Major depressive disorder (MDD) is an extremely debilitating sex-related disorder that currently affects over 300 million people worldwide. Women are more vulnerable to the precipitation of depressive symptoms and are also more likely to suffer from MDD as compared to men. Despite the pronounced sex differences in the pathophysiology of MDD and responsiveness to antidepressant drug treatments, clinical and preclinical research on the neurobiological basis of this disorder and antidepressant drug development has focused mainly on the male sex. Conventional antidepressant drug therapies are often ineffective and typically require chronic treatment to induce alleviation of depressive symptoms in MDD patients. Recently, the discovery of the rapid-acting antidepressant properties of the non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist ketamine revolutionized the field of antidepressant drug discovery. This thesis comprises a critical literature review of the current clinical and preclinical evidence highlighting the role that sex may play in response to ketamine, the prototype rapid-acting antidepressant.
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Flaherty, Patrick R., "On Sex Differences in the Antidepressant Effects of Ketamine: Clinical and Preclinical Evidence" (2021). Honors Theses. 314.
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