RAPID ANTIDEPRESSANT WORKS BY BOOSTING BRAIN’S CONNECTIONS: SINGLE DOSE SPROUTS BUDDING SYNAPSES WITHIN HOURS IN RAT BRAIN

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An experimental drug that lifts depression in hours likely works by rapidly stimulating connections between brain cells, a study in rats has revealed. The drug, called ketamine, quickly generated such synapses in a brain circuit implicated in human depression by triggering a key enzyme. “Discovery of this cellular mechanism helps point the way to development of a ketamine-like agent that could become a practical, rapid-acting treatment for depression,” said Dr. Ronald Duman, of Yale University, who led the research team supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Duman and his colleagues report on their findings in the August 20, 2010 issue of the journal Science. Science News: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/science-news/2010/rapid-antidepressant-works-by-boosting-brains-connections.shtml

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