Guest Bloggers

  • Louisa Benton

    Executive Director

  • Steven P. Roose, M.D

    Professor of Clinical Psychiatry

  • Huda Akil, Ph.D

    DTF Chair

New Hope for PTSD Treatment,
May 16, 2019

Newly Identified Neural Circuit May Be Target for Future PTSD Treatments

A research team funded by the Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) has identified a specific circuit of young adult-born neurons in the brain that plays a key role in the recognition of a safe versus hazardous situations.

Their findings, recently published in Science, could pave the way for more targeted treatments for conditions such as PTSD that are associated with hypervigilance and recurrent distressing memories.

“Without these cells, we would be incapable of distinguishing similar situations from each other, a process sometimes termed pattern separation, which is critical not only for forming novel memories but also for discriminating between safe and dangerous contexts,” said the study’s senior investigator, René Hen, PhD, of Columbia University, and a founding member of HDRF’s Depression Task Force.

Click here to read the full article…

Breaking Bad Habits,
April 18, 2019

As we head into summer, many of us are taking stock of habits we resolved to change at the start of the year. Perhaps we are trying to eat better, start a new exercise regime, get to bed earlier, or even quit smoking.

Despite our resolve, we have a hard time sticking to the program. In this letter we are going to address what makes us have such a hard time changing our habits, and how we might be able to improve.

Bad habits take a very long time to learn, but in the end, they become almost ingrained. This makes it no surprise that they can also take a lot of hard work and time to unlearn. While pure willpower is certainly important, there is a lot more to changing your behavior than just having good intentions. Below are four main steps you can take to help boost your success:

Click here to read the full article…

Neuroscience Delivers New Drug for Postpartum Depression,
March 22, 2019

F.D.A. Approves Drug for Postpartum Depression

One in nine women in the United States experience symptoms of postpartum depression, a terrifying illness that is often difficult to treat.

That’s why we’re excited by news that the FDA has approved Brexanolone, a drug over 40 years in the making that is the first ever to specifically target the condition.  (New York Times: F.D.A. Approves First Drug for Postpartum Depression)

The approval of Brexanolone is a cause for celebration for the entire field of neuroscience.

“It is one of the first drugs that fulfills the promise of basic neuroscience to provide truly novel and effective treatments for psychiatric disorders,” said National Institute of Mental Health Director Dr. Joshua Gordon, who was also a founding member of HDRF’s Depression Task Force before he was tapped by the federal government.

Click here to read the full article…

Audrey Gruss Honored as Woman of Distinction by Palm Beach Atlantic University,
March 5, 2019

Bonnie McElveen-Hunter (2018 Women of Distinction honoree) , Audrey Gruss,  Laurie Silvers, Candy Carson (2018 Women of Distinction honoree)

We are proud to announce that Hope for Depression Research (HDRF) founder and Chair Audrey Gruss recently was honored at the 2019 Women of Distinction luncheon by Palm Beach Atlantic (PBA) University in Florida.

The luncheon, held February 19 at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, is an annual event in its 28th year that honors women who have made significant contributions to the community. Proceeds fund scholarships for young women at the University.

In her remarks, Gruss told the 450 people gathered for the luncheon about her resolve to launch the Hope for Depression Research Foundation in 2006.   It was the pain of watching her own mother struggle with severe depression for over 30 years, Gruss explained, that opened her eyes to her life’s greater purpose.

Click here to read the full article…

Novel Depression Treatment in the News,
February 15, 2019

In a milestone for the field, the new drug Esketamine is expected to be approved by the FDA

Many of you have seen in the headlines that a new antidepressant is expected to soon be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The New York Times reported yesterday that an advisory panel at the agency has voted in favor of recommending approval of the new drug, the nasal spray Esketamine, to treat severely depressed patients.  Developed by Johnson & Johnson, Esketamine is a form of ketamine,  an anesthetic for humans and also a powerful sedative for horses.  (Click here for the story.)

If approved, Esketamine would provide patients that have failed more than two depression treatments with a rapidly-acting drug that is effective in a matter of days.   Currently available antidepressants can take several weeks before they are effective.  Its rapid action makes ketamine a valuable treatment for suicidal depression.

Click here to read the full article…