Suddenly, we have more antidepressant alternatives than just conventional depression-treating drugs

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Credit: WebMD
Credit: WebMD

Patient responses…. after years of unsuccessful treatment with standard drugs, are spurring a gradual — and, some would say, overdue — shift in psychiatry toward a new way of thinking about depression, its causes, and therapies. The profession’s long embrace of the “monoamine hypothesis” — the idea that depression primarily results from abnormal levels of neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain and that drugs can restore the proper balance — is giving way to a more complex understanding and alternative treatments, from ketamine to psychedelics to magnetic stimulation.

Along with ketamine, other psychedelics, like psilocybin, have emerged as candidates for treatment-resistant depression. A small study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April showed that psilocybin was as effective as a common antidepressant drug.

The psychedelic market is seen as so potentially lucrative that half a dozen companies in that space have gone public this year. Cybin, which has a psilocybin formulation in a Phase 2 clinical trial for major depression, started selling shares on the New York Stock Exchange last week, and five other psychedelics companies are already listed on the Nasdaq.

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While the paradigms surrounding psychiatry seem to be shifting, new drugs and treatments still have a long road to approval and widespread use.

This is an excerpt. Read the original post here.

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