From National Public Radio, written by Jon Hamilton. Scientists say they have figured out how an experimental drug called ketamine is able to relieve major depression in hours instead of weeks.
Researchers from Yale and the National Institute of Mental Health say ketamine seems to cause a burst of new connections to form between nerve cells in parts of the brain involved in emotion and mood.
The discovery, described in Science, should speed development of the first truly new depression drugs since the 1970s, the researchers say.
“It’s exciting,” says Ron Duman, a a psychiatarist and neurobiologist at Yale University. “The hope is that this new information about ketamine is really going to provide a whole array of new targets that can be developed that ultimately provide a much better way of treating depression.” Read more »