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Journal of affective disorders [journal]
- Gender differences in DSM-5 versus DSM-IV-TR PTSD prevalence and criteria comparison among 512 survivors to the L׳Aquila earthquake. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Affect Disord 2014 May.:55-61.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has demonstrated gender-specific prevalence and expressions across the different DSM definitions, since its first introduction in DSM-III. The DSM-5 recently introduced important revisions to PTSD symptomatological criteria. Aim of the present study is to explore whether gender moderates rates of DSM-5 PTSD expression in a non-clinical sample of survivors to a massive earthquake in Italy.512 survivors of the L׳Aquila 2009 earthquake, previously investigated for the presence DSM-IV-TR PTSD, were reassessed according to DSM-5 criteria in order to explore gender differences. All subjects completed the Trauma and Loss Spectrum-Self Report (TALS-SR).Females showed significantly higher DSM-5 PTSD rates and rates of endorsement of almost all DSM-5 PTSD criteria. Significant gender differences emerged in almost half of PTSD symptomatological criteria with women reporting higher rates in 8 of them, while men in only one (a new symptom in DSM-5: reckless or self-destructive behavior). Considering the impact of the three new DSM-5 symptoms on the diagnosis, significant gender differences emerged with these being crucial in almost half of the PTSD diagnoses in males but in about one-fourth in females. By using ROC curves, DSM-5 criteria E and D showed the highest AUC values in males (.876) and females (.837), respectively.The use of self-report instrument; no information on comorbidity; homogeneity of study sample; lack of assessment on functional impairment.This study provides a contribution to the ongoing need for reassessment on how gender moderates rates of expression of particular disorders such as PTSD.
- Verbal memory as a mediator in the relationship between subthreshold depressive symptoms and functional outcome in bipolar disorder. [Journal Article]
- J Affect Disord 2014 May.:50-4.
Most studies on the factors involved in the functional outcome of patients with bipolar disorder have identified subsyndromal depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment as key players. However, most studies are cross-sectional and very few have analyzed the interaction between cognition and subclinical depression. The present study aimed to identify the role of cognition, and particularly verbal memory, and subthreshold depressive symptoms in the functional outcome of patients with bipolar I and II disorder at one year follow-up.A confirmatory analysis was performed using the path analysis. A total of 111 euthymic patients were included to test the role of verbal memory as a mediator in the relationship of subthreshold depressive symptoms and functional outcome at one year follow-up. Measures of verbal memory, subthreshold depressive symptoms and functioning (at baseline, at 6 months and at one year follow-up) were gathered through the use of a neuropsychological assessment and validated clinical scales.The hypothesized mediation model displayed a good fit to data (Chi=0.393, df=2, p=0.625; RMSEA<0.001 with CI: 0.001-0.125 and CFI=1.00). Functional outcome at one year follow-up was predicted by the functional outcome at baseline, which in turn, was related to subthreshold depressive symptoms at baseline and to the verbal composite memory scores as a mediator variable.The results of this study prospectively confirm previous findings on the disabling role of subthreshold depressive symptoms and verbal memory impairment on psychosocial functioning. However, these results come from a sample with moderate to severe functional impairment; hence, as a limitation, this may hinder the generalization of these results.
- Validation of laughter for diagnosis and evaluation of depression. [Journal Article]
- J Affect Disord 2014 May.:43-9.
In the medical field, laughter has been studied for its beneficial effects on health and as a therapeutic method to prevent and treat major medical diseases. However, very few works, if any, have explored the predictive potential of laughter and its potential use as a diagnostic tool.We registered laughs of depressed patients (n=30) and healthy controls (n=20), in total 934 laughs (517 from patients and 417 from controls). All patients were tested by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). The processing was made in Matlab, with calculation of 8 variables per laugh plosive. General and discriminant analysis distinguished patients, controls, gender, and the association between laughter and HDRS test.Depressed patients and healthy controls differed significantly on the type of laughter, with 88% efficacy. According to the Hamilton scale, 85.47% of the samples were correctly classified in males, and 66.17% in women, suggesting a tight relationship between laughter and the depressed condition.(i) The compilation of humorous videos created to evoke laughter implied quite variable chances of laughter production. (ii) Some laughing subjects might not feel comfortable when recording. (iii) Evaluation of laughter episodes depended on personal inspection of the records. (iv) Sample size was relatively small and may not be representative of the general population afflicted by depression.Laughter may be applied as a diagnostic tool in the onset and evolution of depression and, potentially, of neuropsychiatric pathologies. The sound structures of laughter reveal the underlying emotional and mood states in interpersonal relationships.
- Frontoparietal function in young people with dysthymic disorder (DSM-5: Persistent depressive disorder) during spatial working memory. [Journal Article]
- J Affect Disord 2014 May.:34-42.
