Susan Conroy, MD, PhD | Indiana University
Patricio Riva Posse, MD | Emory University


The Treatment Resistant Depression Task Group was formed to address the needs of patients who do not respond to currently available therapeutic interventions for depression. There remains a lot that we are yet to understand as to why some individuals respond quickly and effectively to a variety of treatments, whether behavioral, pharmacologic or neuromodulatory; and yet others do not. Or why some respond for a while, and then over time, stop receiving therapeutic benefit from those treatments that were once effective.

Depression is a chronic and severe psychiatric illness that affects approximately 21 million people in the United States and is a leading cause of disability worldwide (National Institute of Mental Health). Unfortunately, up to a third of patients do not respond to currently available treatments, and are considered to have treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Compared with treatment-responsive depression, TRD is associated with a more chronic and severe illness course, progressively detrimental effects on brain structure and functioning, increased healthcare costs, and risk of premature death by medical illnesses and suicide.

As we better understand the medical underpinnings of depressive illness, we are increasingly appreciating that treatment-resistant forms of this illness have a distinct pathology from treatment-responsive forms. Our task group is actively involved in development of treatment, research and educational strategies aimed at helping to understand these differences, close the gap on non-response and personalize treatments for TRD.

  • NNDC Small Grant: “Guideline and Protocol for Developing and Implementing a TRD Consultation Program”

For more information about this task group, please contact Program Manager Mary Laffey ([email protected]).

Each year, NNDC Task Groups are invited to apply for NNDC Momentum Grants to fund pilot projects that can be used to generate proposals for larger federal or foundation grants. For details, visit the NNDC Momentum Grants page.

page updated: 02/2023