SCIENTISTS IDENTIFY NOVEL COMPOUNDS THAT MAY TREAT DEPRESSION RAPIDLY WITH FEW SIDE EFFECTS

neuroscience
The depression is treated with most common of these drugs, 

such as Prozac and Lexapro, are selective serotonin reuptake 

inhibitors, or SSRIs. Unfortunately, SSRIs are effective in 

only a third of patients with depression. In addition, even 

when these drugs work, they typically take between three and 

eight weeks to relieve symptoms. As a result, patients often 

suffer for months before finding a medicine that makes them 

feel better. 

Scientists  identified promising compounds that could 

successfully treat depression in less than 24 hours while 

minimizing side effects. The research was published this 

month in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology and yet to  

be tested in people.

The researchers tested the compounds in rats that were 

subjected to chronic mild stress that caused the animals to act 

in ways that resemble human depression. Giving stressed rats 

GABA-NAMs successfully reversed experimental signs of a 

key symptom of depression, anhedonia, or the inability to feel 

pleasure. 
Remarkably, the beneficial effects of the compounds appeared 

within 24 hours - much faster than the multiple weeks needed 

for SSRIs to produce the same effects.In tests on the rats' brains, the researchers found that the compounds rapidly increased the strength of excitatory communication in regions that were weakened by stress and are thought to be weakened in human depression. No effects of the compound were detected in unstressed animals, raising hopes that they will not produce side effects in human patients.

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