Biomarkers Predicting Antidepressant Treatment Response: How Can We Advance the Field?
An optimized translational approach for the discovery of biosignatures predictive of antidepressant treatment response. To overcome some of the major constraints of current depression research, translational research needs to start with questions that arise from daily clinical problems and translates those into a valid animal experimental approach modelling the clinical situation as close as possible. This enables us to identify potential candidates, for example genes, proteins, or biosignatures predicting antidepressant response in our mouse model. Already at this very early step animal data need to be integrated with patients’ data to generate strong candidates. Only those candidates or biomarker panels which show up in both species are considered strong candidates which then can be investigated in detail with respect to their potential predicting antidepressant drug response. Further steps will be the development of a diagnostic kit based on the quantitative assessment of protein and/or metabolite levels or gene expression in patient blood prior to or early after the onset of treatment. The results of this assay will predict whether a particular treatment will be effective for an individual patient and enable the psychiatrist to make an educated and objective decision on what antidepressant to use for which patient.
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