Monday May 21, 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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Smoking Before 15 May Develop Risk of Drug Problem in Boys

The data were then correlated with the age at which they started using cannabis, the researcher said.

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If boys start smoking pot in early teenage life, they may be at a higher risk of developing drug problem as a young adult, a new study has said.
Representational Image. Pixabay

If boys start smoking pot in early teenage life, they may be at a higher risk of developing drug problem as a young adult, a new study has said.

The findings, published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, suggested that boys who start smoking pot before the age of 15 are much more likely to have a drug problem at 28 than those who start at 15 or after.

According to the researchers, in these teens, the risk of having a drug abuse problem by age 28 is 68 per cent. But if they start smoking between 15 and 17 the risk drops to 44 per cent.

“The odds of developing any drug abuse symptoms by age 28 were non-significant if cannabis use had its onset at ages 15 to 17, but were significant and almost doubled each year if onset was before age 15,” the researchers, including Charlie Rioux from Universite de Montreal, said.

For the study, the researchers recruited 1,030 boys. Every year between ages 13 and 17, they were asked if they had consumed cannabis at all in the previous year.

At the age of 17, 20 and 28, the boys were again asked if they consumed cannabis as well as other drugs, including hallucinogens, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, tranquilisers, heroin and inhalants.

The data were then correlated with the age at which they started using cannabis, the researcher said.

If boys start smoking pot in early teenage life, they may be at a higher risk of developing drug problem as a young adult, a new study has said.
Early smoking can lead to drug problems in boys. Pixabay

The results confirmed that the younger boys started smoking marijuana, the more likely they had a drug problem later as young men.

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Even if those who start smoking cannabis at 17 years were at lower risk, frequent users — 20 or more times a year — at age 17 had almost double the chance of abuse by age 28 than occasional users.

“Since peer influence and delinquency were identified as early risk factors for earlier cannabis onset and adult drug abuse, targeting these risk factors in prevention programmes may be important, especially since prevention strategies working on the motivators of substance use have been shown to be effective,” Rioux noted. (IANS)

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