Two novel drugs kickstart motivation in rats suffering from apathy and a lack of oomph, UConn researchers reported at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego on Nov. 5.
Apathy steals the excitement from life. It’s a feeling of being fatigued, uninterested, and emotionally flat. People who suffer from apathy find it hard to exert effort, and life can seem tremendously difficult. One of the primary symptoms of depression, it’s also a side effect of certain medications. It can also be caused by inflammation from an infection or chronic disease such as multiple sclerosis.
Apathy and lack of motivation are hard to treat. Many medications that help with other symptoms of depression don’t help much with them.
But now, UConn behavioral neuroscientist John Salamone and graduate student Renee Rotolo have found that two new drugs can restore normal behavior in rats who lack motivation, pointing the way to potential treatments.