MQ Open Mind
Ep 2: Could an algorithm end the trial-and-error approach to mental health treatment?

Ep 2: Could an algorithm end the trial-and-error approach to mental health treatment?

August 14, 2017

Getting the right mental health treatment for you is often a game of trial and error – if one treatment doesn’t work, you’ll try another, and another, and another… People can wait months, sometimes even years, before they’re given a treatment that’s the right fit. It’s something that Mark Brown, mental health advocate and blogger, knows only too well.

After he was diagnosed with bipolar II he struggled to find the right combination of medication and therapy that worked for him – leaving him waiting years without the right help. We speak to Mark Brown about his experience and the researcher who’s aiming to transform how we select treatments – MQ-funded researcher Zach Cohen. Zach and his colleagues are creating and testing an algorithm which aims to predict which treatment option is right for a particular person.

If this works – doctors could have the tools to be able to select the right mental health treatment for a patient first time.

This episode is brought to you by MQ: Transforming Mental Health, the new major mental health research charity. Find out more about MQ’s work here: https://www.mqmentalhealth.org

 

Ep 1: Could problems with our immune system cause depression?

Ep 1: Could problems with our immune system cause depression?

August 14, 2017

1 in 4 people experience mental illness at some point each year and depression now affects a staggering 350 million people worldwide. Understanding the causes of depression is crucial if we’re to find ways of treating it effectively. And more and more research is suggesting that we look beyond our brains and into the immune system to find answers. We speak to Carmine Pariante, Professor of Biological Psychiatry at Kings College London, who’s been piecing together evidence on the role of our immune system in depression for 20 years. 

He explains why this research is considered by scientists to be "one of the strongest discoveries in psychiatry for the last 20 years", how it could revolutionise treatments and diagnosis and exactly why we think the immune system is causing changes in mood.

This episode is brought to you by MQ: Transforming Mental Health, the new major mental health research charity. Find out more about MQ’s work here: https://www.mqmentalhealth.org