When you are sick, your doctor learns more about what is wrong to decide how to treat you. Today, depression is also treatable, but some treatments don’t work as well for some people as for others. This is why the National Institute of Mental Health has funded our EMBARC study, which stands for Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care.
What’s A Biosignature?
A biosignature is a unique combination of features about you and your illness. For a sore throat, your doctor checks for fever, body aches, high white blood cell count, and other symptoms, and combines that information with tests that identify the specific germ making you sick. Then, he or she chooses the right treatment. Recently, scientists have learned a lot about depression and have many potential tests that could be used as part of a biosignature. But we need help to learn which tests provide the best answers for real world patients.
Once we have a Biosignature, then what?
Today, if you go to your doctor about depression, he or she has over twenty different medications available to help you. But it’s a guessing game to figure out which one to try and you may have to try several until you find the right one for you. This means weeks, or possibly months, of taking medications that don’t help enough. With a biosignature, your doctor will be able to treat you with the medication that has the best chance of success first.
How Can You Help?
We are currently seeking people to take part in this research study. The study involves scans of the brain, blood draws, and other non-invasive tests. Once those are completed, participants will be given treatment approved by the FDA to see if their depressive symptoms improve. We also provide a modest monetary reimbursement for time and effort to those participating in the study.
To find out more or to speak with study staff about how you or a loved one can participate in this study, please fill out the form on the Contact Us page or call the locations nearest you. We have sites in Ann Arbor, Boston, Dallas, and New York.