There are over 350 million people suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) worldwide. Roughly half of all these patients are resistant to first-line antidepressants . While nearly all existing research in MDD has focused on cognitive and emotional domains, the research being conducted at the University of Utah research park is investigating motor function amongst individuals with depression along with the other characteristic. Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects mood, and one's actions. ""Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home"" . With the data collected from the investigation, we can find what treatment is best for the individual going further into diagnosis by looking at their neuro-motor responses and the correlation to accuracy. We hypothesize that depression amongst adults affects their motor skills over time and thus will lead to better approaches to treatment for mental disorders and the subtypes that follow. We propose to build models based on motor composite scores that reflect performance across all motor domains. Based on these data of MDD and control subjects, we expect to detect a significant difference in the following motor measures: 1) grip strength of the dominant and nondominant hand; 2) spiral tracing, 3) 4-meter walk test; and 4) errors made during the walking-while-talking test. In order to test whether these variables are significant, we will furthermore analyze if motor behavioral measures measured while depressed patients are in their treatment phase are predictive of subtypes using statistical analysis. As for our future research, by integrating neurobiological measures obtained using MRI, we will be able to gain important insight into MDD etiology and the role of motor dysfunction in MDD . This will also enable us to develop a better understanding of whether motor dysfunction among various MDD subtypes is transient, or permanent, and the degree to which it can be used as a valid biomarker.
University / Institution: University of Utah
Format: In Person
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Vincent Koppelmans