Managing Treatment Refractory Depression When a Single Medication Isn’t Effective
Depression is more common than most of us know. This article was very interesting because if true; those who are suffer from treatment refractory depression will have other options of dealing with their depressive disorder. We could potentially treat depression with a protein peptide (or by inserting a protein molecule) between two dopamine receptors. This would preclude need for the antidepressants and the side effects that sometimes accompany these medications. These antidepressant medications are very effective; however, there is always a percentage of the population that cannot tolerate them. This is a very interesting article because I have been posting articles on genetic engineering to treat depression; however, this article seems to conclude that molecular engineering can accomplish the same results and treat depression without the need for antidepressant drugs along with the potential side effects.
Treatment Refractory Depression may be Linked to Dopamine Receptors
This would be a break through in psychiatry especially for those who suffer from treatment resistant depression and are treatment refractory to medications, or those who cannot take antidepressants due to their intolerance of the side effects. Often patients that have treatment refractory depression have to go through ECT, Psychotropic Drugs, Vagal Nerve Stimulation, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and other treatments.
Neurological protein may hold the key to new treatments for depression
TORONTO, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire
Neuroscientists at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have developed a protein peptide that may be a novel type of highly targeted treatment for depression with a low side-effect profile. Depression affects one in ten Canadians at some time in their lives and is a leading cause of disability worldwide.
The study published in this month’s Nature Medicine found that coupling between two dopamine receptors was significantly elevated in the brains of people who had been diagnosed with major depression. “We identified a potential therapeutic target for development of novel anti-depressants.” said Dr. Fang Liu, Principal Investigator and Senior Scientist in CAMH’s Neuroscience Program and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Working from this discovery, researchers sought to find a way to disrupt coupling between the two receptors in hopes that it would have an anti-depressant effect.
Using an autopsied brain study, Dr. Liu and her team initially found that coupling between two dopamine receptors was significantly elevated in the brains of people who had been diagnosed with major depression. They started by analyzing a specific dopamine signaling mechanism, the D1 and D2 receptor complex, to identify the sites where the two receptors bind together. With this information, they were able to generate a protein peptide to disrupt the binding of the two receptors. The peptide was then tested in animal models to compare the effects with existing anti-depressant medications.
“After we administered the peptide, we saw a marked improvement in depression-related behaviors. The improvement seen in the peptide group was equivalent to the improvement on traditional anti-depressant medication”.
This peptide is an entirely new approach to treating depression, which has previously relied on medications that primarily block serotonin or norepinephrine transporters. These conventional antidepressant medications don’t work for all patients, and can cause various side effects. “We are hopeful that our research will lead to new options for treatment that might have reduced side effects for patients with depression,” Dr Liu stated.
SOURCE Centre for Addiction and Mental Health