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UMCG starts two studies on changes in depressive symptoms

01 May 2017

The UMCG is starting two new studies on the process of change in depression. Both studies aim to discover if there are early warning signals of an impending change in depressive symptoms. The first study will investigate what happens as patients taper their antidepressant medication and if a possible relapse can be predicted at an early stage. The second study will map what happens as people recover from depression. 

Psychiatric symptoms fluctuate over time. A patient who has suffered from a depressive episode in the past may not have symptoms for a long period of time. However, there is an increased risk that he or she will relapse at a certain point in time. A crucial question is whether it is possible to predict if such a sudden transition will occur in the near future. The two new studies will investigate whether shifts in psychiatric symptoms are preceded by early warning signals. This would generate patient-specific information about an impending transition towards higher or lower levels of depressive symptoms. Both studies are being carried out as part of the ‘TRANSitions in Depression’ study (TRANS-ID), which has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC consolidator grant).

In both studies, the individual process of change will be recorded precisely with daily measurements of emotions, behaviour, movement, and heart rate. This will make it possible, for the first time, to generate personalized models and discover what precedes a change in depression symptoms in an individual.

The study on tapering of antidepressants (TRANS-ID tapering) will be performed in individuals with a history of depression and who have made a shared decision with their GP or psychiatrist to taper their antidepressants. The study on recovery from depression (TRANS-ID recovery) will be performed in individuals who currently have depressive symptoms and will start  a psychological treatment in the near future.

Anyone who has suffered from depression in the past and who has made a shared decision with their GP or psychiatrist to taper their antidepressants, can take part in the study on  tapering of antidepressants (TRANS-ID tapering). Anyone who now suffers from depression and will soon start a psychological treatment can take part in the study on recovery from depression (TRANS-ID recovery).

For more information on the studies see: www.transid.nl

For more information on principal investigator Marieke Wichers and the method used in the studies, see the following links: