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— Depression symptoms were curbed by an experimental treatment in people with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder in record time, according to researchers in the National Institute of Mental Health, where the treatment was tested.

Similar to the rapid-acting antidepressant Ketamine, the brand new drug, called AZD6765, operates on precisely the same chemical messenger system in the brain, but takes a route that is faster and doesn’t appear to possess serious side effects.??

Some common Biological Psychiatry, AZD6765 exhibited minimal unwanted effects.

Researchers suppose since the action of the experimental drug on neurons in the brain is not as strong that AZD6765 caused fewer side effects than Ketamine. “Our findings serve as a proof of concept that people can tap into an essential part of the glutamate pathway to develop a new generation of safe, rapid-acting practical treatments for depression,” said researcher Carlos Zarate, MD, in a National Institute of Mental Health press release.

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Researchers found that among 22 patients who have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and were unresponsive to previous treatment, approximately 32 percent experienced depression relief within about 80 minutes after using AZD6765. The effect lasted for half an hour, plus some effects lingered for one more two days. By comparison, in other research, Ketamine alleviated symptoms in 52 percent of patients, but the effects lasted up to seven days.

Although Ketamine provided stronger and much more enduring relief from depression symptoms, patients who received AZD6765 experienced less serious side effects (including nausea and dizziness) and fared better in their overall fight against depression. In future trials, the NIMH researchers intend to try different doses of AZD6765 and use multiple infusions that are weekly to see when they can enhance the duration of the positive reaction to the therapy.

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