ESTREA (Exome Sequencing in stages of Treatment REsistance to Antidepressants)is a project led by Dr Chiara Fabbri (fellow) and Professor Cathryn Lewis (sponsor) that aims to explore the role of genetic variants in treatment-resistant depression (TRD).
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and the World Health Organization has estimated it accounts for
around 15% of all days lived with disability in the EU. At the moment, it is difficult to effectively personalise treatment due to the lack of biomarkers that could guide the choice of antidepressants. Exploring genetic variants is promising to lead to the development of such biomarkers, however, previous studies have focused mainly on common genetic variants and overlooked the study of TRD.
TRD is defined as failure of two of more treatments and is highly associated with impairment in social and occupational function, suicide, decline in physical health and increased health care utilisation. ESTREA aims to study both rare and common genetic variants in TRD using exome sequencing combined with genome-wide genotyping in a sample of 1346 patients with MDD recruited by the European Group for the Study of Resistant Depression (GSRD). The final aim of the study is to develop a genomic profile for TRD which can be used to guide treatment in patients.
ESTREA is funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship and will be implemented between October 2018 and March 2020.