NMDA receptor antagonists for depression

Critical considerations

Gianluca Serafini, X. Gonda, Z. Ríhmer, Maurizio Pompili, Paolo Girardi, Henry A. Nasrallah, Mario Amore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Research studies suggest that glutamate dysfunction, in particular N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) abnormalities, may be involved in the pathophysiology of major neuropsychiatric conditions. Increased glutamatergic excitotoxic activity may be found in some brain circuits of patients with major depression. According to several published reports, NMDAR antagonists may exert antidepressant activity, but the molecular changes associated with abnormal glutamatergic neurotransmission remain unclear. METHODS: We have critically reviewed the current literature in order to investigate the role of NMDAR antagonists in major depression. RESULTS: NMDAR antagonists, such as ketamine, may be considered novel and promising pharmacological options for the rapid treatment of treatment-resistant depression patients. This is in contrast to the delayed action of the currently available antidepressant medications. Studies suggest that glutamatergic receptor modulation may enhance neuroplasticity mechanisms and neurogenesis together with the release of some neurotransmitters. Unfortunately, the use of ketamine is currently limited by some transient adverse events, including dissociative symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Targeting NMDARs using antagonists represents an important alternative antidepressant option in major depression. However, NMDAR antagonists may exert different actions based on the differential brain location of NMDAR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Clinical Psychiatry
Volume27
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015

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N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptors
Depression
Antidepressive Agents
Ketamine
Treatment-Resistant Depressive Disorder
Neuronal Plasticity
Neurogenesis
Brain
aspartic acid receptor
Synaptic Transmission
Neurotransmitter Agents
Glutamic Acid
Pharmacology
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Serafini, G., Gonda, X., Ríhmer, Z., Pompili, M., Girardi, P., Nasrallah, H. A., & Amore, M. (2015). NMDA receptor antagonists for depression: Critical considerations. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 27(3), 213-220.

NMDA receptor antagonists for depression : Critical considerations. / Serafini, Gianluca; Gonda, X.; Ríhmer, Z.; Pompili, Maurizio; Girardi, Paolo; Nasrallah, Henry A.; Amore, Mario.

In: Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, Vol. 27, No. 3, 01.08.2015, p. 213-220.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Serafini, G, Gonda, X, Ríhmer, Z, Pompili, M, Girardi, P, Nasrallah, HA & Amore, M 2015, 'NMDA receptor antagonists for depression: Critical considerations', Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 213-220.
Serafini G, Gonda X, Ríhmer Z, Pompili M, Girardi P, Nasrallah HA et al. NMDA receptor antagonists for depression: Critical considerations. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry. 2015 Aug 1;27(3):213-220.
Serafini, Gianluca ; Gonda, X. ; Ríhmer, Z. ; Pompili, Maurizio ; Girardi, Paolo ; Nasrallah, Henry A. ; Amore, Mario. / NMDA receptor antagonists for depression : Critical considerations. In: Annals of Clinical Psychiatry. 2015 ; Vol. 27, No. 3. pp. 213-220.
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