IELTS Academic Reading Practice 68

 
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This reading practice simulates one part of the IELTS Academic Reading test. You should spend about twenty minutes on it. Read the passage and answer questions 14-27.

Questions 14-20

The reading passage has eight paragraphs labelled A-H.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-H in boxes 14-20 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

14 The symptoms of a person suffering from depression
15 Studies carried out on the effects of newly developed treatments
16 The cost to the individual of drug therapy
17 A concern that the way in which depression is defined is not sufficiently accurate
18 The negative reaction that a patient can have after taking prescribed anti-depressive drugs
19 The advantages of drugs which act upon the patient quickly
20 Descriptions of the theories and treatments relating to the causes and relief of depression
Questions 21-27

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the reading passage? In boxes 21-27 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE   if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE   if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN   if there is no information on this

21. In order to be classified as depressed a patient must show 5 clinical signs.
22. Depression is caused by a chemical disproportionate mix of chemicals in the brain.
23. Traditionally prescribed anti-depressive drugs are not always effective.
24. Many patients suffering from depression benefit from a spell in hospital.
25. Drugs used for treating depression in human also have a positive effect on animal behaviour.
26. More controversial therapies are used in combination with drug therapies.
27. Anti-depressive drugs are often administered in a form other than orally.

Answer Sheet
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
N/A
16
N/A
17
N/A
18
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19
N/A
20
N/A
21
N/A
22
N/A
23
N/A
24
N/A
25
N/A
26
N/A
27
N/A
28
N/A
29
N/A
30
N/A
31
N/A
32
N/A
33
N/A
34
N/A
35
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36
N/A
37
N/A
38
N/A
39
N/A
40
N/A


  • help Learn how to HIGHLIGHT & ADD NOTES
    1. HOLD LEFT CLICK
    2. DRAG MOUSE OVER TEXT
    3. RIGHT CLICK SELECTED TEXT

Ketamine

A Depression, or ‘major depressive disorder’, a state of extreme sadness or despair, is said to affect up to almost 20% of the population at some point in their lives prior to the age of 40. Studies have shown that this disorder is the leading cause of disability in North America; in the UK almost 3 million people are said to be diagnosed with some form of depression at any one time, and experts believe that as many as a further 9 million other cases may go undiagnosed. World Health Organisation projections indicate that depression may become the second most significant cause of disability’ on a global scale by 2020. However, such figures are not unanimously supported, as some experts believe that the diagnostic criteria used to identify՛ the condition are not precise enough.

B Depression is generally diagnosed when an individual is observed to exhibit an excessively depressed mood and/or ‘anhedonia’ – an inability to experience pleasure from positive experiences such as enjoying a meal or pleasurable social interaction – for a period of two weeks or more, in conjunction with five or more additional recognised symptoms. These additional symptoms may include overwhelming feelings of sadness; inability to sleep, or conversely, excessive sleeping; feelings of guilt, nervousness, abandonment or fear; inability to concentrate; interference with memory capabilities; fixation with death or extreme change in eating habits and associated weight gain or loss.

C Depression was originally solely attributed to chemical imbalance in the brain, and while anti-depressant drugs which work to optimise levels of ‘feel good’ chemicals – serotonin and norepinephrine – are still commonly prescribed today, experts now believe that onset of depression may be caused by a number, and often combination of, physiological and socio-psychological factors. Treatment approaches vary quite dramatically from place to place and are often tailored to an individual’s particular situation; however, some variation of a combination of medication and psychotherapy is most commonly used. The more controversial electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may also be used where initial approaches fail. In extreme cases, where an individual exhibits behaviour which Indicates that they may cause physical harm to themselves, psychiatric hospitalisation may be necessary as a form of intensive therapy.

D It has been over 30 years since a genuinely new type of drug for treating depression, or indeed any psychiatric illness, has come to market. Most antidepressants to date have been based on the “monoamine hypothesis”, which holds that depression is caused by low levels of a class of chemical messengers (the monoamine neurotransmitters: serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine) in the brain. Unfortunately, over a third of patients fail to respond to these drugs, and even when the drugs do work, it can take weeks or months for their effects to kick in. Hence the interest in a recent announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (fda) in America that it had approved a new drug for patients with “treatment-resistant” depression, defined as having not responded adequately to at least two previous antidepressants. Of particular note is that it is based on ketamine, a recreational drug. Esketamine, as the chemical is known, is branded as Spravato by its developer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a branch of Johnson & Johnson.

E Widely used as an anaesthetic, ketamine blocks specific chemical receptors, especially one for glutamate, the most abundant chemical messenger in the brain. Animal research in the 1990s implicated glutamate in depression. A small clinical trial in 2000 showed that not only did ketamine have antidepressant effects in humans, but it took hold within hours. Subsequent studies showed it worked on treatment-resistant depression.

F The main side-effect of ketamine is that it has hallucinogenic effects, such as out-of-body or “dissociative” experiences. There is some evidence suggesting the side-effects of esketamine, although similar, are slightly less severe. Nevertheless, the potential for abuse, together with elevated blood pressure and the dangers of wandering around in such a state, are why the fda has recommended a strict treatment strategy. This stipulates that the drug is administered under supervision, in a clinic or a doctor’s office. Patients should be monitored for at least two hours before they leave, record their experiences and not drive that day.

