A new class of drug that could prevent depression and PTSD | Rebecca Brachman

A new class of drug that could prevent depression and PTSD | Rebecca Brachman

So the first antidepressants
were made from, of all things, rocket fuel, left over after World War II. Which is fitting, seeing as today,
one in five soldiers develop depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder or both. But it’s not just soldiers
that are at high risk for these diseases. It’s firefighters, ER doctors,
cancer patients, aid workers, refugees — anyone exposed to trauma
or major life stress. And yet, despite how commonplace
these disorders are, our current treatments,
if they work at all, only suppress symptoms. In 1798, when Edward Jenner
discovered the first vaccine — it happened to be for smallpox — he didn’t just discover
a prophylactic for a disease, but a whole new way of thinking: that medicine could prevent disease. However, for over 200 years, this prevention was not believed
to extend to psychiatric diseases. Until 2014, when my colleague and I
accidentally discovered the first drugs that might prevent
depression and PTSD. We discovered the drugs in mice, and we’re currently studying
whether they work in humans. And these preventative
psychopharmaceuticals are not antidepressants. They are a whole new class of drug. And they work by increasing
stress resilience, so let’s call them resilience enhancers. So think back to a stressful time
that you’ve since recovered from. Maybe a breakup or an exam,
you missed a flight. Stress resilience
is the active biological process that allows us
to bounce back after stress. Similar to if you have a cold
and your immune system fights it off. And insufficient resilience in the face of a significant
enough stressor, can result in a psychiatric disorder,
such as depression. In fact, most cases
of major depressive disorder are initially triggered by stress. And from what we’ve seen so far in mice, resilience enhancers can protect
against purely biological stressors, like stress hormones, and social and psychological stressors,
like bullying and isolation. So here is an example where we gave mice three weeks of high levels
of stress hormones. So, in other words, a biological stressor
without a psychological component. And this causes depressive behavior. And if we give three weeks
of antidepressant treatment beforehand, it has no beneficial effects. But a single dose of a resilience
enhancer given a week before completely prevents
the depressive behavior. Even after three weeks of stress. This is the first time
a drug has ever been shown to prevent the negative effects of stress. Depression and PTSD are chronic,
often lifelong, clinical diseases. They also increase the risk
of substance abuse, homelessness, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, suicide. The global cost of depression alone
is over three trillion dollars per year. But now, imagine a scenario
where we know someone is predictively at high risk for exposure
to extreme stress. Say, a red cross volunteer
going into an earthquake zone. In addition to the typhoid vaccine, we could give her a pill or an injection
of a resilience enhancer before she leaves. So when she is held at gunpoint
by looters or worse, she would at least be protected
against developing depression or PTSD after the fact. It won’t prevent her
from experiencing the stress, but it will allow her to recover from it. And that’s what’s revolutionary here. By increasing resiliency, we can dramatically reduce
her susceptibility to depression and PTSD, possibly saving her from losing her job,
her home, her family or even her life. After Jenner discovered
the smallpox vaccine, a lot of other vaccines rapidly followed. But it was over 150 years before a tuberculosis vaccine
was widely available. Why? In part because society believed that tuberculosis made people more
sensitive and creative and empathetic. And that it was caused
by constitution and not biology. And similar things are still said
today about depression. And just as Jenner’s discovery
opened the door for all of the vaccines
that followed after, the drugs we’ve discovered
open the possibility of a whole new field: preventative psychopharmacology. But whether that’s 15 years away, or 150 years away, depends not just on the science, but on what we as a society
choose to do with it. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “A new class of drug that could prevent depression and PTSD | Rebecca Brachman

  1. that's right you can suppress your emotions and cope in stressful situations longer with this medicine; instead of a clean break a transformative experience that often encourages you to take a different path that can be eased with a drug we all ready have put governments still won't give to their population

  2. Another drug on shelf to extend your shelf-life! Rejecting the active life from the life giver taking all the manipulation from an assassin. we trading our soul for everything perishable! You are not a victim of your biology. Deuteronomy 30:19

  3. As someone who had depression, it has taught me such a important lesson about life. So to prevent people getting depressed – of course it's not nice to go through – but without it, individuals won't understand how important they are themselves as well as other people being more wary of what they do and say, since it can have huge negative impact on others. I dont think we need drugs and completely 'cease' depression, instead we need more education for people that both experienced it and not experienced it. Although its talked about quite a lot, there is still a huge stigma about it in our society. Anybody can get depressed or have PTSD, therefore with more education and talks, I think we would all truly benefit from it!

