Rapastinel for Depression

Peter Forster Major Depression, Psychobiology, Treatments of Depression

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to rapastinel, which follows the medication receiving a 2014 Fast Track Designation from the FDA. Rapastinel, an investigational medication for adjunctive treatment of major depressive disorder, is an intravenous drug that is a novel NMDA receptor agonist. It is being developed by Allergan. The Breakthrough Therapy designation is a new …

Functional Brain Imaging and Antidepressant Response

Peter Forster Basic Science, Testing, Treatments of Depression

One of the most exciting initiatives currently in the important area of  the treatment of depression is the International Study to Predict Optimized Treatment in Depression (iSPOT-D). This large multi-center initiative is based on a private industry and academic partnership that is designed to both identify best practices in the treatment of depression and also commercialize them. The most recent publication from this …

Escitalopram Reduces Inflammation in Depression

Peter Forster Major Depression, Physical Conditions and Health, Psychobiology, Treatments of Depression

Escitalopram reduces inflammation in depression and potentially reduces neurotoxicity according to an article just published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. A pro-inflammatory tendence has previously been noted in patients with depression, and this seems to be associated strongly with increases in kynurenine (see below for more information on how exercise counteracts this tendency). Kynurenine is the first step in …

Aripiprazole for Late Life Depression

Peter Forster Major Depression, Treatments of Depression

A study suggests that aripiprazole augmentation may be an effective strategy for treating major depression in older adults. The article has generated a lot of interest because of evidence suggesting that late life major depression may be different from major depression in early adulthood. Cognitive impairment, including memory troubles and trouble with planning and decision making (executive function), seems to …