Anhedonia future or investigational therapies

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] ; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Pratik Bahekar, MBBS [2]

Overview

Even though prevalence of depression is very high, anti-depressant do not work in the 50% of population. The mechanism of all available anti-depressants is same. More research needs to be done to explore new therapies to tackle anhedonia, symptoms of depression and brain function.

Future or Investigational Therapies

Brain's reward system causes experience of pleasure and if it's functioning is impaired, it results in anhedonia. Chronic stress which is often seen in depression, results in increased melanocortin levels in the brain, and have heightened numbers of receptors for melanocortin in the nucleus accumbens, which is a part of the reward circuit. Drugs that mimic melanocortin are avaible and they can be tested to relieve symptoms of anhedonia. Clinical studies needs to explore role of melanocortin in the treatment of anhedonia. Melanocortin, is an important signal in brain's reward circuit. Reward circuit encourages humans and animals toward resources, food, sex etc. that promotes survival. It affects appetite and if animal is stressed, brain's ability to experience pleasure is switched off. Treatment of anhedonia can benefit the patients suffering from depression, schizophrenia and terminally ill patients who have given up hope.[1]

References

  1. "http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2012/july/malenka.html". External link in |title= (help)



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