Simple Blood Test May Help Diagnose Bipolar Disorder

adminDiagnosis, Psychobiology, Testing Leave a Comment

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings, from manic highs to depressive lows. It can be a difficult condition to diagnose, as the symptoms can overlap with other conditions, such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, etcetera. A new study from the University of Cambridge suggests that some day a blood test could help to diagnose bipolar …

New Antidepressant Stimulates Neuron Growth

Peter ForsterTreatments of Depression

The results of a clinical trial published in December in Molecular Psychiatry suggest that a new medication (NSI-189) which has been shown to increase the production of cells in the hippocampus and the amygdala in pre-clinical studies may help treat major depression. The results highlight the evidence that has been accumulating that stimulating the production of new cells in the hippocampus (neurogenesis) …

Lurasidone for Depression with Mixed Features

Peter ForsterBipolar Treatment, Diagnosis, Major Depression, Treatments of Depression

Lurasidone (Latuda) May Treat Depression with Mixed Features A recently published clinical trial suggests that lurasidone, which is an atypical antipsychotic with strong evidence for efficacy in treating bipolar depression, may be associated with response in patients who, according to DSM5, do not meet criteria for bipolar disorder, but do have evidence of mixed features. The study points to the importance …

ABCB1 Gene Predicts Antidepressant Response

Peter ForsterBasic Science, Major Depression, Psychobiology, Testing, Treatments of Depression

An article that will soon appear in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggests that it may be possible to predict who will respond to different antidepressants using a genetic test. The study looked at whether by testing for specific genetic variants of a protein involved in transporting drugs and other potentially toxic substances into and out of cells and across the blood …

Bipolar Depression

Peter ForsterBipolar Treatment, Treatments of Depression

The recent presentation that I gave at UCSF on this topic allowed me to review all of the controlled clinical trials related to the treatment of bipolar depression. In a follow-up post I plan on talking about some of the exciting new developments that suggest that we will soon, and to some extent do already, have some very promising approaches …

Bipolar Depression Update

Peter ForsterBipolar Treatment, GPS Update

On Thursday at noon Dr. Peter Forster, our clinical director, will be giving a presentation to the UCSF Department of Psychiatry Mood Disorder Grand Rounds on the topic of “Bipolar Depression: An Update.” He will be reviewing the recent literature on new treatment options and will summarize some of the talk findings in a future blog post.    

Anhedonia and Ketamine

Peter ForsterBipolar Treatment, Psychobiology, Treatments of Depression

Anhedonia, meaning the loss of the normal experience of pleasure in life, can be one of the most troubling symptoms of depression. And also one for which we have relatively few treatments. We know that a small group of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmentum (limbic system) which project to the prefrontal cortex, among other locations in the brain, are …

TMS Media – The Doctors

Peter ForsterTreatments of Depression

TMS Media – “The Doctors” December 3 I am excited to share with you that on December 3rd “The Doctors” featured a segment on TMS. Todd Hutton, MD,  Medical Director, Southern California TMS Center, was invited to appear with a patient who is doing great 18 months post TMS treatment. I hope you can watch and that this contributes to further awareness …

Beta Catenin and Depression

Peter ForsterBasic Science, Major Depression, Psychobiology

Beta catenin is a molecule that may play a key role in preventing depression in those exposed to stress, at least if mice and humans share the same biology. Beta catenin is involved in a number of quite different functions in the cell. To give you an idea, it may be involved in the development of cancer (it is a …

Anhedonia Treatment with Ketamine

Peter ForsterBipolar Treatment, Treatments of Depression

The treatment of anhedonia and bipolar depression can be very difficult. An article published in Translational Psychiatry in October of 2014 highlights the role of glutametergic transmission in anhedonia and points to the potentially unique efficacy of ketamine in treating this stubborn problem. Anhedonia, the lack (an-) of pleasure (-hedonia), is one of the 2 main symptoms of a major …