New Drug May Help Prevent Depression

 Dr. Brachman pic

Dr. Brachman
Image: fastcompany.com

Dr. Christie Mensch serves as a psychiatrist at Kansas City’s Wyandot Center, where she provides outpatient services to a diverse population. Since assuming this role, Dr. Christie Mensch has treated many patients with clinical depression.

Although clinical depression is treatable, provided the patient has access to the resources of talk therapy and medication, there is no reliable way to prevent depression. However, neuroscientist and entrepreneur Rebecca Brachman has identified a drug that may help increase the brain’s resistance to the kind of stress that can lead to depressive symptoms.

The discovery came when Dr. Brachman and her team were working with laboratory mice that had been given the drug ketamine, which is used to address severe depression. When placed into another study testing resistance to stress, these same mice were immune to the depressive symptoms that researchers expected from animals put through significantly stressful situations. This occurred even though the mice were weeks out of their ketamine regimen.

Dr. Brachman is currently working on translating this discovery into the development of a drug that physicians can use to prevent depression in persons going into stressful situations. While recipients of the drug will not be immune to the stress itself, the drug may enable faster recovery.

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