Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Potential New Targets for Antidepressant Medications

The news about antidepressant medications over the past several years has been mixed. The bad news from large multicenter studies such as STAR*D is that current antidepressant medications are effective, but not as effective as one might hope.

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
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>