Saturday, June 20, 2009

Better Living Through Chemistry: Ligand, XBD173 vs Benxodiazepines for treatment of anxiety vs depression

According to a release from the authors of the study:
This finding suggests that the ligand, XBD173, might be a good candidate for use as a safe and fast-acting anti-anxiety agent.

Current treatments like benzodiazepines often have unwanted side effects like sedation, tolerance, or symptoms of withdrawal after chronic use. Anti-depressant drugs are also sometimes administered to treat anxiety, but their beneficial effects only occur after several weeks of treatment.

Looking for something new, Rainer Rupprecht and colleagues administered XBD173 to laboratory rats and observed that it prevented panic behavior almost immediately – without the rats building tolerance or any other unwanted side effects. They then performed a study among 70 healthy human men, involving a placebo group, and found that XBD173 initiated a fast anti-anxiety response without any withdrawal symptoms after prolonged use. The authors say that XBD173 promotes these calming effects through its modulation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA, and they suggest the ligand be considered for use in future clinical applications.

There are few things I would want to know before gulping down this drug.

First of all, is anxiety the same thing as fear?

The reason I ask is that it sounds like this could be an anti-fear agent, which might prevent risk aversion. That's right: a super soldier drug.

What I'm saying is that I would like to know exactly which of my emotions are being muted by this substance. Is it just that I feel more mellow at a party, or am I likely to walk into the street in front of a car because I'm fearless?

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