History and Mission
The DES was founded in 1977 by the noted researcher Frederic M. Quitkin, M.D, to promote knowledge of depression and to identify methods for matching specific treatments to different forms of depressive disorders. Nationally recognized for its research into the biology and treatment of depression, the DES has conducted over 45 clinical trials (formal treatment studies) of medication and psychotherapy, has published over 150 papers, and has received over 30 grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), public and private agencies and foundations, and pharmaceutical companies to study both new and established drugs for depression. Studies at the DES have helped to define “atypical depression” as a depressive subtype and have examined methods (e.g., asymmetries in brain functioning) to predict which patients will or will not benefit from particular treatments.
For over 30 years, DES investigators have been studying the medication treatment of various forms of depression. Currently, we are studying treatments in major depression, dysthymic disorder (chronic depression), bipolar depression, and depression among the medically ill and in substance abuse. All of the psychiatrists on the staff hold teaching appointments at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. All staff members work to educate patients about mood disorders and treatment options.
Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care (EMBARC), PET Biomarkers in Treatment Resistant Depression, Tranylcypromine Treatment of Bipolar Depression, Combined wake therapy, light therapy and lithium for bipolar and refractory depression, Cognitive, ERP and EEG Measures in Affective Disorders; Behavioral activation/armodafinil to treat fatigue in HIV/AIDS
Through effective treatment of patient volunteers, the Depression Evaluation Service (DES) works to develop new scientific knowledge concerning the causes, the diagnosis, and the treatment of mood disorders in order to lead to better outcome.