Dysthymic disorder (DD) is a depressive disorder characterised by persistent low and/or irritable mood and has been identified as a major risk factor for developing major depressive disorder (MDD). MDD and DD have been associated with executive function difficulties of working memory and attention. Little is known about how executive function networks in the brain are affected in children and adolescents with MDD and even less in DD. This study used fMRI and two spatial working memory paradigms to investigate associated brain function in young people with DD and an age-, gender- and IQ- matched typically developing group.Nineteen male patients with DD (mean age 11.2±1.5 years) diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria and 16 typically developing boys (mean age 10.5±1.1 years) performed a mental rotation and a delay-match to sample (DMTS) task while undergoing fMRI. All participants were medication-naïve at the time of testing.Compared to typically developing young people, the DD group showed less activation in left frontal regions including left ventro- and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (PFC) during mental rotation. Medial frontal regions including dorsomedial PFC, anterior cingulate cortex and frontal pole also showed relatively reduced activation. During the DMTS task patients showed significantly more activation in the right precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex.This was a cross-sectional study with a small sample limiting the generalizability of the results.The results complement previous findings in adults with MDD that have shown differential activation of left PFC regions during working memory tasks. Additionally, altered function of cortical midline structures in young patients with DD was identified. This supports findings in children, adolescents and adults with MDD suggesting that the pathophysiology of depressive disorders extends to DD as a risk factor for MDD and exhibits continuity over the lifespan.
- More pernicious course of bipolar disorder in the United States than in many European countries: Implications for policy and treatment. [Journal Article]
- J Affect Disord 2014 May.:27-33.
There is some controversy but growing evidence that childhood onset bipolar disorder may be more prevalent and run a more difficult course in the United States than some European countries.We update and synthesize course of illness data from more than 960 outpatients with bipolar disorder (average age 40) from 4 sites in the U.S. and 3 sites in Netherlands and Germany. After giving informed consent, patients reported on parental history, childhood and lifetime stressors, comorbidities, and illness characteristics.Almost all aspects of bipolar disorder were more adverse in patients from the US compared with Europe, including a significantly higher prevalence of: bipolar disorder in one parent and a mood disorder in both parents; childhood verbal, physical, or sexual abuse; stressors in the year prior to illness onset and the last episode; childhood onsets of bipolar illness; delay to first treatment; anxiety disorder, substance abuse, and medical comorbidity; mood episodes and rapid cycling; and nonresponse to prospective naturalistic treatment.Selection bias in the recruit of patients cannot be ruled out, but convergent data in the literature suggest that this does not account for the findings. Potential mechanisms for the early onset and more adverse course in the U.S. have not been adequately delineated and require further investigation.The data suggest the need for earlier and more effective long-term treatment intervention in an attempt to ameliorate this adverse course and its associated heavy burden of psychiatric and medical morbidity.
- Disentangling Sense of Coherence and Resilience in case of multiple traumas. [Journal Article]
- J Affect Disord 2014 May.:21-6.
Depressive and anxiety disorders (DAD) are a major public health problem. Trauma endured during childhood is known to increase the risk of DAD in adulthood. We investigate the hypothesis that Sense of Coherence (SOC) is a mediator between childhood trauma and depressive and anxious symptoms (DAD) in adulthood. We also explore the nature (personality trait or aptitude) of SOC and attempt to disentangle the concepts of resilience and SOC.Former hidden children (FHC), the Jewish youths who spent World War II in various hideaway shelters across Nazi-occupied Europe, were compared with a control group. In each group we measured the presence of multiple traumas, the resilience with the Resilience Scale for Adults, the DAD with the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist and the SOC with the SOC-13 self-report questionnaire. We tested a mediated moderation model with childhood Trauma as the predictor; Adulthood trauma as the moderator; SOC as the mediator; and DAD as the outcome variable.Results were consistent with a sensitization model of DAD partially mediated by SOC. A first component of SOC was similar to an aptitude and another part of SOC was more similar to a personality trait.We are unable to differentiate if the sensitization process is a consequence of the nature of the trauma endured by FHC (long-standing exposure to extreme external events) or a consequence of the fact that this first trauma occurred during childhood.Our results could account for the controversial debate regarding the life time stability of SOC.
- Interactions between a serotonin transporter gene, life events and social support on suicidal ideation in Korean elders. [Journal Article]
- J Affect Disord 2014 May.:14-20.
The functional polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR) may modify associations between environmental stressors and suicidality in adolescents and working-age adults. We investigated whether the 5-HTTLPR s/l polymorphism interacts with stressful life events (SLEs) and social support deficits (SSDs) on late-life suicidal ideation.732 Korean community residents aged 65+ were evaluated and, of 639 without suicidal ideation, 579 (90.6%) were followed two years later. Prevalence and incidence of suicidal ideation was ascertained. Information on SLEs and SSDs were gathered, and covariates included socio-demographic characteristics, depressive symptoms, cognitive function, and disability.Significant interactions were observed between 5-HTTLPR genotype, SLEs and SSDs on both prevalence and incidence of suicidal ideation after adjustment for covariates. The associations of SLEs and SSDs with suicidal ideation were strengthened in combination with higher numbers of s alleles, and were only significant predictors in those with s/s genotype. A significant three-way interaction between 5-HTTLPR genotype, SLEs and SSDs was also found.The generalizability of suicidal ideation as a marker of suicidality should be considered.Gene-environment interactions on suicidal behavior are therefore identifiable even in old age.
