Health and Fitness

Naurex Inc. Reports Positive Top-Line Phase I Results For Its Novel Mechanism NMDA Receptor Modulator GLYX-13 In Treatment-Resistant Depression

Naurex Inc., a clinical stage company developing innovative treatments for depression and other CNS disorders based on its novel glycine site functional partial agonist (GFPA) NMDA receptor modulators, today reported positive top-line results from its Phase I clinical trial of lead compound GLYX-13. GLYX-13 is a GFPA selective modulator of the NMDA receptor. It is initially being developed as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression in severely depressed patients. In the Phase I trial, adverse events were similar for subjects receiving GLYX-13 and placebo and were all rated as mild. There were no signs of the schizophrenia-like side effects associated with other NMDA receptor modulator drugs. "These encouraging data in humans are consistent with the excellent safety profile demonstrated in preclinical studies of GLYX-13, " said Ronald Burch, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer at Naurex. "In view of the history of schizophrenia-like side effects caused by NMDA receptor modulators such as ketamine(1) and CP-101, 606(2), we are very pleased that there were no signs of these effects in this first trial of GLYX-13 in humans, even at higher doses than we expect would be required to provide antidepressant effects.

Depression And Lack Of Concentration Do Not Necessarily Go Together

Many clinicians believe that depression goes hand in hand with cognitive difficulties such as memory problems or difficulties concentrating and paying attention, but a recent review of nearly 20 years of literature conducted by researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center has found that depression does not always lead to such impairments. "The relationship between cognition thinking, attention and memory and depression remains poorly understood from a neuroscientific standpoint, " said Dr. Munro Cullum, chief of psychology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the review appearing in the January issue of Neuropsychology, a journal published by the American Psychological Association. "This paper represents an important review of the literature that challenges some of the clinical myths about the effects of depression on cognitive functioning." Part of what contributes to the clinical lore is that difficulties in concentrating can be a symptom of depression, and this may masquerade as other cognitive problems such as variability in memory performance.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer's Comment On The BMJ Paper On Antidepressants And Tamoxifen

Meg McArthur, from Breakthrough Breast Cancer, says: "This research is welcome because it gives an insight into how the effectiveness of tamoxifen could be influenced by taking antidepressants. Tamoxifen remains a beneficial treatment for breast cancer and as several antidepressants are available doctors should be able to find the right combination for patients. "This should not put patients off taking tamoxifen and any concerns should be discussed with their doctor." Source Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings May Reduce Depression Symptoms

One of many reasons that attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings helps people with alcohol use disorders stay sober appears to be alleviation of depression. A team of researchers has found that study participants who attended AA meetings more frequently had fewer symptoms of depression - along with less drinking - than did those with less AA participation. The report will appear in the journal Addiction and has been release online. "Our study is one of the first to examine the mechanisms underlying behavioral change with AA and to find that AA attendance alleviates depression symptoms, " says study leader John F. Kelly, PhD, associate director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Addiction Medicine. "Perhaps the social aspects of AA helps people feel better psychologically and emotionally as well as stop drinking." The authors note that problems with mood regulation such as depression are common among people with alcohol problems - both preceding and being exacerbated by alcohol use.

Early Abuse Tied To More Depression In Children

Although children can be depressed for many reasons, new evidence suggests that there are physiological differences among depressed children based on their experiences of abuse before age 5. Early abuse may be especially damaging due to the very young age at which it occurs. Those are the findings of a new study of low-income children that was conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota and the University of Rochester, Mt. Hope Family Center. The study appears in the January/February 2010 issue of the journal Child Development. Children who experience maltreatment, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse or neglect, grow up with a lot of stress. Cortisol, termed the "stress hormone, " helps the body regulate stress. But when stress is chronic and overloads the system, cortisol can soar to very high levels or plummet to lows, which in turn can harm development and health. The researchers studied more than 500 low-income children ages 7 to 13, about half of whom had been abused and/or neglected, to find out whether abuse early in life and feelings of depression affected their levels of cortisol.

