Sunday December 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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Cinema, Museums Can Keep Older Adults Away From Depression

For the study, the researchers studied more than 2,148 adults above 50

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Depression
Cinema, museums may ward off depression risk in elderly.

Regular exposure to cultural activities like cinema, theatre or museums can keep older adults away from depression, finds a new study.

Depression is a major issue affecting millions of people, especially the elderly.

The study showed that people who saw films, plays or exhibitions every few months had a 32 per cent lower risk of developing depression, with those attending once a month or more having a 48 per cent lower risk.

“People engage with culture for the pure enjoyment of doing so, but we need to be raising awareness of their wider benefits too,” said Daisy Fancourt, Senior Research Associate from the University College London in the UK.

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Depression is a major issue affecting millions of people, especially the elderly. Pixabay

The power of these cultural activities lies in the combination of social interaction, creativity, mental stimulation and gentle physical activity they encourage, according to the study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

If we are starting to feel low or isolated then cultural engagement is something simple that we can do to proactively help with our own mental health before it gets to the point where we need professional medical help, according to Fancourt.

Also Read- YouTube Removes 7.8 mn Violative Videos

“However, such activities on their own don’t treat depression. This requires an approach based on the use of talking therapies, complemented by the use of medication where an older person does not respond or when they have more severe depression,” noted Amanda Thompsell from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

For the study, the researchers studied more than 2,148 adults above 50. (IANS)