An adjunctive antidepressant nutraceutical combination in treating major depression: study protocol and clinical considerations
journal contributionposted on 2015-04-01, 00:00 authored by J Sarris, C Stough, C Bousman, J Murphy, K Savage, D Smith, R Menon, S Chamoli, G Oliver, Michael BerkMichael Berk, G Byrne, C Ng, D Mischoulon
Current treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD), a prevalent and disabling mental illness, is inadequate, with two-thirds of people treated with first-line antidepressants not achieving remission. MDD is for many a chronic condition, often requiring multiple treatment attempts, thus development of additional interventions is urgently required. An emerging approach to improve non-response to antidepressants is the use of adjunctive nutraceuticals. The pathophysiology of MDD is considered to involve a range of abnormalities (monoamine impairment, neuro-endocrinological changes, reduced brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and cytokine alterations). By targeting an array of these key neurobiological pathways via specific nutraceuticals (S-adenosyl methionine; [SAMe], 5-HTP [active tryptophan], folinic acid [active folic acid], omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc), there is the potential to provide a more comprehensive therapeutic biological approach to treat depression. We are currently conducting a National Health and Medical Research Council funded study in Australia (APP1048222). The clinical trial is phase II/III, multi-site, 3-arm, 8-week, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using SAMe + folinic acid versus a combination nutraceutical (SAMe, 5-HTP, folinic acid, omega-3, and zinc) or matching placebo in 300 currently depressed participants with diagnosed MDD who are non-responsive to current antidepressants (ANZCTR, protocol number: 12613001300763). The results may provide evidence for a novel adjunctive neurobiological approach for treating depression.