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Scientists explore toad venom as potential cure for depression

Scientists explore toad venom as potential cure for depression

Image source: © canva
Natalia Witulska,
13.05.2024 14:45

Scientists continue surprising us with advancements in medicine and technology, making it easier to combat various conditions and diseases. This time, researchers are offering hope of creating a new drug for depression using venom from a toad.

We live in an age where the impossible is becoming possible. The flu is no longer a death sentence, and HIV no longer means dying slowly in agony. With the advancements in science and technology, creating vaccines doesn't take decades anymore. Scientists are currently working on developing modern medicine for depression, which requires the venom of a particular toad.

According to unicef.pl, depression is one of the most common types of mental disorders and is often accompanied by anxiety. The World Health Organisation reports that depression is the leading cause of incapacity for work worldwide and affects several per cent of the adult population.

Toad venom: A cure for depression?

National Library of Medicine and Nature magazine published a new study on a potential treatment for depression. It shows that there is a chance that the toxin of the Colorado River toad may one day prove to be a cure for depression. As geekweek.interia.pl reports, the researchers deciphered the structural workings of a psychedelic compound derived from Incilius alvarius and tested a modified version of it on mice.

"We became intrigued by numerous reports of powerful, unique, and life-changing experiences associated with its ritualistic or experimental clinical use, which made us wonder about its therapeutic potential and the underlying mechanisms," study author, a neuropharmacologist David Lankri told the media.

As early as June 2024, experts from the US Food and Drug Administration will evaluate the phase three data on using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A positive verdict will open the way for approval of the drug. Interestingly, scientists don't know how toad venom treats depression, but they are pleased that the method works.

Source: geekweek.interia.pl

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