Nicotine Antagonist Relieves Depression in Children with Tourette!s Syndrome

Published Online: Saturday, February 1, 2003

The nicotine antagonist mecamylamine appears to relieve depression and mood instability in children and adolescents with Tourette?s syndrome, according to a preliminary study reported in Depression and Anxiety. The study involved 38 children and adolescents diagnosed with Tourette?s syndrome and at least 1 of several mood disorders. Of the 38 patients, 17 received mecamylamine and 21 received placebo. The 4 patients diagnosed with Tourette?s syndrome plus major depression showed the greatest improvements in behavioral and emotional symptoms, including significant decreases in sudden mood changes, irritability, demanding attention, inattention, restlessness, anxiety, and impulsiveness. The medication?s most beneficial effect appeared to be stabilizing mood. ?This is the first clinical evidence supporting the hypothesis that many antidepressants function, in part, by inhibiting nicotinic receptors,? said lead author Douglas Shytle, PhD.

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