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Surprising Science

New Anti-Depressant Works Within Hours

Researchers at Northwestern University are testing a new chemical formula that relieves the symptoms of depression within hours. The drug works similarly to Ketamine, the animal sedative. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Researchers at Northwestern University are testing a new drug that can relieve the symptoms of depression within hours. Called GLYX-13, the new formula is similar to Keatmine, a strong sedative used in veterinary medicine and after-parties of a certain flavor. While both drugs target NMDA receptors, quickly removing symptoms of depression, GLYX-13 is hallucination-free. “Those who received the drug reported that their symptoms got better within two hours, with no significant side effects. The drug also performed significantly better than the placebo.”

What’s the Big Idea?

In the study, GLYX-13 or a placebo was given to 116 patients with depression that did not respond to other kinds of treatment. Scientists reckon that the new drug works by boosting either the strength or number of connections between neurons, although it is not yet clear why this improves symptoms. “Gerard Sanacora at Yale School of Medicine thinks that people with depression may experience a slump in activity in the frontal cortex of the brain, and that the drug might reverse this.” Northwestern scientists want to help the drug to market by 2016.

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