According to the World Health Organization, depression is the number one cause of adult disability worldwide. Although treatments for major depressive disorder help many, too many patients do not respond well to medical intervention (about one third of patients are not helped by current medications). Also, stigma prevents many people from seeking treatment. Due to such factors, about 35,000 people each year in the U.S. die by suicide.
Fortunately, many scientists are working hard to improve depression treatment. On March 18, 2015, at 11:00 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, three leaders in the field joined us for a live panel discussion: Kafui Dzirasa, M.D., Ph.D., a 2013 One Mind / Janssen Rising Star Translational Research Award winner, is discovering patterns of neural circuit connectivity that can be used in depression diagnosis and treatment. Stephanie Dulawa, Ph.D., 2014 winner of the One Mind Depression Research Award in Memory of George Largay, is investigating a novel neuromolecular target for prospective faster-onset antidepressant medications. Nelson Freimer, M.D., Director of the UCLA Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics is a leader of UCLA’s upcoming Depression Grand Challenge project. Via this Brain Waves episode, these pathfinders gave insight for us to understand how the hurdles to effective depression care might be surmounted.
Now, you can watch the recording of this live feature.
Thank you to all who watched and participated, and especially to Drs. Freimer, Dulawa and Dzirasa.
[Dulawa photo credit: Tom Maday for the Brain Research Foundation]