Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Depression eased quickly with experimental drug: Works in brain like Ketamine, with fewer side effects, study suggests

Date:
December 12, 2012
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
Summary:
A drug that works through the same brain mechanism as the fast-acting antidepressant ketamine briefly improved treatment-resistant patients' depression symptoms in minutes, with minimal untoward side effects, in a clinical trial. The experimental agent, called AZD6765, acts through the brain's glutamate chemical messenger system. The findings serve as a proof of concept that targeting this system holds promise for development of a new generation of rapid antidepressants with fewer side effects than ketamine.

A drug that works through the same brain mechanism as the fast-acting antidepressant ketamine briefly improved treatment-resistant patients' depression symptoms in minutes, with minimal untoward side effects, in a clinical trial conducted by the National Institutes of Health. The experimental agent, called AZD6765, acts through the brain's glutamate chemical messenger system.

Related Articles


Existing antidepressants available through prescription, which work through the brain's serotonin system, take a few weeks to work, imperiling severely depressed patients, who can be at high risk for suicide. Ketamine also works in hours, but its usefulness is limited by its potential for dissociative side-effects, including hallucinations. It is being studied mostly for clues to how it works.

"Our findings serve as a proof of concept that we can tap into an important component of the glutamate pathway to develop a new generation of safe, rapid-acting practical treatments for depression," said Carlos Zarate, M.D., of the NIH's National Institute of Mental Health, which conducted the research.

Zarate, and colleagues, reported on their results online Dec. 1, 2012 in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

AZD6765, like ketamine, works by blocking glutamate binding to a protein on the surface of neurons, called the NMDA receptor. It is a less powerful blocker of the NMDA receptor, which may be a reason why it is better tolerated than ketamine.

About 32 percent of 22 treatment-resistant depressed patients infused with ASD6765 showed a clinically meaningful antidepressant response at 80 minutes after infusion that lasted for about half an hour -- with residual antidepressant effects lasting two days for some. By contrast, 52 percent of patients receiving ketamine show a comparable response, with effects still detectable at seven days. So a single infusion of ketamine produces more robust and sustained improvement, but most patients continue to experience some symptoms with both drugs.

However, depression rating scores were significantly better among patients who received AZD6765 than in those who received placebos. The researchers deemed this noteworthy, since, on average, these patients had failed to improve in seven past antidepressant trials, and nearly half failed to respond to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

The patients reported only minor side effects, such as dizziness and nausea, which were not significantly different from those experienced with the placebo.

Zarate and colleagues say their results warrant further trials with AZD6765, testing whether repeated infusions a few times per week or higher doses might produce longer-lasting results.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Mental Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carlos A. Zarate, Daniel Mathews, Lobna Ibrahim, Jose Franco Chaves, Craig Marquardt, Immaculata Ukoh, Libby Jolkovsky, Nancy E. Brutsche, Mark A. Smith, David A. Luckenbaugh. A Randomized Trial of a Low-Trapping Nonselective N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Channel Blocker in Major Depression. Biological Psychiatry, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.10.019

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Mental Health. "Depression eased quickly with experimental drug: Works in brain like Ketamine, with fewer side effects, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121212205736.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health. (2012, December 12). Depression eased quickly with experimental drug: Works in brain like Ketamine, with fewer side effects, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121212205736.htm
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health. "Depression eased quickly with experimental drug: Works in brain like Ketamine, with fewer side effects, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121212205736.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins