Wednesday February 20, 2019

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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Researchers Discover Novel Drug to Delay Ageing

Besides, the blood chemistry of the mice that underwent drug treatment was also found to have no adverse effects as it was similar to the untreated mice

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Go Makeup Free Once a Week to Delay Ageing
Go Makeup Free Once a Week to Delay Ageing. (Wikimedia commons)

Researchers, including one of Indian origin, have developed a new drug that can delay ageing demonstrated by declining muscle mass, strength and function.

As human bodies age, they increasingly lose the ability to repair and rebuild degenerating skeletal muscles. This can dramatically limit the ability of older adults to live fully active and independent lives.

In the study, researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston identified a protein called Nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT) in muscle stem cells that appears to be responsible for the age-related dysfunction.

They developed a small molecule drug, NNMT inhibitor (NNMTi), which when prescribed to aged mice could limit NNMT’s effects as well as significantly increase muscle size, strength and metabolic state in the animals.

By resetting muscle stem cells to a more youthful state, the mice could be rejuvenated so that they could more effectively repair muscle tissues, the researchers explained.

“There are no treatments currently available to delay, arrest or reverse age-related muscle degeneration,” said Harshini Neelakantan, research scientist at UTMB.

Makeup can speed up the process of ageing.
Slow down skin ageing by this drug. Pixabay

“These initial results support the development of an innovative drug treatment that has the potential to help the elderly to become fitter, faster and stronger, thus enabling them to live more active and independent lives as they age,” she added.

For the study, published in Biochemical Pharmacology, the team treated ageing mice, suffering from muscle injury, with the drug or a placebo.

Following seven days of treatment, researchers saw that the aged mice, which received the drug, had more functional muscle stem cells than the placebo mice.

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Moreover, the size of the muscle fibres doubled and the strength also increased significantly.

Besides, the blood chemistry of the mice that underwent drug treatment was also found to have no adverse effects as it was similar to the untreated mice. (IANS)