Category Archives: Depression

A checklist to vet psychedelic science

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As result of a commentary we wrote, Jama Psychiatry recently published a correction of a serious error in a 2023 paper on treating bipolar depression with psilocybin (together with Ioana Cristea and Florian Naudet). This correction included correcting the title of the paper itself. In this blog, I’ll very briefly discuss the core issue in… Read more »

2022 psilocybin Nature Medicine study remains uncorrected

I just saw that the Daws et al. 2022 paper that was heavily discussed in 2022 and 2023 is still online, and Nature Medicine neither published criticism that has been raised, nor did they publish an expression of concern or correction. I originally came across the paper when one of the authors wrote about it… Read more »

Which depression measure is best?

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A new paper published today in Lancet Psychiatry, led by Christopher Veal, reports findings from a systemic review of 450 clinical trials for unipolar and bipolar depression. Our results can be seen as trying to answer one of the oldest questions in the field of depression measurement: which of the over 200 measures is the… Read more »

Fact-check: depression & temperatures study

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A new interesting paper was published 2 weeks ago on depression and temperature. I saw a news article about the paper today that I didn’t think captured the core findings particularly well — and I wasn’t happy with some of the authors’ conclusions either — so I briefly wanted to summarize these issues here. Study… Read more »

“Clear evidence” for serotonin hypothesis of depression?

There has been a 60 year long discussion on the role of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the pathophysiology of depression. A recent systematic investigation by Joanna Moncrieff and colleagues concluded that “main areas of serotonin research provide no consistent evidence of there being an association between serotonin and depression, and no support for the hypothesis… Read more »

Treating depression with psychedelics: red flags and FAQ

Update, 02/2024: We have now published the paper “History repeating: guidelines to address common problems in psychedelic science” on this topic, in part based on this blog post. We introduces 10 pressing challenges that limit conclusions regarding safety and efficacy. We share a checklist that researchers, journalists, funders, policymakers, and other stakeholders can use to… Read more »

1 minute science communication video .. only using legos

Young Academy Leiden challenged its members—including yours truly—to make a video about an upcoming research project, with two constraints. First, we only have one minute to communicate our idea. Second, as toolkit, we can only use LEGOs from the ‘creative suitcase’ we all received, a small box of LEGOs. Here’s my short video, about my… Read more »

Modeling idiographic and nomothetic dynamics of 255 depressed inpatients

Led by the first author Kaat Hebbrecht, we published an open access paper a few days ago on “Understanding personalized dynamics to inform precision medicine: a dynamic time warp analysis of 255 depressed inpatients” in BMC Medicine. You can find the full text here. I briefly summarize the paper in this blog post, given that… Read more »

ERC Starting Grant on predicting depression onset

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I’m extremely happy, proud, humbled, and somewhat nervous announce that my application for an European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant was successful (on my first try!), following the announcement by the ERC today. The ERC Starting Grant is part of EU’s Research and Innovation programme, called Horizon 2020. The scheme was quite competitive this year,… Read more »

Measuring depression outcomes that matter to patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals

Our team led by the brilliant Astrid Chevance just published a new paper, entitled “Identifying outcomes for depression that matter to patients, informal caregivers and healthcare professionals: qualitative content analysis of a large international online survey”. The paper is online in Lancet Psychiatry. Rationale When it comes to measuring outcomes in clinical studies of depression,… Read more »

The replication crisis hits psychiatry: No candidate genes for depression

A new study on candidate genes for depression was just published in the American Journal of Psychiatry by Border et al, entitled “No Support for Historical Candidate Gene or Candidate Gene-by-Interaction Hypotheses for Major Depression Across Multiple Large Samples”. Below, I will discuss the background and context of the study, followed by study design and… Read more »

The Myth of the Miracle Cure: Is Ketamine an Efficacious Antidepressant?

This blog post is the result of a collaboration between Dr Lucy Robinson (Twitter, email) & me. Life with depression can be miserable, painful and sad. The suffering it causes is indubitable and it is imperative we do a better job at helping people feel better, with effective, practical, and long-lasting treatments. The promise of… Read more »

10,377 ways for major depression, but 341,737 ways for melancholia

We wrote up the core arguments and calculations of this blog post as an article for Lancet Psychiatry. Major depression: a highly heterogeneous disorder Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a complex and heterogeneous disorder. The DSM-5 that is commonly used to diagnose patients with MDD requires the presence of at least one of the two… Read more »

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