Going through the trial and error process that is finding the right antidepressant medication can be at best gruelling and at worst life threatening for individuals suffering from the debilitating disease.
Brain Resource, a Sydney and San Francisco – based neurological innovation company, has published a breakthrough precision medical test that could make that process a thing of the past.
The Brain Resource Depression Treatment Test is an easy to use, 40-minute online assessment completed by the patient, that helps clinicians to choose among the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications for over 10% of adult Americans who are taking antidepressant medication. The test evaluates cognition (such as memory and focus) and emotion function (such as accuracy in identifying face emotions) that in turn inform the clinician and patient as to the chance of responding and not responding to the three most commonly used antidepressants: escitalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine.
A result of an 8-year, 1,800 patient, 17 site, 5 country international study conducted in conjunction with leading universities including Cornell, Stanford, Miami, Sydney and others, the test is currently being evaluated for marketing approval from the Food and Drug Administration in America.
If successful, the test will change how medications are selected for depressed patients. Rather than one to several medication trials, each of which can take 6 or more weeks to find the right medication for a specific patient, the test can shorten that process by increasing the chances of getting to the right medication and avoiding ineffective medications early in the treatment planning.
The Test makes one of three recommendations based on each patient’s test profile: Likely to Remit, Not Likely to Remit, or No Recommendation for each medication. The test’s performance with each medication, as well as its ability to identify with high certainty the likelihood or responding and of not responding to each medication is detailed in the recently published peer-reviewed article in the Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. If successfully replicated in a pending study, this test will be the first to assist clinical decision makers in targeting the right medication to the right patients, thereby avoiding a potentially prolonged series of treatment attempts for many depressed patients.
This breakthrough research represents the first clinically useful, point of care test that begins to realise the promise of the personalised medicine approach for depressed patients and their families by helping to better match individual patients and specific treatments in a time and cost efficient manner, that reduces patient burden in finding the right treatment.
Brain Resource’s Depression Treatment Test will be immediately available to physicians in America pending FDA approval, using Brain Resource’s online platform (MyBrainSolutions.com) that currently sells brain exercises to generate new habits.