G In research and in clinics that give ketamine to patients able to pay around $3,000, the drug is administered intravenously. The new treatment is taken in the form of a nasal spray. Janssen says the cost of a one-month course will be between $4,720 and $6,785. Previous studies of generic ketamine suggest the effects of multiple doses last a few weeks, on average, but as long as a few months in some people.

H The trial data Janssen submitted to the fda was somewhat mixed, but the agency would probably have taken into account the wealth of information that already existed on ketamine’s effectiveness, says Carlos Zarate of the National Institute of Mental Health. That includes a trial he led, published in 2006. One of ketamine’s remarkable properties, says Dr Zarate, is that it has a “broad spectrum” effect, alleviating many of the different mood symptoms that can occur in depression, including anxiety and the inability to experience pleasure. For patients at acute risk of suicide, for which drugs can take too long to work, there is evidence that it might be a lifesaver by reducing suicidal thoughts.

Reading Passage Vocabulary
Ketamine

A Depression, or ‘major depressive disorder’, a state of extreme sadness or despair, is said to affect up to almost 20% of the population at some point in their lives prior to the age of 40. Studies have shown that this disorder is the leading cause of disability in North America; in the UK almost 3 million people are said to be diagnosed with some form of depression at any one time, and experts believe that as many as a further 9 million other cases may go undiagnosed. World Health Organisation projections indicate that depression may become the second most significant cause of disability’ on a global scale by 2020. However, such figures are not unanimously supported, as some experts believe that the diagnostic criteria used to identify՛ the condition are not precise enough.

B Depression is generally diagnosed when an individual is observed to exhibit an excessively depressed mood and/or ‘anhedonia’ – an inability to experience pleasure from positive experiences such as enjoying a meal or pleasurable social interaction – for a period of two weeks or more, in conjunction with five or more additional recognised symptoms. These additional symptoms may include overwhelming feelings of sadness; inability to sleep, or conversely, excessive sleeping; feelings of guilt, nervousness, abandonment or fear; inability to concentrate; interference with memory capabilities; fixation with death or extreme change in eating habits and associated weight gain or loss.

C Depression was originally solely attributed to chemical imbalance in the brain, and while anti-depressant drugs which work to optimise levels of ‘feel good’ chemicals – serotonin and norepinephrine – are still commonly prescribed today, experts now believe that onset of depression may be caused by a number, and often combination of, physiological and socio-psychological factors. Treatment approaches vary quite dramatically from place to place and are often tailored to an individual’s particular situation; however, some variation of a combination of medication and psychotherapy is most commonly used. The more controversial electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may also be used where initial approaches fail. In extreme cases, where an individual exhibits behaviour which Indicates that they may cause physical harm to themselves, psychiatric hospitalisation may be necessary as a form of intensive therapy.

D It has been over 30 years since a genuinely new type of drug for treating depression, or indeed any psychiatric illness, has come to market. Most antidepressants to date have been based on the “monoamine hypothesis”, which holds that depression is caused by low levels of a class of chemical messengers (the monoamine neurotransmitters: serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine) in the brain. Unfortunately, over a third of patients fail to respond to these drugs, and even when the drugs do work, it can take weeks or months for their effects to kick in. Hence the interest in a recent announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (fda) in America that it had approved a new drug for patients with “treatment-resistant” depression, defined as having not responded adequately to at least two previous antidepressants. Of particular note is that it is based on ketamine, a recreational drug. Esketamine, as the chemical is known, is branded as Spravato by its developer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a branch of Johnson & Johnson.

E Widely used as an anaesthetic, ketamine blocks specific chemical receptors, especially one for glutamate, the most abundant chemical messenger in the brain. Animal research in the 1990s implicated glutamate in depression. A small clinical trial in 2000 showed that not only did ketamine have antidepressant effects in humans, but it took hold within hours. Subsequent studies showed it worked on treatment-resistant depression.

F The main side-effect of ketamine is that it has hallucinogenic effects, such as out-of-body or “dissociative” experiences. There is some evidence suggesting the side-effects of esketamine, although similar, are slightly less severe. Nevertheless, the potential for abuse, together with elevated blood pressure and the dangers of wandering around in such a state, are why the fda has recommended a strict treatment strategy. This stipulates that the drug is administered under supervision, in a clinic or a doctor’s office. Patients should be monitored for at least two hours before they leave, record their experiences and not drive that day.

G In research and in clinics that give ketamine to patients able to pay around $3,000, the drug is administered intravenously. The new treatment is taken in the form of a nasal spray. Janssen says the cost of a one-month course will be between $4,720 and $6,785. Previous studies of generic ketamine suggest the effects of multiple doses last a few weeks, on average, but as long as a few months in some people.

H The trial data Janssen submitted to the fda was somewhat mixed, but the agency would probably have taken into account the wealth of information that already existed on ketamine’s effectiveness, says Carlos Zarate of the National Institute of Mental Health. That includes a trial he led, published in 2006. One of ketamine’s remarkable properties, says Dr Zarate, is that it has a “broad spectrum” effect, alleviating many of the different mood symptoms that can occur in depression, including anxiety and the inability to experience pleasure. For patients at acute risk of suicide, for which drugs can take too long to work, there is evidence that it might be a lifesaver by reducing suicidal thoughts.

 
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