Tuesday January 16, 2018

New drug may treat depression in a day

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New York: Researchers have identified promising drug compounds that could successfully treat depression in less than 24 hours while minimizing side effects.

Although they have not yet been tested on people, the compounds could offer significant advantages over current antidepressant medications, the study said.

“Our results open up a whole new class of potential antidepressant medications,” said lead researcher Scott Thompson, professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the US. depression

“These compounds can relieve the devastating symptoms of depression in less than one day and can do so in a way that limits some of the key disadvantages of current approaches,” Thompson said in the study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

These compounds, called GABA-NAMs, minimise unwanted side effects because they are precise: they work only in the parts of the brain that are essential for mood, the study said.

The compounds were tested in rats that were subjected to chronic mild stress and 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 most of the currently available antidepressants called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or SSRIs to produce the same effects.

“These compounds produced the most dramatic effects in animal studies that we could have hoped for.”

“It will be exciting to find out whether they produce similar effects in depressed patients. If these compounds can quickly provide relief of the symptoms of human depression, such as suicidal thinking, it could revolutionise the way patients are treated,” Thompson said.

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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Are bullied kids prone to suicidal behaviour?

Children who experienced severe peer victimisation were more than twice as likely to report depression or low moods at age 15, and three times more likely to report anxiety

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Victimization in early school days leads to anxiety. Pixabay
Victimization in early school days leads to anxiety. Pixabay
  • Children face most severe levels of victimization from the beginning of their schooling.
  • These kids develop significant symptoms of suicidal behaviour and anxiety.
  • Even after the victimization ends, it affects still pertains.

A study found that children who face bullying can be at a risk of developing mental health issues, suicidal thoughts and anxiety in their years. For the study, the team looked at 1,363 children who were followed until the age of 15 years.

About 59 percent of participants had experienced some peer victimisation in the first years of elementary school, although it generally declined as the children grew older.

“Our findings showed a general tendency, in about 15 percent of the children, of being exposed to the most severe levels of victimisation from the beginning of their education until the transition to high school,” said Marie-Claude Geoffroy, from the McGill University in Canada.

Also Read: Anxiety and depression genetic, says research

Even though victimization can end after school days, its affect still pertains. Pixabay
Even though victimization can end after school days, its affect still pertains. Pixabay

Findings

  • Children who experienced severe peer victimisation were more than twice as likely to report depression or low moods at age 15, and three times more likely to report anxiety.
  • This group of children were also 3.5 times more likely to report serious suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide.

“Those children were at greater risk of debilitating depressive/dysthymic symptoms or anxiety and of suicidality in adolescence than less severely victimised children, even after we accounted for a plethora of confounders assessed throughout childhood,” Geoffroy added.

Also read: List of 8 Food Items to Battle Depression and Anxiety

“Although peer victimisation starts to decrease by the end of childhood, individuals in the severe trajectory group were still being exposed to the highest level of victimisation in early adolescence,” Geoffroy noted.

Severe peer victimisation may contribute to the development of mental health problems in adolescence, thus, it is important to prevent victimisation early in the lifespan, the results suggest.

The study was published in journal CMAJ. (IANS)

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