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Previous research has shown prospectively that religiosity/spirituality protects against depression, but these findings are commonly critiqued on two grounds, namely: (1) apparent religiosity/spirituality reflects merely an original absence of depression or elevated mood and (2) religiosity/spirituality too often is measured as a global construct. The current study investigates the relationship between depression and religiosity/spirituality by examining its multidimensional structural integrity.
Confirmatory factor analyses with a previously observed cross-cultural factor structure of religiosity/spirituality variables were conducted on an independent sample, diagnostic and familial risk subgroups from this sample, and a subsample of the original cross-cultural sample. Linear regressions onto a previous diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD) 5 years prior to assess the potential attenuating impact of a previous depression was explored.
Across familial risk groups and clinical subgroups, each of the previously validated religiosity/spirituality domains was confirmed, namely: religious/spiritual commitment, contemplative practice, sense of interconnectedness, the experience of love, and altruistic engagement. Previous MDD diagnosis was associated with a lower religious/spiritual commitment among high-risk individuals, higher contemplation among low-risk individuals, and lower importance of religion or spirituality regardless of risk group.
Structural integrity was found across familial risk groups and diagnostic history for a multidimensional structure of religiosity/spirituality. Differential associations between a previous diagnosis of MDD and level of religiosity/spirituality across domains suggest a complex and interactive relation between depression, familial risk, and religiosity/spirituality. Accounting for an empirically valid, multidimensional understanding of religiosity/spirituality may advance research on mechanisms underlying the relationship between religiosity/spirituality and mental health.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a highly heterogeneous condition in terms of symptom presentation and, likely, underlying pathophysiology. Accordingly, it is possible that only certain individuals with MDD are well-suited to antidepressants. A potentially fruitful approach to parsing this heterogeneity is to focus on promising endophenotypes of depression, such as neuroticism, anhedonia, and cognitive control deficits.
Within an 8-week multisite trial of sertraline v. placebo for depressed adults (n = 216), we examined whether the combination of machine learning with a Personalized Advantage Index (PAI) can generate individualized treatment recommendations on the basis of endophenotype profiles coupled with clinical and demographic characteristics.
Five pre-treatment variables moderated treatment response. Higher depression severity and neuroticism, older age, less impairment in cognitive control, and being employed were each associated with better outcomes to sertraline than placebo. Across 1000 iterations of a 10-fold cross-validation, the PAI model predicted that 31% of the sample would exhibit a clinically meaningful advantage [post-treatment Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) difference ⩾3] with sertraline relative to placebo. Although there were no overall outcome differences between treatment groups (d = 0.15), those identified as optimally suited to sertraline at pre-treatment had better week 8 HRSD scores if randomized to sertraline (10.7) than placebo (14.7) (d = 0.58).
A subset of MDD patients optimally suited to sertraline can be identified on the basis of pre-treatment characteristics. This model must be tested prospectively before it can be used to inform treatment selection. However, findings demonstrate the potential to improve individual outcomes through algorithm-guided treatment recommendations.
In March 1921 Lenin predicted, “If there is a harvest, everybody will hunger a little and the government will be saved. Otherwise, since we cannot take anything from people who do not have the means to satisfy their own hunger, the government will perish.“ By early summer, Russia was in the grip of one of the worst famines in its history. Lenin's gloomy forecast, however, was never put to the test. At almost the last moment, substantial help in the form of food, clothing, and medical supplies arrived from a most unexpected source —U.S. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover.
Hoover undertook the relief of Soviet Russia not as an official representative of the United States government but as the head of a private agency —the American Relief Administration (A.R.A.).
We used the Pediatric Health Information System database to assess the use of antibiotics reserved for the treatment of resistant Gram-negative infections in children from 2004 to 2014. Overall, use of these agents increased in children from 2004 to 2007 and subsequently decreased.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common and disabling condition with well-established heritability and environmental risk factors. Gene–environment interaction studies in MDD have typically investigated candidate genes, though the disorder is known to be highly polygenic. This study aims to test for interaction between polygenic risk and stressful life events (SLEs) or childhood trauma (CT) in the aetiology of MDD.
The RADIANT UK sample consists of 1605 MDD cases and 1064 controls with SLE data, and a subset of 240 cases and 272 controls with CT data. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were constructed using results from a mega-analysis on MDD by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. PRS and environmental factors were tested for association with case/control status and for interaction between them.
PRS significantly predicted depression, explaining 1.1% of variance in phenotype (p = 1.9 × 10−6). SLEs and CT were also associated with MDD status (p = 2.19 × 10−4 and p = 5.12 × 10−20, respectively). No interactions were found between PRS and SLEs. Significant PRSxCT interactions were found (p = 0.002), but showed an inverse association with MDD status, as cases who experienced more severe CT tended to have a lower PRS than other cases or controls. This relationship between PRS and CT was not observed in independent replication samples.
CT is a strong risk factor for MDD but may have greater effect in individuals with lower genetic liability for the disorder. Including environmental risk along with genetics is important in studying the aetiology of MDD and PRS provide a useful approach to investigating gene–environment interactions in complex traits.
Depression is characterized by poor executive function, but – counterintuitively – in some studies, it has been associated with highly accurate performance on certain cognitively demanding tasks. The psychological mechanisms responsible for this paradoxical finding are unclear. To address this issue, we applied a drift diffusion model (DDM) to flanker task data from depressed and healthy adults participating in the multi-site Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care for Depression (EMBARC) study.
