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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > DepressionPsychiatry / Psychology



Early-onset depressive disorders predict the use of addictive substances in adolescence

Depression • • Psychiatry / PsychologyOct 21 08

In a prospective study of over 1800 interviewed young Finnish twins, early-onset depressive disorders at age 14 significantly predicted daily smoking, smokeless tobacco use, frequent illicit drug use, frequent alcohol use and recurrent intoxication three years later, even among those adolescents who were not users at baseline.

Analysis of twins discordant for early-onset depressive disorders confirm predictive associations of early-onset depressive disorders with smokeless tobacco use and frequent drinking at age 17½, in within-family replications with co-twins matched on half or all their segregating genes, and on their family structure, socio-economic status, and household environment.

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Depression common among Rwandan youth who head households

Depression • • Psychiatry / PsychologySep 01 08

More than half of orphaned youth age 12 to 24 who head households in rural Rwanda meet criteria for depression, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The combined effects of the 1994 genocide and the HIV epidemic give Rwanda one of the highest numbers of orphans in the world—an estimated 290,000 in 2005, according to background information in the article. “Most African orphans have been absorbed into informal fostering systems,” the authors write. “Such systems, however, are increasingly overwhelmed, and many orphans either head households or live on the street.”

Neil W. Boris, M.D., of the Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, and colleagues assessed depressive symptoms in 539 youth in Rwanda who served as heads of households. Trained interviewers met with the youth (age 24 or younger, average age 20) and administered scales measuring symptoms of grief, depression, adult support and marginalization from the community. Questions about demographics, health, vulnerability and risky behaviors also were included.

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Family therapy helps relieve depression symptoms in bipolar teens

Depression • • Psychiatry / PsychologySep 01 08

Family-focused therapy, when combined with medication, appears effective in stabilizing symptoms of depression among teens with bipolar disorder, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Between one-half and two-thirds of patients with bipolar disorder develop the condition before age 18, according to background information in the article. “Early onset of illness is associated with an unremitting course of illness, frequent switches of polarity, mixed episodes, psychosis, a high risk of suicide and poor functioning or quality of life,” the authors write. “The past decade has witnessed a remarkable increase in diagnoses of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents and, correspondingly, drug trials for patients with early-onset disorder. There has been comparatively little controlled examination of psychotherapy for pediatric patients.”

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Mechanism for postpartum depression found in mice

Depression • • Pregnancy • • Psychiatry / PsychologyJul 30 08

Researchers have pinpointed a mechanism in the brains of mice that could explain why some human mothers become depressed following childbirth. The discovery could lead to improved treatment for postpartum depression. Supported in part by the National Institute of Mental Health, of the National Institutes of Health, the study used genetically engineered mice lacking a protein critical for adapting to the sex hormone fluctuations of pregnancy and the postpartum period.

“For the first time, we may have a highly useful model of postpartum depression,” said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. “The new research also points to a specific potential new target in the brain for medications to treat this disorder that affects 15 percent of women after they give birth.”

“After giving birth, female mice deficient in the suspect protein showed depression-like behaviors and neglected their newborn pups,” explained Istvan Mody, Ph.D., of the University of California at Los Angeles, who led the research. “Giving a drug that restored the protein’s function improved maternal behavior and reduced pup mortality.”

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Depression linked with first stroke in elderly

Depression • • StrokeJul 23 08

The results of a study in the current issue of the journal Stroke suggest that there is an association between depression and an increased risk of having a first stroke in elderly patients.

“It has long been noted that depression is common after stroke and that depression is associated with increased mortality in patients with stroke,” Dr. Ingmar Skoog, of Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Molndal, Sweden, and colleagues write. During the last decade, they add, published reports have suggested that depression may actually contribute to stroke risk.

The current study involved 401 stroke-free 85-year-olds who were participants in the Longitudinal Gerontological and Geriatric Population Studies in Goteborg. At study entry 72 were demented and 329 were dementia-free. The subjects were followed for 3 years and information was obtained from the Swedish Hospital Discharge Register, death certificates, self-reports, and key informants.

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Neurogenesis in the adult brain: The association with stress and depression

Depression • • Psychiatry / Psychology • • StressJul 08 08

The brain is the key organ in the response to stress. Brain reactions determine what in the world is threatening and might be stressful for us, and regulate the stress responses that can be either adaptive or maladaptive. Chronic stress can affect the brain and lead into depression: Environmental stressors related to job or family situation are important triggers of depressive episodes and major life events such as trauma or abuse amongst the most potent factors inducing depression.

The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that major depression will soon be the world´s greatest public health burden. Thus optimising antidepressive therapy with regard to delayed or insufficient treatment response and unwanted side effects is urgent.

Since the development of novel antidepressants is based upon an improved neurobiological understanding of this condition, new information about the cellular changes that take place in the brain is required.

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Diabetes linked to depression risk and vice versa

Depression • • Diabetes • • Psychiatry / PsychologyJun 18 08

People being treated for type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for depression, according to a new report, and individuals with depression have a moderately increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

To explore the relationship between diabetes and depression, Dr. Sherita Hill Golden at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and colleagues analyzed data on 6814 subjects who underwent three examinations between 2000 and 2005.

Among 4847 participants without depression at the start of the study, the researchers report, rates of occurrence of depression symptoms during follow-up were similar for people without diabetes and those with untreated type 2 diabetes, but about twice as high in people being treated for type 2 diabetes.

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Maternal depression, breastfeeding and a lower socioeconomic status can affect infants’ sleep

Depression • • Psychiatry / Psychology • • Sleep AidJun 09 08

Maternal depression during pregnancy, breastfeeding and a lower socioeconomic status are all associated with less infant sleep duration in the first six months of life, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Michael D. Nevarez, of Harvard Medical School, focused on 1,676 mother-infant pairs, where the mothers reported their infants’ average 24-hour sleep duration at six months. Also examined were daytime nap and nighttime sleep duration separately.

