Depression Resilience and Neural Connectivity

Peter Forster Basic Science, Major Depression, Psychobiology Leave a Comment

Much has been written about risk factors for depression but we know less about depression resilience factors. Why do some people at high risk develop depression, while others do not. A study conducted at Stanford by Adina S. Fischer, MD PhD, and colleagues, suggests that increased regulation of limbic areas (the parts of the brain that are most directly involved in …

State and Trait Brain Function in Depression

State and Trait Brain Function in Depression

Peter Forster Basic Science, Major Depression, Psychobiology Leave a Comment

Understanding the neurobiology of depression involves more than just knowing about serotonin, we need to know how state and trait brain function in depression is different from brain functioning in those who have never had a major depression. State and trait are key concepts in understanding psychiatric conditions: state refers to those alterations in functioning that occur when someone is …

ketamine long term effects

Long Term Effects of Ketamine

Peter Forster Major Depression, Treatments of Depression Leave a Comment

One of my patients asked me what the long term effects of ketamine are. She was particularly interested in long-term adverse effects. The last time I did a review of the literature I noted that there seem to be very little information available. This is not surprising with the psychiatric literature since ketamine and its use for chronic depression are …

Reduced Gene Expression in Reward Center is Linked to Depression

Peter Forster Basic Science, Major Depression, Psychobiology Leave a Comment

Researchers from the University of Maryland have conducted a series of experiments in mice and humans leading them to conclude that reduced gene expression in the reward center is linked to depression. Specifically, the researchers found that there was reduced expression of the Slc6a15 gene in the brains of people with major depression who committed suicide, and that expression of this …

Functional Brain Imaging in Depression

Peter Forster Basic Science, Best Practices, Major Depression, Psychobiology, Testing, Treatments of Depression

Is there a role for functional brain imaging in depression? Many people seeking treatment are interested in the notion that the brain imaging, particularly imaging that looks at neural activity, might be useful in guiding treatment. Up until the last couple of years the answer to this question has always been that the role is primarily restricted to research settings …

Ketamine for Depression – 2017

Peter Forster Bipolar Treatment, Major Depression, Treatments of Depression

I just got back from an inspiring conference in Berkeley on Ketamine for Depression. I am eager to implement some changes in how we work with people we refer or provide ketamine infusion for that may make the treatment more effective. The conference was organized by Alison McInnes, MD, MS, who is in charge of the Kaiser, San Francisco Ketamine Treatment Program, …

Ketamine Guidelines

Peter Forster Best Practices, Treatments of Depression

Ketamine guidelines have recently been published by American Psychiatric Association Council of Research Task Force on Novel Biomarkers and Treatments. They highlight what we know and what we don’t know about this treatment. What We Know “Several studies now provide evidence of ketamine hydrochloride’s ability to produce rapid and robust antidepressant effects in patients with mood and anxiety disorders that were previously resistant …

Depression Biology and Treatment

Peter Forster Anxiety, Basic Science, Major Depression, Psychobiology, Treatments of Depression

New research on depression biology and treatment highlights the rapid increase in knowledge in this area in the last decade. In this post we will summarize some of these research findings briefly. This brief tour will take us to a newly discovered protein that may be a vital link between stress and depression. A genome wide search for changes associated …