Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (1991 - Present)
Director, Stanford Mood Disorders Center (2009 - Present)
Chair, Stanford University School of Medicine - Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (1991 - 2010)
Honors & Awards
Anna Monika Prize, Anna Monika Foundation (2013)
Honoris Causa, Medical Doctor, Mediziniche Universität, Wien (2011)
Falcone Award, National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD) (2005)
Distinguished Service in Psychiatry Award, The American College of Psychiatrists (2005)
Elected Member, Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (2003)
Research Award, American Psychiatric Association (2002)
Mood Disorders Research Award, American College of Psychiatrists (2002)
Edward A. Strecker, MD Award, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2001)
Klerman Award, Cornell Medical College (2001)
Gerald L. Klerman, MD Lifetime Research Award, National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association (NDMDA) (1998)
Medical Education:New York University - School Of Medicine (1968) NY
Board Certification: Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (1975)
Fellowship:Harvard Medical School (1972) MA
Residency:Massachusetts Mental Health Center (1972) MA
Internship:Lenox Hill Hospital (1969) NY
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Biological bases of depressive disorders;, glucocorticoid/dopamine interactions in delusional depression;, pharmacologic treatment of depressive disorders.
Genetics of Symptomatology and Treatment Response in Psychotic Major Depression
We hope to learn more about the biology of psychiatric illness with the hope of improving the diagnosis and treatment of such psychiatric conditions as major depression.
Clinical and Biological Characteristics of Psychotic Depression
The primary objective of this study is to investigate the relationships among findings in structural and functional neuroimaging, cognitive testing and HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis dysregulation in psychotic depression.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Lakshika Tennakoon, 650-723-3305.
Phase IIa Desipramine in Small Cell Lung Cancer and Other High-Grade Neuroendocrine Tumors
Intrapatient dose escalation of desipramine. Start at 75 mg daily. Increase by 75 mg weekly to maximum of 450 mg daily. Taper desipramine upon disease progression, unacceptable toxicity or patient withdrawal from study.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact CCTO, 650-498-7061.
Independent Studies (6)
- Directed Reading in Psychiatry
PSYC 299 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Graduate Research
PSYC 399 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Medical Scholars Research
PSYC 370 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Out-of-Department Advanced Research Laboratory in Experimental Biology
BIO 199X (Sum)
- Teaching in Psychiatry
PSYC 290 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Undergraduate Research
PSYC 199 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
- Directed Reading in Psychiatry
The mineralocorticoid receptor agonist, fludrocortisone, differentially inhibits pituitary-adrenal activity in humans with psychotic major depression
2013; 38 (1): 115-121
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation has been linked with major depression, particularly psychotic major depression (PMD), with mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) playing a role in HPA-axis regulation and the pathophysiology of depression. Herein we hypothesize that the MR agonist fludrocortisone differentially inhibits the HPA axis of psychotic major depression subjects (PMDs), non-psychotic major depression subjects (NPMDs), and healthy control subjects (HCs).Fourteen PMDs, 16 NPMDs, and 19 HCs were admitted to the Stanford University Hospital General Clinical Research Center. Serum cortisol levels were sampled at baseline and every hour from 18:00 to 23:00h, when greatest MR activity is expected, on two consecutive nights. On the second afternoon at 16:00h all subjects were given 0.5mg fludrocortisone. Mean cortisol levels pre- and post-fludrocortisone and percent change in cortisol levels were computed.There were no significant group differences for cortisol at baseline: F(2,47)=.19, p=.83. There were significant group differences for post-fludrocortisone cortisol: F(2,47)=5.13, p=.01, which were significantly higher in PMDs compared to HCs (p=.007), but not compared to NPMDs (p=.18). There were no differences between NPMD's and HC's (p=.61). Also, PMDs had a lower percent change from baseline in cortisol levels at 2200h than NPMDs (p=.01) or HCs (p=.009).Individuals with psychotic major depression compared to healthy control subjects have diminished feedback inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in response to the mineralocorticoid receptor agonist fludrocortisone. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine HPA axis response to MR stimulation in major depression (with and without psychosis), and only the third study to demonstrate that exogenously administered fludrocortisone can down-regulate the HPA axis in humans.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.05.006
View details for Web of Science ID 000313761000011
View details for PubMedID 22727477
Common Abnormalities and Disorder-Specific Compensation During Implicit Regulation of Emotional Processing in Generalized Anxiety and Major Depressive Disorders
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
2011; 168 (9): 968-978
Anxiety and depressive disorders are both associated with abnormalities in the processing and regulation of emotion. However, little is known about the similarities and differences between anxiety and depression at the neural level. The authors examined emotional conflict processing using a salient stimulus associated with observable and interpretable behavioral outcomes and with activation in limbic and prefrontal regions implicated in anxiety and depression.Thirty-two healthy comparison subjects, 18 patients with generalized anxiety disorder only, 14 patients with major depression only, and 25 patients with comorbid generalized anxiety disorder and major depression were studied using functional MRI while they performed an emotional conflict task that involved categorizing facial affect while ignoring overlaid affect label words. The authors used behavioral and neural measures to compare trial-by-trial changes in conflict regulation, a test of implicit regulation of emotional processing.Behavioral data indicated that only patients with generalized anxiety (i.e., the anxiety-only and comorbid groups) failed to implicitly regulate emotional conflict. By contrast, deficits in activation and connectivity of the ventral anterior cingulate and amygdala, areas previously implicated in regulating emotional conflict, were found in all patient groups. Depression-only patients, however, compensated for this deficit by also activating the left and right anterior lateral prefrontal cortices, in which activity was correlated with behavioral evidence of successful implicit regulation, thus mediating the disorder-specificity of the behavioral phenotype.These data support the existence of a common abnormality in anxiety and depression in the ventral cingulate and the amygdala, which may be related to a shared genetic etiology. Compensatory engagement of cognitive control circuitry in depression illustrates how the complex nature of psychopathology arises from the interaction of deficits and compensation, all of which can occur at an implicit level.
View details for DOI 10.1176/appi.ajp.2011.10091290
View details for Web of Science ID 000294484100016
View details for PubMedID 21632648
Somatic and neuroendocrine responses to standard and biologically salient acoustic startle stimuli in monkeys
2011; 36 (4): 547-556
The startle response, a simple defensive response to a sudden stimulus signaling proximal threat, has been well studied in rodents and humans, but has been rarely examined in monkeys. The first goal of the present studies was to develop a minimally immobilizing startle measurement paradigm and validate its usefulness by testing two core features of the startle response (habituation and graded responsivity) in squirrel monkey subjects. Two different types of startle stimuli were used: standard broad-band noise bursts, and species-specific alarm vocalizations ("yaps") which are elicited in response to threat in both wild and captive animals. The second goal of the present studies was to test whether yaps produce enhanced startle responsivity due to their increased biological salience compared to simple, non-biologically relevant noise bursts. The third goal of the present studies was to evaluate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to startle stimuli, as little is known about the stress-activating role of startle stimuli in any species. These experiments determined that the whole-body startle response in relatively unrestrained squirrel monkeys habituates across repeated stimulus presentations and is proportional to stimulus intensity. In addition, differential habituation was observed across biologically salient vs. standard acoustic startle stimuli. Responses to "yaps" were larger initially but attenuated more rapidly over trials. Responses to "yaps" were also larger in the early subepochs of the response window but then achieved a lower level than responses to noise bursts in the later subepochs. Finally, adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol concentrations were significantly elevated above baseline after startle stimuli presentation, though monkeys did not exhibit differential HPA axis responses to the two types of startle stimuli. The development of monkey startle methodology may further enhance the utility of this paradigm in translational studies of human stress-related psychiatric disorders.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.08.009
View details for Web of Science ID 000288922300013
View details for PubMedID 20869176
Markers in the 15q24 Nicotinic Receptor Subunit Gene Cluster (CHRNA5-A3-B4) Predict Severity of Nicotine Addiction and Response to Smoking Cessation Therapy
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS PART B-NEUROPSYCHIATRIC GENETICS
2011; 156B (3): 275-284
Stopping smoking is difficult even with treatment. Many patients prescribed pharmacologic treatments for smoking cessation experience side effects or lack of efficacy. We performed a pharmacogenetic study of the efficacy and tolerability of bupropion and transdermal nicotine (TN), two treatments for smoking cessation. Samples were drawn from two studies. In the first study (Maintenance 1, MT1), 301 smokers received bupropion plus TN for 11 weeks, followed by 14 weeks of placebo or bupropion. In the second study (MT2), 276 smokers received bupropion and TN for 8 weeks. We focused on eight SNPs in the 15q24 region, which contains the genes for the nicotinic cholinergic receptor subunits CHRNA5, CHRNA3, and CHRNB4, and has previously been implicated in nicotine addiction and smoking cessation. Analyses of baseline smoking quantity (SQ) identified an association between SQ and both the functional CHRNA5 SNP rs16969968 (D398N) and the CHRNA3 SNP rs1051730 (Y215Y) in a combined cohort containing MT1 and MT2. An association between SQ and ethnicity was also identified in the combined cohort. Pharmacogenetic analysis showed a significant association between rs8192475 (R37H) in CHRNA3 and both higher craving after quitting and increased withdrawal symptoms over time in MT2. Two markers for point prevalence abstinence, CHRNA5 SNP rs680244 and CHRNB4 SNP rs12914008, were also identified in MT2, with the strongest findings at week 52. These results provide further support for the role of the CHRNA5/A3/B4 subunits in determining number of cigarettes smoked and response to smoking cessation therapy.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.b.31155
View details for Web of Science ID 000288332600003
View details for PubMedID 21268243
Aberrant Brain Activation During a Working Memory Task in Psychotic Major Depression
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
2011; 168 (2): 173-182
The authors sought to better understand the neural circuitry associated with working memory deficits in psychotic major depression by examining brain function during an N-back task.Study subjects were 16 patients with psychotic major depression, 15 patients with nonpsychotic major depression, and 19 healthy comparison subjects. Functional MRI data were collected while participants responded to letter stimuli that were repeated from the previous trial (1-back) or the one before that (2-back).Relative to the healthy comparison group, both the psychotic and nonpsychotic major depression groups had significantly greater activation in the right parahippocampal gyrus during the 2-back task, and the psychotic major depression group showed this overactivation during the 1-back task as well. The nonpsychotic major depression group showed significantly lower activation than other groups in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and greater activation than the healthy comparison group in the superior occipital cortex. The psychotic major depression group was unique in showing greater activation than both other groups in the right temporoparietal junction, a cluster that also demonstrated connectivity with activation in the left prefrontal cortex.The psychotic major depression group showed aberrant parahippocampal activation at a lower demand level than observed in nonpsychotic major depression. While the nonpsychotic major depression group showed abnormalities in frontal executive regions, the psychotic major depression group showed abnormalities in temporoparietal regions associated with orienting to unexpected stimuli. Considering the functional connectivity of this cluster with left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex regions, these findings may reflect neural compensation for sensory gating deficits in psychotic major depression.
View details for DOI 10.1176/appi.ajp.2010.09121718
View details for Web of Science ID 000286972800011
View details for PubMedID 21078708
Animal Models of Early Life Stress: Implications for Understanding Resilience
2010; 52 (7): 616-624
In the mid-1950s, Levine and his colleagues reported that brief intermittent exposure to early life stress diminished indications of subsequent emotionality in rats. Here we review ongoing studies of a similar process in squirrel monkeys. Results from these animal models suggest that brief intermittent exposure to stress promotes the development of arousal regulation and resilience. Implications for programs designed to enhance resilience in human development are discussed.
View details for DOI 10.1002/dev.20500
View details for Web of Science ID 000283570400002
View details for PubMedID 20957724
Personality traits and medical outcome of cardiac illness
JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH
2010; 44 (15): 1017-1020
Our goal was to examine the empirical literature on the effect of personality traits on the medical outcome of cardiac illness.Pub Med and Psychological Abstracts were searched for the years 1990 to September 2009 using the terms personality, personality traits, personality disorder, health, recovery from illness, cardiac illness and surgical recovery. Articles were then selected that were prospective, had a peer review published measure of personality, a standardized measure of outcome of physical illness and at least one year follow up.Seven articles were identified that met our criteria. All seven had a significant finding that personality traits predicted medical outcomes. Of these seven articles six had similar enough measures of personality to be included in a meta analysis. (All used Type D personality.) Meta analysis found an odds ratio of 3.76 for Type D personality traits predicting poorer medical outcome. This indicated that patients with Type D personality had a 276% increase in the odds of a poor medical outcome compared to patients without Type D personality.These findings indicate that personality traits are a strong predictor of medical outcome of cardiac disease.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.03.016
View details for Web of Science ID 000284566700004
View details for PubMedID 20451216
- Presidential address. American journal of psychiatry 2010; 167 (10): 1161-1165
Failure to improve cigarette smoking abstinence with transdermal selegiline plus cognitive behavior therapy
2010; 105 (9): 1660-1668
To examine the effectiveness of transdermal selegiline for producing cigarette smoking abstinence.Adult smokers were randomly assigned to receive selegiline transdermal system (STS) or placebo given for 8 weeks. All participants received cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Follow-ups were conducted at 25 and 52 weeks.Community smoking cessation clinic.243 adult smokers (> or =18 years of age; > or =10 cigarettes/day).Expired-air carbon monoxide confirmed 7-day point prevalence abstinence.STS was not superior to placebo. More women than men were abstinent at 52 week follow-up (28% vs 16%, P < 0.05). Behavioral activation (BAS) moderated treatment response (P = 0.01). The survival rate through week 52 for those with high 'drive' scores on the BAS was 47% if assigned to selegiline and 34% if assigned to placebo. The survival rate for those with low 'drive scores' on the BAS was 35% if assigned to selegiline compared to 53% if assigned to placebo.Transdermal selegiline does not appear generally effective in aiding smoking cessation though there may be a selective effect in those smokers with low 'behavioral activation'.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03020.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000280668200027
View details for PubMedID 20707784
Stress coping stimulates hippocampal neurogenesis in adult monkeys
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2010; 107 (33): 14823-14827
Coping with intermittent social stress is an essential aspect of living in complex social environments. Coping tends to counteract the deleterious effects of stress and is thought to induce neuroadaptations in corticolimbic brain systems. Here we test this hypothesis in adult squirrel monkey males exposed to intermittent social separations and new pair formations. These manipulations simulate conditions that typically occur in male social associations because of competition for limited access to residency in mixed-sex groups. As evidence of coping, we previously confirmed that cortisol levels initially increase and then are restored to prestress levels within several days of each separation and new pair formation. Follow-up studies with exogenous cortisol further established that feedback regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is not impaired. Now we report that exposure to intermittent social separations and new pair formations increased hippocampal neurogenesis in squirrel monkey males. Hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents contributes to spatial learning performance, and in monkeys we found that spatial learning was enhanced in conditions that increased hippocampal neurogenesis. Corresponding changes were discerned in the expression of genes involved in survival and integration of adult-born granule cells into hippocampal neural circuits. These findings support recent indications that stress coping stimulates hippocampal neurogenesis in adult rodents. Psychotherapies designed to promote stress coping potentially have similar effects in humans with major depression.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0914568107
View details for Web of Science ID 000281287600055
View details for PubMedID 20675584
ABCB1 ( MDR1) polymorphisms and antidepressant response in geriatric depression
PHARMACOGENETICS AND GENOMICS
2010; 20 (8): 467-475
Variation in the ATP-binding cassette, subfamily B, member 1 transporter (ABCB1) (multidrug-resistance gene 1) gene has been investigated as a predictor of response to treatment with a variety of medications such as antiarrhythmics, chemotherapeutic agents, anti-HIV medications, and some psychotropics. The ABCB1 gene product, P-glycoprotein, affects the transport of drugs out of many cell types, including endothelial cells at the blood-brain barrier. We sought to determine if ABCB1 polymorphisms predict response to antidepressant treatment in geriatric patients.We compared the effects of ABCB1 genetic variation on the therapeutic response to paroxetine, a P-glycoprotein substrate, and to mirtazapine, which is not thought to be transported by ABCB1, in a sample of 246 elderly patients with major depression treated in a clinical trial setting. A total of 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms in the ABCB1 gene were assessed in each patient. Two of these ABCB1 single nucleotide polymorphisms were earlier reported to predict treatment response in patients prescribed with P-glycoprotein substrate antidepressants.The two earlier identified ABCB1 markers for antidepressant response predicted time to remission in our paroxetine-treated patients, but not in the mirtazapine-treated patients. These results replicate the published findings of others. If a Bonferroni correction for type I error is made, our results do not reach the criteria for statistical significance. However, the Bonferroni correction may be too conservative given the strong linkage disequilibrium among some of the markers and our aim to replicate the earlier published findings.Our study provides confirmation that certain ABCB1 polymorphisms predict response to substrate medications in geriatric patients.
