New Brain Wave Scan Helps Formulate Treatment Plan For Depression

About 17-million Americans suffer from depression, which is the fourth leading cause of disability in this country.

Anti-depressants are effective treatment, but there's only a 30-percent chance a person will respond to the first drug they try, and often they take weeks to kick in.

June Govinden spent the last ten years of her life alone and depressed.

Of the more than 20 drugs on the market, June couldn't find one that worked.

Now a new version of the EEG, a test that measures brain wave activity, may be the answer.

June took part in a clinical trial and had the ten-minute test both before and after starting a new drug.

The EEG was 85-percent accurate at predicting whether a patient responded to a drug, within one week of taking it.

Andrew Leuchter, M.D., of the UCLA School of Medicine, says, "If they show the right signal, we can say with pretty good degree of certainty, you know, that it is the right medication."

Doctors hope the test will be FDA approved for this use within four years.

Right now, researchers at ten sights around the country are enrolling patients to further test the technology

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