Proje Geliştirme ve
Koordinasyon Birimi

2016-03-02 Italy: Personalized and Integrative Approach to Chronic Depression


Personalized and Integrative Approach to Chronic Depression

Description of the project offered: 
This project enters in the objective of a "better health for all" that the European Union is pursuing for the Member States. 
According to the latest estimates, in fact, the costs for society, related to brain disorders have reached exorbitant values and forecasts indicate that, unless we identify solutions which are more effective than the current ones, this trend is expected, unfortunately, to rise.
Among the various brain pathologies, depression is certainly recognized as the most common disorder, serious and in some cases life‐threatening, and more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression worldwide. According to the WHO, depression is the leading cause of disability. It is also the most predominant mental health problem among working-age patients; this is why depression in the workplace is a leading cause of reduced productivity, sick leave and early retirement.
Given the scale of the phenomenon, we must realize that the efficacy of the treatments for brain disorders and, specifically for depressive syndromes, to date, are still not satisfactory, or at least, these treatments are effective for only a limited number of patients. This can be attributed to several reasons. 
First of all the brain pathologies suffer from a great diagnostic empty: in psychiatry, for example, the diagnosis is still substantially clinical / anamnestic, with very high error margins. 
Moreover a common understanding of the causes of brain disorders is missing; in psychiatry there is an etiologic variety which is not found in any other medical specialty: the most recent advances show, in fact, a multifactoriality ranging from social and environmental factors to the psychological ones, to those biochemical, neurotoxic, and eventually microbiological factors. 
Finally a uniquely recognized model that describes the “mind-body system” and its functioning is missing.
Based on these considerations, this project was born, therefore, with the primary aim of integrating the pathogenic complexity to get a consistent pattern of integrated and personalized therapy.
This multicenter and multidisciplinary research fits into the Horizon 2020 program SC1-PM-09-2016 - "New therapies for chronic diseases" and is divided into two areas: it starts from the study of the various scientifically recognized pathogenetic components of depression and ends with the therapeutical integration.
Targeted studies on psychological factors (subjective experience), neurochemical factors (modulation of peptides and neurotransmitters), biochemical factors (presence of oxidative, neurodegenerative, immune and neurotoxic processes), microbiological factors and autonomic and biophysical factors will be carried out. 
The improvement of the therapeutic efficacy for each component will be evaluated in order to redefine the pathogenic complexity in a coherent and integrated framework and to represent a knowledge base that enables personalized therapeutic actions.
In the last phase of the project, the resulting data will be used for the configuration and validation of a new personalized and integrated medical approach which should meet the patient's specific characteristics and to synergistically manage all the psycho-neuro-biological factors involved in depressive syndromes.
Project proposer:   danilo toneguzzi ()
Partner role:  Project coordinator 
Partner organisation:  Research
Call for proposal title:  N/A 


Description of the collaboration sought: 
University - research institutions - hospitals 
Expertise sought: Medicine. Health, 
Roles sought: Project participant, 
Organisation types sought: Research, Education, Public administration, Small or medium-sized enterprise (SME),