As William Styron said in 1990, in untreated major depression, “The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come – It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul.” Today, antidepressant medications can provide relief for many, but they require at least 2-4 weeks to start to take effect, which may seem an eternity for someone in the throes of this disease. Needless to say, medications which could start to act faster could be a huge boon for depression sufferers.
Stephanie Dulawa, Ph.D., at the University of Chicago, is the winner of the 2014 One Mind / Johnson & Johnson Rising Star Depression Research Award in Memory of George Largay. She has already found a new class of compound which can relieve depression symptoms in mice in a mere 5 days. This week on Brain Waves she explains her Rising Star-funded research aim to understand the mechanisms behind this precipitous effect in pursuit of faster-onset antidepressant medications for humans.
If you feel so moved, please consider a donation to support research like Dr. Dulawa’s. Enjoy the interview!