Depression drug study

Volunteers like Sharon are taking part in a trial of a new drug which could shorten episodes of depression.

Experts at Leeds University are launching a new trial for a drug which could shorten episodes of depression in many patients. he researchers are looking at the effects of a new drug, Metyrapone, which inhibits the production of steroids in the body. Steroids, such as cortisol, may hamper the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs. Depression has long been linked with increased amounts of stress, meaning that many who suffer from it produce too much cortisol, which may reduce the effectiveness of drugs in these people.

Depression affects 8 per cent of the population at some point during their lifetime and 1 in every hundred develops symptoms so severe that the person is unable to work.

The researchers need patients from across West Yorkshire to take part in the trial. Metyrapone or a placebo is added to existing antidepressants for three weeks and the effects studied over the next few months. The research group are also carrying out some blood tests to investigate how the drug works.If you are interested in taking part or hearing more about the study please visit the website

Fifty year old Sharon who has been suffering from depression for the last 10 years has just signed up to take part in the Metyrapone drug trial in Leeds.

Before her illness she worked as a tailor, was very sociable and able to do things for herself. Having depression has affected almost every aspect of her life including her relationship with others. She has not been able to work since being ill.