May 03, 2010
Maura Furey on Scopolamine Research
Time: 00:02:07 | Size: 2.13 MB
Speaker: Maura Furey
Description: Dr. Maura Furey talks about her research with Scopolamine
Announcer: NIMH Radio… from Bethesda.
Dr. Furey: Well, we are pursuing developing scopolamine as an anti-depressant and that's something that's going to take many years.
Announcer: Dr. Maura Furey is a research scientist with the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. Scopolamine has long been used as a prescribed treatment for motion sickness. In a series of clinical trials, Dr. Furey and her colleagues have administered, intravenously, measured doses of scopolamine to patients diagnosed with depression. The effects were compared with placebo. While not all patients in these small studies showed improvement, the overall positive effects have reinforced Dr. Furey's belief in scopolamine's potential as a fast and effective treatment for depression...
Dr. Furey: You know, I've been working on this project for a lot of years now from when we first started collecting data-we've published two studies- it took a long time to recruit, even though they are small numbers, it took a long time to recruit the patients for this study. And over this time I have just really come to believe in scopolamine. I've seen it really turn people's lives around.
Announcer: As research continues into the use of scopolamine for the treatment of depression, there's hope of finding more "user friendly" ways of administering the drug...
Dr. Furey: Actually, NASA's been working on developing a nasal spray version of scopolamine for astronauts who may experience some motion sickness.
Announcer: While complex, scientific rating scales are used to gauge the effectiveness of scopolamine, other more basic signs of progress are not lost on Dr. Furey...
Dr. Furey: There's one woman in particular that I remember who really wore her depression in her face. She just-you know-her sadness...you could just feel it as soon as you saw her. But the first time I saw her after she received scopolamine...she was just completely lifted and smiling. Yeah, it was amazing...really amazing to see.
Announcer: This is NIMH Radio.