View details for DOI 10.1097/FPC.0b013e32833b593a
View details for Web of Science ID 000279865400001
View details for PubMedID 20555295
Preliminary evidence that plasma oxytocin levels are elevated in major depression
2010; 178 (2): 359-362
It is well established that the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) is involved in regulating social behavior, anxiety, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis physiology in mammals. Because individuals with major depression often exhibit functional irregularities in these measures, we test in this pilot study whether depressed subjects (n=11) exhibit dysregulated OT biology compared to healthy control subjects (n=19). Subjects were hospitalized overnight and blood samples were collected hourly between 1800 and 0900h. Plasma levels of OT, the closely related neuropeptide argine-vasopressin (AVP), and cortisol were quantified. Results indicated that depressed subjects exhibit increased OT levels compared to healthy control subjects, and this difference is most apparent during the nocturnal peak. No depression-related differences in AVP or cortisol levels were discerned. This depression-related elevation in plasma OT levels is consistent with reports of increased hypothalamic OT-expressing neurons and OT mRNA in depressed patients. This present finding is likewise consistent with the hypothesis that dysregulated OT biology may be a biomarker of the emotional distress and impaired social relationships which characterize major depression. Additional research is required to elucidate the role of OT in the pathophysiology of this psychiatric disorder.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psychres.2009.09.017
View details for Web of Science ID 000279988900025
View details for PubMedID 20494448
Chronic pain and major depressive disorder in the general population
JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH
2010; 44 (7): 454-461
This study aims (1) to assess the prevalence of Chronic Painful Physical Condition (CPPC) and major depressive disorder (MDD) in the general population; (2) to evaluate their interaction and co-morbidity with sleep and organic disorders; and (3) to investigate their daily functioning and socio-professional consequences. A random sample of 3243 subjects (18years), representative of California inhabitants, was interviewed by telephone. CPPC duration was at least 6months. Frequency, severity, duration and consequences on daily functioning, consultations, sick leave and treatment were investigated. MDD were assessed using DSM-IV criteria. The point prevalence of CPPC was 49% (95% confidence interval: 47.0-51.0%). Back area pain was the most frequent; 1-month prevalence of MDD was at 6.3% (95% CI: 5.5-7.2%); 66.3% of MDD subjects reported at least one CPPC. In 57.1% of cases, pain appeared before MDD. Pain severity was increased by poor sleep, stress and tiredness in MDD subjects. Being confined to bed, taking sick leave and interference of pain with daily functioning were twice as frequent among MDD subjects with CPPC than in non-MDD subjects with CPPC; obese individuals with CP were 2.6 times as likely to have MDD. Pain is highly linked with depressive disorder. It deteriorates physical, occupational and socio-professional activities. Pain and sleep disturbances are a prime motive of consultation rather than depressed mood, underlining the risk of missing a depression diagnosis.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2009.10.013
View details for Web of Science ID 000278240200007
View details for PubMedID 20149391
Failure of Anterior Cingulate Activation and Connectivity With the Amygdala During Implicit Regulation of Emotional Processing in Generalized Anxiety Disorder
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
2010; 167 (5): 545-554
Clinical data suggest that abnormalities in the regulation of emotional processing contribute to the pathophysiology of generalized anxiety disorder, yet these abnormalities remain poorly understood at the neurobiological level. The authors recently reported that in healthy volunteers the pregenual anterior cingulate regulates emotional conflict on a trial-by-trial basis by dampening activity in the amygdala. The authors also showed that this process is specific to the regulation of emotional, compared to nonemotional, conflict. Here the authors examined whether this form of noninstructed emotion regulation is perturbed in generalized anxiety disorder.Seventeen patients with generalized anxiety disorder and 24 healthy comparison subjects underwent functional MRI while performing an emotional conflict task that involved categorizing facial affect while ignoring overlaid affect label words. Behavioral and neural measures were used to compare trial-by-trial changes in conflict regulation.Comparison subjects effectively regulated emotional conflict from trial to trial, even though they were unaware of having done so. By contrast, patients with generalized anxiety disorder were completely unable to regulate emotional conflict and failed to engage the pregenual anterior cingulate in ways that would dampen amygdalar activity. Moreover, performance and brain activation were correlated with symptoms and could be used to accurately classify the two groups.These data demonstrate that patients with generalized anxiety disorder show significant deficits in the noninstructed and spontaneous regulation of emotional processing. Conceptualization of anxiety as importantly involving abnormalities in emotion regulation, particularly a type occurring outside of awareness, may open up avenues for novel treatments, such as by targeting the medial prefrontal cortex.
View details for DOI 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09070931
View details for Web of Science ID 000277237100012
View details for PubMedID 20123913
Efficacy and Safety of Agomelatine in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
2010; 30 (2): 135-144
In this 8-week double-blind multicenter trial, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of 2 fixed doses of agomelatine in patients with moderate to severe major depressive disorder. Primary efficacy variable was the change in 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17) total score from baseline to week 8/end of treatment. Secondary efficacy assessment compared the improvements in clinical response and remission (HAM-D17), Clinical Global Impression--Improvement Score, Clinical Global Impression--Severity Score, Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD), sleep (Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire), disability (Sheehan Disability Scale), and overall Quality of Life in Depression Scale between the agomelatine and placebo groups. Eligible patients (n = 511; baseline mean HAM-D17 score = 27.0) were randomized (1:1:1) to once-daily agomelatine, 25 mg; agomelatine, 50 mg; or placebo. Agomelatine 50 mg provided a statistically significant improvement in HAM-D17 score from first baseline visit through week 8 compared with placebo (week 8 treatment difference, 2.5; P = 0.004), whereas agomelatine 25 mg did not show (P = 0.505) a significant improvement. Treatment differences for all secondary efficacy variables were also statistically significant for agomelatine 50 mg versus placebo: Clinical Global Impression--Improvement (P = 0.012); Clinical Global Impression--Severity difference (P = 0.003); improvement in HAD total score, 2.2 (P = 0.014); patients' ability to get sleep (P < 0.001); quality of sleep (P = 0.002). Both doses of agomelatine were well tolerated relative to placebo. However, clinically notable transient aminotransferase elevations were observed in 4.5% of the patients in the agomelatine 50 mg group. The results showed significant antidepressant efficacy of agomelatine 50 mg/d, including a positive effect on sleep compared with placebo in outpatients with moderate to severe major depressive disorder.
View details for DOI 10.1097/JCP.0b013e3181d420a7
View details for Web of Science ID 000275722300006
View details for PubMedID 20520286
FKBP5 Polymorphisms and Antidepressant Response in Geriatric Depression
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS PART B-NEUROPSYCHIATRIC GENETICS
2010; 153B (2): 554-560
Genetic variation at the FKBP5 locus has been reported to affect clinical outcomes in patients treated with antidepressant medications in several studies. However, other reports have not confirmed this association. FKBP5 may regulate the sensitivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. We tested two FKBP5 single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs1360780 and rs3800373) in a sample of 246 geriatric patients treated for 8 weeks in a double-blind randomized comparison trial of paroxetine and mirtazapine. These two polymorphisms had previously been reported to predict efficacy in depressed patients treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as paroxetine, and those treated with mirtazapine, an agent with both serotonergic and noradrenergic actions. However, we found no significant associations between these FKBP5 genetic variants and clinical outcomes. Neither mean Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores nor time to remission or response were predicted by FKBP5 genetic variation. These results suggest that FKBP5 is unlikely to play a major role in determining antidepressant treatment outcomes in geriatric patients.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.b.31019
View details for Web of Science ID 000275377900023
View details for PubMedID 19676097
Social phobia and depression: Prevalence and comorbidity
JOURNAL OF PSYCHOSOMATIC RESEARCH
2010; 68 (3): 235-243
Social phobia may seriously impair the functioning of affected individuals. It is frequently associated with other mental disorders.To estimate the co-occurrence of social phobia with major depressive disorder (MDD) and to analyze their interaction.Subjects were 18,980 individuals, aged 15 years or older, representative of the general population of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal, who were interviewed by telephone. DSM-IV diagnoses were made with the Sleep-EVAL system.The point prevalence for social phobia was 4.4% (95% confidence interval: 4.1-4.7%) of the sample. It was higher in women (odds ratio: 1.6) and decreased with age. MDDs were found in 19.5% of participants with social phobia. Co-occurrence of another anxiety disorder was high and increased when a MDD was present (65.2%). The odds of developing a major depressive episode 2 years after the appearance of the social phobia was of 5.74.Social phobia is highly prevalent in the general population. It increases the risk of developing a MDD and has a high comorbidity with other mental disorders. Social phobia is often present in the course of depression, more obviously during remission period of MDD. Physicians must explore and treat more systematically this frequent pathology.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2009.07.18
View details for Web of Science ID 000275073400003
View details for PubMedID 20159208
Rosiglitazone Add-On in Treatment of Depressed Patients with Insulin Resistance: a Pilot Study
2010; 10: 321-328
A number of cross-sectional studies have suggested an association between insulin resistance (IR) and affective disorders. However, limited data exist on potential changes in IR in a prospective treatment of depression. The present pilot study tested the hypothesis that improvement of IR with the addition of an insulin-sensitizing agent would improve mood in nondiabetic patients with unipolar or bipolar depression, who had surrogate blood markers suggestive of IR. Surrogate IR-criteria blood markers were fasting plasma glucose >100 mg/dl or triglyceride (TG) to high density lipoprotein (HDL) ratio >3.0. Open-label rosiglitazone, titrated to a dose of 8 mg/day, was administered for 12 weeks to 12 patients with depressive disorder receiving treatment as usual (TAU). Eight patients who completed the 12-week study exhibited significant declines in both depression severity by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Clinical Global Impression scale, with moderate effect sizes noted. Modest improvement in Matsuda Index scores was also noted at 12 weeks, yet declines in depression severity scores were not associated with improvements in the endocrine markers (Matsuda Index, TG/HDL ratio, and body mass index). These results suggest the potential novel use for an insulin-sensitizing agent in the treatment of depressive disorders. Larger placebo-controlled studies are warranted.
View details for DOI 10.1100/tsw.2010.32
View details for Web of Science ID 000274935000007
View details for PubMedID 20191245
Monitoring mental health treatment acceptance and initial treatment adherence in veterans Veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom versus other veterans of other eras
WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2010: 104-113
Identifying factors that influence mental health outcomes in veterans can aid in the redesign of programs to maximize the likelihood of early resolution of problems. To that end, we examined demographic and clinical process data from 2,684 veterans who scored positive on a mental health screen. We investigated this data set for patterns and possible predictors of mental health referral acceptance and attendance. The majority of patients had not received mental health treatment within the last two years (76%). Veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) were more likely to accept a mental health referral for depression but were equally likely to attend a mental health visit as other era veterans. Decreased acceptance was associated with provider type and contact method, clinic location, depression only, and specific age ranges (65-74). Among those who accepted a referral, decreased attendance was associated with clinic location, depression only, and retirement. No variables predicted OEF/OIF acceptance/attendance. In conclusion, our findings illustrate the importance of close, continual monitoring of clinical process data to help reveal targets for improving mental health care for veterans.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05692.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000284742000014
View details for PubMedID 20955332
A pilot study of the phase angle between cortisol and melatonin in major depression - A potential biomarker?
JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH
2010; 44 (2): 69-74
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and melatonin rhythm alterations have been independently reported in major depression (MDD) as well as in insomnia. In this pilot study, we link cortisol and melatonin rhythms and propose that the phase angle between cortisol acrophase (CA) and dim-light melatonin onset (20 pg/ml) (DLMO-20) may yield a useful state specific biomarker for MDD.Six healthy (HC) and six depressed (MDD) psychotropic free subjects were admitted to the General Clinical Research Center. Blood was sampled for cortisol and melatonin from 1600h to 1000h, under dim lights (<20lux) and constant routine. Time for DLMO-20 and peak cortisol concentration was determined for each subject. Phase angle was computed as the difference in time between CA and DLMO-20.Phase angle was significantly increased in MDD's versus HC's (13.40+/-1.61h. versus 11.61+/-1.66h, p=0.026). Using ROC analysis, a phase angle greater than 13.57h distinguished MDD's from HC's (sensitivity=0.83, specificity=1.0). Mean nocturnal melatonin (1600-1000h) was significantly decreased in MDD's versus HC's (22.67+/-9.08 pg/ml versus 47.82+/-14.76 pg/ml, p=0.015).The phase angle between CA and DLMO-20 appears to distinguish HC's from MDD's and may be a useful biomarker to aid biologic assessment as well as treatment. Lower nocturnal melatonin in MDD's highlights its importance in MDD's pathophysiology. Additional study with larger sample size is needed to confirm the results of this pilot study. The mechanism for this phase angle difference and decreased melatonin, itself, requires further study.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2009.06.012
View details for Web of Science ID 000275071600002
View details for PubMedID 20004915
Using Treatment Process Data to Predict Maintained Smoking Abstinence
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HEALTH BEHAVIOR
2010; 34 (6): 801-810
To identify distinct subgroups of treatment responders and nonresponders to aid in the development of tailored smoking-cessation interventions for long-term maintenance using signal detection analysis (SDA).The secondary analyses (n = 301) are based on data obtained in our randomized clinical trial designed to assess the efficacy of extended cognitive behavior therapy for cigarette smoking cessation. Model 1 included only pretreatment factors, demographic characteristics, and treatment assignment. Model 2 included all Model 1 variables, as well as clinical data measured during treatment.SDA was successfully able to identify smokers with varying probabilities of maintaining abstinence from end-of-treatment to 52-week follow-up; however, the inclusion of clinical data obtained over the course of treatment in Model 2 yielded very different partitioning parameters.The findings from this study may enable researchers to target underlying factors that may interact to promote maintenance of long-term smoking behavior change.
View details for Web of Science ID 000291935900014
View details for PubMedID 20604703
Disrupted Amygdalar Subregion Functional Connectivity and Evidence of a Compensatory Network in Generalized Anxiety Disorder
ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY
2009; 66 (12): 1361-1372
Little is known about the neural abnormalities underlying generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Studies in other anxiety disorders have implicated the amygdala, but work in GAD has yielded conflicting results. The amygdala is composed of distinct subregions that interact with dissociable brain networks, which have been studied only in experimental animals. A functional connectivity approach at the subregional level may therefore yield novel insights into GAD.To determine whether distinct connectivity patterns can be reliably identified for the basolateral (BLA) and centromedial (CMA) subregions of the human amygdala, and to examine subregional connectivity patterns and potential compensatory amygdalar connectivity in GAD.Cross-sectional study.Academic medical center.Two cohorts of healthy control subjects (consisting of 17 and 31 subjects) and 16 patients with GAD.Functional connectivity with cytoarchitectonically determined BLA and CMA regions of interest, measured during functional magnetic resonance imaging performed while subjects were resting quietly in the scanner. Amygdalar gray matter volume was also investigated with voxel-based morphometry.Reproducible subregional differences in large-scale connectivity were identified in both cohorts of healthy controls. The BLA was differentially connected with primary and higher-order sensory and medial prefrontal cortices. The CMA was connected with the midbrain, thalamus, and cerebellum. In GAD patients, BLA and CMA connectivity patterns were significantly less distinct, and increased gray matter volume was noted primarily in the CMA. Across the subregions, GAD patients had increased connectivity with a previously characterized frontoparietal executive control network and decreased connectivity with an insula- and cingulate-based salience network.Our findings provide new insights into the functional neuroanatomy of the human amygdala and converge with connectivity studies in experimental animals. In GAD, we find evidence of an intra-amygdalar abnormality and engagement of a compensatory frontoparietal executive control network, consistent with cognitive theories of GAD.
View details for Web of Science ID 000272494700011
View details for PubMedID 19996041
Withdrawal symptoms over time among adolescents in a smoking cessation intervention: Do symptoms vary by level of nicotine dependence?
2009; 34 (12): 1017-1022
Nicotine dependence may be expressed differently in teens than in adults. Thus, it may not be sufficient to build diagnostic and cessation treatment strategies for teens based on adult-derived clinical and research data. This is the first study to prospectively examine the development of withdrawal symptoms by level of nicotine dependence among adolescent smokers. Forty-seven adolescent smokers completed nicotine withdrawal symptoms measures during 10 weeks of cessation treatment. Nicotine dependence was assessed at baseline using the mFTQ. Change in withdrawal symptoms over time by level of nicotine dependence was examined via mixed model ANOVA. Nicotine withdrawal in daily adolescent smokers was strongly and prospectively associated with the level of nicotine dependence. Craving was rated as the most problematic symptom at the baseline assessment. The results of this study may help guide the development of future research on diagnostic and cessation treatment strategies for teens.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.06.014
View details for Web of Science ID 000270472500005
View details for PubMedID 19647373
- The silver lining of recent effectiveness trials WORLD PSYCHIATRY 2009; 8 (1): 30-32
Prefrontal Plasticity and Stress Inoculation-Induced Resilience
2009; 31 (4): 293-299
Coping with mild early life stress tends to make subsequent coping efforts more effective and therefore more likely to be used as a means of arousal regulation and resilience. Here we show that this developmental learning-like process of stress inoculation increases ventromedial prefrontal cortical volumes in peripubertal monkeys. Larger volumes do not reflect increased cortical thickness but instead represent surface area expansion of ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Expansion of ventromedial prefrontal cortex coincides with increased white matter myelination inferred from diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging. These findings suggest that the process of coping with early life stress increases prefrontal myelination and expands a region of cortex that broadly controls arousal regulation and resilience.
View details for DOI 10.1159/000216540
View details for Web of Science ID 000267787200006
View details for PubMedID 19546566
Developmental cascades linking stress inoculation, arousal regulation, and resilience
FRONTIERS IN BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE
Stressful experiences that are challenging but not overwhelming appear to promote the development of arousal regulation and resilience. Variously described in studies of humans as inoculating, steeling, or toughening, the notion that coping with early life stress enhances arousal regulation and resilience is further supported by longitudinal studies of squirrel monkey development. Exposure to early life stress inoculation diminishes subsequent indications of anxiety, increases exploration of novel situations, and decreases stress-levels of cortisol compared to age-matched monkeys raised in undisturbed social groups. Stress inoculation also enhances prefrontal-dependent cognitive control of behavior and increases ventromedial prefrontal cortical volumes. Larger volumes do not reflect increased cortical thickness but instead represent surface area expansion of ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Expansion of ventromedial prefrontal cortex coincides with increased white matter myelination inferred from diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging. These findings suggest that early life stress inoculation triggers developmental cascades across multiple domains of adaptive functioning. Prefrontal myelination and cortical expansion induced by the process of coping with stress support broad and enduring trait-like transformations in cognitive, motivational, and emotional aspects of behavior. Implications for programs designed to promote resilience in humans are discussed.
