Monday, August 09, 2010

Controversial drug proves highly effective in treating depression

From the Globe and Mail:
Medications used to treat depression may have powerful side effects, take weeks or longer to work, or have limited effectiveness in some individuals.

But there is growing excitement – and even surprise – about a new treatment that relieves symptoms of depression in some patients in a matter of minutes, a discovery that could chart a new path in research of the disease.

The medication that is gaining more attention, and respect, in the mental health field is ketamine.

A small study of 18 patients with bipolar disorder resistant to treatment published this week in the Archives of General Psychiatry found depressive symptoms improved significantly in 71 per cent of those treated with ketamine, compared with a six-per-cent improvement in the group that was given a placebo. Among those given ketamine, depressive symptoms began to improve in as little as 40 minutes. ...more

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