In this medical video learn how a new way to measure how brainwaves react to medications may cut down how much time it takes to find the right depression medications.
Read the full transcript »
Jennifer Matthews: This is how Julie Govinden has spent the last 10 years of her life, alone. Julie Govinden: I just really lost touch with friends and family. Jennifer Matthews: Julie was living in the fog of depression. Julie Govinden: I did try to commit suicide. I felt as though I was not a person worthy of being here. Jennifer Matthews: She tried taking antidepressants, but couldn't find one that helped. With more than 20 drugs on the market, Julie isn't alone. Andrew Leuchter: Not every antidepressant is going to work well for each individual. Jennifer Matthews: And Doctor Andrew Leuchter says the drugs takes a long time to work, sometimes months. Andrew Leuchter: The challenge we face is trying to get people on the right medicine quickly and get them to stay with the medicine long enough to get well. Jennifer Matthews: Now, this technology maybe the answer. It's a new version of an EEG, a test that measures brain wave activity. As part of a clinical trial, participants like Juline had the 10-minute test before and after starting a new treatment. The EEG was about 85% accurate at predicting if a patient responded to a particular drug within one week of taking it. Andrew Leuchter: If they show the right signal, we can say with a pretty good degree of certainty, you know, that's the right medication. Jennifer Matthews: Through this research, Julie finally found an antidepressant that worked. Julie Govinden: I'm slowly getting back in touch with my family. I get up on the weekends and do things, rather than sleeping. You know, I'm happier. Jennifer Matthews: And looking forward to the future. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.