Science Saturday: Mayo Clinic algorithm shows potential in individualizing treatment for depression

a young adult man, perhaps Latino, wearing a blue shirt and holding his head in his hands looking sad, stressed, depressed, unhappy

Finding an effective antidepressant medication for people diagnosed with depression, also called major depressive disorder, is often a long and complex process of “try and try again” ― going from one prescription to the next until achieving a therapeutic response.

This complex disease, which affects more than 16 million people in the U.S., can cause symptoms of persistent emotional and physical problems, including sadness, irritability and loss of interest. In severe cases, suicidal thoughts are a risk.

Now, a computer algorithm developed by researchers within Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign could help clinicians accurately and efficiently predict whether a patient with depression will respond to an antidepressant. 

The new research, published in Neuropsychopharmacology, represents a possible step forward in individualizing treatment for major depressive disorder. It also demonstrates a collaboration between computer scientists and clinicians who are using large datasets to address challenges of individualizing medicine practices of globally devastating diseases.

Read the rest of the article in the Individualized Medicine blog.


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