View details for DOI 10.3389/neuro.08.032.2009
View details for Web of Science ID 000208031500032
View details for PubMedID 19826626
Extended cognitive behavior therapy for cigarette smoking cessation
2008; 103 (8): 1381-1390
PRIMARY AIM: Examine the effectiveness of extended cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) in promoting longer-term smoking abstinence.Open-label treatment phase followed by extended treatment phase. Randomization conducted prior to entry into open-label treatment phase; analysis based on intention-to-treat to avoid threat of selection bias.Community smoking cessation clinic.A total of 304 adult smokers (> or = 18 years of age; > or = 10 cigarettes/day).Open-label (8 weeks): all participants received bupropion SR, nicotine patch, CBT. Extended treatment (12 weeks): participants received either CBT + voicemail monitoring and telephone counseling or telephone-based general support.Seven-day point prevalence abstinence, expired-air carbon monoxide.At week 20 follow-up, CBT produced a higher 7-day point prevalence abstinence rate: 45% versus 29%, P = 0.006; at 52 weeks the difference in abstinence rates (31% versus 27%) was not significant. History of depression was a moderator of treatment. Those with a positive history had a better treatment response at 20 weeks when assigned to the less intensive telephone support therapy (P < 0.05).The superiority of CBT to 20 weeks suggests that continued emphasis on the development of cognitive and behavioral strategies for maintaining non-smoking during an extended treatment phase may help smokers to maintain abstinence in the longer term. At present, the minimum duration of therapy is unknown.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02273.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000257692800021
View details for PubMedID 18855829
Hippocampal and amygdalar volumes in psychotic and nonpsychotic unipolar depression
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
2008; 165 (7): 872-880
The limbic system is thought to underlie dysfunctional affective and cognitive processes in individuals with depression. Neuroanatomical studies of subjects with depression have often examined hippocampal and amygdalar structures, since they are two key structures of the limbic system. Research has often but not always found reduced hippocampal volume in patients with major depression. The purpose of the present study was to examine differences in hippocampal and amygdalar volumes in patients with depression subtypes relative to healthy comparison subjects.Participants were 1) patients with major depression with psychosis, 2) patients with major depression without psychosis, and 3) healthy comparison subjects. To examine hippocampal and amygdalar volumes, all participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The authors further examined the effects of clinical and chronicity data on these two brain structures.After age, gender, and total brain volume were controlled, depressed patients with psychosis had a significantly smaller mean amygdala volume relative to depressed patients without psychosis and healthy comparison subjects. There were no differences between depressed patients without psychosis and healthy comparison subjects. Correlational analyses suggested that age of depression onset was strongly associated with amygdala volume. No group differences in hippocampal volume were found.There were no differences between depressed patients and healthy comparison subjects in hippocampal volume. However, psychotic but not nonpsychotic depression was associated with reduced amygdala volume. Reduced amygdala volume was not associated with severity of depression or severity of psychosis but was associated with age at onset of depression. Smaller amygdala volume may be a risk factor for later development of psychotic depression. In addition, chronicity of depression and depression subtype might be two important factors associated with hippocampal and amygdalar volumes in depression.
View details for DOI 10.1176/appi.ajp.2008.07081257
View details for Web of Science ID 000257320100016
View details for PubMedID 18450931
The acute and post-discontinuation effects of a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist probe on sleep and the HPA axis in chronic insomnia: a pilot study.
Journal of clinical sleep medicine
2008; 4 (3): 235-241
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) hyperactivity has been reported in patients with chronic insomnia without depression. Aglucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist may re-regulate HPA axis activity even after discontinuation and may have clinical benefit.Ten subjects with chronic insomnia participated in a placebo controlled double-blinded prospective 30-day pilot study of the acute and post-discontinuation effects of a 5-day course of 600 mg of the glucocorticoid antagonist, mifepristone. Sleep outcome measures were polysomnogram and Insomnia Severity Index. Hormonal outcome measures were mean overnight cortisol and ACTH (23:00-07:00). We predicted sleep would improve and that overnight cortisol and ACTH would decrease at 2 weeks post-treatment discontinuation.At 2 weeks post-discontinuation, Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) decreased by 4.0 points (effect size = 0.97). Polysomnogram findings were limited. Mean cortisol (0.84 microg/dL, effect size = 0.91) and ACTH (5.50 pg/mL, effect size = 0.96) were still mildly increased (23:00 to 07:00). Post hoc analysis revealed that, the ratio of cortisol/ ACTH decreased (-0.21, effect size = 1.15) as did mean cortisol from 18:00 to 23:00 (-0.47 microg/dL, effect size = 0.56).This is the first study of a GR antagonist in chronic insomnia. Sleep improvement manifests in terms of decreased ISI post-treatment discontinuation. The decrease in cortisol in the early evening (18:00 to 23:00) in combination with the decrease in cortisol/ ACTH ratio may be an indicator of the longer-term biological mode of action of the drug.
View details for PubMedID 18595436
Glucocorticoid antagonists in neuropsychotic disorders
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY
2008; 583 (2-3): 358-364
Neuropsychiatric disorders often involve considerable psychological stress and elevated cortisol activity. Glucocorticoid receptors have relatively low affinity for cortisol and are found distributed throughout the brain, particularly in the frontal cortex and hippocampus. In recent years, glucocorticoid receptors antagonists have been actively studied in both animal models of several disorders as well as a potential treatment in specific types of neuropsychiatric patients. Data from these various studies are reviewed with an emphasis on seven clinical disorders or problems: major depression with psychotic features, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, cognitive disorders, (e.g., Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment), cognitive side effects of electroconvulsive therapy, and weight gain with atypical antipsychotic agents. Potential benefits and limitations are discussed.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.01.001
View details for Web of Science ID 000254923600018
View details for PubMedID 18339372
Stress-induced changes in primate prefrontal profiles of gene expression
2007; 12 (12): 1089-1102
Stressful experiences that consistently increase cortisol levels appear to alter the expression of hundreds of genes in prefrontal limbic brain regions. Here, we investigate this hypothesis in monkeys exposed to intermittent social stress-induced episodes of hypercortisolism or a no-stress control condition. Prefrontal profiles of gene expression compiled from Affymetrix microarray data for monkeys randomized to the no-stress condition were consistent with microarray results published for healthy humans. In monkeys exposed to intermittent social stress, more genes than expected by chance appeared to be differentially expressed in ventromedial prefrontal cortex compared to monkeys not exposed to adult social stress. Most of these stress responsive candidate genes were modestly downregulated, including ubiquitin conjugation enzymes and ligases involved in synaptic plasticity, cell cycle progression and nuclear receptor signaling. Social stress did not affect gene expression beyond that expected by chance in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or prefrontal white matter. Thirty four of 48 comparisons chosen for verification by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) were consistent with the microarray-predicted result. Furthermore, qPCR and microarray data were highly correlated. These results provide new insights on the regulation of gene expression in a prefrontal corticolimbic region involved in the pathophysiology of stress and major depression. Comparisons between these data from monkeys and those for ventromedial prefrontal cortex in humans with a history of major depression may help to distinguish the molecular signature of stress from other confounding factors in human postmortem brain research.
View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.mp.4002095
View details for Web of Science ID 000251265200007
View details for PubMedID 17893703
Preliminary evidence that hippocampal volumes in monkeys predict stress levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone
2007; 62 (10): 1171-1174
Hippocampal volumes previously determined in monkeys by magnetic resonance imaging are used to test the hypothesis that small hippocampi predict increased stress levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).Plasma ACTH levels were measured after restraint stress in 19 male monkeys pretreated with saline or hydrocortisone. Monkeys were then randomized to an undisturbed control condition or intermittent social separations followed by new pair formations. After 17 months of exposure to the intermittent social manipulations, restraint stress tests were repeated to determine test/retest correlations.Individual differences in postrestraint stress ACTH levels over the 17-month test/retest interval were remarkably consistent for the saline (r(s) = .82, p = .0004) and hydrocortisone (r(s) = .78, p = .001) pretreatments. Social manipulations did not affect postrestraint stress ACTH levels, but monkeys with smaller hippocampal volumes responded to restraint after saline pretreatment with greater increases in ACTH levels with total brain volume variation controlled as a statistical covariate (beta = -.58, p = .031). Monkeys with smaller hippocampal volumes also responded with diminished sensitivity to glucocorticoid feedback determined by greater postrestraint ACTH levels after pretreatment with hydrocortisone (beta = -.68, p = .010).These findings support clinical reports that small hippocampi may be a risk factor for impaired regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in humans with stress-related psychiatric disorders.
View details for DOI 10.1016/i.biopsych.2007.03.012
View details for Web of Science ID 000250905800015
View details for PubMedID 17573043
The acute effects of a mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) agonist on nocturnal hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary (HPA) axis activity in healthy controls
2007; 32 (8-10): 859-864
Both glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors (GRs and MRs) help modulate cortisol feedback on the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary (HPA) axis. In brain, MRs inhibit the HPA axis and are thought to be fully occupied. Thus, prior studies of the effects of an MR agonist on HPA axis activity have first used metyrapone to inhibit cortisol production and to consequently deplete the receptors. Herein, we propose that an MR agonist may inhibit the HPA axis without first "unloading" receptors of endogenous cortisol.Healthy subjects were admitted to the General Clinical Research Center. Blood was sampled for cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from 16:00 to 24:00 h, when greatest MR activity is expected, on two consecutive nights. The first night established a baseline and the second night established response. On the second afternoon, all subjects were given 0.5mg fludrocortisone. Mean cortisol and ACTH were computed from 16:00 to 24:00 h.Fludrocortisone acutely decreased mean cortisol (p=0.003; effect size (ES) 1.65) and mean ACTH (p=0.000, ES 4.46). Additionally, post hoc analysis showed that fludrocortisone tended to decrease the cortisol/ACTH ratio (p=0.0686, ES 0.92) across the same time period.Fludrocortisone significantly inhibits nocturnal HPA axis activity without first depleting MR receptors with metyrapone. This suggests that brain MRs are not fully occupied by endogenous cortisol and can be further activated by an agonist. The decrease in cortisol/ACTH ratio suggests a possible role on adrenal sensitivity as well. The ability to lower nocturnal HPA axis activity has interesting implications in disorders of HPA axis excess, such as insomnia, depression and healthy aging.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2007.05.016
View details for Web of Science ID 000251698100001
View details for PubMedID 17666187
Resting-state functional connectivity in major depression: Abnormally increased contributions from subgenual cingulate cortex and thalamus
2007; 62 (5): 429-437
Positron emission tomography (PET) studies of major depression have revealed resting-state abnormalities in the prefrontal and cingulate cortices. Recently, fMRI has been adapted to examine connectivity within a specific resting-state neural network--the default-mode network--that includes medial prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. The goal of this study was to examine resting-state, default-mode network functional connectivity in subjects with major depression and in healthy controls.Twenty-eight subjects with major depression and 20 healthy controls underwent 5-min fMRI scans while resting quietly. Independent component analysis was used to isolate the default-mode network in each subject. Group maps of the default-mode network were compared. A within-group analysis was performed in the depressed group to explore effects of depression refractoriness on functional connectivity.Resting-state subgenual cingulate and thalamic functional connectivity with the default-mode network were significantly greater in the depressed subjects. Within the depressed group, the length of the current depressive episode correlated positively with functional connectivity in the subgenual cingulate.This is the first study to explore default-mode functional connectivity in major depression. The findings provide cross-modality confirmation of PET studies demonstrating increased thalamic and subgenual cingulate activity in major depression. Further, the within-subject connectivity analysis employed here brings these previously isolated regions of hypermetabolism into the context of a disordered neural network. The correlation between refractoriness and subgenual cingulate functional connectivity within the network suggests that a quantitative, resting-state fMRI measure could be used to guide therapy in individual subjects.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.09.020
View details for Web of Science ID 000249042800009
View details for PubMedID 17210143
Early life stress and novelty seeking behavior in adolescent monkeys
2007; 32 (7): 785-792
Recent evidence suggests that early exposure to mild stress promotes the development of novelty seeking behavior. Here we test this hypothesis in squirrel monkeys and investigate whether novelty seeking behavior is associated with differences in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA), the dopamine metabolite homovanillic acid (HVA), the norepinephrine metabolite 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylethylene glycol (MHPG), and the neuropeptide corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF). Monkeys were randomized early in life to either mild intermittent stress (IS) or no stress (NS) conditions, and subsequently presented with opportunities to interact with a familiar or novel object in a test box that was connected to each monkey's home cage. To further minimize the potentially stressful nature of the test situation, monkeys were acclimated to the test procedures prior to study initiation. Post-test plasma levels of cortisol in IS and NS monkeys did not differ significantly from baseline levels measured in undisturbed conditions. During testing, more IS than NS monkeys voluntarily left the home cage, and IS monkeys spent more time in the test box compared to NS monkeys. More IS than NS monkeys engaged in object exploration in the test box, and IS monkeys preferred to interact with the novel vs. familiar object. Novelty seeking was not associated with differences in 5HIAA, HVA, MHPG, or CRF, but correlated with differences in object exploration observed in a different test situation at an earlier age. These trait-like differences in novelty seeking appear to reflect mild early stress-induced adaptations that enhance curiosity and resilience.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2007.05.008
View details for Web of Science ID 000249510200003
View details for PubMedID 17604913
Current issues in the classification of psychotic major depression
2007; 33 (4): 877-885
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders worldwide. There are a number of depression subtypes, and there has been much debate about how to most accurately capture and organize the features and subtypes of major depression. We review the current state of categorizing unipolar major depression with psychotic features (psychotic major depression, PMD), including clinical, biological, and treatment aspects of the disorder. We then propose some improvements to the current unipolar major depression categorization system. Finally, we identify important issues in need of further research to help elucidate the subtype of unipolar PMD.
View details for DOI 10.1093/schbul/sbm065
View details for Web of Science ID 000248178800009
View details for PubMedID 17548842
Serotonin transporter polymorphism, memory and hippocampal volume in the elderly: association and interaction with cortisol
2007; 12 (6): 544-555
The s allele variant of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTT) has recently been observed to moderate the relationship of stress to depression and anxiety. To date no study has considered interactive effects of 5-HTT genotype, stress and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function on cognition in healthy, older adults, which may reflect developmental, functional or neurodegenerative effects of the serotonin transporter polymorphism. We investigated whether 5-HTT genotype interacts with cumulative life stress and HPA-axis measures of waking and diurnal cortisol slope to impact cognition in 154 non-depressed, older adults. Structural images of hippocampal volume were acquired on a subsample of 56 participants. The 5-HTT s allele was associated with both significantly lower delayed recall and higher waking cortisol levels. Presence of the s allele interacted with higher waking cortisol to negatively impact memory. We also observed a significant interaction of higher waking cortisol and the s allele on lower hippocampal volume. Smaller hippocampi and higher cortisol were associated with lower delayed recall only in s allele carriers. No impact or interactions of cumulative life stress with 5-HTT or cortisol were observed. This is the first investigation to identify an association of the 5-HTT s allele with poorer memory function in older adults. The interactive effects of the s allele and waking cortisol levels on reduced hippocampal volume and lower memory suggest that the negative effect of the serotonin polymorphism on memory is mediated by the HPA axis. Further, given the significant association of the s allele with higher waking cortisol in our investigation, future studies may be needed to evaluate the impact of the serotonin transporter polymorphism on any neuropsychiatric or behavioral outcome which is influenced by HPA axis function in older adults.
View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.mp.4001978
View details for Web of Science ID 000246906200003
View details for PubMedID 17353910
Impact of publicity concerning pediatric suicidality data on physician practice patterns in the United States
ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY
2007; 64 (4): 466-472
IMS Health Inc data presented by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on September 13 and 14, 2004, at a joint meeting of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research's Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee and the FDA's Pediatric Advisory Committee suggested that the number of children and teenagers who were prescribed antidepressants continued to increase in 2004, despite widespread publicity surrounding 2 FDA advisories regarding the potential for pediatric suicidality with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use. These results are contradictory to findings from the Medco Health Solutions, Inc, March 2004 analysis of pharmacy benefit claims and a separate subsequent analysis conducted by NDC Health using dispensing data from March 31, 2004, through June 30, 2005.To investigate the contradictory findings and provide additional analyses on the prescribing trends of antidepressants across age groups and physician specialties in the United States.Retail pharmacy prescription data and physician audit data were obtained from Verispan, a joint venture between Quintiles Transnational and McKesson. In addition to examining prescribing trends, a joinpoint regression analysis was conducted to identify the timing for significant changes in prescription use.The analyses suggest that the number of children and teenagers who were prescribed antidepressants has decreased significantly (P = .02) in the wake of widespread publicity surrounding the FDA public health advisories. Another impact of the advisories seems to be a shift in care from "generalists" to psychiatric specialists when it comes to prescribing antidepressants to patients younger than 18 years. Finally, the analyses highlight a slight shift in prescribing toward the non-selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor bupropion hydrochloride, even though it carries the same FDA "black box" warning as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.The effect on antidepressant prescribing volume observed in our analysis of the Verispan data parallels earlier findings reported by Medco Health Solutions, Inc, and NDC Health that the FDA actions have had a significant effect on the prescribing of antidepressants to children and adolescents. Together, these findings underline the importance of presenting a fair balance within the media due to the significant reach of this channel among prescribing physicians.
View details for Web of Science ID 000245374800008
View details for PubMedID 17404123
New paradigm for treating recurrent depression: From symptom, control to managing enduring vulnerabilities
2006; 11 (12): 22-27
Optimal management of depression remains a long-term challenge. Long-term maintenance treatment with antidepressants has been shown to be effective for preventing or delaying recurrence for many patients with a history of previous multiple episodes. However, aside from a history of multiple recurrences, it remains difficult to identify patients who are most likely to experience recurrence and when. Thus we do not really know who might particularly benefit from maintenance therapy and what type may be efficacious. In patients with depression, research has shown there are structural and functional alterations in the brain, particularly in patients with recurrent or chronic depression. These changes have been generally viewed to be consequences of the disease, which are seen to worsen with a longer duration of untreated illness and with a greater number of depressive episodes. However, these neurobiological characteristics may also represent risk factors or vulnerabilities that predispose some patients to chronic or recurrent depression. Additional research has demonstrated that antidepressant treatment may reduce or modulate these functional and structural changes, suggesting that long-term treatment may, in fact, benefit patients not only by controlling symptoms but also by managing these underlying vulnerabilities. A new treatment paradigm, which focuses on identifying patients with risk factors and managing the disease process rather than suppression of symptoms, is needed for recurrent depression.
