Diagnosis, Research, and Treatment of Depression
Pax Neuroscience's breakthrough technology can revolutionize diagnosis and therapy for a disease that afflicts about 20% of the U.S. population and has been determined by the World Health Organization to be the leading global cause of disability. As the prevalence of depression continues to rise dramatically, recent advancements have not kept pace, and the latest science on the cellular mechanisms of depression has not been utilized, leading to a stagnation in treatment advancement that is unacceptable for a condition that so severely affects so many.
Dr. Mark Rasenick and his colleagues discovered that when Gsα proteins are activated and begin to move, they create a chemical cascade which supports improved neurotransmitter activity. The increase in activity, observed via fluorescence spectrometry, serves as the first proteomic biomarker indicating degree of depression and patient response to antidepressant drugs. This rapid biological change precedes the ability of patients to self report, bringing unprecedented quantifiability and speed to drug therapy response detection. Now this research innovation is ready to transform treatment and new treatment development.
Antidepressant clinical trials are expensive and high risk, and involve the chronic treatment of hundreds of patients. Large placebo response, exacerbated by unreliable survey-based subject stratification, causes many trials to fail. The FDA estimates that just a 10% improvement in the ability to predict drug failures before clinical trials could save $100 million in development costs per drug. The distinct experiential effects of novel approaches like psychedelics or brain stimulation can further preclude effective control grouping, amplifying the need for a higher quantifiability of change. MoodMark® will help develop better treatments faster.
Dr. Rasenick leads a Scientific Advisory Board that includes Dr. Alan Schatzberg, winner of the Anna-Monika Prize for Depression Research, Dr. Eric Nestler, past President of the Society for Neuroscience and winner of the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health, Dr. Paul Billings, named to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society, Dr. Mark Rapaport, CEO of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute and Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Natalie Rasgon, Founder of the Stanford Center for Neuroscience in Women's Health and winner of the Lila A. Wallis Women's Health Award, and Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, winner of the APA's Award for Research.