Common depression scales are neither unidimensional nor measurement invariant

We published a new study in Psychological Assessment a few days ago, and I would like to take the time to explain what these results imply. You can find the full text here. Let me summarize the findings first. We examined 2 crucial psychometric assumptions that are part of nearly all contemporary depression research. We… Read more »

Molecular Psychiatry commentary: Fried & Kievit 2015

On December 15th, Molecular Psychiatry published our commentary “The volumes of subcortical regions in depressed and healthy individuals are strikingly similar: a reinterpretation of the results by Schmaal et al”. You can find the full text PDF in the above link if you have a subscription to the journal, otherwise see the project’s open science… Read more »

Overinterpretation of SSRI study results: Halaris et al. 2015

Halaris and colleagues published a paper in the Journal of Psychiatric Research in which they studied the impact of the SSRI antidepressant escitalopram (ESC) in a group of 30 depressed patients. Only 20 participants completed the trial, and there was no placebo group. The authors tracked the level of a number of inflammatory markers and… Read more »

How to not interpret novel drug results: Fava et al. 2015

Imagine you are the editor of, or reviewer for, a very prestigious scientific journal, and you receive a paper about the efficacy of a novel drug for, say, cancer or HIV. You know that current drugs only work for about 1 out of 3 patients, so there are certainly large incentives to develop new drugs…. Read more »

New overview article in The Psychologist

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The folks at The Psychologist were kind enough to publish a short overview piece that summarizes the current problems we are facing in depression research, the problematic assumptions the research community holds about depression that have contributed to this dramatic lack of progress that has gone on for over half a century now, and solutions… Read more »

New network study: What are good depression symptoms?

Our new paper “What are ‘good’ depression symptoms? Comparing the centrality of DSM and non-DSM symptoms of depression in a network analysis” was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders (PDF). In the paper we develop a novel theoretical and empirical framework to answer the question what a “good” symptom is. Traditionally, all depression symptoms… Read more »

Video: Lecture on Symptomics in Psychiatry

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I spent the last 2 weeks in Tempe, Arizona, working with the brilliant Randolph Nesse and his lab at the Center of Evolution and Medicine at Arizona State University. During my stay, I was invited to give a lecture on Symptomics, a new research framework we recently developed to tackle challenges psychiatry has been struggling… Read more »

The genetics of major depression remain elusive

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Nature didn’t want our commentary ;) … so we publish it here instead. A commentary by Eiko Fried, Sophie van der Sluis, and Angelique Cramer (PDF) A recent study published in Nature by the CONVERGE consortium1 identified two Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) that replicated across two samples of Han-Chinese women with… Read more »

Blog about our STAR*D depression heterogeneity paper

John McManamy has written a great piece on depression heterogeneity at healthcentral.com that nicely sums up our study “Depression is not a consistent syndrome: an investigation of unique symptom patterns in the STAR*D study” published in the Journal of Affective Disorders (PDF). His main message: The quick takeaway is that not all depressions are the… Read more »

New review paper on depression symptoms

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BMC Medicine published our new paper “Depression sum-scores don’t add up: why analyzing specific depression symptoms is essential” (PDF). It was published in the section Current Controversies in Psychiatry that “seeks to address the key challenges in mental health from diagnosis to co-morbidities” and “focuses on precision medicine where advances in genetics, epigenetics, biomarkers, treatment… Read more »

New paper on problematic assumptions in depression research

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My first solo album I mean paper was released a few days ago ;). My special thanks to Randolph Nesse, Laura Bringmann, Denny Borsboom, and Francis Tuerlinckx for the great support. The publication titled “Problematic assumptions have slowed down depression research: why symptoms, not syndromes are the way forward” is available as open access paper… Read more »

ICPS Amsterdam 2015 presentation online

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The presentation about psychopathological symptom networks I gave at ICPS 2015 in Amsterdam, “From Loss to Loneliness: The Relationship Between Bereavement and Depressive Symptoms” (PDF of the study), is online on the website of the open science framework. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Bereavement paper published !

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Our new paper “From Loss to Loneliness: The Relationship Between Bereavement and Depressive Symptoms” was just published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology (PDF). In the paper we examined a prospective cohort of 515 individuals, half of which would experience spousal loss throughout the course of the study (the other half was queried as control… Read more »

Media reaction to our new bereavement paper

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The KU Leuven press office did an amazing job with the press release of our new paper “From Loss to Loneliness: The Relationship Between Bereavement and Depressive Symptoms” (PDF) that was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology today. » Fried, E. I., Bockting, C., Arjadi, R., Borsboom, D., Tuerlinckx, F., Cramer, A., Epskamp, S.,… Read more »

New paper on life stress and depression symptoms

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Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica just published our paper “The differential influence of life stress on individual symptoms of depression”! » Fried, E. I., Nesse, R. M., Guille, C., & Sen, S. (2015). The differential influence of life stress on individual symptoms of depression. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 1-7, EPub ahead of print. (PDF).