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: First device approved for dialysis-related amyloidosis

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Far from home: Wayward cluster is both tiny and distant

51 minutes ago

Like the lost little puppy that wanders too far from home, astronomers have found an unusually small and distant group of stars that seems oddly out of place. The cluster, made of only a handful of stars, ...

Recommended for you

FDA launches first app to identify drug shortages

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A mobile phone application (app) has been released to identify current drug shortages, resolved shortages, or discontinuations of drug products, according to a press release published by the ...

FDA approves first lower-cost biotech drug (Update)

13 hours ago

Federal health officials have approved the first lower-cost copy of a biotech drug to reach the U.S. market, a long-awaited milestone that could generate billions in savings for insurers, doctors and patients.

A look at the growing use of synthetic drugs

14 hours ago

In recent years, hundreds of new synthetic recreational drugs have emerged – drugs that neither the general public nor the scientific community know very much about. Many of these new synthetic drugs – ...

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.