Health Watch — Depression Study: The First Step

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about treatment of depression. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have recently reported results on the largest study yet on treating the condition. The doctors participating in the study took a step-by-step approach to treatment in order to find the best ways of achieving results.

The first treatment step was medication. All patients in the study initially took the same medication. Dr. A. John Rush, the UT Southwestern psychiatrist who led the study, said about half of the patients were helped in this first step. A third of the patients recovered fully at this step. Another 10 percent to 15 percent had some improvement but didn’t recover fully. Patients took the medication for up to 14 weeks. Their doctors monitored symptoms and side effects in order to adjust dosages as needed.

Next: Later treatment steps. 


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March 2007

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