View details for Web of Science ID 000243195900004
View details for PubMedID 17146415
Social stress-related behavior affects hippocampal cell proliferation in mice
PHYSIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR
2006; 89 (2): 123-127
Although social stress inhibits neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus, the extent to which individual differences in stress-related behavior affect hippocampal cell proliferation is not well understood. Based on results from resident-intruder stress tests administered to adult male mice, here we report that individual differences in hippocampal cell proliferation are related to the frequency of defensive behavior, and not the amount of aggression received or the frequency of fleeing. In contrast, access to voluntary wheel-running exercise did not affect hippocampal cell proliferation in either stressed or non-stressed mice. Social stress-induced inhibition of cell proliferation was restricted to the hippocampus, as neither stress nor access to wheel-running exercise altered cell proliferation in the amygdala. These findings indicate that individual differences in stress-related behavior influence cell proliferation in the mouse hippocampus, and may have important implications for understanding structural and functional hippocampal impairments in human psychiatric patients.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.physbeh.2006.05.047
View details for Web of Science ID 000240414300001
View details for PubMedID 16837015
The neuropsychological profile of psychotic major depression and its relation to cortisol
2006; 60 (5): 472-478
Our study described the neuropsychological profile of psychotic major depression (PMD) compared to nonpsychotic major depression (NPMD) patients and psychiatrically healthy controls (HC). We predicted that higher cortisol levels would be associated with greater cognitive deficits.Twenty-nine PMDs, 24 NPMDs, and 26 HCs were recruited at Stanford University Medical Center. Psychiatric ratings, cortisol levels from 1800-0900 hours, and neuropsychological test data were obtained.PMDs had more severe cognitive impairments compared with NPMDs and HCs with the exception of simple verbal attention. PMDs had elevated mean cortisol levels from 1800 to 0100 hours which were significantly correlated with poorer verbal memory and psychomotor speed performance. Cortisol slopes from 1800 to 0100 hours were also significantly correlated with verbal memory and working memory.While PMDs' ability to attend passively to information appears intact, they have more difficulty processing, manipulating, and encoding new information. Elevated cortisol levels, as seen in PMD patients, are associated with poorer cognitive performance especially related to verbal memory for lists of words and working memory.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.11.010
View details for Web of Science ID 000240506000007
View details for PubMedID 16483550
Cortisol circadian rhythm alterations in psychotic major depression
2006; 60 (3): 275-281
Increased hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity is well described in psychotic depression with an emphasis on 24-hour, urinary free cortisol levels or dexamethasone suppression tests. There are limited data on cortisol levels during specific times of the day.Patients with depression with (PMD) and without (NPMD) psychosis and healthy control subjects were studied using rating scales of depression and psychosis and measures of HPA activity, including overnight cortisol and adrenocorticotropin levels. We used analysis of variance to determine group differences and regression analyses to assess contributions of specific measures to cortisol levels.PMDs had higher cortisol during the evening hours than did NPMDs or control subjects, who did not differ from one another. Regression analyses suggest that depression and the combination of depressive and psychotic symptoms were important contributors to variance in evening cortisol.PMD is associated with increased cortisol levels during the quiescent hours. Enhanced cortisol activity, particularly a higher nadir, was related to depression severity and the interaction of depressive and psychotic symptoms. This increase suggests a defect in the action of the circadian timing system and HPA axis, creating a hormonal milieu similarly seen in early Cushing's syndrome and potentially an (im)balance of mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptor activity.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.10.014
View details for Web of Science ID 000239543800009
View details for PubMedID 16458262
Extended treatment with bupropion SR for cigarette smoking cessation
JOURNAL OF CONSULTING AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
2006; 74 (2): 286-294
The authors present results of a randomized clinical trial of the efficacy of extended treatment with bupropion SR in producing longer term cigarette smoking cessation. Adult smokers (N = 362) received open-label treatment (11 weeks) that combined relapse prevention training, bupropion SR, and nicotine patch followed by extended treatment (14 weeks) with bupropion SR or matching placebo. Abstinence percentages were relatively high (week 11: 52%; week 25: bupropion, 42%; placebo, 38%; week 52: bupropion, 33%; placebo, 34%), but bupropion SR did not surpass placebo. Gender and baseline craving level were identified as significant, independent moderators of treatment response. Men were more likely to abstain than women (week 11: 59% vs. 43%, p = .001; week 25: 48% vs. 31%, p = .001; week 52: 39% vs. 27%, p = .01). Because most smokers suffer relapse with any current cessation treatment, the comparatively high abstinence percentages achieved in this trial are of interest.
View details for DOI 10.1037/0022-006X.74.2.286
View details for Web of Science ID 000237667500009
View details for PubMedID 16649873
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of venlafaxine and fluoxetine in geriatric outpatients with major depression
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY
2006; 14 (4): 361-370
Despite the high prevalence of depression in elderly patients, few well-designed, placebo-controlled studies of antidepressants have been conducted in this population. This masked, placebo-controlled trial assessed the efficacy and safety of venlafaxine and fluoxetine in depressed patients older than 65 years.Three hundred patients were randomly assigned to treatment with venlafaxine immediate release ([IR]; N = 104), fluoxetine (N = 100), or placebo (N = 96) in an eight-week trial. Venlafaxine doses were titrated from 37.5 to 225 mg per day and fluoxetine doses were titrated from 20 to 60 mg per day, as necessary, over 29 days. Efficacy variables included the 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D21) total score, HAM-D21 depressed mood item score, scores on the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), Clinical Global Impression-Severity of Illness (CGI-S) and Improvement (CGI-I) scales, and rates of response (based on change from baseline HAM-D or MADRS score or CGI-I score) and remission (HAM-D17 < or =7). For the purposes of this report, efficacy analyses are focused on the HAM-D21 total score. Safety assessments included monitoring of adverse events (AEs), physical examinations, vital signs assessments, laboratory determinations, and electrocardiograms.In all three of the treatment groups, there was a significant reduction at week 8 compared with the baseline HAM-D21 total score. However, there were no significant differences among the three treatment groups on the change in HAM-D21, MADRS, or CGI scores from baseline to week 8. There was no statistically significant difference in the proportion of remitters at the last on-therapy visit. The incidence of individual AEs was higher in the venlafaxine group (27%) compared with patients taking fluoxetine (19%) or placebo (9%).In this study, there was no significant difference in efficacy among placebo, venlafaxine, and fluoxetine for the treatment of depression.
View details for Web of Science ID 000236540800009
View details for PubMedID 16582045
Application of microarray technology in primate behavioral neuroscience research
2006; 38 (3): 227-234
Gene expression profiling of brain tissue samples applied to DNA microarrays promises to provide novel insights into the neurobiological bases of primate behavior. The strength of the microarray technology lies in the ability to simultaneously measure the expression levels of all genes in defined brain regions that are known to mediate behavior. The application of microarrays presents, however, various limitations and challenges for primate neuroscience research. Low RNA abundance, modest changes in gene expression, heterogeneous distribution of mRNA among cell subpopulations, and individual differences in behavior all mandate great care in the collection, processing, and analysis of brain tissue. A unique problem for nonhuman primate research is the limited availability of species-specific arrays. Arrays designed for humans are often used, but expression level differences are inevitably confounded by gene sequence differences in all cross-species array applications. Tools to deal with this problem are currently being developed. Here we review these methodological issues, and provide examples from our experiences using human arrays to examine brain tissue samples from squirrel monkeys. Until species-specific microarrays become more widely available, great caution must be taken in the assessment and interpretation of microarray data from nonhuman primates. Nevertheless, the application of human microarrays in nonhuman primate neuroscience research recovers useful information from thousands of genes, and represents an important new strategy for understanding the molecular complexity of behavior and mental health.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ymeth.2005.09.017
View details for Web of Science ID 000236450700009
View details for PubMedID 16469505
Clinical and biological effects of mifepristone treatment for psychotic depression
2006; 31 (3): 628-636
Psychotic major depression (PMD) is found to be a relatively common psychiatric condition that affects up to nearly 20% of patients with major depression. Previous studies by our group have shown rapid reversal of psychotic symptoms in some PMD patients treated with mifepristone, in addition to restoring a more normal afternoon cortisol release. The rationale for treating patients with PMD with a glucocorticosteroid receptor antagonist is further discussed. In total, 30 patients with PMD were treated with either 600 mg/day mifepristone or placebo for 8 days in a randomized double-blind manner. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) were administered at baseline and again after 8 days of treatment. Cortisol and ACTH were measured hourly from 1800 to 0900 at baseline and after 8 days of treatment. Significantly, more patients in the mifepristone group (seven of 15) showed a 50% or greater decline on the BPRS positive symptom subscale, an index of psychotic symptoms, as compared to the placebo group (two of 15). Patients who received mifepristone had lower HDRS and BPRS scores at study completion compared to those who received placebo, but these differences were not statistically significant. In addition, mifepristone significantly elevated cortisol and ACTH levels and steepened ascending slopes from 1800 to 0100 and from 0100 to 0900 as compared to placebo. Clinical and biological effects of mifepristone were comparable among males and females. Age was found to significantly and positively correlate with changes in cortisol and ACTH. These results suggest that short-term use of mifepristone may be effective in the treatment of PMD and may re-regulate the HPA axis. Additional blinded studies are warranted.
View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.npp.1300884
View details for Web of Science ID 000236141600015
View details for PubMedID 16160710
Maternal mediation, stress inoculation, and the development of neuroendocrine stress resistance in primates
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2006; 103 (8): 3000-3005
The stress inoculation hypothesis presupposes that brief intermittent stress exposure early in life induces the development of subsequent stress resistance in human and nonhuman primates. Rodent studies, however, suggest a role for maternal care rather than stress exposure per se (i.e., the maternal mediation hypothesis). To investigate these two hypotheses, we examined maternal care and the development of stress resistance after exposure to brief intermittent infant stress (IS), mother-infant stress (MIS), or no stress (NS) protocols administered to 30 monkeys between postnatal weeks 17 and 27. Unlike rodents, the IS condition did not permanently increase primate maternal care, nor did measures of total maternal care predict subsequent offspring hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis responsivity. Although MIS infants received less maternal care than IS and NS infants, both IS and MIS monkeys developed subsequent stress resistance. These findings indicate that rearing differences in the development of stress resistance are more closely related to differences in prior stress exposure than to differences in maternal care. A second experiment confirmed this conclusion in a different cohort of 25 monkeys exposed as infants to high foraging-demand (HFD) or low foraging-demand (LFD) conditions. HFD infants exhibited intermittent elevations in cortisol levels and received less maternal care than LFD infants. In keeping with a key prediction of the stress inoculation hypothesis, HFD males responded to stress in adulthood with diminished hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis activation compared with LFD males. Results from both experiments demonstrate that stress inoculation, rather than high levels of maternal care, promotes the development of primate stress resistance.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0506571103
View details for Web of Science ID 000235554900093
View details for PubMedID 16473950
Detecting psychotic major depression using psychiatric rating scales
JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH
2006; 40 (1): 22-29
The aim of this study was to assess whether individual or clusters of psychiatric symptoms can differentiate patients with psychotic major depression (PMD) from those with nonpsychotic depression (NPMD).Data were pooled from two studies investigating patients with moderate depression. A total of 129 subjects were studied. Patients in Sample 1 were unmedicated, while the majority of the patients in Sample 2 were taking psychotropic medications. Baseline rating scales were obtained for all subjects, including the Hamilton depression rating scale and the brief psychiatric rating scale (BPRS). We used discriminant function analyses, logistic regression, and ROC analyses to determine the patterns in symptoms that differentiated the groups.Psychotic patients were adequately differentiated by the unusual thought content (UTC) item of the BPRS. Even mild UTC endorsement was an indicator of PMD. Furthermore, results suggest that the positive symptom subscale of the BPRS was even better at differentiating PMD from NMPD patients. Sensitivity and specificity for this scale were 84% and 99%, respectively.Psychotic major depression is often undiagnosed and poorly treated. One reason for this trend is the failure of physicians to inquire in a more detailed manner about positive symptoms in patients with primary mood symptoms. Although physicians are not likely to have the time to conduct an entire BPRS during an evaluation, our results suggest that a few key symptoms, if assessed directly, may aid the psychiatrist to more effectively diagnose and subsequently treat their depressed patients.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2005.07.003
View details for Web of Science ID 000235466200002
View details for PubMedID 16165160
Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome: Consensus panel recommendations for clinical management and additional research
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY
2006; 67: 27-31
Currently, no evidence-based guidelines exist for the management of serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) discontinuation syndrome. This article summarizes recommendations with respect to future research as well as clinical management recommendations for SRI discontinuation syndrome.In April 2004, a panel of physicians convened in New York City to discuss recommendations for clinical management of and additional research on SRI discontinuation syndrome.Previous guidance for management of SRI discontinuation syndrome was proposed in 1997 in a consensus meeting also chaired by Alan F. Schatzberg. A literature search of the PubMed database was conducted to identify articles on SRI discontinuation syndrome that have been published since 1997.The 2004 panel reviewed important preclinical and clinical studies, discussed prospective investigation of this syndrome in clinical trials, and suggested the establishment of a research network to collect data in naturalistic settings. The panel also reviewed the management recommendations published in 1997 and subsequently updated the recommendations, taking into account the latest clinical data as well as the personal experience of its members with patients.Additional preclinical and clinical studies are necessary to further elucidate the underlying biological mechanisms of SRI discontinuation syndrome and to identify the patient populations and agents that are most affected by this phenomenon. Management strategies include gradual tapering of doses and should emphasize clinical monitoring and patient education.
View details for Web of Science ID 000237852100005
View details for PubMedID 16683860
The efficacy of divalproex sodium in the treatment of agitation associated with major depression
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
2005; 25 (5): 476-479
Agitation is both a feature of major depression and a common side effect of antidepressant treatment. Depressive agitation correlates with overall severity of illness and suicide risk, whereas treatment-emergent agitation may contribute to early discontinuation of pharmacotherapy. Thus, agitation merits investigation as a treatment target in clinical depression.In this study, adults with major depression were evaluated for change in agitation and other mood symptoms during adjunctive treatment with divalproex sodium. Twelve patients on antidepressants, who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria for major depression, were given low doses of divalproex sodium and evaluated repeatedly for symptoms of depression, anxiety, and agitation. Agitation severity was evaluated using the Overt Agitation Severity Scale and the Stanford Scale for Agitation Symptoms. Mood symptoms were assessed with the Hamilton Anxiety and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scales.Nine of 12 patients completed 4 weeks of treatment. All agitation scores decreased sharply, whereas depression (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale) and anxiety (Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale) symptoms decreased only modestly. Decreased agitation was not merely a function of decreases on the Hamilton Depression or Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scales. Relatively low doses of divalproex sodium appear to be useful in the treatment of agitation associated with major depression.The observation that decreases in agitation were not simply an artifact of overall change in depressive or anxiety symptoms is in keeping with the previous clinical impression that divalproex sodium has a specific effect on depressive agitation. Controlled clinical trials are needed to fully evaluate the utility and symptom specificity of divalproex sodium in depression.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.jcp.0000177552.21338.b0
View details for Web of Science ID 000232287500015
View details for PubMedID 16160625
Intranasal oxytocin administration attenuates the ACTH stress response in monkeys
2005; 30 (9): 924-929
Social relationships protect against the development of stress-related psychiatric disorders, yet little is known about the neurobiology that regulates this phenomenon. Recent evidence suggests that oxytocin (OT), a neuropeptide involved in social bond formation, may play a role. This experiment investigated the effects of chronic intranasal OT administration on acute stress-induced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation in adult female squirrel monkeys. Subjects were randomized to one of two experimental conditions. Monkeys were intranasally administered either 50 microg oxytocin (N = 6 monkeys) or 0 microg oxytocin (N = 6 monkeys)/300 microl saline once a day for eight consecutive days. Immediately after drug administration on the eighth day, all monkeys were exposed to acute social isolation. Blood samples for determinations of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol concentrations were collected after 30 and 90 min of stress exposure. Consistent with an anti-stress effect, OT-treated monkeys exhibited lower ACTH concentrations compared to saline-treated monkeys after 90 min of social isolation (F(1,7) = 6.891; P = 0.034). No drug-related differences in cortisol levels were observed, indicating that OT does not directly attenuate the adrenal stress response. Intranasal peptide administration has been shown to penetrate the central nervous system, and research must determine whether intranasally delivered OT exerts its effect(s) at a pituitary and/or brain level. This primate model offers critical opportunities to improve our understanding of the anti-stress effects of OT and may lead to novel pharmacological treatments for stress-related psychiatric disorders.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2005.04.002
View details for Web of Science ID 000231003800012
View details for PubMedID 15946803
Monoamine oxidase and catechol-omethyltransferase enzyme activity and gene expression in response to sustained glucocorticoids
2005; 30 (8): 785-790
We previously reported changes in DA neurochemical estimates after sustained corticosterone (CORT) administration or adrenalectomy (ADX) that are consistent with glucocorticoid-induced inhibition of DA metabolism. The present investigation measured monoamine oxidase type A (MAO-A), type B (MAO-B) and catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) activity by enzymatic assay and levels of gene expression by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR) in tissues from sham, ADX, or ADX+CORT-replaced Lewis rats. One week of ADX had no significant effect on either enzyme activity or gene expression for any of the three enzymes examined in the medial prefrontal cortex, striatum, or liver. One week of CORT administration (100mg-21 day release pellet) in ADX rats produced statistically significant decreases in MAO-A enzyme activity and MAO-B gene expression in the liver but no significant changes for any of the three enzymes in either activity or gene expression in the medial prefrontal cortex or striatum. The results do not support inhibition of DA metabolism as a mechanism by which glucocorticoids influence DA-mediated behaviors.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2005.03.007
View details for Web of Science ID 000229842300007
View details for PubMedID 15919584
Nocturnal sleep apnea/hypopnea is associated with lower memory performance in APOE epsilon 4 carriers
2005; 65 (4): 642-644
The authors investigated the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea (OSAH) and cognition in 36 older adults, 18 APOE epsilon4 carriers, and 18 non-carriers. Greater numbers of respiratory events negatively impacted memory function in epsilon4 carriers only. This is the first study to provide preliminary evidence for a negative interaction of APOE epsilon4 and OSAH on memory in older adults, which may have important implications for treating cognitive decline and delaying dementia onset.
View details for Web of Science ID 000231371600035
View details for PubMedID 16116137
The efficacy of antidepressants in the treatment of late-life depression
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
2005; 25 (4): S1-S7
This review addresses the question of whether there is evidence that antidepressants are more efficacious than placebo in the treatment of late-life depression and what is the rate of response that physician and patient can expect when antidepressant medication is prescribed in a typical clinical setting. To date, 5 placebo-controlled and 10 comparison trials have study designs of sufficient rigor to provide evidence of antidepressant efficacy and effectiveness in the treatment of late-life depression. The results suggest that antidepressant medications are more effective than placebo. However, placebo-controlled trials are not a simple comparison of only medication versus placebo. Rather, the amount of nonspecific psychosocial interventions included in these trials is considerable and often not systematically measured. Trial design also affects outcome: response and remission rates in comparison trials consistently are 20% to 30% higher than those reported in placebo-controlled trials. Clinical trials do not consistently assess the many moderators that are believed to affect treatment outcome in late-life depression, and therefore, comparisons across studies are problematic because of an inability to determine whether patient samples are truly comparable. For future clinical trials to have maximal relevance, study design should evolve to reflect as closely as possible a typical clinical setting especially with respect to frequency and duration of patient visits.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.jcp.0000162807.84570.6b
View details for Web of Science ID 000230966800001
View details for PubMedID 16027554
Chronic depression - Medication (nefazodone) or psychotherapy (CBASP) is effective when the other is not
ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY
2005; 62 (5): 513-520
Although various strategies are available to manage nonresponders to an initial treatment for depression, no controlled trials address the utility of switching from an antidepressant medication to psychotherapy or vice versa.To compare the responses of chronically depressed nonresponders to 12 weeks of treatment with either nefazodone or cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP) who were crossed over to the alternate treatment (nefazodone, n = 79; CBASP, n = 61).Crossover trial.Twelve academic outpatient psychiatric centers.There were 140 outpatients with chronic major depressive disorder; 92 (65.7%) were female, 126 (90.0%) were white, and the mean age was 43.1 years. Thirty participants dropped out of the study prematurely, 22 in the nefazodone group and 8 in the CBASP group.Treatment lasted 12 weeks. The dosage of nefazodone was 100 to 600 mg/d; CBASP was provided twice weekly during weeks 1 through 4 and weekly thereafter.The 24-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, administered by raters blinded to treatment, the Clinician Global Impressions-Severity scale, and the 30-item Inventory for Depressive Symptomatology-Self-Report.Analysis of the intent-to-treat sample revealed that both the switch from nefazodone to CBASP and the switch from from CBASP to nefazodone resulted in clinically and statistically significant improvements in symptoms. Neither the rates of response nor the rates of remission were significantly different when the groups of completers were compared. However, the switch to CBASP following nefazodone therapy was associated with significantly less attrition due to adverse events, which may explain the higher intent-to-treat response rate among those crossed over to CBASP (57% vs 42%).Among chronically depressed individuals, CBASP appears to be efficacious for nonresponders to nefazodone, and nefazodone appears to be effective for CBASP nonresponders. A switch from an antidepressant medication to psychotherapy or vice versa appears to be useful for nonresponders to the initial treatment.
