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Title: Emerging treatments for major depression.
Austin Authors: Norman, Trevor R ;Burrows, Graham D
Affiliation: University of Melbourne, Department of Psychiatry, Austin Hospital, Heidelberg 3084, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: 1-Feb-2007
Publication information: Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics; 7(2): 203-13
Abstract: Antidepressant drugs were introduced into clinical practice in the mid-20th Century. While for the most part they have proven effective for the amelioration of depressive symptoms, they are associated with significant deficiencies. These well-recognized shortcomings have given impetus to the pursuit of new molecules that seek to improve on the efficacy, tolerability and safety of existing medications. The following article reviews several new compounds that may have antidepressant potential. Some are more advanced in development, having undergone clinical trials, whereas the clinical potential of others is yet to be explored. For this latter group of compounds, the antidepressant potential relies on their activity in validated animal models. Agomelatine and duloxetine are in the first category, having shown antidepressant efficacy in clinical trials. The blockade of cortisol secretion continues to be a focus of attention for the development of new antidepressants. Thus, synthesis inhibitors, nonpeptide antagonists of corticotropin-releasing factor and glucocorticoid receptor antagonists show some promise in clinical and preclinical tests. Antagonists of the neuropeptide substance P, vasopressin and neuropeptide Y represent a departure of approach from traditional monoamine receptor-based mechanisms. While the clinical results with one substance P antagonist have led to the cessation of further trials, other molecules are in development. Approaches to treatment based on glutamatergic transmission arose from observations in animal models. The clinical evaluation of such compounds awaits further development. The extent to which new agents can be judged to have met the goals of efficacy, tolerability and safety rely not only acute treatment trials but also on longer-term outcomes and postmarketing surveillance. Whether any of the new agents canvassed here prove to be significantly better than existing agents is clearly a judgement for the future.
Gov't Doc #: 17286553
DOI: 10.1586/14737175.7.2.203
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Animals
Antidepressive Agents.therapeutic use
Depressive Disorder, Major.drug therapy
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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