Friday, April 10, 2020

Psychedelic psychiatry's brave new world, and a new rapid-acting antidepressannt

I want to point to this open source article in Cell magazine, that provides an up to date review of resurrection of research into possible clinical uses of psychotropic compounds such as psilocybin.
After a legally mandated, decades-long global arrest of research on psychedelic drugs, investigation of psychedelics in the context of psychiatric disorders is yielding exciting results. Outcomes of neuroscience and clinical research into 5-Hydroxytryptamine 2A (5-HT2A) receptor agonists, such as psilocybin, show promise for addressing a range of serious disorders, including depression and addiction.
Also, a review by Krystal et al. notes FDA approval of the first mechanistically new treatment for depression in over sixty years - a form of ketamine (the party drug Special K, also used as an anesthetic.) Motivated readers can obtain the full text from me.
The discovery of the strikingly rapid and robust antidepressant effects of r/s-ketamine for the treatment of antidepressant-resistant symptoms of depression has led to new insights into the biology of antidepressants and the FDA approval of its s-isomer, Esketamine (Spravato), the first mechanistically new treatment for depression in over 60 years.

1 comment:

  1. While classic racemic intravenous ketamine has been well-studied for its rapid-acting effects on depression (and especially treatment-resistant depression), I would hesitate to call J&J's Spravato a continuation of this research (see below):