Experts discuss innovative cure for depression
Dubai, October 24, 2011
Over a hundred healthcare professionals from across the Gulf region met recently at a first-of-its-kind event in Dubai to discuss innovative treatment options for depression.
The event, hosted by leading French pharmaceutical company Les Laboratoires Servier, highlighted new therapies which are now available for the first time in the Gulf.
With an estimated global prevalence of depression reaching 10-15 per cent, the therapy is expected to be a welcome addition to existing treatment options that are currently available in the Gulf.
Dr Adel Karrani, assistant head of Psychiatry at Rashid Hospital in Dubai was present at the event where he highlighted the significance of the introduction of this new treatment to the region.
"Depression remains somewhat of a quiet subject across the GCC, and as a result, many cases go undiagnosed each year. Mental illness is still perceived by many as an imaginary disease which results in an overall lack of awareness and education on the subject," said Dr Karrani.
“Depression is a debilitating disease, with real physical and emotional symptoms and I would estimate that we receive no fewer than 4,000 cases of depression in our clinic at Rashid Hospital each year," he explained.
"To have such a large congregation of Gulf-based healthcare professionals here today truly speaks to the importance of this issue."
"We are delighted to launch this new therapy across the Gulf, and look forward to the benefits it will undoubtedly offer doctors and patients throughout the region,” he added.
Keynote speaker, Prof Siegfried Kasper from Vienna University presented data on major international studies highlighting the enhanced treatment properties of the new antidepressant known as Agomelatine over traditional antidepressants.
Notable enhancements include greater patient improvement on depressed mood from the first week of treatment and favourable tolerability.
Weight gain and sexual dysfunction -notorious side effects of traditional antidepressants- are not associated with Agomelatine, said the expert.
“From the very first week of treatment, Agomelatine provided significant clinical improvement as reported by both doctors and patients. More precisely, patients themselves reported feeling better, with improved daytime functioning, as early as the first week of treatment,” Prof Kasper explained.
Agomelatine, he said, has been registered and available in Europe since 2009, and has been registered by the ministry of health in Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.
It is now available for the treatment of adult patients suffering from major depressive disorder in these same countries.-TradeArabia News Service