Depression: Discovery of new brain pathway could yield new treatments

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A new breakthrough in antidepressant medication may change the way that doctors evaluate and treat depressed patients. Inhibiting the BMP pathway in the brains of depressed patients has been shown to reduce symptoms like depression and anxiety. Nearly 16 million American adults have had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, although 10-30% of patients don’t find relief from the SSRI drugs commonly used to medicate depression.

Key Takeaways:

  • Scientists have discovered a new brain pathway that could be targeted to ease depression
  • The study is the first to show the BMP pathway is involved in depression
  • around 15.7 million American adults aged 18 and older had at least one major episode of depression in the past year

“”We hypothesized it would have an antidepressant effect, but we weren’t sure,” notes Brooker.”