  4. Lol, this is just a sales pitch for getting funding. The research is miles away from a good, working drug. They'll basically have to identify the drugs' MOA on preventing depression/ptsd and probably design a new structure, which could cost billions before it hits the market. Otherwise the therapy will have a lot of restrictions because of the legal status of ketamine. (Also, the antidepressant effects of ketamine have been known for quite a long time.)
    IIRC there are also other drugs that have prophylactic effects on PTSD (beta blockers), which have a lot better legal status.
    Regards student of pharmaceutical chemistry

  5. Lets think it from a different point of view.
    say there is a terrorist, who is depressed of bombarding a building. What's the impact if he takes it….
    If that drug becomes popular and commonly available, what next?🤔
    We should think upon it….

  6. Guys, this is fundamentally wrong. Antidepressants work as a short term cure for societal problems, so that the rich can keep make the rest of us into labor slaves, and big industries (including big pharma) can turn a gigantic profits on OUR backs. Read Erich Fromm and Johann Hari. Change the structure of society that destroys us, don`t put another band aid on our wounds.

  7. You dont need drugs. You need to face your depression and take control of your life. Drugs are just an easy way to exploit people and take their money while destroying their lives.

  8. 0:15 were made … from rocket fuel left over after WWII —sounds like the 100% ethanol! (True story, look it up!) Unlimited access to sufficient quantities of high-proof ethanol before, during, and after a traumatic experience will increase—something—and help prevent PTSD.

  9. Stress is something everyone encounters, so I think everyone would want to get their hands on this stress resilience drug (assuming side effects are minimal and cost isn’t too high)

  10. the magic pill- well, what part of ourselves are being drained when we enhance our ability to block stress? Chemicals can't take the place of what our body is spending to survive- let's address the underlying issues, not enhance our breakdown with blockers, "pills and injections".

  11. That is such an illogical approach wtf 😂😂, feels like someone visiting a therapist to fix his broken foot…

  12. There's a contradiction in her claim. She showed the results after the animals had been treated with her drug after they had stress induced. While hypothesized that a pill can be given to a red cross nurse before even she gets into stress.
    First show the animal studies treated with your drug and stress induced later on.

  13. "Deppression is triggered mainly by stress"
    Hahahaha that's funny because America's school system is doing a good job at that! You won't believe the amount of people that cut and don't show up anymore…

  14. This is a sales pitch more than a scientific presentation. What does the graph @ 2:22 onward represents? what is sec/min? what is being measured? Not one hint on how this works. It looks to me like a presentation for collecting funds and investment.
    You torture a small innocent mouse for three weeks be injecting the poor thing with stress hormones while you enjoy your day and get a good night sleep, and then come to brag about it! have you any conscious at all?

  15. Tylenol is one of the few drugs that were commonly given to pregnant women. Come to find out Tylenol decreases empathy and testosterone. Big Pharma are thieves, cheats and scum psychopaths. Don’t forget that when you take their drugs. They really are not to be trusted.

  16. Its not "exactly" Ketamin, but substance-class.
    And it works in intention by mikrodose-application. And it doeas not make "happy", but uncritical against ambient conditions, so that the subject does not identify himself with reality around him.

    Thats, what in other context (Drug-abuse) meaned, when said, that they become careless, halfhearted, indifferent, insensible, superficial …etc

    It should therefore be explained why, in view of this objective (stressor prevention, prevention of stress effects), all the earlier views on drug use and its consequences should now be acceptable side effects, where they were previously always cited as the main drawbacks.

    What happens with this medication is in fact the opposite of what one used to demand of all people: to be aware of oneself and one's environment and one's own actions, to be responsible and attentive, to be "on the ball", and to "think the situation through".

    In the thesis of stress prevention with this substance class, however, exactly the opposite is produced.

    But if one assumes that man, because he is a small wheel in the wheels of life and in the universe, should not take the whole thing around him so seriously, then exactly this is the right strategy: governmental/structurally legalized will-less making through creeping ketamine intoxication.

    Does anyone remember the film "Equilibrium"?

    Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

  17. I completely disagree. The only solution to depression is to realize that your emotional state is 100% your making. Either take the reigns conciously or let outside forces control you, it takes focus, but it is a choice. I was suicidally depressed for years and undergone doctors treatment as well as my own.. trust me, there are NO kind of drugs that are a permanent solution.

