Precision Psychiatry: Biomarker-Guided Tailored Therapy for Effective Treatment and Prevention in Major Depression

Candace Jones, Charles B. Nemeroff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Depression contributes greatly to global disability and is a leading cause of suicide. It has multiple etiologies and therefore response to treatment can vary significantly. By applying the concepts of personalized medicine, precision psychiatry attempts to optimize psychiatric patient care by better predicting which individuals will develop an illness, by giving a more accurate biologically based diagnosis, and by utilizing more effective treatments based on an individual’s biological characteristics (biomarkers). In this chapter, we discuss the basic principles underlying the role of biomarkers in psychiatric pathology and then explore multiple biomarkers that are specific to depression. These include endophenotypes, gene variants/polymorphisms, epigenetic factors such as methylation, biochemical measures, circadian rhythm dysregulation, and neuroimaging findings. We also examine the role of early childhood trauma in the development of, and treatment response to, depression. In addition, we review how new developments in technology may play a greater role in the determination of new biomarkers for depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Biomarkers
  • Depression
  • Endophenotypes
  • Epigenetics
  • Genetics
  • Neuroimaging
  • Precision psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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