- Web-based depression treatment: Associations of clients׳ word use with adherence and outcome. [Journal Article]
- J Affect Disord 2014 May.:10-3.
The growing number of web-based psychological treatments, based on textual communication, generates a wealth of data that can contribute to knowledge of online and face-to-face treatments. We investigated whether clients׳ language use predicted treatment outcomes and adherence in Master Your Mood (MYM), an online group course for young adults with depressive symptoms.Among 234 participants from a randomised controlled trial of MYM, we tested whether their word use on course application forms predicted baseline levels of depression, anxiety and mastery, or subsequent treatment adherence. We then analysed chat session transcripts of course completers (n=67) to investigate whether word use changes predicted changes in treatment outcomes.Depression improvement was predicted by increasing use of 'discrepancy words' during treatment (e.g. should). At baseline, more discrepancy words predicted higher mastery level. Adherence was predicted by more words used at application, more social words and fewer discrepancy words.Many variables were included, increasing the chance of coincidental results. This risk was constrained by examining only those word categories that have been investigated in relation to depression or adherence.This is the first study to link word use during treatment to outcomes of treatment that has proven to be effective in an RCT. The results suggest that paying attention to the length of problem articulation at application and to 'discrepancy words' may be wise, as these seem to be psychological markers. To expand knowledge of word use as psychological marker, research on web-based treatment should include text analysis.
- Abnormality in serum levels of mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its precursor proBDNF in mood-stabilized patients with bipolar disorder: A study of two independent cohorts. [Journal Article]
- J Affect Disord 2014 May.:1-9.
Early detection and diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be difficult. Tools are needed to help clinicians detect bipolar disorder earlier, which would ameliorate the prognosis.ELISA kits that distinguish between mature brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and proBDNF, we compared serum levels of mature BDNF, proBDNF, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in two independent cohorts (Sahlgrenska cohort and Karolinska cohort) of mood-stabilized bipolar patients and healthy controls. The total sample size in both cohorts consisted of 263 (48+215) bipolar patients and 155 (43+112) healthy controls.Levels of mature BDNF and the ratio mature BDNF/proBDNF were significantly higher in patients than in controls. Serum levels of proBDNF were significantly lower in patients compared to controls. Serum levels of MMP-9 did not differ between the groups but MMP-9 correlated positively and significantly with mature BDNF. Mature BDNF, proBDNF, the ratio of mature BDNF/proBDNF and interactions with MMP-9 explained the diagnostic dichotomy in both cohorts with high significance, using multivariate logistic ANCOVA (gender, age, and BMI were covaried out). The model explained 41% of the diagnostic variance in the Sahlgrenska cohort (p<0.0001) and 15% in the Karolinska cohort (p<0.0001). In both cohorts, the equations provided good power for diagnostic classification. The diagnostic sensitivity was 89% in the Sahlgrenska and 74% in the Karolinska cohort, and specificity 77% and 64%, respectively.The study is cross-sectional with no longitudinal follow up. The cohorts are relatively small with no medication-free patients. There are no "ill patient controls".Abnormalities in the conversion of proBDNF to mature BDNF may be associated with pathogenesis of bipolar disorder. Clinical use of these biomarkers may provide opportunities for earlier detection and correct treatment.
- Under-reporting bipolar disorder in large-scale epidemiologic studies. [Journal Article]
- J Affect Disord 2014 Apr.:147-54.
To investigate if the prevalence of bipolar disorder in epidemiologic studies is an underestimate, as suggested by clinical studies.We analyzed data from 8 countries that participated in the World Mental Health Survey Initiative (n=47,552). We identified 6.8% and 18.9% of the sample who we think were screened out inappropriately (SCI) from the euphoric and irritable bipolar sections respectively. We compared them to those who were allowed to continue the section (CONT, 2.6% of the sample for euphoric; 1.0% for irritable) and to the reference group (REF, 69.5% of the sample).The SCI group had consistently higher rates of major depression (29.1% vs. 6.4%), earlier age of onset (24.3y vs. 32.4y), more suicide attempts (13.3% vs. 5.9%), and more episodes (4.2 vs. 2.7) than the REF for the euphoric group. Similar findings exist for the irritable group. Also, comorbidity with anxiety, disruptive behavior disorders and substance use were much higher than the REF.As with all epidemiologic studies, recall bias cannot be ruled out.The findings above suggest that a number of the SCI subjects belong to the bipolar group. A revision of instruments used in epidemiologic research will probably prove what clinical studies have been showing that bipolar disorder is more common than has been reported.