A study released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention this week found that the use of antidepressants has jumped 400 percent in the past 20 years. The data found that 11 percent of those over the age of 12 have taken an antidepressant during the 2005-08 study period.
David Mrazek, M.D., psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic, said the study means a lot of Americans are on drugs for depression, which isn’t necessarily good or bad. While it’s good that people are being treated for depression, he’s concerned many are on drugs that aren’t working for them, or aren’t on drugs that they should be.
Dr. Mrazek is working to alleviate that problem by studying pharmacogenomics. Each person’s genetic code is unique. Researchers focused on pharmacogenomics at Mayo Clinic are working to understand how these tiny DNA variations cause people to respond differently to medications.
Dr. Mrazek has begun several new research initiatives in this area. He has collaborated with other investigators in studying various links between genomic variability and psychiatric illnesses such as depression, bipolar illness and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
He reacted to the findings of the new study and talked about his research with Mayo Clinic in Toronto today at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry meeting.