NMDA receptor blockade at rest triggers rapid behavioural antidepressant responses

Dept. of Psychiatry University of Texas Medical Center. July 2011.

Anita E. Autry1 , Megumi Adachi1 , Elena Nosyreva2 , Elisa S. Na1 , Maarten F. Los1 , Peng-fei Cheng1 , Ege T. Kavalali2 & Lisa M. Monteggia1

… Depressed patients report the alleviation of major depressive disorder symptoms within two hours of a single, low-dose intravenous infusion of ketamine, with effects lasting up to two weeks1–3, unlike traditional antidepressants (serotonin re-uptake inhibitors), which take weeks to reach efficacy. This delay is a major drawback to current therapies for major depressive disorder and faster-acting antidepressants are needed, particularly for suicide-risk patients3 . The ability of ketamine to produce rapidly acting, long-lasting antidepressant responses in depressed patients provides a unique opportunity to investigate underlying cellular mechanisms.

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