Helge Hasselmann

Helge Hasselmann
Helge is a psychologist turned clinical neuroscientist whose special interests lie with affective disorders and psychopharmacology. While not based on personal experience, he has a hunch that ketamine may be the next blockbuster drug.


Follow me here –

SSRIs and TCAs are equally effective at treating chronic depression, but SSRIs have fewer side effects

Tightrope walker

Major depression all too often develops a chronic course, with every episode making future relapse more likely (Gilmer et al., 2005). Dysthymic disorders represent a less severe, but more persistent form of depression lasting for at least two years. In the affective disorder spectrum, chronic forms are unsurprisingly associated with greater functional impairment and overall [read the full story…]

Atypical antipsychotics don’t improve quality of life in treatment-resistant depression

Hand holding pill

SSRIs are usually considered first-line treatment against major depression and approximately 50% of patients achieve remission with the drug they try first (Steffens, Krishnan, & Helms, 1997). However, every eighth case proves to be treatment-resistant and does not respond to standard antidepressant treatment at all. As a last resort, second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) effective in schizophreniform [read the full story…]

Meta-analysis shows a small increased risk of brain haemorrhage in people taking SSRIs

Bleeding brain

Depression is a serious mental health threat proclaimed to be the greatest disease burden in the industrialised world by 2020 (Simon, 2003). In the pharmaceutical combat against depression, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the current treatment of choice. Indeed, SSRIs are the most prescribed antidepressant medicine (Helms & Eric, 2006). As the name suggests, they increase [read the full story…]