The risk algorithm, developed by a team led by UCL Professors Michael King and Irwin Nazareth, was tested in 6,000 people visiting their family doctor in six countries in Europe (UK, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Estonia).
Its accuracy was also tested in nearly 3,000 GP attendees in a further country, Chile, in South America. The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, followed-up the participants at six and 12 months. The team modelled their approach on risk indices for heart disease, which provide a percentage risk estimate over a given time period. The algorithm was as accurate at predicting future episodes of depression as similar instruments developed in Europe to predict future risk of heart problems.
A website has been set up for the risk algorithm, at www.ucl.ac.uk/predict-depression/.
Further testing of the tool as an early detector of depression is planned in randomised trials of prevention in Europe. The team are also exploring the feasibility of using the instrument in China, with plans to set up a study on the prediction of depression in a Chinese community setting. This would be the first ever research initiative of its kind within Asia.
Professor Michael King, UCL Department of Mental Health Sciences, says: “Depression is a common problem throughout the world, but although we know how to treat it, we know very little about how to prevent its onset. We have ways of predicting the onset of heart disease or stroke, but none for predicting people’s risk of major depression. Our study is one of the first to develop a risk algorithm for just this purpose.”
“Risk tools such as ours are needed to focus more effort on preventing depression. For example, people identified as at risk by an online tool could be flagged on a GP’s computer. Recognition of those at risk could help with watchful waiting or active support, such as restarting treatment in patients with a history of depression. Patients could also be advised on the nature of depression or on cognitive behaviour therapies to help reduce their risk of developing major depression.”
“Major depression is now a leading cause of illness and disability world-wide and reducing its prevalence is one of the greatest public health challenges of the twenty-first century. Depression will rank second to cardiovascular disease as a global cause of disability by 2020. Up to a quarter of people who visit their doctor experience major depression, with relapses frequently occurring for up to 10 years.”
“The next stage of our research will be to establish how GPs could use our tool to help prevent the onset of depression. We are hoping to run a large-scale trial to explore the tool’s use in prevention.”
Jenny Gimpel | alfa
Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen
Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine