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IDIBGI participates in a European research to optimize the use of antidepressants in people with major depression

14 March 2023
  • The European project OPADE aims to identify key biomarkers in this mental health disorder to help make more personalized clinical decisions.
  • The Mental Health and Addictions research group and the Cardiovascular Genetics group of IDIBGI will lead one of the genetic analyses that will be performed on people with this diagnosis to study the relationship between genes and the effectiveness of the prescribed medication.

The Institute of Biomedical Research of Girona Dr. Josep Trueta (IDIBGI) participates in a European research to optimize the use of antidepressant drugs in people diagnosed with major depression. The project is called OPADE (Optimizing and predicting the efficacy of antidepressants for patients with major depression) and is funded by the European Union. It involves 14 international partners, who will work on the project for four and a half years.

The prescription of drugs to people with depressive disorder is based on statistical models that assume that these individuals are the same, and it is only once treatment is started that efficacy or the occurrence of possible side effects is tested. Clinical experience shows that medications that work well in some patients are ineffective or cause adverse reactions in others. Treatment abandonment or poor adherence to treatment is around 60%, and can determine an unfavorable course of the disease at the clinical level, but also entail a high cost for the quality of life of the person with this disease.

There are several factors that influence the good or bad individual response to a drug, and one of them is the genetic basis of the individual. The aim of the OPADE project is to analyze all these factors in order to identify key biomarkers in people with severe depression that will allow personalized clinical decisions to be made for each case. The study will also take into account the microbiota-brain axis, since the interrelationship between gut microbiota and brain activity is closely related to mental health and, specifically, to major depressive disorder.

The relationship of genetics in pharmacological efficacy

The research groups in Mental Health and Addictions and Cardiovascular Genetics of IDIBGI will deal with the genetic analysis and its relationship with the efficacy of antidepressants in 350 patients from five countries (Spain, Colombia, Holland, Turkey and Italy). Dr. Eva Frigola, consolidated researcher of the Mental Health and Addictions group at IDIBGI and clinical psychologist at the Institute of Health Care; and Dr. Ramon Brugada, head of the Cardiovascular Genetics group at IDIBGI and head of the Cardiology Service at the Josep Trueta and Santa Caterina Hospitals, are in charge of the project.

The other members of the OPADE project will study other factors, performing immunological, metabolomic, neuro-inflammatory, microbiome indicators and molecular and non-molecular markers analyses. The impact of all these aspects on therapeutic effectiveness will be assessed. Artificial Intelligence-based predictive tools will also be used for the study.

International consortium with 14 members

The first meeting of the consortium was held on January 23 and 24 at the headquarters of the EBRIS Foundation (European Biomedical Research Institute of Salerno), in Salerno (Italy).

The EBRIS Foundation is the scientific coordinator of the international consortium, which includes research centers, hospitals and companies from ten different countries. The consortium is completed by the Institute of Biomedical Research of Girona Dr. Josep Trueta, the EBRIS Foundation, the EBRIS Foundation and the EBRIS Foundation. Josep Trueta, the Eurecat Foundation (Spain), Ceinge Biotecnologie Avanzate Scarl (Italy), Perseus Biomics (Belgium), Artificial Intelligence Expert SRL (Romania), Mama Health Technologies GMBH (Germany), Protobos OU (Estonia), Cephalgo (France), Biokeralty Research Institute AIE (Spain), Fundación Universitaria Sanitas (Colombia), Universita Degli Studi Di Siena (Italy), Stichting Universitaire En Algemene Kinder - A Jeugdpsychiatrie Noord-Nederland (The Netherlands) and Istambul Medipol Universitesi (Turkey).

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