Feeling Gray, Not Blue, Using Colors To Describe Emotions

People with anxiety and depression are most likely to use a shade of gray to represent their mental state. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Medical Research Methodology describe the development of a color chart, The Manchester Color Wheel, which can be used to study people's preferred pigment in relation to their state of mind. Peter Whorwell, Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology at University Hospital South Manchester, worked with a team of researchers from the University of Manchester, UK, to create an instrument that would allow people a choice of colors in response to questions. He said, "Colors are frequently used to describe emotions, such as being 'green with envy' or 'in the blues'. Although there is a large, often anecdotal, literature on color preferences and the relationship of color to mood and emotion, there has been relatively little serious research on the subject". The researchers created a wheel of colors of various intensities, including shades of gray.

Depression In Pregnancy Tied To Antisocial Behavior In Offspring During Teens

Children from urban areas whose mothers suffer from depression during pregnancy are more likely than others to show antisocial behavior, including violent behavior, later in life. Furthermore, women who are aggressive and disruptive in their own teen years are more likely to become depressed in pregnancy, so that the moms' history predicts their own children's antisocial behavior. That's the conclusion of a new longitudinal study conducted by researchers at Cardiff University, King's College London, and the University of Bristol. The research appears in the January/February 2010 issue of the journal Child Development. The study considered the role of mothers' depression during pregnancy by looking at 120 British youth from inner-city areas. "Much attention has been given to the effects of postnatal depression on young infants, " notes Dale F. Hay, professor of psychology at Cardiff University in Wales, who worked on the study, "but depression during pregnancy may also affect the unborn child.

Increased Risk Of Kidney Failure, Blindness, Heart Attack And Stroke In Depressed Diabetes Patients

Depression raises risks of advanced and severe complications from diabetes, according to a prospective study of Group Health primary-care patients in western Washington. These complications include kidney failure or blindness, the result of small vessel damage, as well as major vessel problems leading to heart attack or stroke. The findings were published this week in Diabetes Care, a scientific journal of the American Diabetes Association. The study was conducted by scientists from the Group Health Research Institute, Seattle; the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine and School of Public Health, and the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System. The lead author is Dr. Elizabeth Lin of the Group Health Research Institute. Among their research volunteers with type 2 diabetes followed over 5 years, major depression was associated with a 36 percent higher risk of developing advanced micro-vascular complications, such as end-stage kidney disease or blindness, and a 25 percent higher risk of developing advanced macrovascular complications, such as stroke or myocardial infarction (heart attack from a blood clot), compared with diabetes patients without depression.

Family Therapy Helps Teens With Suicidal Thoughts

Adolescents with suicidal thoughts and elevated depression had stronger and faster reduction of symptoms when treated with family therapy than with standard treatment in the community. Researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia reported these findings this month in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in American adolescents, accounting for more than 1, 300 deaths in youths between the ages of 12 and 18 in 2005. An additional one million teens attempt suicide each year, leading to high emotional and financial costs to families and the health care system. Unfortunately, very few treatment studies have focused on this vulnerable age group or identified treatments with proven results. In this study, Attachment-based Family Therapy (ABFT), found that patients with severe suicidal thinking were at least four times more likely to have no suicide thinking at the end of the treatment or three months after treatment, than patients treated in the community.

Melatonin Precursor Stimulates Growth Factor Circuits In Brain

Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have discovered unexpected properties for a precursor to melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep cycles. Melatonin is produced from the neurotransmitter serotonin in a daily rhythm that peaks at night. Melatonin's immediate precursor, N-acetylserotonin, was not previously thought to have effects separate from those of melatonin or serotonin. Now an Emory team has shown that N-acetylserotonin can stimulate the same circuits in the brain activated by the growth factor BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). The results will be published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team was led by Keqiang Ye, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and P. Michael Iuvone, professor of pharmacology and director of research at Emory Eye Center. Researchers from Morehouse School of Medicine and the University of Wisconsin contributed to the paper. The discovery has implications for the study of how some antidepressants function and may also explain previous observations that N-acetylserotonin has antidepressant activity in animal models of depression.

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