Depression, Biomarkers, Clinical trials
The overreaching hypothesis that frames our work is that depressive disorders are accompanied by, if not caused by, identifiable biological abnormalities that contribute to both the psychological and somatic aspects of these illnesses. This is a comprehensive hypothesis involving the study of several biomarkers including (but not limited to) cellular stress, inflammation, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, vitamin D, neurotransmitters, gut microbiome and brain imaging. Treatment of depression is hampered by the failure to identify distinct symptom profiles with distinct pathophysiologies that differentially respond to distinct treatments. We use blood, brain, and feces biomarkers to delineate specific subgroups of depression, and test the antidepressant efficacy of various interventions targeting these specific biological pathways. The goal of our research program is to advance precision psychiatry by tailoring antidepressant treatments.