Best Of The Web
“Of the 16 million American adults who live with depression, as many as one-quarter gain little or no benefit from available treatments, whether drugs or talk therapy. They represent perhaps the greatest unmet need in psychiatry. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved a prescription treatment intended to help them, a fast-acting drug derived from an old and widely used anesthetic, ketamine.
The move heralds a shift from the Prozac era of antidepressant drugs. The newly approved treatment, called esketamine, is a nasal spray developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a branch of Johnson & Johnson, that will be marketed under the name Spravato. It contains an active portion of the ketamine molecule, whose antidepressant properties are not well understood yet.
“Thank goodness we now have something with a different mechanism of action than previous antidepressants,” said Dr. Erick Turner, a former F.D.A. reviewer and an associate professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University. “But I’m skeptical of the hype, because in this world it’s like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown: Each time we get our hopes up, the football gets pulled away.””
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Thousands of gay rights supporters gathered in heavy rain outside parliament in the capital, Taipei, to watch a live broadcast of the proceedings. Supporters shouted “First in Asia!” after the article was passed."
"It’s increasingly clear that Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision protecting a woman’s right to choose abortion, is in jeopardy. But what is Roe all about? Privacy? Liberty? Women’s equality?"
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being cautious about engaging Israel in the US-Iran tensions, though he would surely not object to an American attack on Iran."
"Hello. I’m a person who has never watched Game of Thrones. You’re a person who has watched every episode. Here is what I have learned about you through the cultural osmosis..."
"The vacation rental industry is mired in claims that it harms neighborhoods and housing markets. Can a nonprofit co-op make the tourist trend a community asset?"
"One of the many important facets of special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry is his observation that President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter and other mass media could subvert the criminal-justice system."
"Even in a profession where major commissions rarely materialize before a man (and, beginning only recently, a woman) is well past fifty, it is hard for anyone alive today to remember a time when I.M. Pei was not a dominant, commanding figure."
"If you’re old enough to remember the Soviet Union, you’ve probably wondered why so many young people today seem attracted to socialism. One influence is Howard Zinn, who published “A People’s History of the United States” in 1980..."
"Moms and dads may be new to microdosing, but the trend has been bubbling for years in Silicon Valley. The tech set claim that taking 10 to 20 micrograms of LSD every few days makes them more creative..."
"In 1983, the Italian-Israeli professor Sandra Debenedetti Stow stunned the scholarly world with an explosive article that proposed that Jews introduced pizza to the European diet."
"During a military mission, whether in peace or in war, if a pilot or soldier can’t identify an object, they have a serious problem: How should they react, without knowing if it is neutral, friendly or threatening? "
"Wouk, an Orthodox Jew, embodied the new postwar possibilities for American Jews and his writing helped normalize Judaism within the larger American landscape..."