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Journal of affective disorders [journal]
- A systematic review and meta-analysis of lithium augmentation of tricyclic and second generation antidepressants in major depression. [REVIEW]
- J Affect Disord 2014 Jun 2.:269-275.
Lithium augmentation of antidepressants for treatment of unipolar major depression was one of the first adjunctive strategies based on a neuropharmacologic rationale. Randomized controlled trials supported its efficacy but most trials added lithium to tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Despite its efficacy, use of lithium augmentation remains infrequent. The current systematic review and meta-analysis examines the efficacy of lithium augmentation as an adjunct to second generation antidepressants as well as to TCAs and considers reasons for its infrequent use.A systematic search of Medline and the Cochrane Clinical Trials database was performed. Randomized, placebo-controlled trials of lithium augmentation were selected. A fixed-effects meta-analysis was performed. Odds ratios for response were calculated for each treatment-control contrast, for the trials grouped by type of initial antidepressant (TCA or second generation antidepressant), and as a meta-analytic summary for all treatments combined.Nine trials that included 237 patients were selected. The odds ratio for response to lithium vs. placebo in all contrasts combined was 2.89 (95% CI 1.65, 5.05, z=3.72, p=0.0002). Heterogeneity was very low, I(2)=0%. Adjunctive lithium was effective with TCAs (7 contrasts) and with second generation agents (3 contrasts). Discontinuation due to adverse events was infrequent and did not differ between lithium and placebo.The meta-analysis is limited by the small size and number of trials and limited data for treatment resistant patients.Adjunctive lithium appears to be as effective for second generation antidepressants as it was for the tricyclics.
- Resilience to affective disorders: A comparative validation of two resilience scales. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Affect Disord 2014 Jul 17.:262-268.
Resilience to affective disorders in rehabilitating patients or in individuals with a severe disability is of special research interest. However, there is no gold standard for measuring resilience. We aimed to test the accuracy of the Dutch translation of the Brief Resilience Scale (BRSnl) and of the Resilience Scale (RSnl) in recognizing rehabilitating patients without anxiety and depression, and to determine the reliability and construct validity of both scales.A within-subjects longitudinal study with six assessments, each one week apart. Forty residents of a nursing home rehabilitating unit were interviewed to assess resilience (BRSnl and RSnl), optimism and pessimism (LOT-R), depression and anxiety (HADS), positive and negative affect (PANAS), and pain (VAS).Receiver operating characteristic analyses for recognizing the absence of depression and anxiety (HADS-score≤7) revealed better accuracy (P=0.038) for the BRSnl (AUC=0.84; p<0.0001) than for the RSnl (AUC=0.68; P=0.017). The scales correlated moderately at baseline (rs=0.35; p=0.026), and at four-week follow-up (rs=0.50; p=0.004). The RSnl was positively associated with positive outcomes (optimism and positive affect), and the BRSnl positively with positive outcomes, and negatively with negative outcomes (pessimism, anxiety and negative affect). The RSnl showed a better four-week test-retest reliability (ICC, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.87 to 0.97) than the BRSnl (0.66; 95% CI, 0.29 to.83).Short study duration, a relatively small sample.The BRSnl showed better performance in detecting people without depression and anxiety than the RSnl, and performed better on construct validity.
- Differential abnormalities of functional connectivity of the amygdala and hippocampus in unipolar and bipolar affective disorders. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Affect Disord 2014 Jun 2.:243-253.
