Why Ketamine Can Relieve From Depression So Quickly

by VR Sreeraman on  June 18, 2011 at 9:15 PM Drug News
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UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists are shedding new light on why the anesthetic drug ketamine can within a matter of hours ease symptoms of depression in people in patients with treatment-resistant depression.
 Why Ketamine Can Relieve From Depression So Quickly
Why Ketamine Can Relieve From Depression So Quickly

"Ketamine produces a very sharp increase that immediately relieves depression," said Dr. Lisa Monteggia, associate professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study.

Typical antidepressant medications - one of the most widely prescribed classes of drugs in the U.S. each year - often take several weeks to relieve symptoms of depression. If they are not successful within 12 weeks, physicians must prescribe a different antidepressant to produce a response.

"Ketamine produces a fast-acting antidepressant effect, and we hope our investigation provides critical information to treat depression effectively sooner," Dr. Monteggia said.

"We now have a novel pathway to explore that may provide potential for the development of faster-acting and longer-lasting antidepressants," Dr. Monteggia said.

The study was recently published in the journal Nature.

Source: ANI

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