There is now a much greater focus on research into depression and related conditions than there has been in the past.  Below you will find research results and articles that may be of interest.  Media reports are not usually written by medical practitioners or researchers. They may omit material factors and are not a substitute for careful research. Your attention is also drawn to the Disclaimer linked at the foot of this page.


Research Projects

There are also research projects currently being conducted around Australia that need our help.  The more people who participate, the more accurate the results and the better for all Australians living with depression!

If you are a researcher and you would like to share your project on the dNet website, please send the information in the below template to team@depressionet.org.au


Research News

Depression: New blood test could result in personalised treatment

Scientists have developed a blood test that can predict whether people with depression will respond to common anti-depressants, a discovery that could bring in a new era of personalised treatment for people with the debilitating mental illness. ABC News, June 7, 2016

Brain scans could be used to diagnose depression and tailor treatments for it

Brain scans can reveal whether someone suffers from depression and show what kind of depression they have, according to a breakthrough new study. The findings, published in Psychological Medicine, showed that medical imaging techniques, commonly known as MRIs, show distinct differences in the brains of people suffering different types of depression. ABC News, June 1, 2016

Why men are so lonely – and why this matters

Startling new findings from research commissioned by Movember reveal that a devastating number of men feel friendless. Whilst it showed that 51% of men have two or less close friends, an alarming 13% said they had no close friends. Men over 55 were the most isolated. Graeme Cowan linkedin, December 3, 2015

Using ketamine as an antidepressant : ways and means

Ketamine is a medication that has been used for anaesthesia, sedation and pain relief. Professor Colleen Loo, a psychiatrist associated with the Black Dog Institute, has also been studying its antidepressant effects. Her research group has found that a single intravenous (IV) sub-anaesthetic dose can reduce depressive symptoms within hours, even in treatment-resistant patients. Published here May 18, 2015.

Depression and Chronic Pain

The linked report by the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States examines the relationship between depression and chronic pain. According to the report depression not only affects your brain and behaviour – it affects your entire body. Depression has been linked with other health problems, including chronic pain. Dealing with more than one health problem at a time can be difficult, so proper treatment is important. This entry was published on April 28, 2015.

Report of the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services

The Report of the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services is now available. The ultimate goal of this Review was to make a set of recommendations for Government to consider, that will create a system to support the mental health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities in ways that enables people to live contributing lives and participate as fully as possible as members of thriving communities. This note added April 20, 2015

UNE researchers pioneer new ways to treat depression

University of New England researchers look at the different ways GPs and other mental health professionals can diagnose and treat depression in the same way they do for other medical illnesses and looking to develop methods that are aimed at greater personalised treatment in regards to depression.

Depression in Working Adults : Comparing Costs and Health Outcomes of Working When Ill

Working through a depressive illness can improve mental health but also carries risks and costs from reduced concentration, fatigue, and poor on-the-job performance. However, evidence-based recommendations for managing work attendance decisions, which benefit individuals and employers, are lacking. Therefore, this study has compared the costs and health outcomes of short-term absenteeism versus working while ill (“presenteeism”) amongst employed Australians reporting lifetime major depression. The research findings were published on September 2, 2014.

‘Suicide is not a selfish act’ say survivors who have attempted to take their own life – new research

A study of Australians who have attempted suicide has found many made the attempt feeling they were ‘a burden’ and believed their family and friends would be ‘better off’ without them. The research, by national mental health charity SANE Australia and the University of New England, found that a common feeling among people at the time of the attempt was of hopelessness and that their ‘mental pain’ would never end. The study is also the subject of an article</> on the Pro Bono Australia website.

Does depression added to type 2 diabetes accelerate ‘cognitive decline’?

Depression and diabetes are two of the most common disorders in older populations. They are often linked: nearly 20% of adult patients with type 2 diabetes also have depression; and each of these disorders increases the risk of developing the other. A study by the Black Dog Institute looked at whether co-existing depression in patients with type 2 diabetes increased deterioration in their thinking capacity (cognitive decline). Posted June 25, 2014.

UK Scientists Found The First Biomarker For Boys At Risk Of Major Depression

British brain scientists have identified the first biomarker, or biological signpost, for clinical depression and say it could help find boys in particular who are at risk of developing the debilitating mental illness. businessinsider.com.au, February 18, 2014.

Hidden Workplace Depression – NFP Research

Almost 50 per cent of Australian workers who had taken time off work because of depression kept the reason hidden from their employer according to a large scale national study released by Not for Profit organisation SANE Australia. Pro Bono Australia News, November 12, 2013.

