Major depressive disorder, or depression, is a serious condition that affects close to 2,000,000 Canadians every year. It can impact individuals of all ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic groups. Depression can be debilitating for an individual, and can also strain relationships, compromise work functioning, worsen physical health and sometimes even lead to death. Many treatments exist, such as medication, psychotherapy, and neurostimulation – but, there is currently no way to know which particular treatment is best for a specific person. As a result, treatments are chosen that have been proven effective using averages over large groups of people. However, for an individual person, the first treatment is the right one only about half of the time. The Ontario Brain Institute challenged neuroscientists across the province to come up with a new approach to addressing mood disorders, in the context of an Integrated Discovery Program. The Canadian Biomarker Integration Network for Depression (CAN-BIND) program is a research-based innovative initiative designed to improve the care of depression from diagnosis to treatment.
The goal of the CAN-BIND program is to identify clear and objective ways of matching the right treatment to the right patients for various types of depression. A biomarker, or biological marker, is characteristic that is objectively measured as an indicator of a biological state (i.e. normal process, pathogenic process or pharmacological response). CAN-BIND is dedicated to reducing the impact of depression and improving treatment by identifying biomarkers that will help guide treatment selection. This approach aims to integrate molecular, imaging, and clinical information to match the right treatment to the right patient.
CAN-BIND is a cross-Canada study of people who are receiving standard treatments for depression, and will also receive blood tests, MRI scans, and clinical evaluations. The investigators involved in the program are looking for the best combination of these tests to provide a profile that successfully identifies the correct treatment for each individual person.
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