Depression May Be Treated Effectively Much Quicker

Depression sucks.

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide so there is a lot of incentive to find ways to treat it among medical technology researchers. Our current treatment protocol for depression can only be called (lengthy) trial and (frequent) error.

Many of us know from personal experience that it can take a long time to figure out the right treatment: which medication combo, which therapeutic technique.

Brain imaging researchers have recently discovered that using MRIs and resting-state fMRIs may lead to useful predictions of which kind of therapy will work best for a particular person. I hope they will figure this out before I hit another depressive episode!

Experts estimate that 40% of people with depression are not helped by the first therapy they try. I know I wasn’t. It took me almost 4 years to climb out of the hole of my last depressive episode. But once I found the right medication combo and corrected a sleeping problem, I found my freedom!

The study was done by Gabriel Dichter, Ph.D. of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and  Moria J. Smoski, Ph.D. of Duke University and was published in the journal, Neuropsychopharmacology.

“In the future, we will be able to use non-invasive brain imaging technology to match patients with the treatment option that has the best chance of lifting their depression” according to Dr. Dichter. “In my mind, that’s as important as developing new treatments. We already have a lot of excellent treatments but no way to know which one is best for a particular patient.” I fully agree. Do you? Share your thoughts in the comments.