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Depression does 'make your brown eyes blue'
Date:5/5/2009

ostics and for monitoring the course of treatment," says Dr. Polat.

With such a tool, visual perception tests might give psychiatrists a better way to diagnose depression. Currently there is no non-biased test to assess whether someone is clinically depressed. Because of the biases inherent in self-administered tests, diagnostic questionnaires can produce inaccurate results, denying patients medication or hospitalization.

Dr. Polat's work might also assist physicians in monitoring the effects of anti-depressants such as Prozac within days. Currently, it can take up to six weeks after the start of treatment to know if the prescription is right for the patient.

Seeing a Fuller Picture of Depression

Dr. Polat and his Tel Aviv University team are now taking the next step and developing an EEG test that could be administered in any clinic or hospital in America to scan brain activity for the signature signs that depression creates.

"A standardized tool for depression could save the healthcare system millions of dollars in costs resulting from misdiagnosis, and would give depressed people peace of mind," says Dr. Polat. "Knowing the severity of one's condition could help a depressed patient decide when to medicate, and then to know whether or not the medication is working. It could also help psychiatrists better understand depression in children, and in people who have multiple dysfunctions that prevent them from communicating their feelings to a psychiatrist."


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

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