Hersenstichting grant for RCT on treatment of immuno-metabolic depression

Femke Lamers and Yuri Milaneschi, both assistant professors at Amsterdam UMC & GGZ inGeest have been awarded with a €500.000 grant from the Hersenstichting (The Brain Foundation Netherlands, www.hersenstichting.nl) to study the anti-inflammatory medication Celecoxib as add-on treatment for immune-metabolic depression.

It is known that low grade inflammation is linked to depression and that anti-inflammatory drugs may help alleviate depressive symptoms. However, increasing evidence shows that only a subgroup of depressed patients has low grade inflammation. This provides an opportunity for personalized medicine.

The research line on depressive subtypes of drs Lamers and Milaneschi has previously made large contributions to the field, identifying that it is mostly patients with so-called atypical symptoms of depression who show low grade inflammation as well as metabolic dysregulations such as increased BMI and leptin levels. This work has led to the development of the concept of immune-metabolic depression. With this new grant, drs. Lamers and Milaneschi are extending this research line, which has been mostly observational to date, with experimental work.

In an RCT, that will start in the fall of 2021, they will evaluate if Celecoxib add-on treatment vs placebo can reduce depressive symptoms in 140 patients who have immuno-metabolic forms of depression. Results of this study are expected to contribute to the development of personalized medicine in psychiatry. The researchers will work together with several Amsterdam UMC colleagues both in and outside the Psychiatry department (psychiatry: dr. Vinkers & prof.dr. Penninx; pharmacy: dr. Bet; rheumatology & clinical immunology: prof. dr. Nurmohamed), as well as with experiential experts from GGZ inGeest and the Depressie Vereniging.