Depression strikes an estimated 17 million Americans yearly. A new class of anti-depressants called SSRI's work well including Prozac, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin.
The problem is it may take months of trying the different options to find out which one works best, but here's the good news from the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Researchers there say they've figured out a faster way to find the right treatment for each patient and the answer is in your ear.
They have shown that a listening test might actually help predict who's going to respond to SSRI medications. Two similar sounds like "boy" and "toy" are given at the same time, one in each ear.
Whichever word the patient actually hears determines whether the person is right or left brain dominant. According to three separate studies, that's a strong clue to whether a person will respond to SSRI anti-depressants.
"The more you favor the left over right brain in your perception, the better you're going to respond to an SSRI antidepressant," says Dr. Gerard Bruder with the NY State Psychiatric Institution.
The dichotic listening test isn't ready for widespread use yet, but the experts predict that it could lead to a simple test in your doctor's office to evaluate depression. To reach the depression evaluation service, you can click here.