Saturday, July 27, 2013

Serotonin hypothesis of depression was wrong

Move over serotonin; let's exploit glutamate in the treatment of depression. So suggests the journalist, Samantha Murphy, in a New Scientist article. Her argument is that the rise in treatment resistant depression reflects a realisation that antidepressants don't work. She holds out new hope for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) (see previous post), cranial electrical stimulation and ketamine. The speculation is that the release of glutamate by these treatments repairs the shrivelled dendrites of depressed people's neurones. She says at least 5 pharmaceutical companies are working on developing ketamine derivatives.

The academic paper to support this journalistic hype may be that by Duman & Aghajanian (2012) in Science. Look out for the promotion of a synaptogenic hypothesis of depression and treatment response. Scientific progress? Surely not.

1 comment:

KiKi said...

Oh no! This is not what I want to hear. I'm studying for the boards right now and one of my questions from was about the serotonin hypothesis in depression. Hearing that it may be incorrect is definitely not what I want to hear while I'm trying to learn! :( Thank you for the informative post!