Thus, there is a significant need for new treatment mechanisms for depression. On that front, there has been mixed news as well. One of the most exciting new drugs to reach human clinical trials, one that blocks the corticotrophin releasing factor-1 (CRF1) receptor, did not work in a large clinical trial sponsored by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.
Is it time to abandon CRF1 antagonists as antidepressants or should we revisit these agents from a new perspective? It is in this context that a new paper by Alexandre Surget and colleagues, scheduled for publication in the August 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry, is particularly interesting.
Through prior work, it has been shown that the ability to reverse the stress-related disruption of hippocampal neurogenesis, the ability of the brain to make new nerve cells in adulthood, was important to the actions of our available antidepressant medications. In this new study, the researchers affirm the prior findings, but suggest that two experimental approaches to the treatment of depression, blockade of the CRF1 receptor or the vasopressin-1B (V1B) receptor, retain their efficacy in reversing the impact of stress on behavior even when neurogenesis is disrupted. Catherine Belzung, Ph.D., corresponding author on this article, further explains that “we now report evidence that restoration of the functioning of the stress axis may be the key to how these new antidepressant approaches might work.”
How can one reconcile these interesting research findings in animals with the lack of antidepressant efficacy of a CRF1 receptor antagonist in the Pfizer study? Is this approach simply ineffective in humans or might there be subgroups of patients who might be more likely to respond to a CRF1 antagonist? The Surget et al. data raise the possibility that CRF1 receptor antagonists might be effective in treating stress-related behavioral disturbances even in a context where other antidepressants do not work, perhaps due to disruption of neurogenesis. John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, comments: “These findings lend weight to the hope that CRF1 antagonists might play a role in the treatment of antidepressant-resistant symptoms of depression or posttraumatic stress disorder.
If so, CRF1 antagonists could fulfill an important unmet need.” He adds that “we do not need another Prozac, but we urgently need to find ways to help the large number of patients who fail to respond adequately to our available treatments.”
Jayne Dawkins | alfa
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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23.05.2017 | Event News
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26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy