"The study showed us that depression is complicated," Dr. Freedman said. "There is no simple solution."
However, helpful information on which treatment strategies are most effective should come this year in the form of further results from the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) trials, Dr. Freedman predicted.
One aim of the NIH-sponsored study is to explore which combinations of antidepressants and mood-stabilizing drugs work best to treat symptoms of depression. Clinicians have increasingly been using such drug combinations, but so far there have not been enough hard data to guide them, Dr. Freedman said.
Similarly, for treating schizophrenia, clinicians can look forward to more definitive information on which antipsychotics are the most effective. This will emerging from a detailed analysis of the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) to be presented by the principal investigator in the spring, Dr. Freedman said.