Barry Blackwell’s comment on Plinio C. Casarotto et al.’s paper, “Antidepressant drugs act by directly binding to TRKB neurotrophin receptor,” published in Cell 2021;184:1299 -313 (March 4, 2021)



        This is an intriguing but highly complex, hypothesis co-authored by 27 authors from Finland, Norway, Germany and Brazil. One American is cited, Hanna Antilla from the Neuroscience Department Perelman Medicine School of at the University of Pennsylvania. It was published recently in Cell and presumably peer reviewed.

        As a clinician I am dubious about the veracity and utility of the long hunt to unearth biochemical explanations for clinical effects. The paper ends with the ambitious claim, “our data suggest a framework that unites the effect of the antidepressant with therapy mediated guidance to achieve the clinical antidepressant response.” It made me wonder how imipramine was differentiated concerning the manifestations of vital depression 


June 24, 2021