Author Interviews, Depression, Weight Research / 26.12.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Xiaoling Xiang School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL 61801 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The adverse health consequences of obesity have been well documented, but the psychological risks of obesity are less clear. The study examined the long-term impact of obesity on the onset of depression in a sample of middle-aged and older adults who were initially free of clinically relevant depressive symptoms. We found that being overweight or obese significantly predicted onset of clinically relevant depressive symptoms during the 16 years of follow-up. Unhealthy weight appeared to have a stronger, adverse impact on depressive symptoms among females and non-Hispanic whites compared with their male and ethnic minority counterparts. (more…)
Author Interviews / 22.12.2014

Turhan Canli, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Psychology and Radiology Director, SCAN (Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience) Center Senior Fellow, Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 11794MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Turhan Canli, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Psychology and Radiology Director, SCAN (Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience) Center Senior Fellow, Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 11794 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I was struck by two aspects of major depression treatment. First, that today's drug treatments are not much different from those used decades ago, with no real progress in treatment effectiveness. In severe cases of major depression, antidepressants may give some symptom relief, but for less severe cases, the effectiveness of antidepressants is not clinically relevant. Second, recurrence rates remain stubbornly high: patients with diagnosed MDD have a lifetime recurrency rate of 50%. We are not treating depression; at best, we reduce symptoms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, PLoS / 26.11.2014

Dr. Marcus Povitz MD Department of Community Health Sciences University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Adjunct Professor and Clinical Fellow Western University Department of Medicine, Western University, London, Ontario, CanadaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Marcus Povitz MD Department of Community Health Sciences University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Adjunct Professor and Clinical Fellow Western University Department of Medicine, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Povitz: Both depression and obstructive sleep apnea are important causes of illness and have overlapping symptoms. Both feature poor quality sleep, difficulty with concentration and memory as well as daytime sleepiness or fatigue. Previous research showed that depression is common in individuals with sleep apnea, but studies investigating the effect of treating sleep apnea on depressive symptoms have had conflicting results. Our study combined the results of all randomized controlled trials of participants who were treated for sleep apnea with CPAP or mandibular advancement devices where symptoms of depression were measured both before and after treatment. We found that in studies of individuals without a lot of symptoms of depression there was still a small improvement in these symptoms after treatment with CPAP or mandibular advancement device. In 2 studies of individuals with more symptoms of depression there was a large improvement in symptoms of depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Gender Differences, NIH / 27.10.2014

Dr. Sunni Mumford PhD Earl Stadtman Investigator in the DESPR Epidemiology Branch Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Health and Human DevelopmentMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Sunni Mumford PhD Earl Stadtman Investigator in the DESPR Epidemiology Branch Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Health and Human Development Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Mumford: Depressive symptoms in healthy women who don’t have diagnosed clinical depression isn’t related to reproductive hormone levels, like estrogen, or impaired ovulation. Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results? Dr. Mumford: Earlier research indicates that changes in estrogen may be associated with depression, for instance during the menopausal transition. Our study identified significant associations between estrogen and depressive symptoms in models that didn’t account for confounding factors, but this relationship was completed eliminated when adjustments were made for common confounding factors like age, race, BMI, and also stress level in these premenopausal women. Another interesting finding was that a score describing mood-related menstrual symptoms indicated that such symptoms are highest in the premenstrual phase, but remain lower throughout the rest of women’s cycles. This tells us that altered mood symptoms are most frequent prior to menstruation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Heart Disease / 24.10.2014

  MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Pranas Serpytis Vilnius University Hospital Santariskiu Clinic Vilnius, Lithuania  Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?  Professor Serpytis: The main findings of the study were that women are more likely to develop anxiety and depression after acute myocardial infarction. In our study depression was assessed by HADS scale: no depression (0-7 score), possible depression (8-10 score), definite depression (11+ score). The mean score of assessing depression were 6.87 (± 4.6) among men and 8.66 (± 3.7) among women (p <.05). Cardiovascular disease risk factors such as smoking increases patients anxiety levels, and low physical activity is associated with an increased risk to suffer from depression.  Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?  Professor Serpytis: Most surprising about the results were that for women it is indeed more difficult to cope with the disease rather than for men. Women’s anxiety and depression rates are higher.  Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?  Professor Serpytis: Clinicians and patients should look after the possible symptoms and if needed refer the patients for psychologist or psychiatrist consultation in order get proper timely treatment. This could possibly improve the long-term treatment results.  Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?  Professor Serpytis: Most definitely more research is needed in this field. Most importantly it is crucial to look for the impact of depression on the long-term effects on survival and general well-being.   Citation:   Women more likely to develop anxiety and depression after heart attack Acute Cardiovascular Care Association (ACCA) of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and takes place 18-20 October in Geneva, Switzerland.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Pranas Serpytis Vilnius University Hospital Santariskiu Clinic Vilnius, Lithuania Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Professor Serpytis: The main findings of the study were that women are more likely to develop anxiety and depression after acute myocardial infarction. In our study depression was assessed by HADS scale: no depression (0-7 score), possible depression (8-10 score), definite depression (11+ score). The mean score of assessing depression were 6.87 (± 4.6) among men and 8.66 (± 3.7) among women (p <.05). Cardiovascular disease risk factors such as smoking increases patients anxiety levels, and low physical activity is associated with an increased risk to suffer from depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 23.10.2014

Karl Ole Köhler, Research assistant  Department of Clinical Medicine The Department of General Psychiatry Aarhus UniversityMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karl Ole Köhler, Research assistant Department of Clinical Medicine The Department of General Psychiatry Aarhus University   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response:  We found that anti-inflammatory drugs and ordinary analgesics, which mainly are used against physical disorders, may have treatment effects against depression when used in combination with antidepressants. Thereby, our results furthermore support the hypothesis regarding a comorbidity between inflammatory diseases and depression, i.e. a connection between somatic and mental disorders. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA / 23.09.2014

A001_C001_03160QMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Philippe Courtet MD PhD Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Montpellier, Institut National de la Santé et de la Récherche Médicale , Université Montpellier, Montpellier, France Fondation Fondamental, Créteil, France Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Courtet: Depressed outpatients who are beginning the treatment with a SSRI at higher dose than recommended present an increased risk (x2) of worsening of suicidal ideation during the first 6 weeks of treatment. This is consistent with the study by Miller et al published in the same journal few weeks ago, reporting a double risk of suicide attempt in young subjects (<24 yrs) who are begun an SSRI at higher dose than recommended. Our results showed that the increased suicide risk with the high dose of SSRI is not restricted to youngsters and is independent of the severity of the depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research / 07.09.2014

Sean Clouston Ph.D. Assistant Professor Core Faculty, Program in Public Health Department of Preventive Medicine Stony Brook University  Health Sciences Center Stony Brook, NY 11794MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sean Clouston Ph.D. Assistant Professor Core Faculty, Program in Public Health Department of Preventive Medicine Stony Brook University  Health Sciences Center Stony Brook, NY 11794 Medical Research: What is the background for this study: Dr. Clouston: A number of epidemiological studies have found that suicide rates have decreased rapidly with the widespread distribution of SSRI antidepressants. Our group has found that proliferation of preventive medicine has, with regard to other causes of death, tended to occur unequally. We hypothesized that if SSRI antidepressants prevent suicide by treating depression, then suicide might also be susceptible to such inequality. Our study used mortality data to show that decreases in suicide were concentrated in regions with higher socioeconomic status. Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Clouston We used the best available data from the US and found that socioeconomic inequalities have increased dramatically in conjunction with the proliferation of SSRI antidepressants. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 13.08.2014

Dr Golam Khandaker Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge MedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr Golam Khandaker Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Khandaker: The study shows low grade systemic inflammation may have a role in the pathogenesis of depression and psychotic disorders. Low grade systemic inflammation may also be a common cause for chronic physical and psychiatric illnesses. The study shows that higher serum levels of the circulating inflammatory marker, interleukin 6 (IL-6), in childhood is associated with nearly two-fold increased risk of developing depression and psychotic disorder in young adulthood. This association persisted after taking into account effects of age, sex, social class, ethnicity, body mass index, maternal depression, and past psychological and behavioural problem in the participant. We studied a sample of 4,500 individuals from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children birth cohort, taking blood samples at age 9 and following up at age 18, to see if they had experienced episodes of depression or psychosis. We excluded children with an infection at the time of blood test at age 9 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Journal Clinical Oncology, Metabolic Syndrome, Prostate Cancer / 14.07.2014

