Dr. Gollan to Start NIMH Study on Depression
Dr. Jackie Gollan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine, along with Dr. John Cacioppo, Professor of Psychology at the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at The University of Chicago, and Dr Catherine Norris, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College, are working together to study the physiological markers of depression, and whether those markers serve as predictors of successful outcome using behavioral therapy for depression.
This innovative translational project funded by NIMH is the first clinical study investigating whether depressed patients experience more physiological change post-treatment when following a Behavioral Activation protocol.
Depression occurs in as much as 17% percent of the population (Blazer et al., 1994), with approximately a 2:1 ratio of women to men (Kessler et al., 2003). When major depression emerges, established treatments can improve mood over time. Two randomized clinical studies on behavioral activation by Dr. Gollan and colleagues indicate that 60% of individuals respond to Behavioral Activation (Dimidjian et al., 2006; Gollan, Gortner, & Dobson, 2006), leading to the hypothesis that physiological markers of depression will show similar normalization among those responding to treatment. This addition to the existing procedures for the care of depression could help to restore patients’ mood to their pre-depressed levels and improve available treatment.
A description of the research activities at Dr. Gollan’s Stress and Depression Lab (SADLAB) are on its webpage. Clinical activities focused on depression in the Department of Psychiatry are at the Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders webpage. The webpage for Dr. John Cacioppo at The University of Chicago is http://psychology.uchicago.edu/people/faculty/cacioppo/index.shtml, and for Dr. Catherine Norris at Dartmouth it is http://norris.socialpsychology.org/.