A Better Ketamine

Peter Forster Major Depression, Psychobiology, Treatments of Depression

A better ketamine may be coming. That is the conclusion of NEJM Journal Watch Psychiatry reviewer Barbara Geller. A common pathway to identifying new drugs, is looking at metabolites of a medication to see if there is one metabolite that works better than the active drug (desvenlafaxine – one of the metabolites of venlafaxine – may or may not be …

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 …

Ketamine for Depression Update

Peter Forster GPS Update, Major Depression, Treatments of Depression

Probably the most exciting development in psychopharmacology in years is the discovery of the dramatic effects of ketamine on depression. However, a recent report from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Task Force on Novel Biomarkers and Treatments highlights not only the reason for the excitement about ketamine but also the significant areas of uncertainty that make it not yet ready to …

NMDA Receptor and Depression

Peter Forster Major Depression, Treatments of Depression

A new drug that stimulates the glycine site of NMDA receptors had rapid antidepressant effects in the just released results of a phase II clinical trial. The drug substantially reduced depression symptoms, with no severe side effects. The NMDA receptor has 2 sites that are involved in its activation. One site is stimulated by glutamate or aspartate. Another site is stimulated by glycine. For …

Ketamine for Depression – Mechanism of Action

Peter Forster Basic Science, Major Depression, Treatments of Depression

Ketamine for Depression: How does it work? We ran across a useful review of the basic science literature in an interview of David Nichols on the Psych Congress Network. http://www.psychcongress.com/video/ketamine-quick-guide-receptors-19116 Although ketamine blocks the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptors (blocks an excitatory neurotransmitter) the net effect seems to be an increase in excitatory neurotransmission. This image from Nature may help …