Washington: Researchers have now discovered a drug that could ease out depression without any side-effects. (Agencies)
An experimental drug eased hard-to-treat depression within hours, minus side-effects, in a clinical trial conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Prescription anti-depressants, working through the brain's serotonin system, take weeks to work, which might prompt severely depressed to commit suicide.
Ketamine also works in hours, but its usefulness is limited by its potential for side-effects, including hallucinations. It is being studied mostly for clues to how it works."Our findings serve as a proof of concept that we can tap into an important component of the glutamate pathway to develop a new generation of safe, rapid-acting practical treatments for depression," said Carlos Zarate, of the NIH's National Institute of Mental Health, which conducted the research, the journal Biological Psychiatry reported.
About 32 percent of treatment-resistant depressed patients infused with ASD6765 showed a clinically meaningful response at 80 minutes after infusion that lasted for about half an hour - with residual effects lasting two days for some. Conversely, 52 percent of patients receiving ketamine show a comparable response, with effects still detectable at seven days. So a single infusion of ketamine produces more robust and sustained improvement, but most patients continue to experience some symptoms with both drugs.
Washington: Researchers have now discovered a drug that could ease out depression without any side-effects.