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Psychoplastogens offer a novel therapeutic approach to depression, which may replace the chronic use of antidepressants and healthcare resources.
From the research-based pharmaceutical industry in Europe.

Major depressive disorder – MDD, also known as clinical depression, is a debilitating disease which is characterized by low motivation,

diminished interest, impaired cognitive capacity, persistent low mood, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite and overwhelming impact on everyday quality of life. The depressive episodes last more than 2 weeks. The main causes are genetic and environmental factors. Although depression is a common complication of chronic illness, there is an increased risk for patients with MDD of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and mortality. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered 25% increase in depression rates and prevalence among young people and women. Depressive disorders require increased utilization of health services and higher expenditure on healthcare. The loss of functional capabilities leads to diminished quality of life, disturbed social interactions and dependency on caregivers.

Major depressive disorder: What potential breakthrough are we awaiting?

The new psychoplastogen based therapy will contribute to better mood and self-esteem. This will promote neural plasticity which refers to the capacity of the nervous system to modify itself in response to internal and external influences. The main purpose of their therapeutic effect is to liberate the mind of depression which will have profound impact on patients’ wellbeing, as well as relatives and caregivers. Psychoplastogens offer a novel therapeutic approach to depression, which may replace the chronic use of antidepressants and healthcare resources. This innovative therapy represents a potential paradigm shift in major depressive disorder treatment. Following a single administration, it places emphasis on long-lasting selective modulation in neural circuits.

How will this approach help the patients?

Current depression treatments require long-lasting use of antidepressants and raised expenditure on healthcare. Daily use of antidepressants leads to elevated rates of addiction and abuse which has a negative impact on health and mental wellbeing. Psychoplastogens should represent a novel approach to treatment because they offer an enduring restoration of cognitive and functional capabilities. There is a potential for increased treatment adherence and reduced costs in managing adverse effects. Psychoplastogens are toxicologically safe treatments with minimal addiction liabilities that contribute to reduced expenditure on symptomatic therapy and medication for co-morbidities. This novel approach is a potential paradigm shift that reduces dependency of patients on caregivers for daily activities and leads to better overall health and wellbeing.

How many patients will be concerned?

There are more than 32 million patients suffering from depression in the European Union. In Bulgaria, the cases of depression exceed 360 thousand. Those patients report significantly and consistently higher healthcare resource utilisation than the general population. The high unmet need and devastating disease burden of psychiatric disorders has rapidly revived the psychoplastogens clinical trial pipeline. With a promise of broad therapeutic potential, today over 280 clinical trials are being investigated across a wide range of indications. Substance abuse disorders, mood disorders including depression and anxiety, pain, and stress disorders concentrate the majority of psychoplastogen research. Psychoplastogen based therapy will reduce healthcare system visits and emergency hospital admissions. The re-establishing of functional capabilities will have a beneficial effect on the long-term economic contribution to society. Depression treatment improves productivity and social interactions. This way each patient will be able to participate and engage in daily life activities and re-establish control and sense of meaning in the present to achieve independence.

What will be the potential impact on healthcare systems in Europe?

This novel approach to treatment will decrease healthcare burden and socioeconomic costs. Reduced healthcare system visits and emergency hospital admissions will lead to better working conditions for caregivers and decreased expense of healthcare system resources. The efficient mental health care will contribute to elevated social and financial benefits.


The therapies described above are currently under development and are not available to patients neither in Europe nor in Bulgaria.

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