Thursday August 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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Taking Care of Mental Health Problems in Children, may Boost Parent’s Mental Health Too

When the severity of a teenagers's depression lessened, so did similar symptoms in the parent, regardless of what treatment was used: Study

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walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health
walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health. Pixabay

The bond between parent and child extends far beyond sharing similar looks or behaviours as a new study suggests that treating depression in teenagers may benefit their parents’ mental health too.

The findings suggest that when a teenager’s depression improved through treatment, so did the depression experienced by his or her parents.

“Depression is a massive public health concern that will take a variety of approaches to better manage. We believe our study is among the first to evaluate how the emotional health of a child can impact that of the parents,” said co-author Mark A. Reinecke from the Northwestern University in the US.

For the study, presented at American Psychological Association’s 126th Annual Convention, the research team involved 325 teenagers who had been diagnosed with depression and 325 of their parents or caregivers.

The teenagers were randomly assigned to one of three groups — those who received cognitive behavioural therapy, those who took anti-depressants or those who used a combination of both.

Depression
More young people today are reporting persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness and suicidal thoughts. Flickr

The first treatment period ran for nearly one year, with an additional year of follow-up visits, the researchers said.

One-quarter of the parents who participated also reported moderate to severe levels of depression before the treatment period, the researcher added.

The treatment process was not family-based, though some portions included the parent.

The researchers found a positive ripple effect because when the severity of a teenagers’s depression lessened, so did similar symptoms in the parent, regardless of what treatment was used.

Also Read: Molecule Deficiency May Help Diagnose Severe Depression

“More young people today are reporting persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness and suicidal thoughts,” said Kelsey R. Howard from the varsity.

“This research may help health care providers as we grapple as a nation with how to address these alarming trends,” Howard noted. (IANS)

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