The amygdala and hippocampus - two structures intimately associated with mood and cognition - have been reported to exhibit altered neural activity or volume in affective disorders. We hypothesized the amygdala and hippocampus would show altered and differential patterns of connectivity in patients with bipolar (BPs) and unipolar (UPs) disorder compared to healthy volunteers.Thirty BPs, 34 UPs, and 66 healthy volunteers were imaged using F-18-fluorodeoxyglucose and positron emission tomography while performing an auditory continuous performance task (CPT). Normalized mean activity of the amygdala and hippocampus was correlated with the rest of the brain.In BPs, the amygdalae displayed exaggerated positive metabolic correlations with prefrontal and ventral striatal areas, while the hippocampus showed a paucity of normal inter-relations compared to controls. In contrast, in UPs the amygdala was significantly negatively correlated with prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex, while the hippocampus was significantly more positively correlated to these same prefrontal areas.During a simple cognitive task, the functional connectivity of the amygdala and hippocampus, regions usually associated with emotion and memory regulation, was substantially different in affective illness compared to healthy controls whether or not there were baseline abnormalities in these areas. These striking differences in functional connectivity of amygdala and hippocampus should be further explored in ill and well states and using more specific emotion and cognitive evocative tasks.
- The chronic impact of work on suicides and under-utilization of psychiatric and psychosocial services. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Affect Disord 2014 Jul 5.:254-261.
Work-related stress appears to be a contributing factor in the lives of employed people who kill themselves, particularly during economic downturns. However, few studies have compared them with working community controls who may be experiencing similar strains, in order to explore the role of mental disorders in these deaths and the implication of such strains on their service use pattern. We hypothesized that both work stress and mental illness were associated with suicides, and that mental illness served as the mediator between work stress and suicide. Based on the Behavioral Model, we also assumed work stress associated with their use of services.A sample of 175 employed individuals (suicides=63; controls=112) drawn from a psychological autopsy (PA) dataset was examined based on demographics and socioeconomic factors, psychiatric diagnoses and use of services, psychosocial factors, and life events. A mediator analysis was conducted to examine the impact of work on suicides.Suicides generally had depression and anxiety, debts, higher impulsivity and poorer social support in comparison to controls. Chronic impact from work, which was fully mediated by psychiatric illness, was found higher among those suicides that did not seek contact with clinical service providers.PA is a post-hoc cross-sectional comparison method which does not allow causal analyses.It is important to develop new approaches for engaging vulnerable individuals in the workplace before they become suicidal, as their depression and social isolation can serve to cut them off from help when they are most in need. Occupational mental health programs should be made available for employees and their families.
- Beliefs of people taking antidepressants about causes of depression and reasons for increased prescribing rates. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Affect Disord 2014 Jun 24.:236-242.
Public beliefs about the causes of mental health problems are related to desire for distance and pessimism about recovery, and are therefore frequently studied. The beliefs of people receiving treatment are researched less often.An online survey on causal beliefs about depression and experiences with antidepressants was completed by 1829 New Zealand adults prescribed anti-depressants in the preceding five years, 97.4% of whom proceeded to take antidepressants.The most frequently endorsed of 17 causal beliefs were family stress, relationship problems, loss of loved one, financial problems, isolation, and abuse or neglect in childhood. Factor analysis produced three factors: 'bio-genetic', 'adulthood stress' and 'childhood adversity'. The most strongly endorsed explanations for increases in antidepressant prescribing invoked improved identification, reduced stigma and drug company marketing. The least strongly endorsed was 'Anti-depressants are the best treatment'. Regression analyses revealed that self-reported efficacy of the antidepressants was positively associated with bio-genetic causal beliefs, negatively associated with childhood adversity beliefs and unrelated to adulthood stress beliefs. The belief that 'People cannot׳ get better by themselves even if they try' was positively associated with bio-genetic beliefs.The convenience sample may have been biased towards a favourable view of bio-genetic explanations, since 83% reported that the medication reduced their depression.Clinicians׳ should consider exploring patients׳ causal beliefs. The public, even when taking antidepressants, continues to hold a multi-factorial causal model of depression with a primary emphasis on psycho-social causes. A three factor model of those beliefs may lead to more sophisticated understandings of relationships with stigma variables.
- Possible involvement of rumination in gray matter abnormalities in persistent symptoms of major depression: An exploratory magnetic resonance imaging voxel-based morphometry study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Affect Disord 2014 Jun 25.:229-235.
