Depression treatment diagnostics studied

Oct 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: Study hints at antioxidant treatment for high blood pressure

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research reveals structure of key CRISPR complex

15 hours ago

Using a gene-editing system originally developed to delete specific genes, MIT researchers have now shown that they can reliably turn on any gene of their choosing in living cells.

Cancer prevalent in pets but treatable, says veterinarian

Dec 03, 2014

About 50 percent of dogs and 33 percent of cats age 10 years and older will develop cancer. Although it is very prevalent in these animals, a Kansas State University veterinarian says depending upon the type of cancer, it ...

New method for quickly determining antibiotic resistance

Nov 24, 2014

Scientists from Uppsala University, the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) in Stockholm and Uppsala University Hospital have developed a new method of rapidly identifying which bacteria are causing an infection and ...

Recommended for you

Stem cells faulty in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

7 hours ago

Like human patients, mice with a form of Duchenne muscular dystrophy undergo progressive muscle degeneration and accumulate connective tissue as they age. Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have ...

Here's how the prion protein protects us

12 hours ago

The cellular prion protein (PrPC) has the ability to protect the brain's neurons. Although scientists have known about this protective physiological function for some time, they were lacking detailed knowledge ...

Regulation of maternal miRNAs in early embryos revealed

13 hours ago

The Center for RNA Research at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) has succeeded in revealing, for the first time, the mechanism of how miRNAs, which control gene expression, are regulated in the early embryonic stage.

User comments : 0

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.