Even with all the advances made in drug therapy for depressed people, finding the right medication has, until now, simply been a trial and error approach.

I know.

I’ve been on countless drugs, some less effective and some with untenable side effects, before finding the right combination that has worked for me for some time.  Each time I tried one, it was a matter of giving feedback to the doctor, who either felt I should continue the drug or try something else.

Now there is published research out of UT Southwestern Medical Center that has found they can match the right drug to a person by checking their C-reactive protein level in a blood test. C-reactive proteins have given medicine a clue to underlying inflammation for some years.

It would seem my gut feeling about brain inflammation and depression is being borne out.

From Science Daily:

“A study from Dr. Madhukar Trivedi … demonstrated that measuring a depressed patient’s C-reactive protein level can help doctors prescribe an antidepressant that is more likely to work.

A major national study Dr. Trivedi led more than a decade ago (STAR*D) gives insight into the prevalence of the problem: Up to a third of depressed patients don’t improve during their first medication, and about 40 percent of people who start taking antidepressants stop taking them within three months.

‘This outcome happens because they give up,’ said Dr. Trivedi, whose previous national study established widely accepted treatment guidelines for depressed patients. ‘Giving up hope is really a central symptom of the disease. However, if treatment selection is tied to a blood test and improves outcomes, patients are more likely to continue the treatment and achieve the benefit.'”

So if you are still trying to find just the right medication, this study seems to provide hope. It may not be available in your doctor’s office today, but I can’t help but think it is coming.