Glutamatergic modulators

What are glutamatergic modulators?

Glutamate receptor modulators, such as ketamine and memantine, have been suggested as potential treatments for bipolar disorder when there are sub-optimal responses to other pharmaceuticals. Currently approved treatments for bipolar depression (i.e. several mood stabilisers, antidepressants and antipsychotics) are thought to involve a number of different neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. There is emerging evidence that glutamatergic system dysfunction may also play an important role in the pathophysiology of bipolar depression, and that drugs targeting the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) glutamate receptor may have antidepressant effects.

What is the evidence for glutamatergic modulators?

Low quality evidence is unable to determine any benefits of adjunctive glutamate modulators for depression in people with bipolar disorder. Authors conclude that ketamine has the potential to have a rapid and transient antidepressant effect, although the efficacy of a single intravenous dose may be limited.

March 2019

Last updated at: 5:40 am, 1st April 2019
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