  18. I bet this new drug also cures cancer AND solves the worlds hunger too. And it can make you live 100 years longer if you buy it on a daily basis, i have heard. Its a wonder elixir.

  19. So whats this magic substance how does it chemically work? is she announcing this because she wants to secure a patent with big |Pharma ?????

  20. Yes definately, I think in the long run both enhance each other. So the effectiveness of either one improves as each of the two options are done

  21. So the root cause is complicated, cause as much as I wanted to change my internal feelings/thoughts, my diet/medicine had to be changed for even to start taking effects.

  22. Many professions increase risk of depression & PTSD (military, medical, etc), most treatments simply suppress symptoms. A new class of drug called a resilience enhancer reduces side-affects to stressors. #TedTalk https://twitter.com/tedstalkin

  23. Great, let's just be customers on drugs our whole lives just in case we ever get stressed. Who needs to develop coping/ reality skills?
    Wim Hoff disproves this entire lecture, just saying…

  24. I disagree with altering glutamate levels. This drug is being sold to prevent depression and PTSD. At what point do we start to see their goal is to create a subservient culture that does not know what feelings they should and should not experience. The problem is not how we respond to stimuli, the problem is being exposed to unhealthy and dangerous situations.
    Don't Get Captured – RTJ

  25. I wanna new drug, Huey Lewis. Not really, I want to correct the biochemical imbalances in my physiology, support my endocannabinoid system and not end up in a nursing home before my time.
    Front Pharmacol. 2017 May 23;8:269. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00269. eCollection 2017
    Plastic and Neuroprotective Mechanisms Involved in the Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol in Psychiatric Disorders.  Campos AC1, Fogaça MV1, Scarante FF1, Joca SRL2, Sales AJ2, Gomes FV3, Sonego AB1, Rodrigues NS1, Galve-Roperh I4,5, Guimarães FS1.

    Beneficial effects of cannabidiol (CBD) have been described for a wide range of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, psychosis, and depression. The mechanisms responsible for these effects, however, are still poorly understood. Similar to clinical antidepressant or atypical antipsychotic drugs, recent findings clearly indicate that CBD, either acutely or repeatedly administered, induces plastic changes. For example, CBD attenuates the decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis and dendrite spines density induced by chronic stress and prevents microglia activation and the decrease in the number of parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons in a pharmacological model of schizophrenia.

    More recently, it was found that CBD modulates cell fate regulatory pathways such as autophagy and others critical pathways for neuronal survival in neurodegenerative experimental models, suggesting the potential benefit of CBD treatment for psychiatric/cognitive symptoms associated with neurodegeneration. These changes and their possible association with CBD beneficial effects in psychiatric disorders are reviewed here.


    Front Pharmacol. 2017 Feb 3;8:20. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00020. ECollection 2017            

    In Vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer's Disease.  Watt G1, Karl T2

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that is affecting an increasing number of people. It is characterized by the accumulation of amyloid-β and tau hyperphosphorylation as well as neuroinflammation and oxidative stress. Current AD treatments do not stop or reverse the disease progression, highlighting the need for new, more effective therapeutics. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid that has demonstrated neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in vitro. Thus, it is investigated as a potential multifunctional treatment option for AD. Here, we summarize the current status quo of in vivo effects of CBD in established pharmacological and transgenic animal models for AD.

    The studies demonstrate the ability of CBD to reduce reactive gliosis and the neuroinflammatory response as well as to promote neurogenesis. Importantly, CBD also reverses and prevents the development of cognitive deficits in AD rodent models. Interestingly, combination therapies of CBD and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient of cannabis sativa, show that CBD can antagonize the psychoactive effects associated with THC and possibly mediate greater therapeutic benefits than either phytocannabinoid alone. The studies provide "proof of principle" that CBD and possibly CBD-THC combinations are valid candidates for novel AD therapies. Further investigations should address the long-term potential of CBD and evaluate mechanisms involved in the therapeutic effects described.


    Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body. Years ago, I wrote about the importance of magnesium for the brain; it remains my most read blog post to this day.

    We get most of our magnesium from plants (almonds, black beans, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate are all good sources), but it’s the bacteria in the soils that enable plants to absorb magnesium, so all sorts of environmental influences can deplete magnesium in our food, from pesticides that kill off bacteria to potassium-based fertilizers (can be taken up by plants in lieu of magnesium and calcium). Food processing, antacids, diuretics, caffeine, and alcohol can also decrease magnesium absorption. For these reasons, the modern human tends to need more magnesium and get less, leaving a lot of people chronically depleted. Blood levels remain fairly stable, because without magnesium in a narrow range, the heart can stop beating…every ICU doctor checks magnesium levels on patients pretty much every day, and repletes magnesium levels by the bag full to keep up with a patients’ needs under such intense stress as a critical illness.