View details for Web of Science ID 000228905600007
View details for PubMedID 15867104
Aging and the role of the HPA axis and rhythm in sleep and memory-consolidation
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY
2005; 13 (5): 344-352
Changes in the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and its rhythm with aging have interesting implications for sleep. Herein, the authors review sleep and HPA changes associated with normal aging and point out the similarities in how they change over time. The authors also discuss the effects of sleep on declarative memory consolidation, in particular. This focused review suggests that some of the declarative memory dysfunction with normal aging, and possibly procedural memory dysfunction, may be partially reversible by instituting methods to augment slow-wave sleep (SWS). Also, agents that decrease nocturnal corticotropin-releasing hormone and the cortisol nadir and enhance SWS may offer potential ways to manipulate the HPA axis/rhythm and improve sleep and memory. In this regard, the authors propose that drugs that act directly on the HPA axis (e.g., mineralocorticoid agonists) may be potentially quite useful for improving both sleep and declarative memory consolidation during sleep.
View details for Web of Science ID 000228932700002
View details for PubMedID 15879582
Review: On the interactions of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sleep: Normal HPA axis activity and circadian rhythm, exemplary sleep disorders
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY & METABOLISM
2005; 90 (5): 3106-3114
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays important roles in maintaining alertness and modulating sleep. Dysfunction of this axis at any level (CRH receptor, glucocorticoid receptor, or mineralocorticoid receptor) can disrupt sleep. Herein, we review normal sleep, normal HPA axis physiology and circadian rhythm, the effects of the HPA axis on sleep, as well as the effects of sleep on the HPA axis. We also discuss the potential role of CRH in circadian-dependent alerting, aside from its role in the stress response. Two clinically relevant sleep disorders with likely HPA axis dysfunction, insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea, are discussed. In insomnia, we discuss how HPA axis hyperactivity may be partially causal to the clinical syndrome. In obstructive sleep apnea, we discuss how HPA axis hyperactivity may be a consequence of the disorder and contribute to secondary pathology such as insulin resistance, hypertension, depression, and insomnia. Mechanisms by which cortisol can affect slow wave sleep are discussed, as is the role the HPA axis plays in secondary effects of primary sleep disorders.
View details for DOI 10.1210/jc.2004-1056
View details for Web of Science ID 000228914200092
View details for PubMedID 15728214
Mild early life stress enhances prefrontal-dependent response inhibition in monkeys
2005; 57 (8): 848-855
Severely stressful early experiences have been implicated in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders. In contrast, exposure to mild early life stress (i.e., stress inoculation) strengthens emotional and neuroendocrine resistance to subsequent stressors. Herein we extend this research to examine the effects of mild early life stress on cognition.Squirrel monkeys were randomized to a mild intermittent stress (IS; n = 11) or nonstress (NS; n = 9) condition from 17 to 27 weeks postpartum. At 1.5 years of age, monkeys were assessed for response inhibition on a test previously shown to reflect prefrontal-dependent cognitive function.IS monkeys demonstrated fewer response inhibition errors compared with NS monkeys. There were no rearing-related differences in aspects of performance that did not require inhibitory control. Compared with NS monkeys, IS monkeys had lower basal plasma pituitary-adrenal stress hormone levels. No rearing-related differences on neuroendocrine measures obtained 15 minutes after testing were found.Results from this experiment provide the first evidence that exposure to mildly stressful early experiences improves prefrontal-dependent response inhibition in primates. Combined with our previous data, findings from this animal model suggest that exposure to mild early life stress may enhance the development of brain systems that regulate emotional, neuroendocrine, and cognitive control.
View details for Web of Science ID 000228280700004
View details for PubMedID 15820705
Mutations in squirrel monkey glucocorticoid receptor impair nuclear translocation
JOURNAL OF STEROID BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
2005; 94 (4): 319-326
To identify the determinants of impaired glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling in a model of glucocorticoid resistance, cloned GR from Guyanese squirrel monkeys (gsmGR) was tagged with enhanced green fluorescent protein, and nuclear translocation was examined in transfected COS1 cells. In keeping with evidence that gsmGR transactivational competence is impaired, we found that nuclear translocation is likewise diminished in gsmGR relative to human GR (hGR). Experiments with GR chimeras revealed that replacement of the gsmGR ligand binding domain (LBD) with that from hGR increased translocation. Truncated gsmGR constructs lacking the LDB after amino acid 552 also showed increased translocation even in the absence of cortisol. Three back-mutations of gsmGR to hGR (Thr551Ser, Ala616Ser, and Ser618Ala) in the LBD confirmed that these amino acids play a role in diminished translocation.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2004.11.010
View details for Web of Science ID 000229445800005
View details for PubMedID 15857751
A randomized trial of the efficacy of group therapy in changing viral load and CD4 counts in individuals living with HIV infection
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY IN MEDICINE
2005; 35 (4): 349-362
This randomized pilot study evaluates whether seropositive patients who are randomly assigned to receive a supportive-expressive group therapy plus education intervention show greater improvements in increased immune function and decreased viral load compared to those randomly assigned to an education-only intervention.Fifty-nine individuals who had been HIV-seropositive for at least 6 months prior to inclusion in the study and had been receiving standard pharmacologic treatment were entered in a prospective randomized trial of the effects of weekly supportive-expressive group therapy on changes in immune status. Participants were matched for AIDS status and sex and randomized to receive weekly sessions of group psychotherapy plus educational materials on HIV/AIDS, or to receive the educational materials alone. Participants were assessed before treatment and then 12 weeks later.Individuals who were randomized to group therapy showed a statistically significant increase in CD4 count and decrease in HIV viral load. Among individuals randomized to the education only condition, no significant change occurred in CD4 count or viral load.These results provide preliminary data suggesting that HIV-seropositive individuals who receive supportive-expressive group psychotherapy may experience concomitant improvements in CD4 cell count and viral load. Further research with a larger sample should examine the possible underlying mechanisms of such benefits.
View details for Web of Science ID 000236681800004
View details for PubMedID 16673835
Effects of the serotonin transporter gene promoter polymorphism on mirtazapine and paroxetine efficacy and adverse events in geriatric major depression
ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY
2004; 61 (11): 1163-1169
The "long/short"polymorphism (5HTTLPR) in the promoter of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) has been proposed as a pharmacogenetic marker for antidepressant efficacy. Some but not all studies have found that the short form of 5HTTLPR (S allele) results in decreased efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.To determine if the 5HTTLPR polymorphism influences the efficacy and tolerability of mirtazapine and paroxetine hydrochloride, 2 frequently prescribed antidepressants with differing pharmacologic profiles, in geriatric depression.Double-blind, randomized 8-week study.Eighteen academic and private outpatient clinics.We evaluated 246 cognitively intact patients 65 years or older with major depression.Antidepressant therapy with 15 to 45 mg/d of mirtazapine (n = 124) or 20 to 40 mg/d of paroxetine (n = 122).The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 and Geriatric Depression Scale, severity of adverse events and dosing compliance indexes, and discontinuations due to adverse events. Outcome measures were stratified according to 5HTTLPR genotypes.Geriatric Depression Scale scores indicated that S allele carriers treated with paroxetine showed a small impairment in antidepressant response. Among mirtazapine-treated patients, there was little indication that the 5HTTLPR genotype affected antidepressant efficacy. However, the 5HTTLPR polymorphism had a dramatic effect on adverse events. Among paroxetine-treated subjects, S allele carriers experienced more severe adverse events during the course of the study, achieved significantly lower final daily doses, and had more discontinuations at days 14, 21, 28, 42, and 49. Surprisingly, among mirtazapine-treated subjects, S allele carriers had fewer discontinuations due to adverse events, experienced less severe adverse events, and achieved higher final daily doses.These results support the hypothesis that the S allele of 5HTTLPR at the SLC6A4 locus is associated with a poor outcome after treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. However, the major effect was on the tolerability of these drugs rather than efficacy. Results from mirtazapine-treated patients indicate that the effect of this polymorphism on outcome may depend on the mechanism of antidepressant action.
View details for Web of Science ID 000224898700011
View details for PubMedID 15520364
Major depression among adolescent smokers undergoing treatment for nicotine dependence
2004; 29 (8): 1517-1526
This is the first study to examine the prevalence and effects of major depression (MDD) in a sample of adolescent smokers (N = 211) undergoing treatment for nicotine dependence. We assessed MDD at baseline and end of treatment with the mood disorders portion of the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV). Eleven percent of participants reported a history of MDD (6% of males and 21% of females). Study variables did not distinguish those with and without a history of MDD. End of treatment abstinence rates and relapse rates were similar in both groups. Two participants (1%), both female, experienced onset of MDD during the treatment. The findings provide further evidence that MDD is a comparatively common disorder among children and adolescents and that clinicians should monitor and be prepared to respond to depression that may emerge during the treatment of nicotine-dependent adolescents.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.addbeh.2004.02.029
View details for Web of Science ID 000224464000002
View details for PubMedID 15451121
Prospective investigation of stress inoculation in young monkeys
ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY
2004; 61 (9): 933-941
Retrospective studies in humans have identified characteristics that promote stress resistance, including childhood exposure to moderately stressful events (ie, stress inoculation).Because of limited opportunities for prospective studies in children, we tested whether exposure to moderate stress early in life produces later stress resistance in a primate model.Twenty squirrel monkeys were randomized to intermittent stress inoculation (IS; n = 11) or a nonstress control condition (NS; n = 9) from postnatal weeks 17 to 27. At postnatal week 35, each mother-offspring dyad underwent testing in a moderately stressful novel environment for inferential measures of offspring anxiety (ie, maternal clinging, mother-offspring interactions, object exploration, and food consumption) and stress hormone concentrations (corticotropin [ACTH] and cortisol). At postnatal week 50, after acclimation to an initially stressful wire-mesh box attached to the home cage, independent young monkeys underwent testing for inferential measures of anxiety (ie, voluntary exploration and play) in the box.In the novel environment test, IS compared with NS offspring demonstrated diminished anxiety as measured by decreased maternal clinging (P =.02), enhanced exploratory behavior (P =.005), and increased food consumption (P =.02). Mothers of IS offspring accommodated offspring-initiated exploration (P =.009) and served as a secure base more often compared with NS mothers (P =.047). Compared with NS offspring, IS offspring had lower basal plasma ACTH (P =.001) and cortisol (P =.001) concentrations and lower corticotropin (P =.04) and cortisol (P =.03) concentrations after stress. In the subsequent home-cage wire-box test, IS offspring demonstrated enhanced exploratory (P<.001) and play (P =.008) behaviors compared with NS offspring.These results provide the first prospective evidence that moderately stressful early experiences strengthen socioemotional and neuroendocrine resistance to subsequent stressors. This preclinical model offers essential opportunities to improve our understanding and enhance prevention of human stress-related psychiatric disorders by elucidating the etiology and neurobiology of stress resistance.
View details for Web of Science ID 000223726200009
View details for PubMedID 15351772
Randomized clinical trial of the efficacy of Bupropion combined with nicotine patch in the treatment of adolescent smokers
JOURNAL OF CONSULTING AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
2004; 72 (4): 729-735
Adolescent smokers (N = 211) were randomized to 1 of 2 groups: (a) nicotine patch plus bupropion SR (sustained release; 150 mg per day) or (b) nicotine patch plus placebo. Group skills training sessions were conducted each week by research staff. Abstinence rates at Weeks 10 and 26 were as follows: (a) patch plus bupropion, 23% and 8%, (b) patch plus placebo, 28% and 7%. Despite the lack of a treatment effect, a large majority of adolescents in both treatment groups reduced their consumption to a few cigarettes per day or less and maintained this reduction over time. Similarly, an examination of survival curves revealed that by the end of treatment many had managed to avoid a return to daily smoking. These findings are encouraging and suggest new avenues for research. For example, treatments of the kind examined in this report, augmented by extended maintenance therapies, may yield higher long-term success rates.
View details for DOI 10.1037/0022-006X.72.4.729
View details for Web of Science ID 000222924600020
View details for PubMedID 15301658
Cognitive correlates of white matter growth and stress hormones in female squirrel monkey adults
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2004; 24 (14): 3655-3662
Neurobiological studies of stress and cognitive aging seldom consider white matter despite indications that complex brain processes depend on networks and white matter interconnections. Frontal and temporal lobe white matter volumes increase throughout midlife adulthood in humans, and this aspect of aging is thought to enhance distributed brain functions. Here, we examine spatial learning and memory, neuroendocrine responses to psychological stress, and regional volumes of gray and white matter determined by magnetic resonance imaging in 31 female squirrel monkeys between the ages of 5 and 17 years. This period of lifespan development corresponds to the years 18-60 in humans. Older adults responded to stress with greater increases in plasma levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone and modest reductions in glucocorticoid feedback sensitivity relative to young adults. Learning and memory did not differ with age during the initial cognitive test sessions, but older adults more often failed to inhibit the initial learned response after subsequent spatial reversals. Impaired cognitive response inhibition correlated with the expansion of white matter volume statistically controlling for age, stress hormones, gray matter, and CSF volumes. These results indicate that instead of enhancing cognitive control during midlife adulthood, white matter volume expansion contributes to aspects of cognitive decline. Cellular and molecular research combined with brain imaging is needed to determine the basis of white matter growth in adults, elucidate its functions during lifespan development, and provide potential new targets for therapies aimed at maintaining in humans cognitive vitality with aging.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0324-04.2004
View details for Web of Science ID 000220715400022
View details for PubMedID 15071114
Neuropsychological correlates of psychotic features in major depressive disorders: a review and meta-analysis
JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH
2004; 38 (1): 27-35
Neuropsychological functioning has been a focus of study in psychotic disorders for many decades. These studies have focused primarily on schizophrenia, and less so on the affective psychoses, including psychotic major depression PMD. Several studies have provided evidence of cognitive dysfunction in PMD. However, these studies have utilized different assessment methods and instruments. Consequently, a clear picture of the nature and severity of cognitive impairment in PMD has yet to emerge in the literature. The current review seeks to provide a summary of the literature by composing a quantitative and qualitative review of the research to date on the cognitive impairment in psychotic major depression, specifically as it contrasts to those deficits observed in nonpsychotic depression. This review also provides a summary model of the pathophysiology of PMD to provide the necessary context to understanding the biological mechanisms of these impairments.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S0022-3956(03)00100-6
View details for Web of Science ID 000220190700004
View details for PubMedID 14690768
- Pharmacologic treatments of major depression: Are two mechanisms really better than one? JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY 2004; 65: 3-4
- The relationship of chronic pain and depression JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY 2004; 65: 3-4
Employing pharmacologic treatment of bipolar disorder to greatest effect
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY
2004; 65: 15-20
Mechanisms of action, onset and duration of action, and interactions with other medications--all of these pharmacokinetic properties of pharmacologic agents affect the efficacy and safety of therapeutic regimens for bipolar disorder. For example, antiglutamatergic agents such as lamotrigine may relieve depression but have no impact on mania. Atypical antipsychotics with the dual effect of blocking dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain decrease psychosis, mania, and, according to some preliminary indications, possibly depression. The impact of these properties has been borne out in clinical studies. Mood stabilizers such as lithium and valproate stabilize mood by significantly decreasing the manic and hypomanic symptoms of bipolar disorder, although they can have effects on depressive symptoms too. Lamotrigine stabilizes mood by reducing depression. The atypical anti-psychotics have been shown to be effective either as monotherapy or in combination with mood stabilizers.
View details for Web of Science ID 000225732400005
View details for PubMedID 15554791
- Non-schizophrenic psychoses: common and distinguishing features JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH 2004; 38 (1): 1-2
Pharmacogenetics of antidepressant medication intolerance
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
2003; 160 (10): 1830-1835
The authors sought to identify genetic markers for antidepressant medication intolerance. Genetic variation in drug metabolizing enzymes such as cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) has been postulated to underlie antidepressant intolerance (pharmacokinetic effect). However, variation in genes encoding serotonin receptors could also explain antidepressant side effects (pharmacodynamic effect).An 8-week, double-blind, randomized pharmacogenetic study compared the widely prescribed antidepressants paroxetine (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor [SSRI]) and mirtazapine (not an SSRI) in 246 elderly patients with major depression. Genotypes were determined for the 102 T/C single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the serotonin 2A (5-HT(2A)) locus (HTR2A), previously associated with psychotropic medication treatment outcome. Oligonucleotide microarrays were used to extensively characterize variation in the CYP2D6 gene. Clinical outcomes included treatment discontinuations, adverse events, medication compliance, and change in mood.Survival analysis showed discontinuations due to paroxetine-induced side effects were strongly associated with the HTR2A C/C genotype. There was a significant linear relationship between the number of C alleles and the probability of discontinuation. Side effect severity in paroxetine-treated patients with the C/C genotype was also greater. In contrast, HTR2A 102 T/C genotype had no effect on mirtazapine side effects. CYP2D6 genotype did not predict treatment outcome for either medication.Pharmacodynamic differences among patients due to variant 5-HT(2A) receptors appear to be more important than pharmacokinetic variation in determining paroxetine intolerance. Pharmacogenetic markers may be useful in predicting antidepressant treatment outcome.
