Deep phenotyping towards precision psychiatry of first-episode depression - the Brain Drugs-Depression cohort

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BACKGROUND: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a heterogenous brain disorder, with potentially multiple psychosocial and biological disease mechanisms. This is also a plausible explanation for why patients do not respond equally well to treatment with first- or second-line antidepressants, i.e., one-third to one-half of patients do not remit in response to first- or second-line treatment. To map MDD heterogeneity and markers of treatment response to enable a precision medicine approach, we will acquire several possible predictive markers across several domains, e.g., psychosocial, biochemical, and neuroimaging.

METHODS: All patients are examined before receiving a standardised treatment package for adults aged 18-65 with first-episode depression in six public outpatient clinics in the Capital Region of Denmark. From this population, we will recruit a cohort of 800 patients for whom we will acquire clinical, cognitive, psychometric, and biological data. A subgroup (subcohort I, n = 600) will additionally provide neuroimaging data, i.e., Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Electroencephalogram, and a subgroup of patients from subcohort I unmedicated at inclusion (subcohort II, n = 60) will also undergo a brain Positron Emission Tomography with the [ 11C]-UCB-J tracer binding to the presynaptic glycoprotein-SV2A. Subcohort allocation is based on eligibility and willingness to participate. The treatment package typically lasts six months. Depression severity is assessed with the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS) at baseline, and 6, 12 and 18 months after treatment initiation. The primary outcome is remission (QIDS ≤ 5) and clinical improvement (≥ 50% reduction in QIDS) after 6 months. Secondary endpoints include remission at 12 and 18 months and %-change in QIDS, 10-item Symptom Checklist, 5-item WHO Well-Being Index, and modified Disability Scale from baseline through follow-up. We also assess psychotherapy and medication side-effects. We will use machine learning to determine a combination of characteristics that best predict treatment outcomes and statistical models to investigate the association between individual measures and clinical outcomes. We will assess associations between patient characteristics, treatment choices, and clinical outcomes using path analysis, enabling us to estimate the effect of treatment choices and timing on the clinical outcome.

DISCUSSION: The BrainDrugs-Depression study is a real-world deep-phenotyping clinical cohort study of first-episode MDD patients.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registered at November 15th, 2022 (NCT05616559).

TidsskriftBMC Psychiatry
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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© 2023. The Author(s).

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