One hundred unmedicated, depressed adults and 40 healthy controls completed a flanker task. We investigated the effect of flanker interference on accuracy and response time, and used the DDM to examine group differences in three cognitive processes: prepotent response bias (tendency to respond to the distracting flankers), response inhibition (necessary to resist prepotency), and executive control (required for execution of correct response on incongruent trials).
Consistent with prior reports, depressed participants responded more slowly and accurately than controls on incongruent trials. The DDM indicated that although executive control was sluggish in depressed participants, this was more than offset by decreased prepotent response bias. Among the depressed participants, anhedonia was negatively correlated with a parameter indexing the speed of executive control (r = −0.28, p = 0.007).
Executive control was delayed in depression but this was counterbalanced by reduced prepotent response bias, demonstrating how participants with executive function deficits can nevertheless perform accurately in a cognitive control task. Drawing on data from neural network simulations, we speculate that these results may reflect tonically reduced striatal dopamine in depression.
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections are increasing and are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Members of the Emerging Infections Network treating CRE encountered difficulties in obtaining laboratory results and struggled with limited treatment options. In addition, many treated patients experienced an alarming degree of drug toxicity from CRE therapies.
The high rate of depression among children of depressed mothers is well known. Suggestions that improvement in maternal acute depression has a positive effect on the child have emerged. However, data on the mechanisms of change have been sparse. The aim was to understand how remission and relapse in the mother might explain the changes in the child's outcome.
Participants were 76 depressed mothers who entered into a medication clinical trial for depression and 135 of their eligible offspring ages 7–17 years. The mothers and children were assessed at baseline and periodically over 9 months by independent teams to understand the relationship between changes in children's symptoms and functioning and maternal remission or relapse. The main outcome measures were, for mothers, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD), the Social Adjustment Scale (SAS) and the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) and, for children, the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), the Columbia Impairment Scale (CIS), the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC) and the Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS).
Maternal remission was associated with a decrease in the child's depressive symptoms. The mother's subsequent relapse was associated with an increase in the child's symptoms over 9 months. The effect of maternal remission on the child's improvement was partially explained by an improvement in the mother's parenting, particularly the change in the mother's ability to listen and talk to her child, but also reflected in her improvement in parental bonding. These findings could not be explained by the child's treatment.
A depressed mother's remission is associated with her improvement in parenting and a decrease in her child's symptoms. Her relapse is associated with an increase in her child's symptoms.
This chapter reviews the developmental epidemiology, and determinants of course and outcome of pediatric depression. Early-onset depression conveys significantly increased risk, compared to later-onset depression for the development of bipolar spectrum disorder. Parents have a right to know the goals and progress of treatment. A high proportion of clinically referred youth with mood disorders have clinically significant suicidal ideation or behavior. Multi-family psychoeducation and family-based attachment therapy show promise in randomized clinical trials. Two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, fluoxetine and escitalopram are approved for use in adolescent depression by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA); fluoxetine is also approved for use in preadolescent patients. Patients with co-morbid anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can usually be treated with the same antidepressant as that used for the depression, although higher dosages may be needed to treat anxiety or OCD.
This chapter outlines methods for studying the genetic basis of psychiatric disorders. The two types of methods, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping and sequencing, are focused on characterizing two different types of variants predisposing to disease: common and rare. The chapter provides a technical overview of two technologies that have been used in the majority of linkage studies and population-based genome-wide association studies (GWAS): Illumina BeadArray Mapping arrays and Affymertrix Gene-Chip Arrays. While there are many potential applications of these technologies, the chapter focuses on those involving sequencing DNA for the purpose of identifying the genetic basis of disease, specifically dividing this section into targeted methods and genome-wide approaches. The chapter provides an overview of features for all three commercially available platforms (SOLiD, GA and 454). Analysis of next-generation sequencing data falls into three categories: alignment/assembly; quality control; and variant calling.
Few studies have examined religiosity as a protective factor using a longitudinal design to predict resilience in persons at high risk for major depressive disorder (MDD).
High-risk offspring selected for having a depressed parent and control offspring of non-depressed parents were evaluated for psychiatric disorders in childhood/adolescence and at 10-year and 20-year follow-ups. Religious/spiritual importance, services attendance and negative life events (NLEs) were assessed at the 10-year follow-up. Models tested differences in relationships between religiosity/spirituality and subsequent disorders among offspring based on parent depression status, history of prior MDD and level of NLE exposure. Resilience was defined as lower odds for disorders with greater religiosity/spirituality in higher-risk versus lower-risk offspring.
Increased attendance was associated with significantly reduced odds for mood disorder (by 43%) and any psychiatric disorder (by 53%) in all offspring; however, odds were significantly lower in offspring of non-depressed parents than in offspring of depressed parents. In analyses confined to offspring of depressed parents, those with high and those with average/low NLE exposure were compared: increased attendance was associated with significantly reduced odds for MDD, mood disorder and any psychiatric disorder (by 76, 69 and 64% respectively) and increased importance was associated with significantly reduced odds for mood disorder (by 74%) only in offspring of depressed parents with high NLE exposure. Moreover, those associations differed significantly between offspring of depressed parents with high NLE exposure and offspring of depressed parents with average/low NLE exposure.
Greater religiosity may contribute to development of resilience in certain high-risk individuals.