View details for Web of Science ID 000185880300020
View details for PubMedID 14514498
The apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele and antidepressant efficacy in cognitively intact elderly depressed patients
2003; 54 (7): 665-673
Patients vary in response to antidepressant medications. Apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype affects vulnerability to stress and risk for cognitive impairment. We sought to determine if the APOE epsilon4 allele influences response in geriatric depression to mirtazapine and paroxetine, two frequently prescribed antidepressants. We hypothesized that epsilon4 carriers would show impaired antidepressant response.The study was a double-blind, randomized, 8-week trial with a 16-week extension phase involving 246 cognitively intact patients aged 65 years or older with major depression. Patients were treated with mirtazapine 15-45 mg (n = 124) or paroxetine 20-40 mg (n = 122). The outcome measures were the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the Geriatric Depression Scale, and the Clinical Global Impression Scale. APOE genotype was determined by restriction isotyping.Patients carrying the epsilon4 allele showed a rapid onset of mirtazapine action, whereas paroxetine-treated patients with the epsilon4 allele were slow to respond. This difference could not be attributed to dosage, compliance, severity of adverse events, ethnicity, baseline depression or cognition, gender, or age.The APOE epsilon4 allele may affect antidepressant treatment outcome, but the effect depends on the medication. Further studies should determine if this result applies to other samples and medications.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S0006-3223(03)00174-4
View details for Web of Science ID 000185500500001
View details for PubMedID 14512205
Functional brain imaging of olfactory processing in monkeys
2003; 20 (1): 257-264
As a step toward bridging the gap between human and animal studies of olfactory brain systems, we report results from an fMRI study of olfaction in squirrel monkeys. High-resolution fMRI images at 3 T with 1.25 x 1.25 x 1.2 mm(3) voxels were obtained covering the whole brain using an 8-cm-diameter birdcage coil and a gradient-echo spiral pulse sequence. Data were acquired from six sedated adult males using a standard block design. All fMRI data were spatially normalized to a common template and analyzed at the individual and group levels with statistical parametric and nonparametric methods. Robust odorant-induced activations were detected in several brain regions previously implicated in conscious human olfactory processing, including the orbitofrontal cortex, cerebellum, and piriform cortex. Consistent with human data, no stimulus intensity effects were observed in any of these regions. Average signal changes in these regions exceeded 0.6%, more than three times the expected signal change based on human fMRI studies of olfaction adjusting for differences in voxel size. These results demonstrate the feasibility of studying olfaction in sedated monkeys with imaging techniques commonly used at 3 T in humans and help promote direct comparisons between humans and nonhuman primates. Our findings, for example, provide novel support for the hypothesis that the cerebellum is involved in sensory acquisition. More broadly, this study suggests that olfactory processing in sedated monkeys and nonsedated humans shares similar neural substrates both within and beyond the primary olfactory system.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S1053-8119(03)00288-X
View details for Web of Science ID 000185746400022
View details for PubMedID 14527586
Early maternal availability and prefrontal correlates of reward-related memory
NEUROBIOLOGY OF LEARNING AND MEMORY
2003; 80 (2): 97-104
Early emotional experiences affect developing brain systems that subsequently mediate adult learning and memory in rodents. Here we test for similar effects in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) four years after disruptions in early maternal availability. These conditions were previously shown to generate differences in emotional behavior, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress physiology, and right ventral medial prefrontal volumes determined in adulthood by magnetic resonance imaging. This report identifies in the same monkeys variability in reward-related memory on tests with a spatial reversal. Adult monkeys that more often selected locations repeatedly rewarded before each reversal had larger right ventral medial prefrontal volumes, but not hippocampal nor dorsolateral prefrontal volumes on the left or right brain side. Differences in performance were also discerned after each spatial reversal. These findings indicate that maternal availability alters developing ventral medial prefrontal brain regions involved in reward-related memory.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S1074-7427(03)00044-3
View details for Web of Science ID 000185048500001
View details for PubMedID 12932424
Onset of major depression during treatment for nicotine dependence
2003; 28 (3): 461-470
We monitored the emergence of major depression (MDD) during treatment for nicotine dependence among 224 smokers. MDD was assessed on three occasions during the course of treatment with the mood disorders portion of the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (SCID), fourth edition (DSM-IV). Out of 224 participants, 20% had suffered a past episode of MDD, 18% of males and 22% of females. Four percent (n=10) experienced onset of MDD during the course of the study, four males and six females. Only 2 of the 10 cases managed to achieve abstinence at end of treatment. Those who reported large increases in depression symptoms between baseline and end of treatment (Week 10) were less likely to be abstinent at 26-week follow-up. The evidence indicates that those who treat nicotine dependence must be prepared to monitor and respond to the emergence of depression associated with treatment.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S0306-4603(01)00266-0
View details for Web of Science ID 000181706200005
View details for PubMedID 12628619
A prospective trial of bupropion SR augmentation of partial and non-responders to Serotonergic antidepressants
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
2003; 23 (1): 27-30
Many patients fail to achieve an adequate response to a given antidepressant trial. The best-studied augmentation agents, lithium and thyroid supplementation are less commonly used. Augmenting antidepressants with bupropion has become an increasingly common strategy in the treatment of resistant depression. Several case reports and 2 open label studies suggest efficacy of this strategy. The purpose of this study is to further examine the utility of bupropion sustained release (SR) augmentation in patients with inadequate response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Patients who met DSM-IV criteria for major depression and had failed to achieve adequate response to an SSRI were considered for this study. Eligible patients were required to have a score of 16 on the 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). Patients were treated openly for 6 weeks with bupropion SR added to their existing antidepressant. The dose range of bupropion was 150 to 300 mg per day. At each visit, patients were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Hamilton Depression Ratings Scale (HDRS), and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI). Twenty-eight patients (12 men, 16 women) entered the study. Twenty-five patients completed the six-week trial. With respect to the clinical benefit of bupropion SR augmentation, 15 out of 28, or 54% of patients, were classified as responders, showing a decrease in their HDRS or BDI scores of 50% or more between baseline and Week 6. This prospective, open-label trial supports the use of bupropion SR in the augmentation of SSRIs and venlafaxine. Placebo controlled trials should be completed to further evaluate the efficacy of this strategy.
View details for Web of Science ID 000180765000005
View details for PubMedID 12544372
Regional analysis of hippocampal activation during memory encoding and retrieval: fMRI study
2003; 13 (1): 164-174
Investigators have recently begun to examine the differential role of subregions of the hippocampus in episodic memory. Two distinct models have gained prominence in the field. One model, outlined by Moser and Moser (Hippocampus 1998;8:608-619), based mainly on animal studies, has proposed that episodic memory is subserved by the posterior two-thirds of the hippocampus alone. A second model, derived by Lepage et al. (Hippocampus 1998;8:313-322) from their review of 52 PET studies, has suggested that the anterior hippocampus is activated by memory encoding while the posterior hippocampus is activated by memory retrieval. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have tended to show limited activation in the anteriormost regions of the hippocampus, providing support for the Moser and Moser model. A potential confounding factor in these fMRI studies, however, is that susceptibility artifact may differentially reduce signal in the anterior versus the posterior hippocampus. In the present study, we examined activation differences between hippocampal subregions during encoding and retrieval of words and interpreted our findings within the context of these two models. We also examined the extent to which susceptibility artifact affects the analysis and interpretation of hippocampal activation by demonstrating its differential effect on the anterior versus the posterior hippocampus. Both voxel-by-voxel and region-of-interest analyses were conducted, allowing us to quantify differences between the anterior and posterior aspects of the hippocampus. We detected significant hippocampal activation in both the encoding and retrieval conditions. Our data do not provide evidence for regional anatomic differences in activation between encoding and retrieval. The data do suggest that, even after accounting for susceptibility artifact, both encoding and retrieval of verbal stimuli activate the middle and posterior hippocampus more strongly than the anterior hippocampus. Finally, this study is the first to quantify the effects of susceptibility-induced signal loss on hippocampal activation and suggests that this artifact has significantly biased the interpretation of earlier fMRI studies.
View details for DOI 10.1002/hipo.10064
View details for Web of Science ID 000181005800014
View details for PubMedID 12625466
Efficacy and tolerability of duloxetine, a novel dual reuptake inhibitor, in the treatment of major depressive disorder
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY
2003; 64: 30-37
Although highly selective antidepressants such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors represent an advance over older drugs with respect to tolerability, they are not more effective than previous agents. Antidepressants that enhance transmission in more than one monoamine system may have greater efficacy than highly selective drugs, while equaling or improving their adverse effect profiles. This article reviews the properties of duloxetine, a potent and balanced inhibitor of norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake. Controlled studies indicate a high degree of efficacy, tolerability, and safety for duloxetine in the treatment of major depressive disorder. In particular, rapid therapeutic onset and high remission rates have been noted. Duloxetine appears to have significant benefit in the treatment of the painful physical symptoms associated with depression. The continued presence of such symptoms may predict relapse. Accordingly, it is hoped that duloxetine therapy may reduce the likelihood of depressive relapse.
View details for Web of Science ID 000186202400006
View details for PubMedID 14552654
New approaches to managing psychotic depression
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY
2003; 64: 19-23
Major depression with psychotic features, while fairly common, is frequently misdiagnosed. Symptoms seen in these patients are those of an overall severe depressive disorder with psychomotor impairment (retardation or agitation), guilt, suicidal preoccupation, and neuropsychological impairment. A number of biological characteristics and behavioral symptoms are specific to patients suffering from psychotic depression and differ significantly from those of nonpsychotic depression. Psychotic depression is seen in patients of all ages, and it has a high short-term morbidity and risk of suicide. Data support the use of antipsychotics in combination with antidepressants for major depression with psychotic features, but other treatments may have as great or greater efficacy for the disorder. This article focuses on recognizing the features of psychotic depression, the success of current treatment options, and new treatments under investigation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000180825100004
View details for PubMedID 12625801
Euroendocrine aspects of hyperportisolism in major depression
HORMONES AND BEHAVIOR
2003; 43 (1): 60-66
A consistent finding in biological psychiatry is that hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis physiology is altered in humans with major depression. These findings include hypersecretion of cortisol at baseline and on the dexamethasone suppression test. In this review, we present a process-oriented model for HPA axis regulation in major depression. Specifically, we suggest that acute depressions are characterized by hypersecretion of hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor, pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and adrenal cortisol. In chronic depressions, however, enhanced adrenal responsiveness to ACTH and glucocorticoid negative feedback work in complementary fashion so that cortisol levels remain elevated while ACTH levels are reduced. In considering the evidence for hypercortisolism in humans, studies of nonhuman primates are presented and their utility and limitations as comparative models of human depression are discussed.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S0018-506X(02)00016-8
View details for Web of Science ID 000182658400009
View details for PubMedID 12614635
Introduction: treating depression and anxiety to remission.
journal of clinical psychiatry
2003; 64: 3-4
View details for PubMedID 14658983
Using chronic pain to predict depressive morbidity in the general population
ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY
2003; 60 (1): 39-47
Pain syndrome is thought to play a role in depression. This study assesses the prevalence of chronic (>or= 6 months' duration) painful physical conditions (CPPCs) (joint/articular, limb, or back pain, headaches, or gastrointestinal diseases) and their relationship with major depressive disorder.We conducted a cross-sectional telephone survey of a random sample of 18 980 subjects from 15 to 100 years old representative of the general populations of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Answers provided during telephone interviews using the Sleep-EVAL system were the main outcome measure. Interviews included questions about mental disorders and medical conditions. Data on painful physical conditions were obtained through questions about medical treatment, consultations, and/or hospitalizations for medical conditions and a list of 42 diseases.Of all subjects interviewed, 17.1% reported having at least 1 CPPC (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.5%-17.6%). At least 1 depressive symptom (sadness, depression, hopelessness, loss of interest, or lack of pleasure) was present in 16.5% of subjects (95% CI, 16.0%-17.1%); 27.6% of these subjects had at least 1 CPPC. Major depressive disorder was diagnosed in 4.0% of subjects; 43.4% of these subjects had at least 1 CPPC, which was 4 times more often than in subjects without major depressive disorder (odds ratio [OR], 4.0; 95% CI, 3.5-4.7). In a logistic regression model, CPPC was strongly associated with major depressive disorder (OR: CPPC alone, 3.6; CPPC + nonpainful medical condition, 5.2); 24-hour presence of pain made an independent contribution to major depressive disorder diagnosis (OR, 1.6).The presence of CPPCs increases the duration of depressive mood. Patients seeking consultation for a CPPC should be systematically evaluated for depression.
View details for Web of Science ID 000180286800005
View details for PubMedID 12511171
Mesotelencephalic dopamine neurochemical responses to glucocorticoid administration and adrenalectomy in Fischer 344 and Lewis rats
2002; 958 (2): 414-422
The effects of alterations in peripheral corticosterone levels on multiple dopamine neurochemical estimates were examined in inbred Fischer and Lewis inbred rat strains. 2x2 ANOVA's (treatment x strain) showed a main effect for treatment (1 week CORT versus placebo) on the concentrations of the dopamine metabolites homovanillic acid and dihydroxyphenylacetic acid in the medial prefrontal cortex, with lower levels after treatment, but no significant treatment versus strain interaction. There was no effect of CORT treatment on DA metabolites in the nucleus accumbens shell or dorsal striatum. DOPA accumulation in any terminal region examined and tyrosine hydroxylase protein content in the ventral tegmental area were also not affected by 1 week of corticosterone in either strain. One week after adrenalectomy, homovanillic acid but not dihydroxyphenylacetic acid concentrations were significantly increased in the medial prefrontal cortex, dorsal striatum, and nucleus accumbens shell in the Lewis but not the Fischer strain, with a significant treatment x strain interaction only in the dorsal striatum. Based on these findings, the effect of adrenalectomy on DOPA accumulation and extracellular DA concentrations was examined in the Lewis strain only. Adrenalectomy produced a decrease in DOPA accumulation in the dorsal striatum with no significant change in the other regions. Adrenalectomy did not alter estimates of extracellular dopamine concentrations determined by in vivo no net flux microdialysis but did significantly increase in vivo dopamine recovery in the dorsal striatum. The findings indicate a pattern of changes in neurochemical measurements consistent with a small magnitude inhibition of basal dopamine metabolism, but not with a change neuronal activity, release or reuptake.
View details for Web of Science ID 000180087300022
View details for PubMedID 12470878
Prevalence of depressive episodes with psychotic features in the general population
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
2002; 159 (11): 1855-1861
The study evaluated the prevalence of major depressive episodes with psychotic features in the general population and sought to determine which depressive symptoms are most frequently associated with psychotic features.The sample was composed of 18,980 subjects aged 15-100 years who were representative of the general populations of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. The participants were interviewed by telephone by using the Sleep-EVAL system. The questionnaire included a series of questions about depressive disorders, delusions, and hallucinations.Overall, 16.5% of the sample reported at least one depressive symptom at the time of the interview. Among these subjects, 12.5% had either delusions or hallucinations. More than 10% of the subjects who reported feelings of worthlessness or guilt and suicidal thoughts also had delusions. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt were also associated with high rates of hallucinations (9.7%) and combinations of hallucinations and delusions (4.5%). The current prevalence of major depressive episode with psychotic features was 0.4% (95% CI=0.35%-0.54%), and the prevalence of a current major depressive episode without psychotic features was 2.0% (95% CI=1.9%-2.1%), with higher rates in women than in men. In all, 18.5% of the subjects who fulfilled the criteria for a major depressive episode had psychotic features. Past consultations for treatment of depression were more common in depressed subjects with psychotic features than in depressed subjects with no psychotic features.Major depressive episodes with psychotic features are relatively frequent in the general population, affecting four of 1,000 individuals. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt can be a good indicator of the presence of psychotic features.
View details for Web of Science ID 000179120300010
View details for PubMedID 12411219
Experience-dependent asymmetric variation in primate prefrontal morphology
BEHAVIOURAL BRAIN RESEARCH
2002; 136 (1): 51-59
Theories of human development suggest that experiences embedded in social relationships alter prefrontal brain systems that mediate emotional self-regulation. This study tests for experience-dependent effects on prefrontal gray and white matter volumes determined in 39 young adult monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) 4 years after conditions that modified early maternal availability. These conditions were previously shown to alter subsequent measures of emotional behavior, social propensities, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis stress physiology. Here we identify significant differences in right but not left adult prefrontal volumes, with experience-dependent asymmetric variation most clearly expressed in ventral medial cortex measured in vivo by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Follow-up studies now need to determine whether maternal availability directly affects or interacts with subsequent experiences to alter prefrontal substrates of emotional processing and sensitivity to stress.
View details for Web of Science ID 000178776300005
View details for PubMedID 12385789
Double-blind, randomized comparison of mirtazapine and paroxetine in elderly depressed patients
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY
2002; 10 (5): 541-550
Authors studied the efficacy and tolerability of mirtazapine and paroxetine in elderly patients with major depression during an acute phase (8 weeks) and an extension phase (16 weeks).Patients with major depression and without dementia, at least 65 years old, were eligible; they were randomized to mirtazapine or paroxetine once daily, with doses increasing over 42 days. Efficacy was assessed with the Ham-D and Clinical Global Impressions Scale, and tolerability was assessed from adverse events.Of 255 patients randomized, 126 on mirtazapine and 120 on paroxetine were included in the efficacy analysis. Differences favoring mirtazapine were observed for the mean change from baseline in Ham-D-17 score. Other significant differences were in the proportion of patients classified as responders (50% decrease from baseline Ham-D-17 scores) at Day 14 and in remission (Ham-D-17 score of 7 or less) at Day 42. The median time to response was 26 days in the mirtazapine group and 40 days in the paroxetine group. The mirtazapine group also showed more reduction in Ham-D Factor I (Anxiety/Somatization) and Factor VI (Sleep Disturbance) scores. Efficacy of both drugs was maintained during the extension phase. Patients on paroxetine were more likely to discontinue therapy in the acute phase because of adverse events.During the first weeks of treatment, antidepressant effects were more pronounced in the mirtazapine group, suggesting that mirtazapine has an earlier onset of action. Mirtazapine also demonstrated a better tolerability profile and represents a valuable option for the treatment of depression in elderly patients.
