Apr 11, 2017
The alarming rise on depression cases along with the disability and sickness that it results in has already been expressed by the World Health Organization. The medical community has put in a lot of efforts to make the identifying and prescribing process more precisely, however it is not a-walk-in-the-garden when the human mind is involved. Whilst timely and early diagnose is crucial, it is not possible for everyone at the moment. Therefore, a latest study research suggesting the use of a novel blood test method to escalate preciseness of the prescriptions will be extremely helpful for healthcare experts.
For the very first time, healthcare professionals can conclude whether which medication is potential enough to assist a patient beat depression.
Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, who led the research at UT Southwestern Medical Center's Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care, said that a blood test which helps in measuring a specific type of protein level renders a prompt tool for healthcare professionals who up till now have depended upon patient questionnaires to pick the right treatment.
He said, "Currently, our selection of depression medications is not any more superior than flipping a coin, and yet that is what we do. Now we have a biological explanation to guide treatment of depression."
The blood tests for levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), since they escalate in response to inflammation or bacterial infection.
Dr. Trivedi led a national research almost ten years ago that demonstrated nearly 40% of patients who were given prescription antidepressants terminated the consumption within three months if they do not experience any improvements. Meanwhile, the problem is yet into common existence, Dr. Trivedi wanted to bridge a link between the biological and psychological condition.
The researchers gave two types of antidepressants to 100 patients – bupropion and escitalopram. The patients were either prescribed escitalopram plus bupropion or escitalopram alone.
The results were such that, for patients who had CRP levels of less than 1mg per liter, escitalopram alone was quite effective, with a 57% decrease rate as compared to less than 30% when mixed with the other drug. Escitalopram plus bupropion was more likely to work for patients with escalated levels of CRP, with a 51% decrease rate as compared to 33% on escitalopram alone.
Since it is not easy to determine the precise drug for the treatment of depression, patients many a time have to alter their doses or the medication so as to find the most efficient treatment.
In the past few years, studies have looked into an inflammatory origin of depression, thereby proving an association between the depression symptoms and the immune system. CRP was keyed out as a possible marker for treatment of depression since it has been an efficient evaluation of inflammation for several other disorders.
These earlier research to determine CRP as an antidepressant marker depended upon the levels three to five times more than the most recent study. For which Dr. Trivedi says, "you don't need that high of an inflammation to experience the sickness of depression. Even a little inflammation may be sufficient for the patients to experience some of these symptoms of depression."
In the coming years, in psychiatric medicine, testing depressed patients for symptoms of decreased level inflammation can become a regular practice. The further step for the medical researchers is to attempt greater studies to verify CRP’s role with other antidepressants and find substitute markers where CRP doesn’t prove to be efficient.
Apr 11, 2017
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