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Are drugs of abuse the solution to treating depression?
March 18, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Speaker: Prof. Emma Robinson
Depression and anxiety are the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in modern society and yet treatments are still poorly understood and many patients fail to respond to current therapies. The first antidepressant drugs were developed in the 1950s but their discovery arose from serendipitous observations of drugs developed for other conditions. Psychopharmacology has sought to use these drugs to better understand the causes of mood disorders but progress with developing better treatments has been challenging. This lecture will discuss the history of antidepressants and how we have used these early treatments to better understand mood disorders and develop new drugs including the SSRIs, some of the most widely prescribed drugs used today. However, many patients still fail to respond to treatment. The final part of the lecture will consider new avenues of research and why drugs of abuse, such as ketamine and the psychedelics, are providing a new strategy for treating mood disorders.
Emma Robinson Professor of Psychopharmacology, School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience