Depression treatment diagnostics studied

October 31, 2006

U.S. scientists say they are working on research that might lead to the first diagnostic test to guide the treatment of depression.

Finding an effective treatment for depression is often a matter of trial and error. Although there are numerous drugs available, finding the right one -- or right combination -- can be a long and frustrating process.

Studies released earlier this year suggested about 60 percent of patients are not helped by the first drug they are given. Because antidepressants have a delayed onset of action, the doctor and patient don't learn if a given drug is effective for several weeks after the drug is prescribed.

Now Weill Cornell Medical College researchers -- led by psychiatrist Francis Lee -- say they are creating a diagnostic test involving sampling the patient's DNA and looking for a variant of the gene coding a protein called "Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor" or BDNF.

If the patient has the variant, then it is unlikely the patient would respond to treatment with the most commonly used class of drugs, which include fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), paroxetine (Paxil ) and sertraline (Zoloft).

The research is detailed in the journal Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Groundbreaking gene therapy trial set to cure hemophilia

Related Stories

Groundbreaking gene therapy trial set to cure hemophilia

December 14, 2017
A 'cure' for haemophilia is one step closer, following results published in the New England Journal of Medcine of a groundbreaking gene therapy trial led by the NHS in London.

Second generation BTK inhibitor highly effective as solo therapy in adult leukemia

December 13, 2017
Updated data on the first 134 chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients treated with single-agent acalabrutinib shows that the drug was well-tolerated in the majority of patients treated and responses were durable over time, ...

Triple drug treatment combo shows promise in adult leukemia

December 13, 2017
A triple-drug targeted therapy approach could offer an effective new treatment option for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that reduces the risk for the long-term side effects experienced with chemotherapy and is given ...

A drug to treat retinal diseases with drops instead of injections

December 13, 2017
The Spanish firm Sylentis has developed a compound to treat diseases of the retina including age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The treatment is administered by ophthalmic drops instead of intraocular ...

Molecular dissection of bile duct cancer reveals subtypes with different origins and varying potential treatments

December 13, 2017
Researchers have discovered that cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), a form of liver cancer also known as bile duct cancer, consists of several molecular subtypes with distinct potential therapies and prognoses.

Breathing exercises help asthma patients with quality of life

December 13, 2017
A study led by the University of Southampton has found that people who continue to get problems from their asthma, despite receiving standard treatment, experience an improved quality of life when they are taught breathing ...

Recommended for you

How defeating THOR could bring a hammer down on cancer

December 14, 2017
It turns out Thor, the Norse god of thunder and the Marvel superhero, has special powers when it comes to cancer too.

Researchers track muscle stem cell dynamics in response to injury and aging

December 14, 2017
A new study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) describes the biology behind why muscle stem cells respond differently to aging or injury. The findings, published in Cell Stem Cell, ...

'Human chronobiome' study informs timing of drug delivery, precision medicine approaches

December 13, 2017
Symptoms and efficacy of medications—and indeed, many aspects of the human body itself—vary by time of day. Physicians tell patients to take their statins at bedtime because the related liver enzymes are more active during ...

Estrogen discovery could shed new light on fertility problems

December 12, 2017
Estrogen produced in the brain is necessary for ovulation in monkeys, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who have upended the traditional understanding of the hormonal cascade that leads to release ...

Time of day affects severity of autoimmune disease

December 12, 2017
Insights into how the body clock and time of day influence immune responses are revealed today in a study published in leading international journal Nature Communications. Understanding the effect of the interplay between ...

3-D printed microfibers could provide structure for artificially grown body parts

December 12, 2017
Much as a frame provides structural support for a house and the chassis provides strength and shape for a car, a team of Penn State engineers believe they have a way to create the structural framework for growing living tissue ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.