Less Time at the Desk Can Alleviate Depression – Study

The study Sitting-time, physical activity and depressive symptoms in mid-aged women, by researchers from Victoria University, The University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology and first published in the American Journal of preventive Medicine, examined the concurrent and prospective associations between both sitting time and physical activity with prevalent depressive symptoms in middle-aged women. Pro Bono Australia News, September 23, 2013

Managing Mental Illness in the Workplace – Report

Employers and managers need education and training on mental illness in the workplace, according to the results of a new study by national mental health charity, SANE Australia. The research found that 95 per cent of respondents said employers and managers needed education on mental illness, and training on how to manage its effects in the workplace. Pro Bono Australia February 6, 2013

The Economic Cost of Young Men’s Mental Illness – Report

Young men’s mental illness in Australia is costing the economy more than $3 billion each year in lost productivity, according to a report from the Inspire Foundation and Ernst & Young. Pro Bono Austalia, May 30 2012

Student perspectives on disclosure of mental illness and success in VET

This report explores the factors that contribute to successful course completion for students with a mental illness, with a particular focus on the role of disclosure. NCVER February 22 2012

Generation Stress Survey cites stress as the number one concern for young people

For the first time, Mission Australia’s annual youth survey has cited stress as the number one concern for young people across the country in 2011 and 2012. To more than 45,000 young Australians surveyed, stress outranked body image and family issues. VicHealth’s Media Centre, April 3 2012

Blood Test May Help Diagnose Depression Researchers analyse levels of nine biomarkers

In the study, which was funded by Ridge Diagnostics, the firm that developed the blood test, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston analyzed the levels of nine biomarkers that could distinguish patients who had a major depressive disorder from those who did not. abcnews.go.com February 2 2012

Stigma hurtful and common for people with mental illness SANE Australia research

The distress and discrimination many people with a mental illness experience because of stigma associated with their illness is just as widespread as it was five years ago, according to new research by SANE Australia. qldalliance.org.au December 13 2011

Internet interventions beat depression Online programs play a role in treatment

A new study from The Australian National University shows that online therapy programs can play a major and long-lasting role in treating depression.  news.anu.edu.au December 1 2011

Vitamin D for Depression  Supplementation may benefit depressed patients

A Black Dog Institute paper that looked at current research into vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency contributing to depression has recommended that Vitamin D levels should be checked in all depressed patients. Health InSite, October 6 2011

Lack of workplace support costing jobs: Sane Australia  Many employees disadvantaged

A new study by SANE Australia finds that most Australians with a mental illness receive little support at work and more than half those surveyed did not believe their manager had an understanding of mental illness and its impact in the workplace. Pro Bono News, August 25 2011

‘Supermum’ approach may increase risk of depression  University of Washington study

While working mums have lower rates of depression than their stay-at-home counterparts, those who believe that their work and home lives can be blended seamlessly are at a greater risk of becoming depressed. nimemsn.com.au, August 22 2011

Patients using anti-depressants more likely to relapse  McMaster researcher finds

Patients who use anti-depressants are much more likely to suffer relapses of major depression than those who use no medication at all, concludes a McMaster researcher. dailynews.mcmaster.ca, July 19 2011

Geelong researcher’s depression breakthrough  Sufferers may avoid experimenting

Depression sufferers will be able to avoid months or years of experimenting with different doses of medication, thanks to a four-year study led by a Geelong researcher. Geelong Advertiser, May 29 2011

Gene could make prone to depression  Research pinpoints DNA believed responsible

Depression could be caused by a single rogue gene, scientists believe. They have discovered flaws in people’s DNA which may make them more likely to get the condition. Mail Online (Daily Mail). May 16 2011

A bitter pill: from depression to obesity  Treatment for one may be triggering another

After two decades of research exploring the mysteries cloaking these debilitating conditions two Canberra-based researchers from Brazil believe they have found the evidence of an insidious connection. The Sydney Morning Herald, May 14th 2011

Professionals Split on Managing Depression  1-in-4 uncomfortable with colleagues

Australians have a high level of awareness about depression but need more training on how to help a colleague at work experiencing the illness, according to a new survey.  news.com.au, May 02 2011

Gene linked to depression  Gene linked to major depression uncovered

German scientists made the discovery after comparing DNA from more than 15,000 depressed and healthy patients.  The Sydney Morning Herald, April 29 2011

Legal eaglets learn to fend off depression  Top law firms have begun educating recruits

Law students experience depression at triple the rate of the general population, with common personality traits like perfectionism and pessimism increasing susceptibility to the disease.  The Sydney Morning Herald, March 18 2011

Food with bad Fats linked to Depression  Study evaluates the links

Eating food containing trans fats and saturated fats could contribute to depression.  The Sydney Morning Herald, January 28 2011

Prolonged play of video games increases children’s risk  Risk of depression, anxiety

About 9 per cent of children play such long hours of video games that they are pathological gamers, increasing risks of anxiety, depression, bad grades and social phobia.  The Sydney Morning Herald, January 18 2011

More Bipolar Tests Could Save Lives  Correct diagnosis is important!

