A new drug – called GLYX-13 – that targets the brain in a different way was announced recently by Northwestern University researchers. The drug has been tested in patients who had not responded to other antidepressants. “We saw a robust, rapid-acting, long-lasting effect. In addition, we have shown little or no side effects with our compound,” said lead researcher Joseph Moskal, a research professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

The most popular drugs to treat depression are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. These drugs, which include Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac and Paxil work by improving serotonin levels, which may be low in some people with depression. GLYX-13 is currently being tested intravenously, and is not projected to be available till 2016. Dr. Bryan Bruno, acting chair of psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City said, “It sounds like an exciting development. If it were a pill, the drug could change treatment for many patients. Because it’s so quick it would be a huge advantage over our current medications all of which take six to eight weeks for the full effect and at least three  to four weeks to start working for most people.”   Philadelphia Enquirer 12/10/12

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