19815 Bay Branch Rd
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
(334) 222-2523
HELPLINE: 1-877-530-0002



SCAMHC is an approved Mental Health site for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program.  Find out the program details and see if you qualify by visiting: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SCAMHC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer and maintains a Drug-Free Workplace





powered by centersite dot net
Basic InformationLatest News
Statins Going Generic Saved Medicare BillionsMany Cases of 'Penicillin Allergy' Might Be MistakenCOVID Drug Remdesivir Could Cost Up to $3,120 Per Patient, Maker SaysHigh Costs Lead Millions of Americans to Shop Abroad for Rx DrugsFDA Pulls Emergency Approval of Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19How Ritalin Works in the BrainFDA Pulls Heartburn Drug Zantac From MarketTaking More Antibiotics May Up Odds for HospitalizationAllergy Med Singulair to Get 'Black Box' Warning Over Psych Side Effects: FDAU.S. Drug Prices Have Risen Three Times Faster Than InflationUse Pot? It Can Interact With Your Meds in Harmful WaysToo Many Antibiotics, Opioids Given to Dental Patients in the ERBrand-Name Rx Rise After Docs Get Drug Company Perks: StudyAs Prices Rise for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's Meds, Patients Go WithoutPrice Hikes Have Patients Turning to Craigslist for Insulin, Asthma InhalersAI May Help Guide Patients to Most Effective Antidepressant1 in 4 Gets Unneeded Antibiotics at Children's HospitalsStudy Finds 'No Clear Rationale' for 45% of Antibiotic PrescriptionsAre Antibiotics a Recipe for Obesity in Childhood?Do You Take Warfarin? Time of Day Might Not MatterNew Drugs Getting FDA's Blessing Faster, but Is That a Good Thing?Health Tip: Acetaminophen SafetyTwo More Heartburn Meds Recalled Due to Possible CarcinogenMany Drugstores Misinform on Disposal of Unused MedsHealth Tip: How to Remember to Take Your MedicationsFDA to Allow States to Import Prescription Drugs From Other CountriesOver 40% of Antibiotics Could Be 'Inappropriately' PrescribedFDA Testing Levels of Carcinogen in Diabetes Drug MetforminTaking Several Prescription Drugs May Trigger Serious Side EffectsPenicillin Allergy Less Common Than Thought: StudyMany Older Americans Misuse Antibiotics: PollAntibiotics Not Recommended for Most Toothaches, New Guideline SaysHealth Tip: Taking Anti-Inflammatory DrugsMany Common Meds Could Alter Your MicrobiomeWhen Meds Are Free, Patients Take Them More OftenHealth Tip: Packing Prescriptions for Travel
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Anxiety Disorders
Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Mental Disorders
Mental Health Professions

AI May Help Guide Patients to Most Effective Antidepressant

HealthDay News
by By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Feb 10th 2020

new article illustration

MONDAY, Feb. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Choosing the right antidepressant for someone who is depressed can be hit or miss. But a new study shows that artificial intelligence (AI) technology may be able to help.

Researchers input information from electrical signals in the brain into a computer program that learns as it goes. Based on brain activity, the AI technology helped predict whether or not an antidepressant will help treat a particular person's depression.

So far, the new technology has only been tested on one type of antidepressant -- sertraline (Zoloft). But the researchers think it will be useful for other antidepressants. They also hope it can predict how well other types of depression treatments might work, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation.

"Right now in psychiatry, when we see a patient with depression, we have very little idea of what the most effective treatment will be. Then we start treatment in a trial-and-error fashion, which can lead to a lot of frustration," explained senior study author Dr. Amit Etkin, a psychiatry professor at Stanford University in California. He's currently on leave from Stanford to work on developing this technology as CEO of a company called Alto Neuroscience.

"It's not that antidepressants don't work well. Some work extremely well. An objective test could help bridge the gap in knowing which treatments are effective and for whom they will be effective," Etkin said.

While depression is generally considered a single disease, health professionals are increasingly recognizing that there are different types of depression. And, much like a drug that treats one type of breast cancer doesn't work well on another, Etkin said that people "shouldn't think of antidepressants as one-size-fits-all."

The new technology uses a readily available, low-cost test called the electroencephalogram (EEG). During an EEG, electrodes are placed all over the head. Those electrodes measure electrical activity in the brain. For the patient, it's similar to having the electrical activity of the heart measured with an electrocardiogram (EKG).

The researchers said that over the past two decades, research has suggested that an EEG can be used to predict differences in depression. They combined the EEG findings with a sophisticated computer program that learns how each type of depression responds to a particular medication.

The current study included more than 300 patients with depression. They were randomly selected to receive either sertraline or a placebo. All of the participants had an EEG before starting the drug or placebo.

Etkin said the "AI tool was quite effective" at predicting which patients would do well on the medications.

He said the next steps from here are to see how the AI tool does with other antidepressants and with other types of depression treatments.

Etkin added that having an objective medical test may help destigmatize depression.

The findings were published Feb. 10 in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Dr. Shawna Newman is director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, and was not part of the research. "The goal of the study is to illustrate a 'biology-based' and objective approach to treatment for an illness that affects millions of people the world over," she said.

"The ability to direct treatment of depression in a consistent and effective manner with predictable outcomes could profoundly change not only the trajectory of an illness, but also potentially alter the perception we have of the illness itself," Newman noted.

Psychiatrist Dr. Scott Krakower, from Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., also reviewed the study. "While there are limitations to the current study, what is clear is that this is a one more step toward integrating biotechnology into the field of psychiatry," he said.

Krakower said patients with depression often have to try multiple treatments before they have any relief from their depression. "An EEG is a simple and relatively cost-efficient strategy that could prove to be highly beneficial in the long run," he said.

More information

Learn more about the types of antidepressants from the Mayo Clinic.