View details for Web of Science ID 000177864500007
View details for PubMedID 12213688
Pharmacological principles of antidepressant efficacy
HUMAN PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY-CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL
2002; 17: S17-S22
Both noradrenaline (NA) and serotonin (5-HT) appear to be involved in depression. Evidence suggests that dual-acting antidepressants, i.e. those that affect both monoamine systems, such as tricyclic antidepressants and the noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant mirtazapine, may have greater efficacy and a faster onset of action than drugs that act on a single monoamine system only, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Cell firing is reduced by SSRIs in the short-term, but is increased by mirtazapine, probably due to its actions on both NA (via alpha(2) antagonism) and 5-HT (via alpha(1)-stimulation by NA). This may help to explain clinical evidence suggesting that mirtazapine has a faster onset of action than the more selective antidepressants.
View details for DOI 10.1002/hup.399
View details for Web of Science ID 000176403800003
View details for PubMedID 12404665
Relating semantic and episodic memory systems
COGNITIVE BRAIN RESEARCH
2002; 13 (2): 261-265
Episodic and semantic memory are two forms of declarative memory which appear to function in distinct yet interdependent ways. Here we provide direct evidence for a functional relationship between these two memory systems by showing that left lateral temporal lobe regions involved in semantic memory play an important role in accurate episodic memory retrieval.
View details for Web of Science ID 000174786000014
View details for PubMedID 11958970
- Clinical use of nefazodone in major depression: A 6-year perspective JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY 2002; 63: 18-31
- Rapid detection of the C-1496G polymorphism in the CYP2D6*2 allele CLINICAL CHEMISTRY 2001; 47 (12): 2153-2155
Early life stress and inherited variation in monkey hippocampal volumes
ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY
2001; 58 (12): 1145-1151
Opportunities for research on the causes and consequences of stress-related hippocampal atrophy are limited in human psychiatric disorders. Therefore, this longitudinal study investigated early life stress and inherited variation in monkey hippocampal volumes.Paternal half-siblings raised apart from one another by different mothers in the absence of fathers were randomized to 1 of 3 postnatal conditions that disrupted diverse aspects of early maternal care (n = 13 monkeys per condition). These conditions were previously shown to produce differences in social behavior, emotional reactivity, and neuroendocrine stress physiology. Hippocampal volumes were subsequently determined in adulthood by high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging.Adult hippocampal volumes did not differ with respect to the stressful postnatal conditions. Based on paternal half-sibling effects, the estimated proportion of genetic variance, ie, heritability, was 54% for hippocampal size. Paternal half-siblings with small adult hippocampal volumes responded to the removal of all mothers after weaning with initially larger relative increases in cortisol levels. Plasma cortisol levels 3 and 7 days later, and measures of cortisol-negative feedback in adulthood were not, however, correlated with hippocampal size.In humans with mood and anxiety disorders, small hippocampal volumes have been taken as evidence that excessive stress levels of cortisol induce hippocampal volume loss. Results from this study of monkeys suggest that small hippocampi also reflect an inherited characteristic of the brain. Genetically informed clinical studies should assess whether inherited variation in hippocampal morphology contributes to excessive stress levels of cortisol through diminished neuroendocrine regulation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000172586000006
View details for PubMedID 11735843
Cortisol activity and cognitive changes in psychotic major depression
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
2001; 158 (10): 1612-1616
The theory that psychotic major depression is a distinct syndrome is supported by reports of statistically significant differences between psychotic and nonpsychotic major depression in presenting features, biological measures, familial transmission, course and outcome, and response to treatment. This study examined differences in performance on a verbal memory test and in cortisol levels between patients with psychotic and nonpsychotic major depression and healthy volunteers.Ten patients with psychotic major depression, 17 patients with nonpsychotic major depression, and 10 healthy volunteers were administered the Wallach Memory Recognition Test and had blood drawn at half-hour intervals over the course of an afternoon to assay cortisol levels.Subjects with psychotic major depression had a higher rate of errors of commission on the verbal memory test (incorrectly identified distracters as targets) than did subjects with nonpsychotic major depression or healthy volunteers; errors of omission were similar among the three groups. Subjects with psychotic major depression had higher cortisol levels throughout the afternoon than subjects with nonpsychotic major depression or healthy volunteers. This effect became even more pronounced later in the afternoon.Psychotic major depression is endocrinologically different from nonpsychotic major depression and produces cognitive changes distinct from those seen in nonpsychotic major depression.
View details for Web of Science ID 000171374500013
View details for PubMedID 11578992
Rapid reversal of psychotic depression using mifepristone
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
2001; 21 (5): 516-521
The rationale for treating psychotic major depression with glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonists is reviewed. Five patients with psychotic major depression were given 600 mg of mifepristone in a 4-day, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. All the patients completed the protocol and adverse effects were not observed or reported. All of the five patients showed substantial improvements in their Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression scores while they were receiving mifepristone, and four of the five patients showed substantial improvement in their Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale scores. Little, if any, improvement was seen with placebo. These preliminary results suggest that short-term use of GR antagonists may be effective in the treatment of psychotic major depression and that additional study, perhaps using higher doses or more treatment days, seems warranted.
View details for Web of Science ID 000171341500009
View details for PubMedID 11593077
Successful long-term treatment of refractory Cushing's disease with high-dose mifepristone (RU 486)
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY & METABOLISM
2001; 86 (8): 3568-3573
An extremely ill patient, with Cushing's syndrome caused by an ACTH-secreting pituitary macroadenoma, experienced complications of end-stage cardiomyopathy, profound psychosis, and multiple metabolic disturbances. Initially treated unsuccessfully by a combination of conventional surgical, medical, and radiotherapeutic approaches, he responded dramatically to high-dose long-term mifepristone therapy (up to 25 mg/kg x d). Treatment efficacy was confirmed by the normalization of all biochemical glucocorticoid-sensitive measurements, as well as by the significant reversal of the patient's heart failure, the resolution of his psychotic depression, and the eventual unusual return of his adrenal axis to normal. His 18-month-long mifepristone treatment course was notable for development of severe hypokalemia that was attributed to excessive cortisol activation of the mineralocorticoid receptor, which responded to spironolactone administration. This case illustrates the efficacy of high-dose long-term treatment with mifepristone in refractory Cushing's syndrome. The case also demonstrates the potential need for concomitant mineralocorticoid receptor blockade in mifepristone-treated Cushing's disease, because cortisol levels may rise markedly, reflecting corticotroph disinhibition, to cause manifestations of mineralocorticoid excess.
View details for Web of Science ID 000170430200016
View details for PubMedID 11502780
Sertraline versus imipramine to prevent relapse in chronic depression
JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS
2001; 65 (1): 27-36
Chronic depressions are common, disabling and under-treated, and long-term treatment is little studied. We report the continuation phase results from a long-term treatment study.After 12 weeks of acute phase treatment in a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, multi-center trial of sertraline or imipramine, patients with chronic depression (> or = 2 years in major depression, or major depression superimposed on dysthymia) continued study drug for 16 weeks. Initially, 635 patients were randomized to sertraline or imipramine in a 2:1 ratio. Nonresponders after 12 weeks entered a 12-week double-blind crossover trial of the alternate medication. Entry into continuation treatment required at least a satisfactory response (partial remission) to initial or crossover treatment.Of 239 acute or crossover responders to sertraline, 60% entered continuation in full remission and 40% with a partial remission. These proportions were identical for imipramine patients (n = 147). For both drug groups, over two-thirds of those entering in full remission retained it. For those entering in partial remission, over 40% achieved full remission. Patients requiring crossover treatment were less likely to maintain or improve their response during continuation treatment. The two drugs did not differ significantly in response distribution, drop out rates or discontinuation due to side effects during continuation treatment.The absence of a placebo group constrains interpretation of our results, but chronic depressions have low placebo response rates.Most chronic depression patients who remit with 12 weeks of sertraline or imipramine treatment maintain remission during 16 weeks of continuation treatment. Most patients with a satisfactory therapeutic response (partial remission) after 12 weeks of treatment maintain it or further improve. Patients treated with imipramine experienced more side effects, but both drugs were well tolerated.
View details for Web of Science ID 000168910100005
View details for PubMedID 11426506
Corticosteroids and cognition
JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH
2001; 35 (3): 127-145
The brain is a major target organ for corticosteroids. It has been observed that excessive circulatory levels of endogenous and exogenous corticosteroids are frequently associated with cognitive impairment in a wide variety of clinical disease states. Cognition and low levels of corticosteroids have been less well studied. In this paper we review the literature on glucocorticosteroid effects on cognition and delineate specific functions that appear to be causally affected. We draw a possible connection to specific areas of brain perturbation, including the hippocampus and frontal lobe regions. The possibility that cognitive dysfunction caused by glucocorticoids can be pharmacologically managed is introduced.
View details for Web of Science ID 000169978600001
View details for PubMedID 11461709
Stress-level cortisol treatment impairs inhibitory control of behavior in monkeys
JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
2000; 20 (20): 7816-7821
Most studies of cortisol-induced cognitive impairments have focused on hippocampal-dependent memory. This study investigates a different aspect of cognition in a randomized placebo-controlled experiment with monkeys that were treated with cortisol according to a protocol that simulates a prolonged stress response. Young adult and older adult monkeys were assigned randomly to placebo or chronic treatment with cortisol in a 2 x 2 factorial design (n = 8 monkeys per condition). Inhibitory control of behavior was assessed with a test shown previously in primates to reflect prefrontal cortical dysfunction. Failure to inhibit a specific goal-directed response was evident more often in older adults. Treatment with cortisol increased this propensity in both older and young adult monkeys. Age-related differences in response inhibition were consistent across blocks of repeated test trials, but the treatment effects were clearly expressed only after prolonged exposure to cortisol. Aspects of performance that did not require inhibition were not altered by age or treatment with cortisol, which concurs with effects on response inhibition rather than nonspecific changes in behavior. These findings lend support to related reports that cortisol-induced disruptions in prefrontal dopamine neurotransmission may contribute to deficits in response inhibition and play a role in cognitive impairments associated with endogenous hypercortisolism in humans.
View details for Web of Science ID 000089753300043
View details for PubMedID 11027246
Nicotine patch and paroxetine for smoking cessation
JOURNAL OF CONSULTING AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
2000; 68 (5): 883-889
Smokers (N = 224) were randomized to 1 of 3 groups: (a) transdermal system (TNS) + placebo; (b) TNS + paroxetine (20 mg); (c) TNS + paroxetine (40 mg). Assignment to treatment was double-blind. Nicotine patch (TNS) treatment was provided for 8 weeks; paroxetine or placebo was provided for 9 weeks. Abstinence rates at Weeks 4, 10, and 26 were as follows: (a) TNS + placebo: 45%, 36%, and 25%; (b) TNS + paroxetine (20 mg): 48%, 33%, and 21%; (c) TNS + paroxetine (40 mg): 57%, 39%, and 27%. The differences were not statistically significant. The combined treatment was more effective in reducing both craving and depression symptoms associated with smoking cessation. A subgroup analysis comparing compliant participants was also conducted. Abstinence rates at Weeks 4, 10, and 26 were as follows: (a) TNS + placebo: 46%, 35%, and 24%; (b) TNS + paroxetine (20 mg): 64%, 43%, and 33%; (c) TNS + paroxetine (40 mg): 74%, 51%, and 38%. The differences between paroxetine groups and placebo at Week 4 were statistically significant. Although paroxetine may add value to the current standard of care in excess of potential risk, more conclusive evidence is needed.
View details for Web of Science ID 000090108300014
View details for PubMedID 11068974
Early environmental regulation of glucocorticoid feedback sensitivity in young adult monkeys
JOURNAL OF NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY
2000; 12 (8): 723-728
Variations in maternal care induce in neonatal rodents life-long changes in glucocorticoid feedback regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This aspect of plasticity in neuroendocrine development has not been established in primates. We assessed, in young adult squirrel monkeys, postnatal rearing effects on cortisol-induced suppression of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) stimulated secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Offspring of randomly bred monkeys were periodically removed from natal groups between 13 and 21 weeks of age. In two other postnatal rearing conditions, systematic differences in maternal availability were produced by manipulating the effort required of lactating mothers to successfully find food. All offspring were subsequently administered, 3-5 years later on two occasions, an intravenous ovine CRF injection preceded 60 min earlier by placebo or cortisol pretreatment. The difference between CRF-stimulated time-integrated secretion of ACTH following placebo vs cortisol pretreatment served as an index of glucocorticoid negative feedback. Difference scores were greatest in monkeys previously separated from natal groups. This finding was not attributable to significant rearing condition differences in plasma cortisol levels achieved following pretreatment with exogenous cortisol, nor plasma ACTH levels produced when the CRF injection was preceded by pretreatment with placebo. The results suggest that postnatal experiences altered glucocorticoid feedback in monkeys at least through early adulthood. This conclusion supports retrospective reports indicating that, for humans with major mood and anxiety disorders, systematic differences in glucocorticoid feedback may reflect neural mechanisms in development linking early life stress with psychopathology in adulthood.
View details for Web of Science ID 000088302600004
View details for PubMedID 10929083
Acute antidepressant effects of intravenous hydrocortisone and CRH in depressed patients: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
2000; 157 (8): 1334-1337
The primary objective of this investigation was to examine the acute antidepressant effects of intravenous hydrocortisone and ovine corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) infusions in patients with major depression.Twenty-two patients who met DSM-III-R criteria for nonpsychotic major depression were randomly assigned to receive intravenously 1 mg/kg of ovine CRH, 15 mg of hydrocortisone, or saline under double-blind conditions on day 1. Standard depression rating scales were completed on day 1 before the study medications were administered and again the following day (day 2).Patients treated with hydrocortisone demonstrated a significantly greater reduction in total 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores (mean reduction=8.4 points or 37%) than patients given ovine CRH (mean=1.2 points) or placebo (mean=1.3 points).Acute hydrocortisone infusion is associated with a rapid and robust reduction in depressive symptoms. The authors discuss the therapeutic implications of these findings.
View details for Web of Science ID 000088520100027
View details for PubMedID 10910802
Neuropsychological deficits in psychotic versus nonpsychotic major depression and no mental illness
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
2000; 157 (7): 1095-1100
At least three studies have indicated that patients with psychotic major depression studied under non-drug-free conditions differ from patients with nonpsychotic major depression and healthy comparison subjects on several measures of neuropsychological performance. The current study explored specific impairments in cognitive function in subjects with psychotic major depression, subjects with nonpsychotic major depression, and healthy comparison subjects studied under drug-free conditions.A battery of neuropsychological tests was administered to 11 patients with psychotic major depression, 32 patients with nonpsychotic major depression, and 23 normal comparison subjects under drug-free conditions. The three groups did not differ statistically in age, sex, or level of education. To ensure that participants had minimal levels of severity and endogenicity, all patients were required to have a score of at least 20 on the 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and a score of at least 7 on the Core Endogenomorphic Scale, which uses eight items from the Hamilton depression scale.Patients with psychotic major depression demonstrated significantly greater impairment than patients with nonpsychotic major depression and/or comparison subjects in attention and response inhibition (as measured by the Stroop color-word subscale score) as well as in verbal declarative memory (as measured by the Paragraph Recall Test).These data indicate that patients with psychotic major depression demonstrate impairment in functions thought to be mediated by the frontal cortex and mediotemporal lobes.
View details for Web of Science ID 000087931200011
View details for PubMedID 10873917
Cognitive-behavioral group therapy for social phobia in female adolescents: Results of a pilot study
JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY
2000; 39 (6): 721-726
To examine the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral group therapy for adolescents (CBGT-A) in females with social phobia and the effect of this treatment on the risk for major depression.Female adolescents with social phobia (N = 35) were randomly assigned to treatment (n = 12) or no treatment (n = 23) groups. Assessments were conducted at baseline, after treatment, and at a 1-year follow-up.Eleven subjects completed treatment. Sixteen weeks of treatment produced a significant improvement in interference and reduction in symptoms of social anxiety. There was a significant reduction in the number of subjects meeting DSM-IV criteria for social phobia in the CBGT-A versus the untreated group; however, at the 1-year follow-up there were no significant differences by treatment condition. There was also suggestive evidence that treatment of social phobia lowers the risk for relapse of major depression among those with a history of major depression. Combining social phobia and major depression as the outcome produced more robust treatment effects in the 1-year follow-up.This pilot study provides evidence for a moderate short-term effect of CBGT-A for treating female adolescents suffering from social phobia and indicates that treatment of social phobia may result in a reduction of major depression.
View details for Web of Science ID 000087331200010
View details for PubMedID 10846306
Use of placebo control groups in evaluating efficacy of treatment of unipolar major depression
ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2000: 736-744
Double-blind, random-assignment placebo-controlled trials are routinely used in evaluating efficacy of potential antidepressant agents. In recent years concern has risen that placebo response rates in unipolar depression are too high, and this has eroded confidence in both old and new agents. At the same time, the use of placebos has been questioned by patients and their advocates. We review factors that have been commonly explored as associated with placebo response (e.g., length of episode, severity, subtype), as well as issues in methodology (e.g., interrater reliability, statistical artifacts). We discuss possible methods of dealing with the problem of placebo response, emphasizing reconceptualizing effect sizes to design more powerful single trials and a systematic sequence of trials to achieve the right answers.
View details for Web of Science ID 000086414200011
View details for PubMedID 10773182
Dilative cardiomyopathy leading to congestive heart failure in a male squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus)
JOURNAL OF MEDICAL PRIMATOLOGY
2000; 29 (1): 42-45
A 17-year-old, 1-kg, colony-housed, male squirrel monkey (Samiri sciureus) developed clinical signs of congestive heart failure. The monkey presented with lethargy, increased heart and respiratory rates, and mild abdominal distention. The clinical history, laboratory analysis, and radiographic findings were consistent with heart failure due to dilative cardiomyopathy. Gross and microscopic examination of the heart confirmed a dilative cardiomyopathy. This is the first report describing congestive heart failure caused by dilative cardiomyopathy in a squirrel monkey. Spontaneous dilative cardiomyopathy may be infrequently observed in the squirrel monkeys because they are not routinely housed in the research environment during their advancing years.
