0817 GMT July 17, 2019
According to new medical research, those who live with depression have low blood levels of a specific molecule, called acetyl-L-carnitine, and those with particularly severe, treatment-resistant or childhood-onset depression were found to have the lowest levels, thebigsmoke.com.au wrote.
Produced by the body, acetyl-L-carnitine plays an important role in metabolizing fat and the production of energy. It is also widely available as a dietary supplement.
However, it is only recently that numerous institutions have finally made the connection between the two.
The recent findings, however, are a long time coming.
Since the early 90s, medical researchers have been aware of acetyl-L-carnitine’s potential to treat depression, particularly in geriatric and comorbid patients, with the substance showing a greater effect than a regular placebo.
Carla Nasca of the Rockefeller University put this into practice, starting with rodents.
The tests were a massive success, as they discovered that acetyl-L-carnitine had a fast-acting antidepressant effect on rats, kicking into effect in just a few days.
This is far faster than the current antidepressants widely used, known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), which usually takes a couple of weeks before any effect is felt.
Researchers now have to iron out a few kinks before recommending it for human testing, but what it represents is a large step forward. As the coauthor, Stanford’s Natalie Rasgon put it: “…we’ve identified an important new biomarker of major depression disorder.”
Translation, we could sit on a new floor in which to build more effective treatment to help those hounded by the black dog.