Akil Group

Project Summary

While depression in many individuals can be treated with currently available drugs, there exists a very large proportion of depressed people who do not respond to any known medications and are considered “treatment resistant.” Even if these individuals show some improvement with antidepressants, the chances of relapse are extremely high and each episode of depression may become progressively more severe, more lengthy and more difficult to treat. The goal of this study is to understand the brain biology of treatment resistance and of relapse in depression. We plan to create an animal model to study how the brain loses its ability to “bounce back” from the illness and identify the genes and molecules that are involved in this loss of resilience. These molecules are potential targets for new classes of antidepressant drugs.