There are a number of effective treatments for depression in adolescents, but as with any illness, some patients don't respond. As a field, how can child psychiatry better predict who will improve with medication, and anticipate which second-line treatments will be most effective when the first treatment doesn't produce the desired results? Large recent clinical trials provide some clues, as Graham Emslie, M.D., elucidated at the NYU Child Study Center's Grand Rounds on January 20, 2012.
Dr. Emslie's research found that patients who suffer from anxiety as well as depression; those with other co-existing disorders alongside their depression (known as comorbidity); those with substance abuse problems; those with a history of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; and those with less family support and involvement are often less responsive to treatment. He emphasized that it is important to keep trying; among patients who don't respond to the first treatment attempt, 50 percent do respond to the second treatment.
Dr. Emslie's presentation, a full video of which is available above, is entitled "Adolescent Depression: What Have We Learned from Recent Large Trials?" Dr. Emslie is Chief of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division; and Charles E. and Sarah M. Seay Chair and Assistant Professor in Child Psychiatry, at Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Children's Medical Center.
You can see more videos from the NYU Child Study Center's expert clinicians and Grand Rounds speakers at the NYU CSC YouTube channel.