According to the results, infants’ mean sleep duration at six months, including daytime naps and nighttime sleep, was 12.2 hours per day. Less household income and lower maternal education were associated with shorter infant sleep duration. Compared with Caucasian infants, African-American infants slept 0.94 fewer total hours per day. Also, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian infants slept more hours during daytime naps but fewer hours at night. Infants whose mothers had a history of depression during pregnancy and those who were being breast-fed at six months appeared to sleep fewer total hours per day.

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Depression and anger can plague recent university graduates: Study

Depression • • Psychiatry / PsychologyMay 13 08

The post-university years can start out tough. The good news: it gets better.

A new University of Alberta study of almost 600 of its graduates (ages 20-29 years old) tracked mental health symptoms in participants for seven years post-graduation and looked at how key events like leaving home and becoming a parent were related to depression and anger. Graduates showed a significant decrease in depressive symptoms over the seven years. Expressed anger also declined over time after graduation, suggesting improved mental health.

The researchers also found that while home may be a haven for young people in the early years of adulthood, the longer they stay at home, or if they return home, the more likely they are to experience symptoms of depression. Previous research has found that more than half of students under 25 in four-year university programs lived with their parents.

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Bladder trouble tied to depression, anxiety

Depression • • Psychiatry / Psychology • • Urine ProblemsMay 09 08

Women who suffer from “dysfunctional voiding”—like having to urinate often and having difficulty voiding—experience a greater degree of depression and anxiety compared to women without these symptoms, research suggests.

“Dysfunctional voiding ... is more commonly seen in recent years,” Dr. Alex T. L. Lin, of Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, told Reuters Health. “Although we suspect that depression and anxiety are reactions to the dysfunctional voiding, we could not preclude the possibility that psychological abnormalities might predispose one to the occurrence of lower urinary tract dysfunction,” he commented.

Lin noted that the stressful environment of modern society might be a contributing factor for the increased incidence of dysfunctional voiding.

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Low Levels of Vitamin D Associated With Depression in Older Adults

Depression • • Psychiatry / PsychologyMay 06 08

Older adults with low blood levels of vitamin D and high blood levels of a hormone secreted by the parathyroid glands may have a higher risk of depression, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

About 13 percent of older individuals have symptoms of depression, and other researchers have speculated that vitamin D may be linked to depression and other psychiatric illnesses, according to background information in the article. “Underlying causes of vitamin D deficiency such as less sun exposure as a result of decreased outdoor activity, different housing or clothing habits and decreased vitamin intake may be secondary to depression, but depression may also be the consequence of poor vitamin D status,” the authors write. “Moreover, poor vitamin D status causes an increase in serum parathyroid hormone levels.” Overactive parathyroid glands are frequently accompanied by symptoms of depression that disappear after treatment of the condition.

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Low vitamin D boosts depression risk in seniors

Depression • • Psychiatry / PsychologyMay 06 08

Older people with low blood levels of vitamin D and high blood levels of parathyroid hormone are more likely to be depressed, Dutch researchers report.

But it remains unclear whether these abnormalities are a cause or a consequence of depression, Dr. Witte J. G. Hoogendijk and colleagues from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam say.

Past studies have linked altered levels of vitamin D and parathyroid hormone with depression, but the relationship “has never been studied systematically,” Hoogendijk and colleagues note. To investigate, they looked at 1,282 men and women aged 65 to 95 years participating in a long-term study of aging.

Nearly 40 percent of the men and 57 percent of women had low levels of vitamin D in their blood.

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Alzheimer Disease Risks Are Gender Specific

Depression • • Neurology • • Psychiatry / Psychology • • StrokeMay 01 08

The risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease differ between the sexes, with stroke in men, and depression in women, critical factors, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

The French researchers base their findings on almost 7000 people over the age of 65, drawn from the general population in three French cities.

None had dementia, but around four out of 10 were deemed to have mildly impaired mental agility (mild cognitive impairment) at the start of the study.

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Late-pregnancy depression predicts postnatal woes

Depression • • Pregnancy • • Psychiatry / PsychologyApr 29 08

Helping women who suffer from depression during pregnancy could reduce their risk of remaining depressed after giving birth and, in turn, reduce the level of stress they experience in early parenthood, Australian researchers report.

The strongest predictor of whether or not a woman would have postnatal depression was whether she was depressed shortly before giving birth, also known as the antenatal period, Drs. Bronwyn Leigh of Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital Austin Health in Heidelberg Heights and Jeannette Milgrom of the University of Melbourne found. And postnatal depression was, in turn, the only significant risk factor for high levels of parenting stress.

To date, research and treatment efforts have targeted postnatal depression, the researchers note, but less is known about risk factors for antenatal depression and early parenting stress.

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When one antidepressant doesn’t work, another may

Depression • • Drug News • • Psychiatry / PsychologyApr 24 08

For people suffering from depression that doesn’t respond to treatment with one type of antidepressant, switching to a different type may be the best treatment, according to a new report.

Relatively new antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft, for example, are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. In recent clinical trials, only about a third of depressed patients achieved remission with SSRI treatment, the authors explain, but there is little consensus among psychiatrists about the best treatment for patients when an SSRI doesn’t work.

To look into this, Dr. George I. Papakostas from Harvard Medical School, Boston, and his associates conducted an analysis of four clinical trials that compared a switch to a second SSRI versus a non-SSRI antidepressant for SSRI-resistant major depression.

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