Senior Woman

Depression – Tough to Treat

Angie Szumlinski Studies

Depression challenges many of our residents and sometimes it just doesn’t seem to matter how many times we adjust medications, add medications and discontinue medications; we still struggle to find that happy place for them. However, there is some good news coming from Stanford Medicine where researchers used electroencephalography (EEG) and an algorithm to identify a brain-wave signature in individuals with depression who will most likely respond to medication.

Major depression is the most common mental disorder in the United States, affecting about 7% of adults in 2017, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Among those, about half never get diagnosed and for those who do, finding the right treatment can take years. One study actually showed that only about 30% of depressed patents saw any remission of symptoms after their first treatment with an antidepressant. Well isn’t that depressing-and that’s the caveat!

We treat people because they are sad and have self-doubt and the treatment doesn’t work so the self-doubt snowballs right? Plus, in our seniors, depression can lead to rapid decline, weight loss, cognitive decline and overall apathy. Isn’t it time to find the answers to this common mental illness? To read the article click the link here and share it with your psychiatry team!