June 24, 2017

Study Tries to Discover Best Treatment for Depression

There are many more depression treatments available now than ever before and we know more about what medications can work but why do some treatments work for some people but not others?  Scientists may be on their way to figuring it out.

There are numerous treatments designed to address the multiple facets of depression. They include medication, psychotherapy, exercise, mindfulness, breathing exercises, light therapy, sleep therapy, and behavioral therapy. However, not every individual with depression will respond equally to any or all of these treatments. Some individuals demonstrate treatment resistance and poorer outcomes than others. Understanding which mechanisms lead to negative outcomes could help clinicians target those symptoms specifically in depressed individuals.

In an attempt to identify which factors lead to treatment resistance, Rudolf Uher of the MRC Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at King’s College Institute of Psychiatry in London conducted a study that examined nine specific depressive symptom dimensions in a sample of 811 participants with depression. All of the participants were receiving antidepressant medications and were evaluated for response and symptom severity.

One of the goals of the study was to not only identify specific dimensions of depression, but to replicate the findings in a larger sample. The findings of Uher also discovered that this finding was consistent regardless of the level of symptom severity or type of antidepressant that the participants were given.

Additionally, this same dimension was found to predict negative treatment outcomes in a larger sample of over 3,000 participants in the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study….More at TreatmentResistant Dimension of Depression Identified in New Study

Whether you have mild depression or a severe case, it’s important to consult with a reliable health expert to come up with a course of treatment that works for your individual needs.

Hopefully someday soon the experts will come up with not only what factors make a positive outcome for this condition more likely but also what factors serve to prevent it.