Education & Outreach

Why and How We Study Depression

Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD), is a common illness that causes a persistent feeling of sadness. All ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic groups are vulnerable to depression, and it has very high personal, social and economic costs. Depression is also a major cause of death, particularly in young people, through suicide.

Finding effective depression treatment can take a long time

There are many treatments available that have proven to be effective in research studies involving large groups of people. For each individual, however, the first treatment tried is effective less than half the time. People with depression often have to try multiple treatments to find one that works, which can be a time-consuming and disheartening process. To add to this challenge, the risk of relapse for depression is high.

Depression biomarkers have the potential to transform depression care

The CAN-BIND network was created to address the need for accurate and rapid treatment of depression. To do this, CAN-BIND researchers are identifying objective measures, known as “biomarkers”, which can tell us how likely someone will benefit from a particular depression treatment.

Depression biomarkers will help guide treatment selection by helping doctors to quickly and reliably match the right depression treatment to the right patient. Depression biomarkers could have a transformative impact on the mental health and well-being of Canadians by delivering prompt, precise treatment strategies.


Our Approach

CAN-BIND Research Approach