increased ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 AAIPharma Services ... investment of at least $15.8  Million to expand ... Wilmington, NC . The expansion will provide ... meet the growing demands of the pharmaceutical and ... site expansion will provide up to 40,000 square ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Israel , November 25, 2015 ... KTOV ) (TASE: KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company focused ... treatment of various clinical conditions, today announced the closing ... American Depository Shares ( ADSs ), each representing 20 ... up to 3,158,900 ADSs. The ADSs and warrants were ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: