McGill study promises faster-acting anti-depressants

Sep 05, 2007

A McGill University study has found that a new class of drugs known as serotonin4 (5-HT4) receptor agonists may take effect four to seven times faster than traditional selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The study, led by former McGill post-doctoral fellow in psychiatry Guillaume Lucas with his supervisor, the late Dr. Guy Debonnel, was published in the September 6 issue of the journal Neuron.

Existing SSRI-class drugs, widely prescribed as anti-depressants, can take up to six weeks to become effective, with potentially serious clinical consequences. Dr. Lucas, now an associate researcher at the Centre de Recherche Fernand Séguin of Université de Montréal, said, "These delays are not only a matter of patient comfort, it's really important, especially when you are treating major depressions that could lead to suicide."

SSRIs work by enhancing the available concentration of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. The McGill study focused on a new class of drugs known as serotonin4 (5-HT4) receptor agonists, which act directly on the nerve impulses of serotonin neurons.

In behavioral tests, rats on two different serotonin4 receptor agonists showed marked improvements in symptoms of chronic depression after only three days and were symptom-free after a week. In subsequent tests, three days of treatment with serotonin4 receptor agonists induced anti-depressant-related effects in the brains of the animals seen only after weeks of treatments with SSRIs.

Source: McGill University

Explore further: Rapamune approved for rare lung disease

Related Stories

Severe ozone depletion avoided

47 minutes ago

We are already reaping the rewards of the Montreal Protocol, with the ozone layer in much better shape than it would have been without the UN treaty, according to a new study in Nature Communications.

First smartphone app that predicts GPA created

1 hour ago

If you're a college student wondering how your study and party habits will affect your GPA, wonder no longer. Dartmouth researchers and their colleagues have built the first app that automatically predicts ...

Researchers say anti-pollution rules have uncertain effects

1 hour ago

Air pollution regulations issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are estimated to save thousands of lives annually. A new study by researchers at Indiana University says these estimates are more uncertain than ...

Recommended for you

Rapamune approved for rare lung disease

18 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Rapamune (sirolimus) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a rare, progressive lung disease that mostly affects women of childbearing age.

FDA warns of complications from facial fillers

19 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Soft tissue fillers used in cosmetic procedures can accidentally be injected into blood vessels in the face and cause serious harm, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.