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S10: #093: Brain in a Dish: Personalizing Depression Treatment for Every Individual

27 minutes

In this episode we dive into mental health. More specifically, the treatment of major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression. It is an area of tremendous need and one can be very well served through the solutions and approaches that are being developed and being made available to users around the world.

So, how big of a problem is severe depression? More than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, and at it’s worse, it can lead to suicide. Fewer than half of those suffering from depression are able to receive treatment due to limited resources, a lack of trained Health care providers, and of course, the social stigma that is still sadly associated with mental disorders.

There’s a host of treatment options for depression but the effectiveness of the treatments depend on the type of depression and its severity and, of course, each individual’s adherence and response. Some of the options include Psychotherapy, Psychoeducation and Support Groups, Medications, and Brain Stimulation Therapies. None of these options provide instant relief, and, like in the case of medications, it’s sometimes not known for many weeks if the treatment is effective at all. Antidepressants, for example, often take two to four weeks to begin having an effect, and up to 12 weeks to reach full effect.

With me today is Talia Cohen Solal, PhD, she’s the CEO and co-Founder of Genetika+. Genetika+ is developing a cellular and genetics-based platform to provide meaningful predictions of patient responses to antidepressants. Using biological, environmental and genetic data, they are developing a personalized solution for each patient to help them recover better and faster.

Today's Topics:

  • A quick background of Talia, her work and her on-going research focusing on mental health
  • The current statistics, stages of depression and how it impacts and individual and the society as a whole
  • The current treatment & medication available and how to measure their efficacy
  • How the trial and error approach does a disservice to patients
  • How the ‘Brain in a Dish' can accelerate patients getting onto therapies that produce the outcomes needed.

Links and Resources Mentioned:

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Start listening to S12: #113: Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on Women's Health, Social Determinants of Health, and the 'She-cession'
Start listening to S12: #113: Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on Women's Health, Social Determinants of Health, and the 'She-cession'