Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D. applies genomics and genetics to advance depression research

If you suffered from depression in the 1970s – and if you sought help for your depression – you probably would have been put on medication and undergone psychotherapy. It would have taken 2-6 weeks for the medication to help you get better, if it was going to help.

If you didn’t see an improvement with the combination of medication and psychotherapy, your doctor would have tried different drugs in what was basically a practice of trial and error to find out which drug, if any, worked for you. If your depression persisted, a more involved option was electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which basically induces a seizure and may cause memory loss.

You might be surprised to learn that now, 30-40 years later, treatment options for depression remain about the same as they were in the 1970s. A depressed patient today has no higher odds of getting better than he would have back in the 1970s, says Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D.

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