depression

depression

depression

Ketamine in pill form is effective and safe against depression resistant to other treatments

Ketamine extended-release tablets are effective, safe and well tolerated in patients with depression resistant to other treatments, according to a phase 2 clinical trial. Compared to intranasal or intravenous use of ketamine, these oral tablets are easier to administer and would provide less dissociative intensity, lower risk of abuse and cardiovascular adverse effects, the authors write in Nature Medicine. 

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One in six people who stop taking antidepressants experience symptoms after stopping them

The Lancet Psychiatry publishes the first meta-analysis of the incidence of antidepressant treatment discontinuation symptoms that includes data from more than 20,000 patients collected from 79 randomised controlled trials and observational studies. The study sought to distinguish between symptoms directly caused by medication discontinuation and other ‘non-specific’ symptoms that may be associated with patient or professional expectations (the nocebo effect). The study concludes that one in six to seven patients will experience one or more symptoms directly caused by stopping medication, and one in 35 are likely to experience severe symptoms.  

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Reactions: Psilocybin-assisted group therapy reduces depression symptoms in cancer patients

A dose of psilocybin—a hallucinogenic substance—administered to groups of 3 or 4 people suffering from cancer and depression may help reduce their depressive symptoms, according to a clinical trial conducted in the United States. The study involved 30 patients who also received individual and group therapeutic support. In another article, also published in the journal Cancer, the authors examine how the study participants perceived the therapy.

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Reactions: Research finds that children of people with mental disorders are at increased risk of developing these and other disorders

An international team, led by the Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS in Barcelona together with King's College London (UK) and Dalhousie University (Canada), has published the largest meta-analysis to date studying the risk of children of people with mental disorders developing the same, or another type of disorder. The study included more than three million children of parents with different types of disorders and more than 20 million people as a control population. The results, published in the journal World Psychiatry, indicate that, overall, the former have a 1.5 to 3 times higher risk of developing a disorder in their lifetime. According to the authors, in the case of bipolar, depressive or anxiety disorders, the risk of their offspring suffering from some type of disorder is more than 50%.

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Reaction: study in mice associates punctuated sleep deprivation with antidepressant mechanisms

Researchers at Northwestern University in the United States have studied the effect of a temporary decrease in sleep on the mood of mice. According to their results, the animals became more hyperactive and hypersexual for a few hours. In addition, the occasional lack of sleep had an antidepressant effect that lasted for a few days and is explained by an increase in the release of dopamine. The results are published in the journal Neuron.

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Reactions: 30 researchers challenge study questioning the hypothesis that low serotonin levels cause depression, published last year

A commentary published last Friday in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, signed by more than 30 researchers, challenges the conclusions of the systematic review published in the same journal in July 2022, in which the authors concluded that there was no evidence that low serotonin levels cause depression. The researchers in the new paper blame the earlier study for flaws in methodology, among other weaknesses.

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Reaction: study describes receptor that could be new target for future antidepressant drugs

Glycine is an amino acid that also acts as a neurotransmitter, transmitting signals between neurons. According to a study published in Science, glycine's signalling in the brain and its antidepressant properties may be mediated by a receptor the authors call mGlyR. The research describes this mechanism using computational models, in vitro assays and experiments in mice. According to the authors, this receptor could be a new target for developing antidepressant drugs.

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Reaction: study associates higher risk of major depression with cases in the family

People who have a parent, sibling, or step-sibling with major depression have a higher risk of major depression themselves, according to research based on data from 2.9 million people in Denmark. This risk increases with the number of affected relatives and when exposure to depression occurs in childhood and adolescence, but does not vary by sex or kinship, says the study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

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