A recent meta-analysis of many magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies has identified brain regions with gray matter (GM) abnormalities in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). A few studies addressing GM abnormalities in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) have yielded inconsistent results. Moreover, although TRD patients tend to exhibit ruminative thoughts, it remains unclear whether rumination is related to GM abnormalities in such patients or not.We conducted structural MRI scans and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to identify GM differences among 29 TRD patients and 29 healthy age-matched and sex-matched controls. A response style questionnaire was used to assess the respective degrees of rumination in TRD patients. Structural correlates of rumination were examined.TRD patients showed several regions with smaller GM volume than in healthy subjects: the left dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), right ventral ACC, right superior frontal gyrus, right cerebellum (Crus I), and cerebellar vermis. GM volumes in these regions did not correlate to rumination. However, whole-brain analysis revealed that rumination was positively correlated with the GM volume in the right superior temporal gyrus in TRD patients.Structural correlates of rumination were examined only in TRD patients.Our data provide additional evidence supporting the hypothesis that TRD patients show GM abnormalities compared with healthy subjects. Furthermore, this report is the first to describe a study identifying brain regions for which the GM volume is correlated with rumination in TRD patients. These results improve our understanding of the anatomical characteristics of TRD.
- Different biogenetic causal explanations and attitudes towards persons with major depression, schizophrenia and alcohol dependence: Is the concept of a chemical imbalance beneficial? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Affect Disord 2014 Jun 16.:224-228.
It is unclear whether different biogenetic causal beliefs affect stigmatization of mentally-ill patients differently. It has been argued that in particular believing in a 'chemical imbalance' as a cause of mental disorder might be associated with more tolerant attitudes.In a representative population survey in Germany (n=3642), using unlabelled case vignettes of persons with depression, schizophrenia, or alcohol dependence, we elicited agreement with three different biogenetic explanations of the illness: 'Chemical imbalance of the brain', 'brain disease' and 'heredity'. We further investigated emotional reactions as well as the desire for social distance. For each vignette condition we calculated linear regressions with each biogenetic explanation as independent and emotional reactions as well as social distance as dependent variable controlling for socio-demographic variables.Our cross-sectional study does not allow statements regarding causality and the explanatory power of our statistical models was low.'Chemical imbalance of the brain' and 'brain disease' were both associated with a stronger desire for social distance in schizophrenia and depression, and with more social acceptance in alcohol dependence, whereas 'heredity' was not significantly associated with social distance in any of the investigated illnesses. All three biogenetic causal beliefs were associated with more fear in all three illnesses.Our study corroborates findings that biogenetic explanations have different effects in different disorders, and seem to be harmful in depression and schizophrenia. A particular de-stigmatizing potential of the causal belief 'chemical imbalance' could not be found. Implications for useful anti-stigma messages are discussed.
- Seasonality and bipolar disorder: A systematic review, from admission rates to seasonality of symptoms. [REVIEW]
- J Affect Disord 2014 Jul 10.:210-223.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe mental disorder affecting 1-4% of the population worldwide. It is characterized by periods of (hypo)manic and depressive episodes. Seasonal patterns (SP) may be observed in admission rates, mood relapses and symptom fluctuations.We conducted a systematic review of seasonality in BD, classifying studies based on seasonal admission rates to seasonality of symptoms assessments.Fifty-one papers were identified of which 32 addressed hospitalization rates by season, 6 addressed categorical diagnoses, and 13 explored symptom dimensions. Seasonal peaks for different BD mood episodes are observed worldwide and widely replicated. Manic episodes peak during spring/summer and, to a lesser extent, in autumn, depressive episodes peak in early winter and, to a lesser extent, summer, and mixed episodes peak in early spring or mid/late summer. There was a high frequency of SP for manic episodes (15%) and depressive episodes (25%), the latter being associated with a more complex clinical profile (BD II subtype, comorbid eating disorders, more relapses and rapid cycling). Finally, there was evidence for greater seasonal fluctuations in mood and behavior in individuals with BD than in those with unipolar depression or 'healthy' controls.Sample size, gender distribution, methodological quality and sophistication of the analytical approaches employed varied considerably.There is evidence of seasonality in BD, with emerging evidence that climatic conditions may trigger BD symptoms or episodes. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms would facilitate the development of personalized chronobiological therapeutic and preventive strategies.
