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UT Southwestern researcher, colleagues report drug therapy eases chronic depression

nal episodes of major depression. Rush said both forms of the disease are frequently associated with significant degrees of social and vocational role impairment and lower levels of academic and vocational achievement.

"Study results showed that most patients not only feel much better after short-term antidepressant therapy but are able to function better, which is surprising considering the seriousness of the illness," Rush said. "Most responders are much improved in just six to 12 weeks; however, they tended to lose these psychosocial gains after being off medication a while."

The study findings are important, Rush said, because they suggest that the social and vocational problems patients with chronic depression experience are treatable and are not just ingrained personality traits.

"The study clearly shows that long-term treatment of chronic forms of depression can result in sustained psychosocial benefits," Rush said. "However, discontinuing drug treatment results in frequent re-emergence of symptoms."

Besides Rush, authors of the study in the August issue of Archives included scientists from Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Stanford University School of Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pfizer, and Quintiles Transnational Corp.


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Contact: Ann Harrell
Ann.Harrell@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
10-Oct-2002


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