Many patients go through years and years of depression which stubbornly resists treatment. Therapy, SSRIs, even ECT, can all fail to provide any shift.
But a recent paper by Oxford psychiatrist Phil Cowen brings some light. In a readable and straightforward account, Cowen weighs-up the various options that are available, when first and second line antidepressant treatments are ineffective.
Depressed patients, GPs and psychiatrists will find the text very useful in selecting options – and in keeping hope alive. Topics covered include various combination and augmentation strategies and their statistical likelihood of success. Also, an expert appraisal of several new approaches, which are showing promise – including ketamine and psilocybin. Recent findings with pramipexole, a drug already used in neurology, are especially encouraging.
The full text published in the journal Psychological Medicine is available here.