A combination of nutrient-based medications are being used in a study by the Universities of Melbourne and Queensland to aid in the treatment of clinical depression.
The research has shown that the biologically active nutrients in the medication, when mixed with a patient’s existing antidepressant medication, can assist with enhancing mood. Since depression is known to be caused by a number of biological reasons, the nutrients are important because of their antidepressant properties, which can target particular brain chemical pathways.
The University of Melbourne’s lead researched Dr Jerome Sarris said that the combination of antidepressants and nutrients can assist some patients.
“Current treatment for clinical depression is lacking, with about two-thirds of people treated with first-line antidepressants having an inadequate response. An emerging approach to treat depression is via the ‘add-on’ use of specific nutrients,” Dr Sarris said.
This eight-week NHMRC-funded study is testing a combination of nutrients with individual evidence as mood-elevators (including S-adenosyl methionine + tryptophan + folic acid + omega-3 + zinc, and co-factors).
“If a positive outcome is achieved, this will have a significant impact on clinical practice, providing the public with an ‘evidence-based’ approach to enhancing the response of antidepressants, and improving depression treatment,” Dr Sarris said.
“This will have a significant effect on the way depression is treated and have a beneficial effect for sufferers of clinical depression.”
The study is recruiting adults in Victoria and South Eastern Queensland with current depression who are not responding to their antidepressant treatment. Studies are being conducted at the Melbourne Clinic in Melbourne and The Royal Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Herston, Brisbane.
Depression is a crippling mental disorder affecting up to 1 in 7 Australians at some point in their life.