If you've tried antidepressants to treat your depression, you probably already know this, but finding the right one can be a trial.
<p>About <a href="http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression" target="_blank">1 in 5</a> Americans will experience major depression during their lifetime. Antidepressant medication, either alone or in combination with things like <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/home/ovc-20186868" target="_blank">cognitive behavior therapy</a> or exercise, can be a powerful tool to help people live with depression — if it works.</p><h2>Unfortunately, the go-to antidepressants don't work for more than half of the people who try them.</h2><p>And about a third of all patients never find their perfect fit. This lack of response to the medication isn't anyone's fault — our bodies just work differently. <strong>But if you're looking to get help and worry about finding the right medication, a pretty amazing new tool could help.</strong></p><p>If you've gone through this, you know the trial and error process can be physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. It can mean weeks or months of wondering what each new thought means: whether those couple of sleepless nights are a new side effect or just run-of-the-mill insomnia; whether the medication is having any effect at all.</p><p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTQ3Mzc4My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyOTE5MzM0MX0.NF8QvxbI_4sG6OHHYojCxqF0A55EwzZXnsVQFr8Mqcs/img.jpg?width=980" id="5d3e9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="52448e7678cf061609623b3d4799ea02" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"></p><p class="image-caption">Is this a side effect or just restlessness? At 3 a.m., the line can be hard to see. Image from iStock.</p><h2>Wouldn't it be awesome if we could skip some of that trial and error?</h2><p>That's what a group of researchers in England is working on. Their research was just published in <a href="http://ijnp.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/06/02/ijnp.pyw045" target="_blank">The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology</a>.</p><h2>Their idea is a premedication blood test that would help find the right medication faster.</h2><p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTQ3Mzc4NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDQ3MTc5NH0.Wh3nMnRG2dIEspzyd6D_H1MdACJOBKS8fb_gg1iqVqA/img.jpg?width=980" id="e9f0a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e9df17c44901c0fa0ef91cb183d684b6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"></p><p class="image-caption">Image from iStock.</p><p>Over the past few years, scientists have been figuring out more and more about how depression affects our bodies. This new blood test measures the level of two biomarkers — or chemical signals — that have previously been linked to poor medication responses.</p><p>What they found is that different people had different levels of these biomarkers. If you were above a certain threshold, you had a 99% chance that the go-to meds wouldn't work for you.<strong> With this test, these people could save the time they would have spent in the past trying meds that would never work for them to begin with.</strong></p><h2>This new test could help more than half of the people who suffer from depression jump weeks — or even months — ahead in their treatment.</h2><p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTQ3Mzc4NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDIyNzYxM30.OMm83dhEapfH38I8-F9AlajrAToN80vYG-UuH8QLNuI/img.jpg?width=980" id="c7966" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a3182afc655f501f4eed3d6fd8213fb5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"><br></p><p class="image-caption">Image from iStock.</p><p>It's not a crystal ball — patients and psychiatrists would still need to work together to figure out the specifics — but instead a frustrating period of trial and error, some patients could skip straight to different medications, combinations, or non-medication-based treatments altogether.</p><p><strong>This might sound like a simple thing, but if you've gone through those weeks of trial and error yourself, you know how much a relief this would be.</strong></p><p>Brian Dow of the nonprofit <a href="https://www.rethink.org/" target="_blank">Rethink Mental Illness</a> was reported by <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/depression-treatment-blood-test-antidepressant-drugs-symptoms-patients-a7068466.html" target="_blank">The Independent</a> as saying, "We hope this new research creates a much needed shortcut to a future where it's no longer luck of the draw when it comes to vital medication."<br></p><h2>The next step is to take this from proof-of-concept to clinical trial.</h2><p>Now that the science seems to back up the idea, the next step for scientists is to actually try it out in a clinical setting and see if it truly does work better than current methods.</p><p>In the future, treating depression could become easier and faster, helping people avoid the hassle of trial and error and letting them focus on the most important thing: getting healthy.</p>
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