    Increased stress increases magnesium loss (as described here), and the environment may not readily replace it. Since magnesium is such an important mineral to the brain as a part of almost every part of the stress response, recovery, and repair, it seems self-evident to study magnesium as how it relates to brain function and common stress-related ailments such as clinical depression. Small studies have been found to be helpful for folks with fibromyalgia and major depression and type II diabetes. However, most of the studies that have been done are, admittedly, terrible.

    The major flaw in most studies is they used insufficient amounts of magnesium oxide. On the face of it, magnesium oxide is about 60% elemental magnesium, which sounds pretty good. However, it is also a very stable compound, so often doesn’t disassociate into the parent compounds and give you the free magnesium you need.
    Emily Deans
    Source: Emily Deans

    Therefore, out of a 250mg tablet, you might only absorb 6mg. Magnesium malate is only 6.5% magnesium, but almost all of that is available to be absorbed. Magnesium citrate is also highly absorbable and 16% bioavailable. However, it is more likely than the other formulations to cause diarrhea. For a recent and much improved clinical trial of magnesium for depression, the researchers decided to use magnesium chloride.

    The full text of the paper is free online at PLOS One. First the flaws: it was not double blinded, placebo controlled. Folks knew whether they were taking magnesium or not. However, the researchers did employ a crossover design as a control. In the first weeks of the study, half the patients took magnesium chloride (12% elemental magnesium and pretty much 100% bioavailable), and then in the second phase of the study, the first half was switched off magnesium while the other half of the patients took the supplement. The study wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t small either, with 126 depressed participants. The scale used to measure depression is my personal favorite, the PHQ9, and the average score was just over 10, which corresponds to a moderate depression. Some patients were on meds, others in therapy, some in neither, but the main key is that other treatments for depression did not change in the course of the study…magnesium chloride was added.

    Participants were given 2000mg (248mg of elemental magnesium) daily for 6 weeks on an immediate or delayed (until week 7, the crossover) schedule. Depression scores on average over the trial dropped by 6 points, which brought the mean from moderately depressed to mild or minimally depressed, a clinically important change. Anxiety scores also improved. Participants reported reduced muscle cramps, aches and pains, constipation, and decreased headaches during the magnesium trial (all of these are known already to improve with magnesium supplementation and are signs of magnesium depletion). When asked after the trial if they would continue magnesium, over 60% said yes. Those that didn’t complained that magnesium didn’t help or it caused diarrhea (n = 8).

    The positive effect of magnesium supplementation was gone within 2 weeks of stopping the supplement, indicating a relatively quick clearance.

    Important notes:

    Although the association between magnesium and depression is well documented, the mechanism is unknown. However, magnesium plays a role in many of the pathways, enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation. It is a calcium antagonist and voltage-dependent blocker of the N-methyl-D-aspartate channel which regulates the flow of calcium into the neuron. In low magnesium states, high levels of calcium and glutamate may deregulate synaptic function, resulting in depression. Depression and magnesium are also both associated with systemic inflammation. The finding that those participants taking an SSRI experienced an even greater positive effect points toward magnesium’s possible role in augmenting the effect of antidepressants.

  26. What happens if you take the drug and don't have a stressor? Will it turn soldiers so resilient that they will not be affected at all by the awful things they experience in combat zones? I am more interested in Dr. Patch Adam's approach to treating some of the severely affected combat veteran in the U.S.A. – search clownvets. How do we ensure that pharmaceuticals are developed to enhance lives and prevent disease, without adverse consequences or misuse?

  27. I see this is great for the people who already has PTSD. Thus, I see the value. However, I think curing PTSD by this drag only suppresses the symptoms of the problems of human kind. I think we should first remove the source of PTSD. This drag is quite similar that Huxley described as soma. Even this research is great, it is a double edged sword. Stress and its reaction is natural. I recommend first we should try to remove the source of stress.

