Depression is so prevalent in today’s society.

It’s the most common mental health illness in the U.S. and the leading cause of disability worldwide. Traditional treatments include a combination of pharmaceutical antidepressants and talk therapy-based approaches. However, these treatments take time—several weeks at the very least—and are only about 50% effective upon the first attempt. 

Part of the challenge with treating this mental health disorder is that there are many reasons why an individual may become clinically depressed: damaged synapses in the brain, neurotransmitter imbalances, copper deficiencies, etc. But what if there was a way to tell, on an individual basis, exactly which depression treatment would be most appropriate based on the biological cause of depression?

New research published in Nature Biotechnology showed that using a brain test combined with artificial intelligence can now predict if an antidepressant will be effective for an individual patient. A team of researchers first gathered 200 people diagnosed with depression and gave each of them an electroencephalogram (EEG), which records brain waves through electrodes on their scalps. Then these patients were given either an antidepressant (sertraline) or placebo for 8-weeks. The machine that analyzed these patient’s brain waves showed that 65% of the study participants with a particular brainwave also showed a strong response to sertraline, demonstrating a correlation between brain electrical activity and the efficacy of this depression treatment. 

Researchers also used AI technology in a separate study that used EEG testing before a patient went through TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) therapy. TMS uses brain-stimulation to treat depression, and they found that people who did not respond to sertraline based on their brainwaves had a more positive response to TMS. 

These are just the initial findings of AI research and its potential to better treat depression.More research needs to be performed before AI could become a common tool for diagnosing and treating depression. Although it could change the face of depression treatment as we know it, for now, traditional depression treatments will remain our first-line. However, treatments like ketamine infusions have proven to be 70% effective, specifically for those patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression. Ketamine infusions work rapidly in comparison to antidepressant medications, with most patients experiencing relief within 1-2 infusions. For those who have already tried traditional medications and talk therapy to no avail, ketamine can be a life-saving solution. 

 

Contact Vitalitas Denver

Vitalitas Denver is Colorado’s leading provider of ketamine treatments for depression and chronic pain. Between our Denver and Boulder/Fort Collins area ketamine treatment centers, we have performed thousands of infusions. We are highly experienced in ketamine administration, and would love to answer any questions you have about ketamine for depression and pain. Contact us today using the brief form below!