Studies for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Clinic for Aging, Anxiety, and Mood Disorders

Tianeptine for Treatment-Resistant Depression

The purpose of this 8-week study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a medication called tianeptine for treating depression in people whose symptoms have not responded to two prior treatments. Tianeptine is an investigational drug. This means that it has not been approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the branch of the federal government that
approves new drugs, but it has been approved by the European Regulatory Agency and has been used to treat depression in Europe, Asia, and South America since the 1980s.

Tianeptine is a different type of antidepressant than those currently approved in the United States in that it has a different mechanism of action than typical antidepressants. Tianeptine is an opioid agonist. This means that it binds and works via the mu opioid receptor. Currently approved antidepressants act on other systems of the brain that affect Serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. In this study, we also wish to understand links between physical pain, emotional pain, and depression. Part of the study’s purpose is to investigate whether tianeptine may be particularly helpful for depressed individuals with a heightened experience of physical and emotional pain.

Study Activities

  • Filling out forms
  • Blood samples
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • MRI Scans

Eligibility

  • Ages eligible; 21-50
  • Genders eligible: All
  • At least two trials of antidepressant medications
  • This study is not recruiting healthy volunteers

For more information, please call Sara Fernandez at 646-774-8698.

Optimizing Outcomes for Treatment Resistant Depression in Older Adults (OPTIMUM)

The goal of this research study is to identify the most effective medication treatments for older adults with treatment resistant depression. Those who have treatment resistant depression have tried at least two antidepressant medications in the past and are still feeling depressed. Patients will begin in Step 1 of the study, where they will take either Bupropion (Wellbutrin) or Aripiprazole (Abilify) for 10 weeks. If they are not feeling better at the end of this phase, they have the choice to enter Step 2 of the study. During Step 2, they will take either Lithium or Nortriptyline (Pamelor) for another 10 weeks. All medications used in this study are FDA-approved. Patients can choose to be treated by their own doctor or by our clinic psychiatrists.

Study Activities

  • Filling out forms
  • Blood samples
  • Neuropsychological Tests

Eligibility

  • Ages eligible; 60 years and older
  • Genders eligible: All
  • At least two trials of antidepressant medications
  • This study is not recruiting healthy volunteers

For more information, please call Johana Alvarez at 646-774-8664. Para servicio en Español, llame a Esteban Ceballos al 646-774-8670.