Study identifies biomarkers linked to positive treatment response of antidepressants

Study identifies biomarkers linked to positive treatment response of antidepressants

Depression is a serious mental disorder that has the potential to change an individual’s outlook toward life. A person suffering from depression unknowingly harbors negative feelings that can go on to transform his/her very personality. However, timely identification of the problem can undo the modifications and help the person lead a happy life. Antidepressants are the first line of treatment for depression, but even doctors are unsure of how the patient will respond because the result of the treatment varies from person to person. To put an end to this uncertainty, a recent study on mice has identified biomarkers that will help understand the treatment response of antidepressants. The researchers have hypothesized that the outcomes in the mouse would be similar to those in humans.

The study conducted by an international team at the University Medical Center Mainz and the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry dismissed the effectiveness of the concept “one size fits all” in the treatment of major depression. Compared to the results of antidepressants that depend on trial and error, such innovative treatment approaches will ensure a high degree of certainty in terms of positive outcomes.

Identification of biomarkers predicting responses to treatment will improve quality of care

The study, published in the open access journal PLOS Biology in December 2017, established a novel experimental approach to understand the extreme phenotypes in response to antidepressant treatment. They will help in identifying the valid peripheral biomarkers for antidepressant treatment response. The researchers were able to figure out a cluster of genes associated with antidepressant response in mice. Interestingly, they matched with the genes in the participants from Emory University suffering from depression.

It further suggested that the molecular signatures (a set of genes, proteins, genetic variants, etc.) associated with antidepressant response can forecast the results of antidepressant treatment. The additional analysis indicated that the glucocorticoid receptor, one of the pivotal players in fine-tuning the stress hormone system, shapes the response to antidepressant treatment.

Given the above-mentioned role of biomarkers and glucocorticoid receptor in depression treatment, these factors would allow the monitoring of antidepressant treatment response in the clinical practice. Rather than leading to delay in recovery from psychiatric disorders, they could assist in the evaluation of the action of drugs at an early stage of the clinical trials. It further emphasized on the need to identify the biomarkers of depression to determine the target parts in the brain.

Managing depression through holistic treatment

Depression is a serious mental health disorder, yet many tend to ignore its presence. While many do not pay any attention toward depressive symptoms, others opt for self-medication by using other’s prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. However, such practices can prove life-threatening. Although such ignorance may not be deliberate, it causes grave harm to the people afflicted by the condition like depression.

As such, depression manifests differently in different individuals. In addition, the symptoms can be misguiding. While OTC medicines may lead to side effects, sharing antidepressants can prove dangerous. Hence, it is always important to undergo a clinical diagnosis conducted by a licensed medical practitioner to confirm the presence of the condition and simultaneously determine its degree and duration.

If you or your loved one is experiencing depressive symptoms, it is important to seek immediate medical help and consult an expert as early as possible. You can seek help from the Florida Depression Helpline to know more about the depression treatment centers in Florida that offer a holistic recovery treatment program. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-267-5177 to speak with our experts and know about the best depression rehab available near you.

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