Depression: brain scan can predict response to treatment (medication)

“Brain activity can predict success of depression treatment”reports on a study to be published by JAMA Psychiatry in the June 28 edition. The study builds on previous studies, which have identified neurological markers that predict how patients will respond to antidepressant medication. The study identified more specific markers. The authors conclude that for patients with the marker of low response, “clinicians could decide to start with more aggressive treatment at the outset, such as a combination of pharmacology and psychotherapy, and importantly, monitor these patients more closely.”  From ScienceDaily, read the original article.

Treatment Resistant Depression found to respond to new version of ketamine AND medication

 “Novel Intranasal Ketamine Effective for Resistant Depression” was posted online by Medscape on 1-9-18. This article reports on a study that builds on previous research about of ketamine for treatment resistant depression (TRD). Many of the previous studies, however, have suffered from methodological problems, including small-sometimes very small-numbers of subjects and very basic research design. The current study started by screening under 26 adults with MDD and assessed to fit the TRD pattern, with 67 selected for the randomized treatment protocol, and 60 completed the complete, multi-stage research protocol which included two double-blind treatment periods.

Research Updates on Treatment Resistant Depression: Psychedelic Treatments”, Deep Brain Stimulation, Sleep Deprivation

MHConcierge has posted several times about in emerging research trendS that finds these radical treatments to be remarkably beneficial for treatment-resistant depression, and recently three more studies have been published. Please note: MHConcierge reports, but does not endorse, these types of issues, and of course they continue to be pretty controversial. The science, however, is evolving, and is intriguing. It may provide insights into non-drug treatments that help people with treatment-resistant depression by helping them get neurologically “unstuck” or to “reboot their brain.” 

BMI May be a Factor in How Depressed People Respond to Medication

BMI, Other Patient Factors Help Pinpoint Best Antidepressant, posted by Medscape Psychiatry one 5-5-17, reviews research that finds that depressed patients with high BMIs respond better to venlafaxine-XR (Effexor) and escitalopram (Lexipro) in comparison to other antidepressants.  The researchers theorized that depression with anxiety tends to contribute to weight gain due to excessive eating, and these medications affect appetite. This info may be used by mental health professionals treating patients with depression and obesity by suggesting that they consult their prescriber about possibly use of these medications. Accessing the article requires a subscription, which is free.