Clinical depression is a global problem that may lead to substantial disability. Major depressive disorder is a psychiatric condition diagnosed in people with depressed mood or loss of interest in daily activities (Kopschina Feltes et al., 2017). Other symptoms include disrupted sleep patterns, weight changes, loss of energy, lack of concentration, and suicidal ideation (Kopschina Feltes et al., 2017). Conventional anti-depressant medications were developed based on knowledge about the pathophysiology of the disease. However, many patients develop depression resistant to traditional therapy, making researchers reconsider their understanding of the disease (Kopschina Feltes et al., 2017). For example, some scientists claim that a high level of pro-inflammatory cytokines contributes to symptom aggravation and treatment failure (Kopschina Feltes et al., 2017). Therefore, the hypothesis that will be tested is that patients with treatment-resistant depression who will receive anti-inflammatory therapy will have lower levels of pro-inflammatory markers and improved symptoms compared to the control group.
The hypothesis in this study will be tested in patients who were diagnosed with a major depressive disorder that is not responsive to therapy. These patients will be randomly divided into two groups, experimental and control. Both groups will be evaluated for symptoms of depression before and after the study. Blood levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines will be checked in these two groups before and after the experiment. The experimental group will receive an anti-inflammatory drug for one year, while the control group will get a placebo. After completing this study, results will be evaluated and compared to accept or reject the hypothesis.
Overall, clinical depression unresponsive to medications is an enormous problem in psychiatry. Research shows that inflammation causes resistance to therapy in major depression. If I were a scientist, I would test the hypothesis that anti-inflammatory treatment can alleviate symptoms in patients with depression by reducing inflammation. This study would have experimental and control groups of patients receiving treatment and placebo, respectively. One-year research would help to obtain accurate results for testing this hypothesis.
Kopschina Feltes, P., Doorduin, J., Klein, H. C., Juárez-Orozco, L. E., Dierckx, R. A., Moriguchi-Jeckel, C. M., & de Vries, E. F. (2017). Anti-inflammatory treatment for major depressive disorder: implications for patients with an elevated immune profile and non-responders to standard antidepressant therapy. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 31(9), 1149–1165. Web.