MedicalResearch.com with: Sandip M. Prasad MD Assistant Professor Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SCSandip M. Prasad MD Assistant Professor Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC and Scott E. Eggener, MD Associate Professor of Surgery Co-Director, Prostate Cancer Program Director of Translational and Outcomes Research, Section of Urology University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL;Scott E. Eggener, MD Associate Professor of Surgery Co-Director, Prostate Cancer Program Director of Translational and Outcomes Research, Section of Urology University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL; Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Depressed men with a diagnosis of intermediate- or high-risk prostate cancer have worse overall outcomes than those without baseline depression and are less likely to undergo definitive therapy. The difference in overall survival between men with and without a depression diagnosis was independent of prostate cancer treatment type. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Heart Disease / 19.06.2014

Dr. Amit J.Shah MD Assistant Research Professor Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Emory, Rollins School of Public HealthMedicalResearch.com: Interview with Dr. Amit J.Shah MD Assistant Research Professor Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Emory, Rollins School of Public Health MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Shah: We discovered that in a group of patients who were undergoing heart evaluation with coronary angiography, symptoms of depression predicted increased risk of coronary artery disease and death in women aged 55 years or less. This relationship was stronger in these women than older women, as well as in men aged 55 years or less. Over 1 in 4 women aged 55 years or less had moderate to severe depression, which was higher than any other group; these women had over twice the risk of having heart disease or dying over the next 3 years compared to those with none or mild depression. (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, BMJ, Mental Health Research / 12.06.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emma Maund, PhD student Nordic Cochrane Centre Copenhagen, Denmark

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study:

Answer: For statisticians to analyse adverse events recorded in a clinical trial, it is necessary that events described by the original investigators are coded to terms in a specialised medical coding dictionary. Our study assessed the effects of coding and coding conventions on summaries and tabulations of adverse events data on suicidality within clinical study reports of nine randomised controlled trials of duloxetine for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Trials used either the medical coding dictionary COSTART (Coding Symbols for a Thesaurus of Adverse Reaction Terms) or the larger and more recent dictionary MedDRA (Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities). We found suicides were clearly identifiable in all formats of adverse event data. Suicide attempts in tables included both definitive and provisional diagnoses. Suicidal ideation and preparatory behaviour were obscured in some tables owing to the lack of specificity of the medical coding dictionary, especially in trials using COSTART where the closest matching term available was depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, Weight Research / 06.06.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aurélie Lasserre ,MD Center for psychiatric epidemiology and psychopathology Department of Psychiatry Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) Site de Cery, Switzerland MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Lasserre: Several recent studies have shown that Major Depressive Disorder with atypical features (defined as having a depressive episode where mood reactivity is maintained and two of the following features: increase in appetite, hypersomnia (oversleeping), leaden paralysis (heavy limbs) and increased sensitivity to rejection) was associated with obesity, but the temporal sequence was not known, i.e. it was not clear whether atypical depression predisposes to obesity or the converse. Our study revealed that Major Depressive Disorder with atypical features does lead to an increase in body-mass index, obesity, waist circumference and fat mass over a period of 5 years. This result was not explained by socio-demographic characteristics, alcohol or tobacco consumption, physical activity, co-existing mental disorders or medication. Interestingly, we also observed that the weight gain in subjects with atypical features was not a temporary phenomenon but it persisted after the remission of the depressive episode and was not attributable to new episodes. (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, Depression, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 12.03.2014

Dr. Chuan-Ming Li MD, PhD Statistician (Health/Medicine) Division of Scientific Programs The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication DisordersMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Chuan-Ming Li MD, PhD Statistician (Health/Medicine) Division of Scientific Programs The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Chuan-Ming Li: We used data on adults 18 years or older from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for the study and found that prevalence of moderate to severe depression was 4.9 percent for individuals who reported excellent hearing, 7.1 percent for those with good hearing and 11.4 percent for participants who reported having a little hearing trouble or greater hearing impairment (HI). Depression rates were higher in women than in men. The prevalence of depression increased as hearing impairment became worse, except among participants who were deaf. There was no association between self-reported HI and depression among people ages 70 years and older; however, an association between moderate HI measured by pure-tone threshold hearing exams and depression was found in women aged 70 years and older but not in men. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Diabetes, Diabetes Care / 26.02.2014

