Devices to treat depression haven't had any big market breakthroughs. But key to achieving that is to show that they are a viable alternative to drug therapies--and that their impact can show a sustainable treatment benefit.
Lantern aims to put mental health services and professionals at the patient's fingertips with its online and mobile programs in cognitive behavioral therapy. To help it do so, Pittsburgh-based healthcare provider and payer UPMC is leading a $17 million investment and it also will partner with the San Francisco-based startup to conduct pilot testing of its approach.
Researchers say that persistent and high inflammation in the brain affects connections relating to important symptoms that are currently difficult to treat, triggering up to a third of all cases of depression. And they believe their discovery can point to other therapeutic remedies for depression
Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute say they were able to link a mutation with mitochondrial dysfunction that appeared to spur depression-like symptoms in mice.
The FGF9 protein plays a variety of roles in the body, influencing embryonic development, cell survival and tumor growth. But a team of investigators say they have nailed down some convincing animal and tissue data to suggest that in the brain it also could play a key role in depression, offering a new--very complex--target for a disease that afflicts millions.
Neuronetics has closed a $34.3 million Series F round to further commercialize its NeuroStar transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy system to treat drug-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD), as well as to fund a registration study for adolescent use of the device. NeuroStar was cleared by FDA in 2008 to treat MDD, but the company said it's just recently been gaining traction with payers.
Tal Medical has its roots in the serendipitous discovery that MRI imaging has a fast, mood-elevating effect. So far, it's managed to establish in the clinic that its low-field magnetic stimulation device built to recreate those conditions is rapid-acting. But now it's raised a $14 million Series B round to help establish the durability of that effect and the best dosage for depression treatment.
Researchers have identified 9 RNA blood markers that can be used as part of a panel to diagnose depression. They said it is the first blood test to diagnose adult depression.
A small molecule found in lower levels in the brains of people who are depressed may give scientists a better idea of how to treat patients with depression more effectively.
Cambridge University researchers and colleagues have identified an elegantly simple biomarker for major clinical depression in teenage boys: high levels of the stress hormone cortisol combined with behavioral symptoms.