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Depression

25 August 2011

New treatment for depression

The discovery of the relationship between disturbed circadian rhythms and depression marks the beginning of a completely new approach to treating depression.

The discovery of the relationship between disturbed circadian rhythms and depression marks the beginning of a completely new approach to treating depression and a new era in antidepressant therapy. This discovery and new perspective on the treatment of depression offers hope to the thousands of patients worldwide who suffer from major depression and fail to respond or respond only partially to current treatment options.

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow a 24-hour cycle2. Our master biological clock in the brain governs our circadian rhythms or biorhythms, which are produced by natural factors within the body and are affected by environmental signals such as light, eating and drinking patterns, social interactions and stress, among others2,3. These biorhythms are responsible for the regulation of many physiological, biological and behavioural functions from body temperature, hormone release, variations in mood, energy and alertness.3

Recent research has linked circadian rhythm dysfunction to symptoms of depression, including disturbed sleep/wake cycles, daytime mood swings and changes throughout the day in the intensity of the depressed mood. In fact, research has shown that the more ‘out of synch’ a patient’s circadian rhythms are, the more severe their depression4,5. “Evidence would suggest that the new drug’s mode of action helps restore normal circadian rhythm function in depressed patients and effectively treats depression,3”says Dr Colin. 

  1. De Bodinat C, et al. Nature Reviews 2010; 9 (8): 628-642.
  2. http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.htm
  3. Hajak G. Depression in clinical practice 2010; 16: No 43
  4. Cardinali DP. In: Goodwin GM, ed. Time to Enter a New Era in Depression Management. Paris: Elsevier, 2010. page 37
  5. Gorwood P. J Clin Pharmacol2010; 24 (8 suppl) 15-19.
  6. Kennedy SH. Oral presentation delivered at ECNP Congress 2009, Istanbul.
  7. Lemoine P, et al. J Clin Psychiatry2007; 68: 1723-1732.
  8. Corruble E, et al.Poster presentation P02-24, EPA, 2011.
  9. Goodwin GM, et al. J Clin Psychiatry2009; 70 (8): 1128-1137.

 

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