Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, NIH / 15.09.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Oliver J Robinson Ph.D. Section on Neurobiology of Fear and Anxiety, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, Bethesda, MD, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience University College London, London, UK Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Robinson: This study is looking at a symptom of anxiety disorders known as “negative affective bias”. This describes the tendency of people with anxiety disorders to focus on negative or threatening information at the expense of positive information. We completed a number of previous studies looking at so called “adaptive” anxiety in healthy individuals – this is the normal, everyday anxiety that everyone experiences; walking home in the dark, for instance (in these prior studies we used unpredictable electrical shocks to make people anxious and stressed). When we made healthy people transiently anxious in this way we showed that this was also associated with negative affective bias and driven by a specific brain circuit: the dorsal medial prefrontal (anterior cingulate) cortex—amygdala aversive amplification circuit. In this study we showed that the same circuit that was engaged by transient anxiety in our healthy sample was actually engaged ‘at baseline’ (i.e. without stress) in our patient group. This suggests that this mechanism which can be temporarily activated in healthy controls becomes permanently ‘switched on’ in our patient group. This might explain why people with anxiety disorders show persistent ‘negative affective biases’. Furthermore, the extent to which this circuit was turned on correlated with self-reported anxiety. That is to say the more anxious an individual said they were, the greater the activity in this circuit. Therefore, there seems to be more of a dimension or scale of anxiety, rather than a simple well/unwell diagnosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 29.06.2014

Johanna Petzoldt Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy Chemnitzer Straße Dresden, GermanyMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Johanna Petzoldt Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy Chemnitzer Straße Dresden, Germany MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We investigated 286 mother-infant couples from the Maternal Anxiety in Relation to Infant Development (MARI) Study from Dresden (Germany) via standardized interview and questionnaire. We found a robust relation from maternal lifetime anxiety disorders as early as prior to pregnancy to excessive crying in the offspring. Also, the association increased when considering incident anxiety disorders during pregnancy and after delivery. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 17.06.2014

Monika Waszczuk 1+3 PhD Student MRC SGDP Research Centre Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London DeCrespigny Park London UKMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Monika Waszczuk 1+3 PhD Student MRC SGDP Research Centre Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London DeCrespigny Park London UK MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Little is known about the genetic influences on the relationship between depression and anxiety disorders across development. We used two population-based prospective longitudinal twin and sibling studies to investigate phenotypic associations between the symptoms of these disorders, and tested genetic structures underlying these symptoms across three developmental stages: childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. We found that depression and anxiety disorder symptoms are largely distinct in childhood and are influenced by largely independent genetic factors. Depression and anxiety symptoms become more associated and shared most of their genetic etiology from adolescence. An overarching internalizing genetic factor influencing depression and all anxiety subscales emerged in early adulthood. These results provide preliminary evidence for different phenotypic and genetic structures of internalizing disorder symptoms in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, with depression and anxiety becoming more associated from adolescence. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 15.04.2014

https://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1860496MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jeffery  C. Huffman, M.D. Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Huffman: Depression and anxiety in cardiac patients are associated with adverse cardiac outcomes.  We completed a very low-intensity care management intervention to identify depression and anxiety disorders during a cardiac admission and then to assist in the monitoring and management of the condition over the next 24 weeks. There have been other care management trials in cardiac patients, but ours was the first to co-manage depression and anxiety, the first to initiate treatment in the hospital, the first to take a broad population of cardiac patients rather than a single diagnosis, and the first to use such a low-resource strategy with only a single part-time social worker to coordinate care. We found that the care management intervention was associated with significant improvements in mental health treatment, mental health related quality of life, depression, and function at 24 weeks compared to enhanced treatment as usual.  We did not find differences in anxiety, adherence, or cardiac readmissions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Pediatrics, PLoS, Psychological Science / 29.03.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Prof. Natalia N. Kudryavtseva Head of Neurogenetics of Social Behavior Sector, Institute of Cytology and Genetics SD RAS, Novosibirsk, Russia MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Hostile environment and social instability stress can have a significant impact on adolescents, causing the development of anxiety and depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Johns Hopkins, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Psychological Science / 31.01.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Golda Ginsburg, Ph.D Professor Director, Research, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MarylandGolda Ginsburg, Ph.D Professor Director, Research, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr Ginsburg: This study examined the long-term outcomes of youth treated for an anxiety disorders. Findings revealed that almost half of anxious youth treated for an anxiety disorder were in remission (i.e., did not meet diagnostic criteria for any of the three study entry anxiety disorders) at an average of six years since starting treatment. Youth showing clinically meaningful improvement after 12 weeks of treatment, were more likely to be in remission, had lower anxiety severity, and had better functioning compared to youth who showed minimal or no initial clinical improvement. Treatment type did not affect long-term outcomes. (more…)