New animal studies suggest that antidepressant treatment that can relieve depression in one person may not be ideal in another. Biomarkers could help to choose the right treatment right away.
Depression is case by case, it's tailor-made. A new study, published on December 28 in the journal PLOS Biology, developed a mouse model to identify the blood signatures associated with the response to antidepressant treatment. It also showed the importance of the stress-related glucocorticoid receptor in the recovery of depression.
According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability, affecting some 350 million people worldwide. Although currently available treatments are safe, there is significant variability in the results of antidepressant treatments according to the patients. So far, no clinical evaluation can predict with a high degree of certainty whether a particular patient will respond to a given antidepressant.
Identify predictive biomarkers
To meet this challenge, scientists have developed a new experimental approach in animals, focusing on extreme phenotypes in response to antidepressant treatment. This model simulated the clinical situation, identifying good and bad responders to antidepressant treatment.
Ultimately, the identification of a set of predictive biomarkers of antidepressant response in mice would greatly improve the quality of care and treatment for depressed patients, as the 2e Treated treatment is consistently less effective than the first one.
In the future, this specific approach could serve as a model for the discovery of improved and tailored treatments for patients with depression.