CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — For Dr. Jeff Jonas, the desire to understand complex mechanics extends from how drugs reach brain receptors to the design of a well-run clinical trial to the craftsmanship that goes into a first-class watch, of which he owns many.

“This is a Rolex, a new Daytona, which is hard to get,” Jonas was saying of the piece on his wrist the other day, racing through his mile-a-minute, no-need-to-complete-a-sentence explanation. “They have an ultrahard piece of ceramic, which is their big innovation, plus they have a clutch system in the chronograph, which makes it very accurate, so the shape of the clutch, whether it’s vertical or horizontal, it’s all — and some guy does this.”

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  • If Dr Jonas is such a charismatic iconoclast, I wonder if he ever ‘looked twice’ at MAOIs or how he weighs in on psychiatry’s shamefully outdated prejudice against them. Not a lucrative pursuit perhaps, but there you go; so much for charisma. I recently published a piece in STAT News addressing this very issue. (Don’t cast aside an effective antidepressant just because it is old.”)

    • I’m unsure how you make the linkage from “charismatic” to MAOI’s or where iconoclasm enters the picture. I do agree that “older” anti-depressants should not be cast aside when their efficacy is best for any given patient, but let’s be realistic – many, many medicines negatively interact with MAOI’s, and not just at a trivial level. For many patients with (usually) unrelated co-morbidities MAOI’s are simply not a viable therapeutic option. Glad though that they have helped those for whom they are an option.

  • All these anti-depression drugs seem to be rushed through testing with very little study given to long-term use. And then doctors prescribe them like they’re candy. They are in general very dangerous and highly addictive drugs. I would say to avoid them whenever possible and to only take them as a last resort when diet, exercise and talk therapy have failed and never to ease the natural grief that one might feel at say the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship.

    • > All these anti-depression drugs seem to be rushed through testing with very little study given to long-term use. And then doctors prescribe them like they’re candy. They are in general very dangerous and highly addictive drugs.

      Strong statements. Are you speaking firsthand as a patient or as a provider, or anecdotally, or did you mean to cite some statistics?

      > I would say to avoid them whenever possible and to only take them as a last resort when diet, exercise and talk therapy have failed and never to ease the natural grief that one might feel at say the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship.

      Wonderful to have your medical advice. Are you speaking from your training and experience as a clinician or from your studies as a researcher? Do you specialize in psychiatry or something else?

  • These big Pharma CEO’s are even scarier in person. Keep your poison for profit away. I’ll stick to cannabis for pain, stress, depression and many other ailments, bypassing the horrible side effects of prescription pharmaceuticals.

    • Implying that cannabis has no side effects and everyone in the supply chain has the purest of motives.

  • Dr. Jonas is certainly an interesting and charismatic individual, as this piece unfailingly points out. However, I read STAT to better understand the world of medicine and not to read puff pieces. I was hoping to learn a bit more about why Dr. Jonas/Sage believes they will be successful with a drug for major depression and, unfortunately, there was zero information about that possibility.

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