Blood Test for Depression

Peter Forster Basic Science, Diagnosis, Major Depression, Psychobiology, Testing, Treatments of Depression

How many times has a new patient in the clinic asked, “isn’t there a blood test for depression?” Always in the past we had to say that there were no reliable tests that could identify depression. There was some evidence that functional brain imaging could do so but the technique was expensive and experimental. In an article published in the …

TMS Improves Memory

Peter Forster Psychobiology, Treatments of Depression

TMS improves memory. According to a study published in the Aug. 29 issue of the journal Science, “electrically stimulating a portion of the brain that coordinates the way the mind works can enhance memory and improve learning.” The researchers used Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to indirectly stimulate activity in the hippocampus, a key part of the brain involved in the storage …

Cortisol and Depression

Peter Forster Psychobiology

A middle aged man with depression came in today for his first psychiatric evaluation. He had lots of questions about the relationship between cortisol and depression, because his first serious depression, at age 45, occurred in the context of a severe work stress. And this work stress was associated with many physical manifestations of stress – fatigue, severely disrupted sleep, …