en
Scientific article
Review
English

General Anesthetics to Treat Major Depressive Disorder: Clinical Relevance and Underlying Mechanisms

ContributorsVutskits, Laszlo
Published inAnesthesia and Analgesia, vol. 126, no. 1, p. 208-216
Publication date2018
Abstract

Major depressive disorder is a frequent and devastating psychological condition with tremendous public health impact. The underlying pathophysiological mechanisms involve abnormal neurotransmission and a relatedly impaired synaptic plasticity. Since general anesthetics are potent modulators of neuronal activity and, thereby, can exert long-term context-dependent impact on neural networks, an intriguing hypothesis is that these drugs could enhance impaired neural plasticity associated with certain psychiatric diseases. Clinical observations over the past few decades appear to confirm this possibility. Indeed, equipotency of general anesthesia alone in comparison with electroconvulsive therapy under general anesthesia has been demonstrated in several clinical trials. Importantly, in the past 15 years, intravenous administration of subanesthetic doses of ketamine have also been demonstrated to have rapid antidepressant effects. The molecular, cellular, and network mechanisms underlying these therapeutic effects have been partially identified. Although several important questions remain to be addressed, the ensemble of these experimental and clinical observations opens new therapeutic possibilities in the treatment of depressive disorders. Importantly, they also suggest a new therapeutic role for anesthetics that goes beyond their principal use in the perioperative period to facilitate surgery.

Citation (ISO format)
VUTSKITS, Laszlo. General Anesthetics to Treat Major Depressive Disorder: Clinical Relevance and Underlying Mechanisms. In: Anesthesia and Analgesia, 2018, vol. 126, n° 1, p. 208–216. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000002594
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
accessLevelRestricted
Identifiers
ISSN of the journal0003-2999
407views
4downloads

Technical informations

Creation11/16/2017 2:46:00 PM
First validation11/16/2017 2:46:00 PM
Update time03/15/2023 7:41:31 AM
Status update03/15/2023 7:41:30 AM
Last indexation01/17/2024 1:55:27 AM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack