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Research Article

Zinc in the Glutamatergic Theory of Depression



Abstract

Depression is a serious psychiatric illness that affects millions of people worldwide. Weeks of antidepressant therapy are required to relieve depressive symptoms, and new drugs are still being extensively researched. The latest studies have shown that in depression, there is an imbalance between the main excitatory (glutamatergic) and inhibitory (GABAergic) systems. Administration of antagonists of the glutamatergic system, including zinc, has shown an antidepressant effect in preclinical as well as clinical studies. Zinc inhibits the NMDA receptor via its binding site located on one of its subunits. This is thought to be the main mechanism explaining the antidepressant properties of zinc. In the present review, a link between zinc and the glutamatergic system is discussed in the context of depressive disorder.


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