A study at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston may lead to a better understanding of how antidepressants like Prozac work – and how to make them more effective.
According to results published in todays issue of the journal Neuron, a study in mice proposes that dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitter systems in the brain occasionally get their signals crossed, causing delays in stabilizing mood. "This study provides a new site for drug discovery in one of the biggest market for drugs – those that treat symptoms of depression," said Dr. John Dani, professor of neuroscience at BCM and lead author of the study.
Danis study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, offers an alternative explanation for the delayed effect of most antidepressants. "Some scientists thought that you had to take an antidepressant for weeks because as serotonin is elevated, some of its receptors had to turn off and become desensitized rather than be stimulated," Dani said. "That didnt make a lot of sense to us since desensitization is usually a rapid mechanism."
Ross Tomlin | EurekAlert!
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