  28. not feeling this at all.
    1. psychiatric disorders are an extremely nebulus thing. cant prove a molecular cause usually and seems they are mostly diagnosed symptomaticall funding ull get y
    2. mouse models and a neurological condition? like you have to but like maybe wait till you have sth more substantive? yall come of as wayyyyy to hypeyy
    like ohhh we entered clinical trials whooohoooooo well what stage? has anything even come close to being tried on humans? prob not. maybe yall be given more funding but this is the sort of rubbish that makes the naive( antivaxxers ) weary and rightfully(in this case). dont promise the sky on sth like this.
    this talk look s like 99% hype . may have good science behind it but presentation alone comes off as snake oil sale(wo)man to a high degree. on a high note the presenter did her job well so yeah i geuss??

  29. Terrible proposal. The answer is right in front of us…

    Psychedelics combined with therapy is the best option we have at treating depression, PTSD, and addiction. We already have the stats for this. One session has been proven to cure people of their symptoms for 4 months-2years (sometimes even permanently).

    It's time to stop throwing expensive pills at people. It's time to try the ancient medicine our ancestors used. It's time to bring back this experience which is so fundamental to our human experience, the psychedelic experience.

  30. only 5 minutes and she killed it. wonderful presentation and everything was explained in a way in which most people should be able to digest it. i love science!

  31. Go to an ayahuasca retreat this is where you can start to heal your depression and ptsd rather than take a pharmaceutical drug take a plant medicine 🌱❤️

  32. I bet the same pill can be used to prevent teens from falling in love. Love is probably the leading cause of this and that.

  33. More pills? Why more pills? We have AIR, WATER, FOOD that we need to choose wisely, and a brain that it can process a lot…

  34. How many already depressed people kill themselves after seeing this, it's like rubbing it in their face saying the world will get better while you get worse.

  35. I dunno much about the drug, would definitely like to see if this works.
    But i am a bit skeptic on this, PTSD issues can be fixed with proper counselling from a good psychologist.

    But if some drug helps to lower the effect, then why not..

  36. Fucking no. There is no magic pill. Only necessary meds are insulin, antibiotics (used farefully), heart meds, vaccines. Ketamine will give you hallucinations.

  37. THE COLUMBINE SHOOTERS MOM GETS A CLIP. That loser should be jailed! No comments allowed so I'll leave a comment on every video! DO NOT CELEBRATE LOSER PARENTS THAT STOOD IN THE WAY OF HELP, when parents are responsible for their kids actions then we will see less death! SICKENING TO APPLAUD COLUMBINES SHOOTERS MOM SHAME,

  38. "Before we send you to Iraq, take this pill and it won't be as bad. Sure you might die but if you come back you won't have PTSD. Next soldier please."

  39. yeah no! im a pharmacist and nah, i dont think so. if hormones are the only markers for depression then hormonal therapy would have worked just fine. the hormones you introduced are not sufficient enough to simulate the trauma that will be encountered in human life. psychopharmacy have always been a dark part of the pharmaceutical field

  40. we need mechanism of action and how it works on the pathophysiology of the disease, because as far as i know, depression doesnt have an established pathophysiology, just theories.

  41. Her fashion style is just amazing! Even her mic matches her wardrobe 👍 lol
    Anyway, I like to manage stress in natural ways like meditation and acceptance like stuff rather than using medications(except coffee and tea, I still consider them some form of medications lol)

  42. I'll bet the negative comments are coming from people who haven't experienced ptsd. I don't care what it is, I'll take anything to stop ptsd.

  43. Если хотите посмотреть это видео на русском:

  44. How do you stress out a mouse? Complex mazes? What’s the name(s) of this new class of drugs? Perhaps I missed it but odd this wasn’t obvious in vid that promotes it.

  45. Many people have depression from an anxiety disorder as they highly co occur together not just from a job.

  46. I like the way she has rebranded 2-(2-Chlorophenyl)-2-(methylamino)cyclohexanone (aka ketamine) as a "resilience-enhancing drug". There is plenty of data showing the efficacy of ketamine for treatment-refractory depression with a nasal spray recently apprpved by the FDA, though I wasn't aware of preclinical data showing it has prophylactic effects. Might be worth surveying doofers and comparing them with a control (though polydrug use would be a confound, among other things)

  47. lol – should we burn this witch?
    Prophylactic ketamine….
    If that's not witchcraft – I don't know what is

  48. I've been following her for a while and she sounds like one of the voices for an Infomercial. Also, and more significantly, has she conducted longitudinal studies… on humans? She must have?

  49. You know MDMA has shown amazing potential in curing PTSD also. And I speak from experience that this subsitnce works better in reversing depression then these so called psych drugs.

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