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Sleep lab aims to improve treatment of depression in teens

This is Science Today. By the age of 18, one in five teenagers will have had an episode of depression and 75% of those teens will have another episode within five years. Allison Harvey, director of the University of California, Berkeley's Sleep and Psychological Disorders Laboratory, says they're studying sleep disturbances in teenagers with depression in an effort to improve their lives now and in the future.

Harvey:          Depression is associated with so many negative outcomes for teenagers, so it has substantial impact on school outcomes, academic performances, interpersonal relationships; it's associated with increased risk of substance and tobacco abuse, more suicide attempts. All these negative outcomes.

Narrator:       Sleep disturbances co-occur at a very high rate in people with psychiatric disorders, so Harvey's lab is aiming to improve approaches to treatment.

Harvey:          And the novel angle that we are going to try and take is to improve sleep and depression at the same time.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.