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A Fast-Acting Treatment Which Helps Severely Depressed Experience Pleasure Again

Drug quickly helps with ‘treatment-resistant’ depression.

A drug being newly tested as a fast-acting antidepressant has shown it can help lift heavy depression within 40 minutes.

Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health have been testing the effects of a single dose of ketamine on people with bipolar disorder.

When depressed, bipolar patients find it difficult to seek out and experience rewards — they feel there is nothing to look forward to.

The drug works by changing how people think about rewards.

Dr. Carlos Zarate, who led the study, said:

“Our findings help to deconstruct what has traditionally been lumped together as depression.

We break out a component that responds uniquely to a treatment that works through different brain systems than conventional antidepressants — and link that response to different circuitry than other depression symptoms.”

In the study, 36 patients with bipol

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