New Hope for Depression!
“There hasn’t been a major depression-drug breakthrough in nearly three decades, but a number of factors are conspiring to change that. Scientists are gaining a more nuanced picture of what depression is–not a monolithic disease, but probably dozens of distinct maladies–and they’re getting closer to learning what works for which kind of ailment. With suicides in the U.S. at their highest number in 30 years, experts agree that patients need faster ways to feel better, without waiting the typical four to eight weeks it takes for antidepressants to kick in. And as old drugs have gone off patent–making them less lucrative for drugmakers–companies are eager to find new revenue streams.
The biggest development has been the rediscovery of a promising, yet fraught, drug called ketamine. It’s best known as a psychedelic club drug that makes people hallucinate, but it may also have the ability to ease depression–and fast. In a race to shape the next generation of antidepressants, Johnson & Johnson and Allergan are fast-tracking new medicines inspired by ketamine. The FDA could be reviewing new drug submissions by as early as next year. Researchers, too, are exploring how to harness big data and even genetic testing to come up with new ways of treating depression for the 30% of people who don’t respond to the current standard-of-care treatment options.” read the rest at Time.com