Steven A. Safren, Ph.D., ABPP Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School Director, Behavioral Medicine, Department of Psychiatry Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven A. Safren, Ph.D., ABPP Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School Director, Behavioral Medicine, Department of Psychiatry Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Safren:  The main findings of the study are that, in patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes and depression, a type of psychological treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that addressed both self-care and depression, resulted in improvements in both depressed mood, self-care, and glucose control.  This was a randomized controlled trial, and this cognitive-behavioral treatment worked better than lifestyle adherence and nutrition counseling alone; and the effects were sustained over 8 months. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Weight Research / 07.02.2014

Dr Peter de Jonge Interdisciplinary Center for Psychopathology and Emotion Regulation, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, NetherlandsMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Peter de Jonge Interdisciplinary Center for Psychopathology and Emotion Regulation, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. de Jonge: The main findings were that depression and impulse control disorders, in particular binge eating and bulimia were associated with diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, OBGYNE / 01.12.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jakob Christensen Department of Neurology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; Merete Juul Sørensen Regional Centre of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Aarhus University Hospital Risskov, Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We found that the risk of autism spectrum disorder was increased by 50% in children of mothers who took antidepressants during pregnancy. However, when we controlled for other factors related to the medication, by comparing with children of mothers with a diagnosis of depression or with un-exposed siblings, the risk was smaller and not significantly increased. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, General Medicine, PLoS / 25.11.2013

Alize J. Ferrari University of Queensland School of Population Health Herston, Queensland, AustraliaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alize J. Ferrari University of Queensland School of Population Health Herston, Queensland, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: In our paper recently published in PloS Medicine, we report findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 for depression. We found that depression (defined as major depressive disorder and dysthymia) accounted fr 8% of the non fatal burden in 2010, making it the second leading cause of disability worldwide. Burden due to depression increased by 35% between 1990 and 2010, although this increase was entirely driven by population growth and ageing. Burden occurred across the entire lifespan, was higher in females compared to males, and there were differences between world regions.When depression was considered a risk factor for other health outcomes it explained 46% of the burden allocated to suicide and 3% of the burden allocated ischemic heart disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA / 07.11.2013

Richard L. Kravitz, MD, MSPH Professor and Co-vice Chair (Research) Interim Director, UC Center Sacramento Co-Editor in Chief, Journal of General Internal MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard L. Kravitz, MD, MSPH Professor and Co-vice Chair (Research) Interim Director, UC Center Sacramento Co-Editor in Chief, Journal of General Internal Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for your study? Dr. Kravitz: Depression in the United States is both undertreated and overtreated.  As the de facto mental health care system for many, primary care is at the nexus of this problem.  Up to 30% of patients with major depression in primary care go undiagnosed.  At the same time, partly as a result of marketing, lots of patients who don’t need meds are started on antidepressants.   So we were interested in finding ways to get more truly depressed patients into treatment without overtreating patients who don’t need it. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness / 30.10.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: George Mammen, PhD Candidate Health & Exercise Psychology Unit University of Toronto MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer:
  • 25 out of the 30 studies found PA to protect against depression; majority of these were of high methodological quality
  • Decreasing PA overtime can increase the risk of developing depression; increasing PA overtime can reduce the risk of developing depression
  • In terms of dosage, the review highlighted studies that showed even low levels, such as 20 mins of walking a day, can prevent the onset of depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Exercise - Fitness / 30.08.2013

