Second psychopharmacology revolution: New drugs could change the way we treat depression

Image: Shutterstock
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The field of psychopharmacology was born during the 15 years between 1955 and 1970. Now, nearly 60 years later, the field of psychiatry may be at the beginning of a second psychopharmacology revolution.

During the first psychopharmacology revolution, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and antianxiety agents were discovered.

The field of psychiatry may now be entering a second psychopharmacology revolution. Over the past 20 years, ketamine, a medication already approved as an anesthetic, has been found to have rapid and substantial antidepressant effects when administered intravenously at lower-than-anesthetic doses. Ketamine’s antidepressant effects occur within hours and can last up to a week or more following a single infusion.

Related article:  You sound down: Using AI to spot depression in a person’s voice

A second major new advance in psychopharmacology involves a group of drugs called neurosteroids (or neuroactive steroids). The structure and function of neurosteroids are very different than either the older antidepressants or ketamine.

The ketamine-based drugs and the neurosteroid-based drugs are revolutionary in terms of the rapidity of their antidepressant effects and their mechanisms of action. Other medications with truly different mechanisms are also in the early stages of investigation. It is possible that the 15 years between 2015 and 2030 will be as remarkable in terms of psychopharmacology as the 1955-1970 era.

Read full, original post: The Second Psychopharmacology Revolution

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
a a b b a f ac a

Video: Death by COVID: The projected grim toll in historical context

The latest statistics, as of July 10, show COVID-19-related deaths in U.S. are just under 1,000 per day nationally, which is ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
types of oak trees

Infographic: Power of evolution? How oak trees came to dominate North American forests

Over the course of some 56 million years, oaks, which all belong to the genus Quercus, evolved from a single undifferentiated ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend