There are several medications and therapies that work quite well for depression and there are some great new innovative options to treat depression as well. Dr. Susan Samuels, a psychotherapist at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, discusses the three promising areas of research around treatments for depression, which include new medications, new procedures, and implantable devices.
One medication that is being studied is called GABA, which is actually a naturally produced neurotransmitter in the brain that is involved in ambition and stress release. The focus in these studies is to increase the levels of GABA in the brain to treat depression.
Another new medication that is being studied is called Ketamine. Some questions researchers would like to answer about ketamine are how long the effects last and what some of the side effects are.
Transmagnetic Stimulation (TMS) was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of severe, treatment resistant depression. It is painless and it can be done as an outpatient procedure.
One of the new ways to treat depression involves a device called the Vagus Nerve Stimulator. It is a small device that is placed in your chest and is connected through a wire to a nerve in your neck. It sends small electric pulses to that nerve and that is thought to improve symptoms of depression.
While we do have many medications and treatments that we know are very effective, we're not stopping there for treatment of depression. We're always looking for new ways to treat it.