View details for Web of Science ID 000087265900006
View details for PubMedID 10870674
Clinical efficacy of reboxetine in major depression
PHYSICIANS POSTGRADUATE PRESS. 2000: 31-38
The past decade has witnessed the advent of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as first-line treatments for major depression. Still, there is considerable debate as to whether these agents are as effective or as potent as the first-generation tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) or the mixed reuptake inhibitor, venlafaxine, all of which exert considerable effect on norepinephrine (NE) reuptake. Recently, reboxetine, a selective NE reuptake inhibitor (selective NRI), has been introduced in Europe. This drug has only a minimal affinity for muscarinic acetylcholine receptors and therefore causes less dry mouth, constipation, or other such effects than do the TCAs. Reboxetine does not block serotonin reuptake or alpha1 receptors and, thus, does not appear to produce significant nausea, diarrhea, or hypotension. Unlike other antidepressants, reboxetine appears to be nonsedating. Data on acute and long-term clinical efficacy and safety from double-blind, placebo-controlled, and active comparator studies with reboxetine are reviewed. These studies indicate that reboxetine is significantly more effective than placebo and as effective as fluoxetine in reducing depressive symptoms. Improvements in social adjustments were reported to be more favorable with reboxetine than with fluoxetine. Further, data from controlled clinical trials have shown that the side effect profile for reboxetine is relatively benign. The clinical implications of studies on reboxetine are discussed with an eye toward understanding the potential role NE reuptake blockers may play in the treatment of patients with major depression.
View details for Web of Science ID 000088250200005
View details for PubMedID 10910015
New indications for antidepressants
PHYSICIANS POSTGRADUATE PRESS. 2000: 9-17
The second and third generation of antidepressants, i.e., the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, nefazodone, venlafaxine, and mirtazapine, are proving to be useful in a variety of seemingly diverse disorders, including most anxiety disorders. In addition to receiving approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for major depressive disorder, some of the newer antidepressants have received FDA approval for other disorders, e.g., generalized anxiety disorder (venlafaxine), bulimia nervosa (fluoxetine), obsessive-compulsive disorder (fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, and fluoxetine), social phobia (paroxetine), panic disorder (sertraline, paroxetine), and posttraumatic stress disorder (sertraline). In controlled studies, these agents have also shown usefulness in premenstrual dysphoric disorder, borderline personality disorder, obesity, smoking cessation, and alcoholism. This article describes the new and potential indications for recently developed antidepressants and the studies that suggested these indications.
View details for Web of Science ID 000088432800003
View details for PubMedID 10926050
Postnatal experiences and genetic effects on squirrel monkey social affinities and emotional distress
HORMONES AND BEHAVIOR
1999; 36 (3): 266-275
Most nonhuman primate research on risk factors underlying vulnerability to stress has focused on early psychosocial experiences in various species of macaques. To test for genetic and experiential effects on emotional vulnerability in randomly bred squirrel monkeys, here we combined a paternal half-sibling analysis with three postnatal rearing protocols that altered aspects of maternal availability. In one condition offspring were periodically removed from natal groups, whereas differences in maternal availability were produced in two other conditions by manipulating the effort required of lactating mothers to successfully locate food. After completion of these protocols at 21 weeks of age, social affinities, maternal separation induced peep-calls, and plasma levels of cortisol were assessed from 29 to 37 weeks of age. Significant postnatal rearing effects and the lowest heritabilities were detected in peak elevations of cortisol measured 1 day after the removal of mothers from otherwise undisturbed groups. Individual differences in cortisol 3-7 days later revealed negligible postnatal rearing effects and the highest heritabilities (h(2) approximately. 70), as offspring sired by certain fathers failed to return to the preseparation level found in undisturbed natal groups. Paternal half-siblings that responded with long lasting increases in cortisol spent more time near their mother in undisturbed groups and exhibited long-lasting increases in separation induced peep-calls. These findings concur with human twin studies that suggest genetic and experiential factors contribute to individual differences in vulnerability to emotional distress.
View details for Web of Science ID 000084740500007
View details for PubMedID 10603290
Glucocorticoid effects on mesotelencephalic dopamine neurotransmission
1999; 21 (3): 399-407
Multiple neurochemical estimates were used to examine peripheral corticosterone (CORT) effects in dopaminergic terminal regions. Acute CORT administration, which elevated plasma CORT (5 h), slightly decreased dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) to dopamine (DA) ratios in the striatum but not in other regions examined. Two weeks of adrenalectomy (ADX) increased both medial prefrontal cortex DOPAC/DA and homovanillic acid (HVA)/DA and striatal HVA/DA. A reciprocal pattern of changes was observed with CORT replacement in ADX animals. In contrast, CORT replacement in ADX animals did not significantly influence tyrosine hydroxylase content, basal dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) accumulation after NSD 1015 treatment or the decline in DA after alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine, suggesting that neither DA neuronal activity nor release are altered by CORT. Moreover, neither gamma-hydroxybutyric acid lactone-induced increases in DOPA accumulation or stress-induced increases in DA utilization were influenced by CORT replacement, indicating that neither autoreceptor regulation of DA synthesis nor acute stress regulation of DA utilization are changed by CORT. The findings are most consistent with direct inhibition of basal DA metabolism in the medial prefrontal cortex and striatum. The possible physiological and behavioral significance of this inhibition is being further explored.
View details for Web of Science ID 000081926400008
View details for PubMedID 10457537
Strain differences in mesotelencephalic dopaminergic neuronal regulation between Fischer 344 and Lewis rats
1999; 832 (1-2): 152-158
Differences in the behavioral responses of Lewis and Fischer (F344) inbred rat strains to stress and psychoactive drugs have been related to differences in the expression of various regulatory proteins in regions containing mesolimbic dopamine (DA) neurons. The present study compared basal and stimulated neurochemical estimates of DA utilization and synthesis in mesocortical, mesolimbic and nigrostriatal DA terminal regions of these two strains. In unstressed control animals, the Lewis strain had lower DA concentrations in the dorsal striatum (ST; 80.3% of F344) and lower basal dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) accumulation after m-hydroxybenzylhydrazine (NSD 1015) treatment in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPfx; 75.3% of F344). Similar differences were observed in vehicle-injected animals. No strain differences in basal neurochemistry were apparent in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAs) or core (NAc). In response to restraint stress, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) to DA ratios in the mPfx, NAs and ST increased in the F344 but not the Lewis strain. However, restraint stress did not significantly increase DOPA accumulation in the F344 strain. This latter finding was not due to a deficit in synthesis capacity, as gamma-hydroxybutyric acid lactone (GBL) increased DOPA accumulation significantly more in F344 than Lewis animals. Finally, haloperidol increased DA utilization similarly in the two strains. Together these findings suggest that the inbred, behaviorally divergent F344 and Lewis rats have selective differences in mesocortical, nigrostriatal and mesolimbic DA neuronal regulation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000081066800017
View details for PubMedID 10375661
Separation induced changes in squirrel monkey hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal physiology resemble aspects of hypercortisolism in humans
1999; 24 (2): 131-142
When separated from groups, squirrel monkeys respond with significant increases in plasma cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). While cortisol remains elevated above pre-separation levels, significant reductions occur in ACTH. Monkeys that respond with greater increases in cortisol subsequently exhibit greater reductions in ACTH, which suggests that reductions in ACTH are mediated by corticosteroid feedback. Monkeys that respond with greater increases in cortisol also tend to exhibit greater cerebrospinal fluid levels of the dopamine metabolite HVA, but not the norepinephrine metabolite MHPG, or corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). Attenuation of corticosteroid feedback with metyrapone results in significant increases in circulating ACTH, and in older monkeys increases plasma HVA. Similar findings in humans have been reported in clinical studies of hypercortisolism and major depression.
View details for Web of Science ID 000078796300001
View details for PubMedID 10101722
Phenomenology and treatment of agitation
PHYSICIANS POSTGRADUATE PRESS. 1999: 17-20
Agitation is a troublesome, common symptom in major depression that can be difficult to manage. It is sometimes a side effect of antidepressant treatment and may occasionally represent a mixed bipolar episode. If agitation fails to respond to an antidepressant alone, treatment may be augmented with a benzodiazepine, a neuroleptic, or lithium. Preliminary evidence indicates that divalproex, which has been found useful for bipolar disorder and for agitation associated with Alzheimer's disease, may also be effective for agitated depression. A controlled trial is now underway.
View details for Web of Science ID 000081543500004
View details for PubMedID 10418809
Antidepressant effectiveness in severe depression and melancholia
PHYSICIANS POSTGRADUATE PRESS. 1999: 14-22
While outcome has improved in patients with depressive disorders since the introduction of the newer antidepressants, some physicians still treat severely depressed patients with the older tricyclic antidepressants because of conflicting reports about the efficacy of the newer agents, particularly the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, in severe depression. However, a standardized operational definition of severe depression is lacking, and treatment studies are difficult to evaluate due to variation in methodology. Remission rates are relatively low in many of the short-term clinical trials of the newer antidepressants in severe depression, but may improve if the research design were to include a longer trial and aggressive dosing. There is some evidence that venlafaxine, a serotonin-norepinephrine antidepressant, may offer some advantage for severely depressed patients.
View details for Web of Science ID 000079268200003
View details for PubMedID 10086479
Salivary cortisol levels in socially phobic adolescent girls
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
1999; 10 (1): 25-27
Anxiety disorders such as social phobia (SP) often have their onset during adolescence and frequently precede the onset of major depression. Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is well-documented in major depression. Consequently, there is considerable interest in HPA function in anxiety disorders. We examined salivary cortisol levels in 27 SP adolescent girls and 21 matched controls during normal daily activities, and immediately before and after a modified Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Both SP subjects and controls showed significant elevations in cortisol levels prior to the TSST, and prior to attending school. These results suggest that salivary cortisol is a sensitive measure of anticipatory anxiety, but we failed to find significant differences between SP subjects and controls.
View details for Web of Science ID 000085271400004
View details for PubMedID 10499186
Serotonergic synergism: The risks and benefits of combining the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors with other serotonergic drugs
1998; 44 (5): 341-347
It has become common clinical practice to combine the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors with other serotonergic agents for augmentation or adjunctive purposes. The empirical basis for using these combinations remains limited, but is growing. Also growing is a literature that suggests that even the most apparently benign combinations of serotonergic drugs carry at least some risk of serious pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic drug interactions, such as a serotonin syndrome.
View details for Web of Science ID 000075793700005
View details for PubMedID 9755356
McLean Hospital Depression Research Facility: early-onset phobic disorders and adult-onset major depression
BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY
1998; 173: 29-34
This study explores the temporal relationship between anxiety and major depressive disorders in a cohort of patients with current major depression.Current prevalence and lifetime history of specific anxiety disorders were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R Diagnosis (SCID-P) in 85 patients with DSM-III-R major depression. Consensus DSM-III-R diagnoses were assigned by at least two psychiatrists or psychologists.Twenty-nine per cent met criteria for at least one current anxiety disorder and 34% had at least one anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. The mean (s.d.) age of onset of anxiety disorder in the depressed patients with comorbid social or simple phobia (15 (9) years) was significantly younger than was that of their major depression (25 (9) years). In contrast, the mean (s.d.) age of onset of anxiety in patients with comorbid panic or OCD (20 (8) years) was similar to that seen for their major depression (21 (9) years). In patients with major depression with comorbid anxiety disorders, both the social phobia (10 of 13) and simple phobia (4 of 4) were more commonly reported to start at least two years prior to their major depression in contrast to depressives with comorbid panic (3 of 10 subjects)-Fisher's exact test, P = 0.01.Early-onset social and simple phobias appear to be risk factors for later onset of major depression.
View details for Web of Science ID 000074957000006
View details for PubMedID 9829014
Postnatal foraging demands alter adrenocortical activity and psychosocial development
1998; 32 (4): 285-291
Mother squirrel monkeys stop carrying infants at earlier ages in high-demand (HD) conditions where food is difficult to find relative to low-demand (LD) conditions. To characterize these transitions in psychosocial development, from 10- to 21-weeks postpartum we collected measures of behavior, adrenocortical activity, and social transactions coded for initiator (mother or infant), goal (make-contact or break-contact), and outcome (success or failure). Make-contact attempts were most often initiated by HD infants, but mothers often opposed these attempts and less than 50% were successful. Break-contact attempts were most often initiated by LD infants, but mothers often opposed these attempts and fewer LD than HD infant break-contact attempts were successful. Plasma levels of cortisol were significantly higher in HD than LD mothers, but differences in adrenocortical activity were less consistent in their infants. HD and LD infants also spent similar amounts of time nursing on their mothers and feeding on solid foods. By rescheduling some transitions in development (carry-->self-transport), and not others (nursing-->self-feeding), mothers may have partially protected infants from the immediate impact of an otherwise stressful foraging task.
View details for Web of Science ID 000073477300003
View details for PubMedID 9589217
Bipolar disorder: Recent issues in diagnosis and classification
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY
1998; 59: 5-10
Recent findings in the diagnosis, classification, and epidemiology of bipolar disorder are reviewed. Specific bipolar subtypes are delineated. A number of key diagnostic issues that have implications for correctly establishing the diagnosis or for determining optimal treatment approaches are discussed. The epidemiology of comorbid substance abuse and bipolar disorder is reviewed as is the significance of this comorbidity vis-à-vis presenting symptoms, treatment, and outcome. The differential diagnosis between so-called mixed states and agitated depressed is reviewed, and the potential significance of comorbid bipolar disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is discussed.
View details for Web of Science ID 000074682000002
View details for PubMedID 9674931
Noradrenergic versus serotonergic antidepressants: Predictors of treatment response
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY
1998; 59: 15-18
Serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have generally proven to be as effective as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) in the treatment of major depression and have an improved side effect profile. However, data suggest that the SSRIs are not as effective as the TCAs in certain subsets of depressed patients, indicating the importance of norepinephrine reuptake inhibition for such patients. Evidence for the role of norepinephrine in depression comes from early studies on excretion of catecholamines and more recent studies on receptor function, second messenger systems, and gene modification. These data are reviewed in this article. Data from a multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical trial comparing desipramine, a relatively norepinephrine-selective TCA, and the SSRI fluoxetine in moderate to marked major depression suggest a differential response depending on the antidepressant. The 2 drugs were overall similar in efficacy; however, in severely ill patients, there was a suggestion that desipramine was more likely to induce remission than fluoxetine. Urinary metabolite 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol levels were a better predictor of likelihood of remission than severity of episode or drug treatment. Desipramine and fluoxetine produced different longitudinal effects in catecholamine excretion, indicating that the 2 agents act through different mechanisms. Given the good therapeutic profile but relative risks associated with TCA therapy, selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, such as reboxetine, which has a good safety profile, could be a major step forward in the treatment of depression.
View details for Web of Science ID 000076407400005
View details for PubMedID 9818626
Serotonin reuptake inhibitor discontinuation syndrome: A hypothetical definition
PHYSICIANS POSTGRADUATE PRESS. 1997: 5-10
Adverse events following discontinuation from serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) are being reported in the literature with increasing frequency; the frequency and severity of these symptoms appear to vary according to the half-life of the SRI, e.g., the incidence appears higher with the shorter half-life agents than with fluoxetine, which has an extended half-life. Yet, there have been no systematic studies of the phenomenon to date. Therefore, a group of experts convened in Phoenix, Arizona, to develop a clear description or definition of the phenomenon based on these reports. The SRI discontinuation syndrome, referred to as "withdrawal symptoms" in many anecdotal case reports, is distinctly different from the classic withdrawal syndrome associated with alcohol and barbiturates. Anti-depressants are not associated with dependence or drug-seeking behavior. SRI discontinuation symptoms tend to be short-lived and self-limiting, but can be troublesome. They may emerge when an SRI is abruptly discontinued, when doses are missed, and less frequently, during dosage reduction. In addition, the symptoms are not attributable to any other cause and can be reversed when the original agent is reinstituted, or one that is pharmacologically similar is substituted. SRI discontinuation symptoms, in most cases, may be minimized by slowly tapering antidepressant therapy, but there have been several case reports where symptoms occurred consistently even through repeated attempts to taper therapy. Physical symptoms include problems with balance, gastrointestinal and flu-like symptoms, and sensory and sleep disturbances. Psychological symptoms include anxiety and/or agitation, crying spells, and irritability. Further analyses of data bases and clinical studies are needed to define this proposed syndrome more clearly.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XK60200002
View details for PubMedID 9219487
Possible biological mechanisms of the serotonin reuptake inhibitor discontinuation syndrome
PHYSICIANS POSTGRADUATE PRESS. 1997: 23-27
Although the number of documented serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) discontinuation reactions is increasing, to date no systematic studies have been completed; therefore the mechanism of action for these reactions is not clearly understood. However, several hypotheses have been proposed. Researchers have postulated that discontinuation events result from a sudden decrease in the availability of synaptic serotonin in the face of down-regulated serotonin receptors. In addition, other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, or gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), may also be involved, although little research in this area has been published. Individual patient sensitivity, i.e., genetics or cognitive mindset, may also be a factor in SRI discontinuation phenomena. Finally, experts have hypothesized that since some symptoms associated with paroxetine withdrawal are similar to those of tricyclic antidepressant discontinuation, they may be caused by cholinergic rebound.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XK60200005
View details for PubMedID 9219490
- The dynamics of sex: Gender differences in psychiatric disorders JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY 1997; 58: 3-4
Treatment of severe depression with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Depression and anxiety
1996; 4 (4): 182-189
The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are recognized as effective as and better tolerated than older antidepressant therapies and have become the drugs of choice in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. However, there is a clinical impression that the SSRIs are less effective than older therapies in the severely depressed patient. A limited number of trials have attempted to address this issue. This review assesses 16 controlled studies of SSRIs in severe depression. The findings from a majority of studies found the SSRIs to be superior to placebo and as effective as but better tolerated than the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) in severely depressed patients. Although future studies are needed to corroborate and elaborate on these data, studies still support the use of SSRIs in this patient population.
View details for PubMedID 9166650
SEROTONIN ACTIVITY IN PSYCHOTIC (DELUSIONAL) MAJOR DEPRESSION
PHYSICIANS POSTGRADUATE PRESS. 1992: 52-55
Psychotic (delusional) major depression is a distinct syndrome with marked morbidity. Previous studies have emphasized the role that glucocorticoids and dopamine may play in the pathogenesis of the disorder as well as in its response to treatment. In addition to reviewing data on these two systems, the possible role serotonin (5-HT) may play is also reviewed. Studies indicate increased 5-HT reuptake into platelets and elevated cerebrospinal fluid levels of the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) are found in patients with this disorder. In addition, amoxapine, a four-ringed antidepressant with 5-HT2 antagonistic properties, has been reported to be effective in treating patients with this disorder. The implications of these findings vis-à-vis a role for serotonin in delusional major depression are discussed. Future studies on serotonin as well as on 5-HT2 antagonists in delusional depression are warranted.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992JU79900006
View details for PubMedID 1429484