NIH funds study on antidepressant response in older adults
The NIH is funding a study that will explore predicting antidepressant response among individuals aged 60 years and older with depression, according to a press release.
The study will be conducted by researchers of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Cognitive Medicine and department of psychiatry.
Researchers will use MRI to examine how different brain regions communicate among approximately 130 men and women with symptomatic depression and how they respond to antidepressants.
“This is a very personalized approach — trying to understand why some people may respond well to antidepressant medications and why others don’t. We’re looking at differences in how different brain regions communicate in these individuals,” Warren Taylor, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University, said in a press release.
The study will be conducted in two 8-week sessions. During the first session, study participants will received an antidepressant or placebo.
After 8 weeks of treatment, individuals who respond well will transition into clinical care, while those who do not improve will start a different antidepressant for another 8 weeks.
The researchers hope to see improvement among study participants over the two 8-week periods, according to Taylor.
“Depression in older adults is often linked to stress, and ultimately stress breeds depression. Here’s where memory issues get involved again. When people feel their memory isn’t as good as it was, it causes stress and can lead to depression,” Taylor said in the release. “If our theories are correct, the next step would be to develop automated ways of determining what treatment would be best for each individual.” – by Amanda Oldt
For more information: