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Finding Better Treatments for Depression

In This Video

  • Maurizio Fava, MD, the psychiatrist-in-chief in the Department of Psychiatry and director of the Division of Clinical Research in the Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital
  • He founded the Depression Clinical and Research Program at Mass General, serving as director from 1990 to 2014, and is a world leader in the field of depression
  • In this video, he discusses the need to develop better, faster-acting treatment options for depression

Depression affects millions of Americans each year, yet many people struggle to find treatments that work. In this video, Maurizio Fava, MD, the psychiatrist-in-chief in the Department of Psychiatry and director of the Division of Clinical Research in the Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the challenges of current medications and his work to find better options.


My research is focused on developing new pharmacological therapies for psychiatric illnesses, in particular depression and treatment-resistant depression.

Depression is a condition that affects millions of people in the United States and is a major contributor to the probable suicide. Over 40,000 people in the United States die of suicide each year, so being able to develop new therapies that are more effective and more rapidly treat our patients is critical for our field.

Standard antidepressants usually take weeks to sometimes months to work. And when they work, they work in 40% to 50% of the patients who take them. A significant proportion of patients treated with standard antidepressants don't get better even with repeated attempts. In addition, when they do work, antidepressants take a very long time and when you suffer from depression, you want to get out of depression as quickly as possible. So being able to get people better within days or hours would be a tremendous breakthrough for our field.

We are currently working on helping biotech companies and pharma companies develop new antidepressant therapies. Some of the ones we are working on appear to be very effective and to work very rapidly.

Learn more about the Depression Clinical and Research Program

Learn more about research in the Department of Psychiatry

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