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for seasonal affective disorder: A pilot study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Affect Disord 2014 Jul 11.:205-209.
The best available treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is light therapy. Yet, this treatment does not prevent recurrence of depression in subsequent seasons. The aim of the study is to gain preliminary insight in the efficacy of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in the prevention of SAD recurrence.This is a randomized controlled pilot study, in which SAD patients in remission were randomly allocated to an individual format of MBCT or a control condition (i.e. treatment as usual). MBCT was given between May and June 2011, when there was no presence of depressive symptoms. The Inventory for Depressive Symptomatology Self-Report (IDS-SR), which patients received on a weekly basis from September 2011 to April 2012, was used to assess moment of recurrence (≥20) and severity at moment of recurrence.23 SAD patients were randomized to MBCT and 23 to the control condition. Kaplan-Meier survival curve showed that the groups did not differ in moment of recurrence (χ²(1).41, p=.52). T-tests showed no group difference in mean IDS-SR scores at moment of recurrence (t(31)=-.52, p=.61).The results are limited by small sample size (n=46) and missing data of weekly IDS-SR assessments.The findings of this pilot RCT suggest that individual MBCT is not effective in preventing a SAD recurrence when offered in a symptom free period (i.e. spring).
- Commingling analysis of age-of-onset in bipolar I disorder and the morbid risk for major psychoses in first degree relatives of bipolar I probands. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Affect Disord 2014 Jul 9.:197-204.
Age-of-onset (AO) is increasingly used in molecular genetics of bipolar I disorder (BP-I) as a phenotypic specifier with the goal of reducing genetic heterogeneity. However, questions regarding the cut-off age for defining early onset (EO), as well as the number of onset groups characterizing BP-I have emerged over the last decade with no definite conclusion. The aims of this paper are: 1) to see whether a mixture of three distributions better describes the AO of BP-I than a mixture of two distributions in different independent samples; 2) to compare the morbid risk (MR) for BP-I and for major affective disorders and schizophrenia in first degree relatives of BP-I probands by proband onset group derived from commingling analysis, since the MR to relatives is a trait with strong genetic background.We applied commingling (admixture) analysis to the AO of three BP-I samples from Romania (n=621), Germany (n=882), and Poland (n=354). Subsequently, the morbid risk (MR) for BP-I and for major psychoses (BP-I, BP-II, Mdd-UP, schizoaffective disorders, schizophrenia) was estimated in first degree relatives by proband AO-group derived from admixture analysis in the Romanian sample.In the three independent samples and in the combined sample two- and three-AO-group distributions fitted the empirical data equally well. The upper EO limit varied between 21 and 25 years from sample to sample. The MR for both BP-I and for all major psychoses was similar in first degree relatives of EO probands (AO≤21) and in relatives of intermediate-onset probands (AO=22-34). Significant MR differences appeared only when comparing the EO group to the late-onset (LO) group (AO>34). Similar to Mdd-UP and schizophrenia, a significant MR decrease in proband first degree relatives was visible after proband AO of 34 years. Under the three-AO-group classification the MR for both BP-I and all major psychoses in first degree relatives did not differ by relative sex in any proband AO-group. Under the two-AO-group classification female relatives of LO probands (AO>24) had a significantly higher MR for all major psychoses than male relatives, while there was no sex difference for the relatives of EO probands.MR was not computed in the German and Polish samples because family data were not available and 34% of the relatives of the Romanian probands were not available for direct interview.Similar to other clinical traits, the MR for major psychoses to relatives failed to support a three-AO-group classification in BP-I suggesting that this is not more useful for the molecular analysis than a two-AO-group classification.