Doctors not screening for bipolar disorder, and diagnosing depression instead, is causing many people to receive the incorrect treatment according to an audit conducted at the Black Dog Institute in NSW.  The Age, December 11 2010

Depression Gene Marker Discovered  Gene’s possible role in onset of depression

A GENE called MKP-1 was identified by Yale University investigators after comparing the genetic codes of 21 deceased people who had been diagnosed with depression with those of 18 otherwise healthy individuals.  18 October 2010

VITATOPS- Depression Trial:  B-Vitamins reduce the risk of depression after stroke

A trial conducted through the University of WA shows that daily supplements of certain B-group vitamins significantly reduces the long term risk of depression after stroke.  October 2010

Cyber Bully Victims Hit With Depression 

School children bullied online face a high risk of being hit with real-world depression, according to a study released on Tuesday by the US National Institutes of Health.  The Age, September 22, 2010

Breaking The Silence:  A report on suicide & suicide prevention in Australia

Suicide is the leading cause of death for men and women under the age 34 years and for males aged under the age of 44 years and yet it is largely hidden.  This report provides a blueprint for Government and community action on suicide and suicidal behaviour in Australia.  It was launched in September 2010

Depression High Among Uni Students

University students are four times more likely to be anxious and depressed than other people their age, a study of almost 1000 students has found.  The Age July 7  2010

Depression Treatable By Electromagnetic Therapy

Patients suffering from depression may find relief from treatments using electromagnetic stimulation, offering a possible alternative to mood-altering medications, a new study found.  The Age, May 5, 2010

Sleep Deprivation Tied to Depression

US-based Professor Dan Buysse talks about the challenges with sleep deprivation and reinforces what has been proven in the past: that while up to 85 per cent of people with depression have insomnia, it does not necessarily occur in that order.   July 2009

Television Linked To Teen Depression

Television has become a great scapegoat for these stressful times. But is a teenager who watches hours of daily television more likely to become depressed?  SMH, March 23, 2009

Heavy Drinking Tied to Depression

Excessive alcohol drinking may increase the risk of depression, a long-term study conducted over 25 years in New Zealand has found.  SMH March 3, 2009

Courting The Blues: Attitudes to depression in law students and lawyers

This report highlights. among other things, the prevalence of depression and anxiety in law students and the legal profession.   January 2009

Good Mental Health Prevents Falls for the Elderly

Good mental health plays an essential role in keeping elderly people on their feet and preventing major injury through falls, according to research from The Australian National University Centre for Mental Health Research (CMHR).  Published: 07/11/2008

Lithium cuts suicide risk in depression

In people suffering from recurrent major depressive disorder, treatment with lithium reduces the risk that they’ll commit or attempt suicide, according to a new study.  (Links to The Age, April 2007)

BCOS (Bipolar Comprehensive Outcomes Study) Interim Report

Interim results from the ongoing BCOS show that people with bipolar disorder experience a significantly lower overall quality of life.  This report provides interim results from August 2005.   More recent results are also available.

SADHART:  Depression and Heart Disease Study

Studies were conducted to gain an understanding of the connection between depression heart health.  Visitors to dNet helped in this research.  Australian researchers are close to unravelling the relationship between heart attacks and depression, the two leading causes of disability.  The results of the study were published in the August 14, 2002 edition of the Journal of American Medical Association (Glassman et al, 2002).

Insomnia and Depression – Which comes first?

For many people who suffer from both depression and insomnia, treating the insomnia successfully without medication can eliminate or significantly reduce the depression.  Study published in 2003.

CBT Reviews – By Dr Timothy Sharp

Dr Sharp summarises the reviews from 2002 that confirmed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for depression and anxiety.

Duke Study:   Exercise as a treatment for depression

A brisk 30-minute walk or jog around the track three times a week may be just as effective in relieving the symptoms of major depression as the standard treatment of anti-depressant medications, according to the results of a Duke University Medical Center study.