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Hope for a faster acting anti-depressant Add to ...

Antidepressant medications can help pull people out of the depths of the blues. But it takes three to six weeks before patients feel the full effects of these drugs.

Now, a new study led by researchers at McGill University in Montreal offers hope for a faster-acting antidepressant.

The work was carried out on mice with a new class of experimental compounds known as serotonin receptor agonists, which enhance certain nerve impulses within the brain.

(Currently, the most widely used antidepressants - selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - work by increasing the availability of serotonin, a chemical messenger in the brain.)

Dr. Guillaume Lucas, who led the research, said the study showed "a rapid onset of action."

But, of course, a lot more research is needed to prove the compounds work the same way in people.

Dr. Lucas hopes the study, published in the journal Neuron, will spark the interest of a major drug company to finance human trials.

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