Mood and anxiety disorders are very common, and include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders. We use multidisciplinary research approaches to study the causes, treatments and prevention of these disorders. Our research examines the role of both biological and psychological factors, and their interaction, to understand the onset and course. We combine approaches such as clinical trials, brain imaging techniques of PET and MRI, genetics and family studies.
One of the current major areas of focus is preventing relapse of depression, and finding effective treatments for those who fail on medication. We continue to explore novel non-pharmaceutical approaches such as light and negative ion therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.
- a lifespan study of more than 550 children, beginning before birth, that looks at genetic risk factors and their interaction with early mother-infant interactions, maternal depression or anxiety, and socioeconomic factors, for effects on children’s stress response, overeating and vulnerability to mood disorders and obesity (R. Levitan)
- study linking brain markers for depression relapse to clinical outcomes, in order to find specific targets to prevent relapse. The study will compare mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy, examining brain changes before and after treatment with fMRI imaging. It will also test for the association of relapse with the serotonin transporter gene, and patients will track daily experiences using Palm Pilots (Z. Segal)
- a study of light and negative ion therapy alone and in combination with antidepressants as treatment for major depression in a randomized, placebo-controlled multi-site study (R. Levitan)
- research on the role of the stress hormone cortisol in depression relapse among people who have been discharged after hospitalization for depression (K. Chopra)
Head: Dr. Robert Levitan
Dr. Kevin Chopra
Dr. Jeff Daskalakis
Dr. Andrea Levinson
Dr. Jeff Meyer
Dr. Arun Ravindran
Dr. Zindal Segal
Related clinical care
Mood & Anxiety Disorders Program