Jannique van Uffelen, PhD, MSc (epidemiology), MSc (human movement sciences), BHealth Senior Research Fellow Active Ageing INSTITUTE OF SPORT, EXERCISE & ACTIVE LIVING (ISEAL) VICTORIA UNIVERSITYMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jannique van Uffelen, PhD, MSc (epidemiology), MSc (human movement sciences), BHealth Senior Research Fellow Active Ageing INSTITUTE OF SPORT, EXERCISE & ACTIVE LIVING (ISEAL) VICTORIA UNIVERSITY MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We examined the link between sitting-time and physical activity with current and future depressive symptoms in 8,950 mid aged women, who participated in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Both high sitting-time and low physical activity levels were associated with higher risk of current depressive symptoms, and in combination, the risk further increased. Compared with women sitting ≤4 hours/day and meeting the physical activity recommendations of at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, women who sat >7 hrs/day and who did no physical activity were three times as likely to have depressive symptoms. However, only lack of physical activity was associated with increased risk of future depressive symptoms, irrespective of sitting-time. Women who did no physical activity were 26% more likely to have future depressive symptoms than women meeting physical activity recommendations. (more…)
Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Depression / 27.08.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marcos A Sanchez-Gonzalez, M.D., Ph.D., EPC Postdoctoral Associate Department of Biomedical Sciences College of Medicine The Florida State University 1115 W Call Street BMS 2300-24 & The Family Institute Behavioral Cardiology Laboratory Longmire 301 Tallahassee, FL 32306 MedicalResearch.com:  What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The findings of our study were the following: (1) The low frequency component of systolic blood pressure variability (LFSBP;  a marker of sympathovagal tone) was a stronger predictor of depressive symptoms than conventional measures of cardiovascular functioning such as laboratory measurement of blood pressure and heart rate variability as well as home based ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (2) Depressive symptoms were associated with a blunted LFSBP response to sympathetic stimulation via cold pressor test; and (3) Participants with acute depression (a score of ≥16 using the CES-D scale) had higher LFSBP than those with normal depressive symptom scores.  These findings suggest that depressive symptoms evoke alterations in vascular sympathetic activity, and more importantly, this alteration is occurs early in the progression of the disease.  This is fascinating owing to the fact that we have documented a common pathway of disease between depression and cardiovascular diseases. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Depression / 27.08.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David A Richards, PhD Professor of Mental Health Services Research and NIHR Senior Investigator University of Exeter Medical School Sir Henry Wellcome Building University of Exeter Washington Singer Building The Queen’s Drive Exeter EX4 4QQ United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We found that collaborative care improves depression immediately after treatment compared to usual care, has effects that persist to 12 month follow-up and is preferred bypatients over usual care. This difference in effect equated to a standardized effect size of 0.26 (95% CI 0.07 to 0.46). More participants receiving collaborative care than those receiving usual care met criteria for recovery (odds ratio 1.67 (95% confidence interval 1.22 to 2.29); number needed to treat=8.4) and response (1.77 (1.22 to 2.58); 7.8 at 4 months. At 12 months follow up more participants in collaborative care than those in usual care met criteria for recovery (odds ratio 1.88 (95% confidence interval 1.28 to 2.75); number needed to treat=6.5) and response (1.73 (1.22 to 2.44); 7.3. Collaborative care is as effective in the UK healthcare system—an example of an integrated health system with a well developed primary care sector—as in the US. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Depression, Mental Health Research, UT Southwestern / 04.06.2013

MedicalResearch.com eInterview with: John Hart, M.D. Medical Science Director at the Center for BrainHealth Jane and Bud Smith Distinguished Chair Cecil Green Distinguished Chair The University of Texas at DallasJohn Hart, M.D. Medical Science Director at the Center for BrainHealth Jane and Bud Smith Distinguished Chair Cecil Green Distinguished Chair The University of Texas at Dallas MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Hart: Football players often sustain numerous concussive and subconcussive impacts—head impacts that do not elicit neurologic symptoms that may lead to white matter damage. We evaluated a population of retired NFL players in order to study the relationship between white matter integrity and the manifestation of depressive symptoms. We identified, for the first time, a correlation between depression and white matter abnormalities in former players with a remote history of concussion using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Our data demonstrated a significant association between white matter integrity, as measured by DTI Fractional Anisotropy (FA), and the presence as well as severity of depressive symptoms in retired NFL athletes with a history of concussive or subconcussive impacts. We also found that dysfunction of the anterior aspect of the corpus callosum (forceps minor) and its projections to the frontal lobe can identify those with depression with 100% sensitivity and 95% specificity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Depression, Mental Health Research / 28.03.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Mylin A. Torres, M.D. Assistant Professor Department of Radiation Oncology Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA 30322 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?  Dr. Torres: Radiation treatment for breast cancer is not associated with increased depressive symptoms, but of disease and treatment-related factors, prior chemotherapy treatment is a significant predictor of depression before and after radiation treatment.  Prior chemotherapy treatment was associated with inflammatory mediators, including nuclear factor-kappa B DNA binding, soluble tumor necrosis factor-alpha receptor 2, and interleukin-6, which predicted for depressive symptoms after radiation on univariate analysis. (more…)