Wednesday, August 25, 2010

'Magic drug' gives hope to bipolar patients

From the Vancouver Sun:
A new antidepressant being tested in Canada appears to do what no other drug can -- increase connections between brain cells within hours to swiftly improve symptoms.

The finding by Yale University researchers may explain how one dose of ketamine can reduce symptoms of depression within 40 minutes among the hardest-to-treat cases, and could help spur development of quick-acting antidepressants.

About 17 per cent of the Canadian population will experience major depression at some point in their lives.

Prozac-like drugs and other antidepressants take at least two weeks to produce an effect, and sometimes months for a full effect.

Even then, they work well in only about a third of patients.

The risk of suicide increases during those dangerous weeks or months of lag time. ...more

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