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expert reaction to existing licensed drugs used to treat depression in mice

The use of drugs which are already prescribed for certain diseases in the treatment of other conditions is an active area of research, and a paper published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology has done just that to treat depressive symptoms in mice.


Dr Ciara McCabe, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, University of Reading, said:

“Until this drug combination is tested with repeated treatment in depressed patients, we will not know how, or even if, it will act as an antidepressant. However, this research shows that combining already licensed agents is an exciting approach for treatment discovery in depression.

“With millions of clinically depressed people around the world, we sorely need new treatments for depression. It is great to see existing drugs being tested as potential treatments.

“Interestingly though, in our research group we already tested a single dose of naltrexone in healthy humans and found it had a profile similar to that of depression, decreasing the brain’s response to reward and increasing its processing of unpleasant stimuli.”


‘Combined administration of buprenorphine and naltrexone produces antidepressant-like effects in mice’ by Almatroudi et al. has been published in Journal of Psychopharmacology


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