Depression Grand Challenge Newsletter

Thank you for reading the third Depression Grand Challenge Newsletter. The Depression Grand Challenge includes four components - Innovative Treatment Network, 100K study, Awareness & Hope and Discovery Neuroscience. This newsletter highlights the launch of the Innovative Treatment Network, with a project aimed at identifying and providing treatment for depression among UCLA students - and then evaluating the impact of this program. 
Innovative Treatment Network
The Student Treatment Initiative:

To establish its Innovative Treatment Model, the Depression Grand Challenge has initiated efforts to reach all UCLA students in need of treatment for depression and anxiety. Focusing on students helps fill the void of an unmet student need and strengthens the research capabilities of the Depression Grand Challenge. In September, UCLA launched a Check-In Survey for students with a commitment to provide treatment for students found to be suffering from or at risk for depression or anxiety. Chancellor Block's announcement about this Student Treatment Initiative attracted national attention.
The Depression Grand Challenge aspires to screen more than 10,000 UCLA students, provide them individualized feedback, and route them to treatment resources - all at no cost to the students. Students with mild-to-moderate depression or mild-to-severe anxiety are eligible to receive internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT), which is part of a related demonstration project. Students presenting with greater needs are routed to other treatment resources including the new Innovative Treatment Network Research Clinic (see below). Support the Student Treatment Initiative.     
Innovative Treatment Network Research Clinic:

One of the main focus areas of the DGC is identifying new and delivering the most appropriate treatment for people suffering from depression. To deliver on this promise, the Innovative Treatment Network (ITN) Research Clinic opened in October 2017. Enrollment in the research clinic is open to all students who complete the online Check-in Survey as part of the Student Treatment Initiative. The clinic is currently located in the Semel Institute, where it is integrated with other 100K study research activities. Students with severe depression or manic symptoms are identified through the Check-in Survey and immediately contacted by the ITN Research Clinic. A team of Psychiatry fellows and Psychology fellows evaluates each patient to create an individualized treatment plan that is continually updated. The team tracks patients to assess treatment response, draw conclusions about who responds better to certain treatments and further personalize treatment. This state-of-the-art approach to treatment will empower the DGC to enhance depression treatment. In the long term, there are plans to evaluate its impact and expand the capacity of the ITN Research Center to meet the needs of patients throughout California.
Other Demonstration Projects Underway for the 100K Study and Innovative Treatment Network:

In addition to the Check in Survey, a number of other demonstration projects involving human participants are underway to prepare for the launch of the 100K study [a central feature of the DGC through which 100,000 individuals will be monitored for a ten to fifteen year period to illuminate the genetic and environmental causes of depression] and analyze novel treatments within the ITN Research Clinic. Continue reading to learn more about two of these projects:

An App to Crack Depression
App technology is the next frontier in accurately monitoring symptoms of depression. Researcher Carrie Bearden is investigating the efficacy of an app that will monitor different aspects of daily life, such as hours of sleep, time at home and contact with others. It is envisioned that eventually people enrolled in the 100K study will have the opportunity to use this app. The data captured through this app will provide insight about factors involved in the development of depression.

Treating Depression - Fast
It is well known by those who have experienced depression or known someone suffering from depression, that there is not a quick fix. Common treatments for depression are slow to improve symptoms. For less common treatments, however, there are some promising fast-acting treatment interventions. Katherine Narr, Randall Espinoza and Eliza Congdon, in collaboration with the Human Connectome Project , capitalized on the opportunity to understand more about these fast-acting treatments by launching a demonstration project to see if these novel treatment approaches might be used for new therapies . Specifically they are studying Electroconvulsive therapy (directing electrical currents to the brain), serial ketamine infusion (IV dosages of the drug ketamine) and total sleep deprivation to see how these treatments alter brain and gene activity to rapidly improve depression symptoms.
Up Next:

The newsletter for next quarter will highlight progress of the Awareness & Hope component of the Depression Grand Challenge.
Recent News:

To read the latest updates about the Depression Grand Challenge between newsletters, please visit our happenings page. A few recent features are linked below: