Columbia University Medical Center
Top Ranked in the Nation in Research Funding
and Patient Care
U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals
National Institutes of Health
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell

Mood Disorders Research Program

Mood Disorders Research ProgramThe Mood Disorders Research Program at 1775 Broadway (57th Street) in New York performs studies of chronic depression. In the past decade, it has become clear that many people with depression have symptoms that last for many years. Dysthymic Disorder (DD) is one form of chronic depression. Less severe than Major Depression, DD tends to start in adolescence or earlier, and to last for years, even decades. Symptoms include low mood (lasting 2 or more years), sadness, listlessness, an inability to enjoy things, low self-esteem, and poor concentration. Though DD is fairly mild on a day-to-day basis, over a lifetime it is actually a severe disorder—leading to poor work function, relationship problems, and high rates of suicide.

In recent years, a variety of medication treatments have been shown to be helpful for Dysthymic Disorder. At the Mood Disorders Research Program, we have studied medications such as Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Effexor, and Celexa. Our studies have shown that for most people, the longstanding symptoms of depression can be relieved in as little as four to eight weeks. Interestingly, not only do sleep and appetite improve, but many people also are able to work more productively and have better relationships.

How common is Dysthymic Disorder? Numerous studies have shown that as many as 3% of the American population has the condition. How often is it adequately treated? Probably less than half the time.

Go to Clinical Trials

Contact information

Tel: 212-316-2364 and 212-316-2526


The Mood Disorders Research Program is conveniently located in midtown Manhattan at:
1775 Broadway
Suite 1403
New York, NY 10019


David J. Hellerstein, MD is a Research Psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He specializes in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, with a particular focus on the psychopharmacology, or medication treatment, of psychiatric disorders. Dr. Hellerstein is the Director of the Mood Disorders Research Program.

Donna O'Shea, MA is the Program Manager for the Mood Disorders Research Program. She is the patient's initial contact with the program, performing evaluation interviews, and assisting patients and doctors in the day to day activities of the research program.


The MDRP specializes in treating adults who suffer from various types of mood disorders, particularly chronic depression. Our patients are diverse, ranging in age from 18 to 70. Some come to us after trying a number of other treatments, either medication or psychotherapy, and others are seeking treatment for the first time.

Financial Information

The MDRP is supported by private funding, mostly from pharmaceutical companies, and as a result, all evaluations are provided at no cost to you. If you are eligible for one of our clinical trials, study drugs are also provided free of charge.


hora interior