Message from Dr. Sidney Kennedy

Message from Dr. Sidney Kennedy (Newsletter Issue 6)

The CAN-BIND program is at an exciting stage in its clinical research progress. Six of our 13 ongoing studies have completed participant enrolment, and our data analytics teams are working hard to analyze the data collected so far. One of the defining features of our studies is the integration of multiple types of data to drive new discoveries about depression. Integrative data analysis for our very first study, CAN-BIND-1, which aims to identify biomarkers of antidepressant treatment response, is underway. This analysis is being spearheaded by Dr. Rudolf Uher and we look forward to sharing results in 2019. After we review study results of candidate biomarkers that predict favourable response, our validation study will be launched.

Additionally, we are embarking on a new study led by Dr. Pierre Blier that will compare electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and intravenous ketamine for treatment-resistant depression. While it is an effective treatment, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has a number of drawbacks including adverse side effects, cost, and limited access. Recent research has demonstrated that intravenous ketamine is a promising rapidly-acting antidepressant, which may be an alternative to ECT.

We have also had a number of knowledge translation (KT) successes. Notably, the project team for the CHOICE-D Patient and Family Guide to Depression Treatment was awarded the 2018 Paula Goering Collaborative Research and Knowledge Translation Award. This is a national award that recognizes innovative integrated knowledge translation projects in the area of mental health and addictions. The team will be rolling out two workshop series in the New Year to ensure that the information in the CHOICE-D guide reaches those in the community who need it most. The guide is also being translated into French and Chinese; new language versions will be available in 2019.

I encourage you to continue reading this newsletter to learn about the headway we’ve made in both the research and outreach spheres in the past few months, and to explore the new knowledge products that this issue has to offer. This issue includes an inspiring spotlight story of our Community Advisory Committee member, Michael, and his commitment to volunteering for mental health, as well as blogs about the neuroimaging in depression research and augmentation therapy.

Wishing everyone a warm autumn season,

Sid Kennedy


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