The candidate, Wendy J. Weber, seeks funding for a Mentored Patient- Oriented Research Career Development Award to obtain the skills of an independent clinical researcher. During the five year training period, Ms. Weber will conduct an eight-week double blind placebo controlled clinical trial of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort) for the treatment of depression in children and adolescents aged 6 to 17. Childhood and adolescent depression is a major public health concern affecting 2 to 8% of this population and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Numerous clinical trials of Hypericum for the treatment of adult depression have found that it is superior to placebo and nearly equivalent to pharmaceutical anti-depressants. The side effects of Hypericum are adolescent depression, and therefore a placebo- controlled trial is warranted. The proposed trial will determine the efficacy, safety, and response pattern of Hypericum for the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression in children and adolescents. The response to treatment will be determined by th Hamilton Depression Rating-Scale, safety will be determined by measuring adverse event rates, and response pattern will be evaluated by collecting and examining data at weeks one, two, four, six and eight of the clinical trial. Her proposal includes completion of a MPH Degree from the University of Washington School of Public Health's Epidemiology Department. This didactic training will give Ms. Weber the knowledge to design and conduct epidemiological studies in neuropathic medicine. In addition, the research skills we will develop by completing the research plan will give her the expertise to conduct clinical trials that evaluate efficacy of naturopathic therapies individually and in combination for juvenile mental health problems. Ms. Weber has assembled a highly qualified, interdisciplinary team of co- sponsors to ensure the success of her training. These mentors include: Joseph Biederman, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medial School and Chief of the Joint Program in Pediatric Psychopharmacology, who will provide expertise in pediatric psychopharmacology research; Leanna J. Standish, ND, PhD, Director of the Bastyr University Research Institute, who will provide guidance in the development of Ms. Weber's academic career; and Jon McClellan, MD, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of Washington, who will provide guidance in the field of child psychiatry and psychiatric services in western Washington. At the end of the grant period, Ms. Weber will have obtained a MPH degree in epidemiology, conducted the first placebo controlled trial of Hypericum in childhood and adolescent depression, and become a well-trained naturopathic, clinical researcher, which is of critical importance to the field of complementary and alternative medicine.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1-H (12))
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Stoney, Catherine
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Bastyr University
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United States
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McCarty, Rachelle L; Weber, Wendy J; Loots, Beth et al. (2010) Complementary and alternative medicine use and quality of life in pediatric diabetes. J Altern Complement Med 16:165-73
Weber, Wendy; McCarty, Rachelle L (2008) Interest of naturopathic physicians in pediatric research. J Altern Complement Med 14:445-8
Weber, Wendy; Vander Stoep, Ann; McCarty, Rachelle L et al. (2008) Hypericum perforatum (St John's wort) for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 299:2633-41
Weber, Wendy; Newmark, Sanford (2007) Complementary and alternative medical therapies for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism. Pediatr Clin North Am 54:983-1006;xii
Weber, Wendy; Taylor, James A; McCarty, Rachelle L et al. (2007) Frequency and characteristics of pediatric and adolescent visits in naturopathic medical practice. Pediatrics 120:e142-6
Weber, Wendy; Taylor, James A; Stoep, Ann Vander et al. (2005) Echinacea purpurea for prevention of upper respiratory tract infections in children. J Altern Complement Med 11:1021-6