Depression: a study reveals the mechanism of action of ketamine

Depression: a study reveals the mechanism of action of ketamine

About a third of people with depression do not respond to most common antidepressants. Ketamine has already shown positive effects on these resistant depressions. However, its mechanisms of action are still unknown. The researchers then focused on a particular symptom of the disease, namely the estimation of the occurrence of negative events in their lives.

It is a common symptom of depression. And when a subject suffers from it, even though he is exposed to the real risk of a situation, he does not update his estimation. Let’s take a concrete example: let’s say that a depressed patient thinks that the risk of having a plane crash is 20%. They tell you that this risk is 2%. Despite this, he does not revise this percentage down. He is still pessimistic. On the other hand, a non-depressive subject will lower this percentage and update her information.

As a result of this study, between before and after treatment, within four hours, the 26 patients taking ketamine were significantly less likely to have this negative opinion. In other words, they become more optimistic.

This is a very small group of patients, so the results need to be replicated. What is the scope and follow-up of this study? Philip Fossati He is a professor at the Sorbonne University, head of the department of adult psychiatry at the Pitié-Salpetrière Hospital and co-author of the study.


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National survey finds more than 16% of women are affected by postpartum depression

This is a survey conducted by Inserm and Public Health France. Held every 5 years, the particularity of this sixth publication is, on the one hand, that it was made in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and, on the other, that it added a section dedicated to monitoring women. after her delivery. . As a result, one in six women has experienced depression during this period, and almost 30% of women have at least some of the symptoms associated with postpartum.

This is the first time we have this data. And France is a bit behind compared to our neighbors. The United Kingdom, for example, has used this indicator for almost twenty years. In an attempt to compensate for this delay, France has also introduced from July 1 a mandatory postnatal interview two months after childbirth, to detect signs of the disease.

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The discovery of a pair of stars with very short orbits

This is the shortest orbit ever discovered. By observing how these two stars eclipse each other, the researchers determined that they rotate around each other approximately every 51 minutes. You should know that these pairs of stars, binary stars, are very common in the universe. In fact, more than half of our stars are in a relationship.

But the peculiarity of these is that they are part of a rare class of star, a “cataclysmic variable”: a pair formed by a star like ours and a white dwarf, say a sun that has burned all its hydrogen. And since they are very close to each other, the second sucks the material from the first. The researchers then estimate that in 70 million years, the two objects will also be even closer to each other, with an ultrashort orbit estimated at just eighteen minutes, before they begin to expand and move away from each other.

Amazon reviews herald COVID-19 uptick in the US

With each new wave of COVID-19, this phenomenon repeats itself in the United States. Dozens and dozens of consumers complain that the Yankee Candles they buy do not have an odor, which is explained by the loss of the sense of smell, a warning sign of the appearance of an infection. So the researchers really asked the question: do negative comments about scented candles on Amazon’s site correlate with epidemic spikes?

In this study, which began as a joke, scientists analyzed nearly 10,000 opinions on the four best-selling scented candles between September 2018 and December 2021. Results, yes, there is indeed an association between the two phenomena.

According to the lead author, tracking scented candle reviews could help detect cases of covid-19 and anticipate new waves. An interesting indicator because regular tests tend to decrease around the world. However, this means of detection would not work in France because there are not enough buyers and not enough comments related to these candles to draw epidemiological conclusions.

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Thanks to Philippe Fossati for his valuable explanations.

to go further

The main subject of the study on depression and ketamine (JAMA, in English)

Ketamine and depression: a mechanism of the antidepressant effect is revealed (insert)

National Perinatal Survey Report (Public Health France, Inserm)

Postpartum depression affects more than 16% of women (Le Figaro)

The study of the star couple. (Nature, in English)

Discovery of a pair of stars with the shortest orbit to date (Scientific publication)

“This candle has no smell” the study on the correlation between comments on Amazon and rebound in COVID-19 cases (Proceedings of the 16th AAAI International Conference on Web and Social Media)

Amazon reviewers saying candles are scentless may point to covid-19 cases (new scientist)

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