Potential new compounds for the treatment of depression and anxiety: releasing serotonin without increasing dopamine | GeneOnline News

Modern people live under great pressure, and depression and anxiety are common diseases of civilization. Medical researchers are constantly looking for new drugs that can be used for treatment. MedUni Vienna recently identified a lead compound), in addition to having the same antidepressant effect of increasing serotonin, it can reduce the risk of drug abuse and other adverse reactions without significantly stimulating the “reward center” of the brain to increase levels dopamine.

Potential of synthetic cathinone compounds in the treatment of psychiatric disorders

Increasing the extracellular level of serotonin (5-HT) in the brain can improve the symptoms of depression and anxiety-related diseases, which is also the main effect of current common antidepressants such as the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Although these drugs can bring benefits, they can also cause some adverse side effects. In the latest study, the team at the Medical University of Vienna focused on the ability to release monoamines such as norepinephrine (monoamines), dopamine and serotonin. a known family of cathinone compounds (Cathinones), and the potential of some of these substances in the treatment of psychiatric diseases has been determined in pre-clinical experiments.

In addition to showing serotonin-related effects in cell models and mouse models, the cathinone compounds used by the team are also considered drugs for anxiety-related diseases such as depression, social phobia, and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). a key factor in the treatment, based on the results of the study, the team believes that these drugs can be considered as lead compounds that could play a role in diseases that need to be treated by increasing serotonin.

Stimulates the release of serotonin through the serotonin transporter

Including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, traditional antidepressants act mainly by inhibiting and blocking the serotonin transporter (SERT) and increasing the extracellular concentration of neurotransmitters in the brain Evidence from pre-clinical studies also shows therapeutic potential drugs in the other direction: substances that do not block serotonin transporters, but reverse the direction of the natural transport of serotonin transporters, and induce the release of serotonin directly through them.

However, including MDMA in clinical trials, compounds that target serotonin transporters to release serotonin have the risk of drug abuse and harmful side effects. Cathinone is also one of the abused substances. -commonly treated in recent years, but by modifying its In the activity of serotonin transporters, the cathinone compounds used by the team tend to release serotonin without significantly increasing dopamine levels, which indirectly reduces the potential for new drugs to be abused and reduce the overall side effects.

Although more research is needed to confirm potential therapeutic efficacy and safety, Harald Sitte, professor at the Institute of Pharmacology at the Center for Physiology and Pharmacology of the Medical University of Vienna and Harald Sitte’s research leader, believes that this study has successfully determined the efficacy . of a new drug that releases serotonin The first representative, and this drug does not produce various side effects.

Further reading: Review of depression treatments, from frontal lobotomy to emerging psychedelic treatments

1. Molecular Psychiatry, 2022, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-022-01843-w
2. https://www.meduniwien.ac.at/web/en/ueber-uns/news/2022/news-im-november-2022/neue-wirkstoffe-fuer-therapie-von-depressionen-und-angststoerungen/

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