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Johnson & Johnson reinventing party drug Ketamine to treat depression.

Until joining the company a few years ago, J&J neuroscience R&D head Husseini Manji led the mood and anxiety disorders program at the National Institutes of Health. While there, he helped run a program that led to one of the greatest breakthroughs in psychiatry in recent years: the knowledge that a brain receptor called the N-methyl- D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor played a key role in depression, and, then, some of the first evidence that a drug that hits that receptor, the anesthetic ketamine, could rapidly ease depression symptoms and even suicidal thoughts just a day after injection in 70% of patients.

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