Major Depressive
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2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Kelly Smart ◽  
Ashley Yttredahl ◽  
Maria A. Oquendo ◽  
J. John Mann ◽  
Ansel T. Hillmer ◽  

AbstractPreclinical studies have implicated kappa opioid receptors (KORs) in stress responses and depression-related behaviors, but evidence from human studies is limited. Here we present results of a secondary analysis of data acquired using positron emission tomography (PET) with the KOR radiotracer [11C]GR103545 in 10 unmedicated, currently depressed individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD; 32.6 ± 6.5 years, 5 women) and 13 healthy volunteers (34.8 ± 10 years, 6 women). Independent component analysis was performed to identify spatial patterns of coherent variance in KOR binding (tracer volume of distribution, VT) across all subjects. Expression of each component was compared between groups and relationships to symptoms were explored using the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). Three components of variation in KOR availability across ROIs were identified, spatially characterized by [11C]GR103545 VT in (1) bilateral frontal lobe; (2) occipital and parietal cortices, right hippocampus, and putamen; and (3) right anterior cingulate, right superior frontal gyrus and insula, coupled to negative loading in left middle cingulate. In MDD patients, component 3 was negatively associated with symptom severity on the HDRS (r = −0.85, p = 0.0021). There were no group-wise differences in expression of any component between patients and controls. These preliminary findings suggest that KOR signaling in cortical regions relevant to depression, particularly right anterior cingulate, could reflect MDD pathophysiology.

2021 ◽  
Laura de Nooij ◽  
Mark James Adams ◽  
Emma Hawkins ◽  
Liana Romaniuk ◽  
Marcus Robert Munafo ◽  

Background: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is associated with negative affective cognitive biases. Differences on population level however remain unclear, including whether they normalise with remission. This study investigated associations between affective cognition and MDD within a large community-based sample.Methods: Participants from Generation Scotland (N=1,179) completed three affective tasks: (i) Bristol Emotion Recognition Task (BERT), (ii) Face Affective Go/No-go (FAGN), and (iii) Cambridge Gambling Task (CGT). After exclusions, individuals were classified as MDD-current (n=43), MDD-remitted (n=282), or non-MDD controls (n=784). Main analyses tested for hypothesised associations between affective bias summary measures and depressive symptoms, and for differences in affective biases between MDD-remitted versus non-MDD subjects. Exploratory analyses examined responses per task condition in more detail.Results: We found an association between greater depressive symptom severity and lower risk adjustment (CGT win, standardised coefficient =-0.02, p=0.03). This was attenuated when non-affective cognition (g) was accounted for, or when restricting analysis to those not currently taking antidepressant medication. Main analysis revealed no further clear evidence of affective biases, neither for MDD-remitted individuals. Exploratory analyses however suggested more subtle negative biases associated with depressive symptoms.Conclusions: Individuals with high depressive ratings were less likely to bet more despite increasingly favourable win conditions, which may indicate lower reward motivation, but could also be explained by lower non-affective cognitive functioning. Overall, results from this community-based sample showed limited evidence for overarching cognitive affective differences in MDD, though subtle negative biases related to current symptom severity suggested by exploratory analyses across the whole sample.

2021 ◽  
Kia Watkins-Martin ◽  
Despina Bolanis ◽  
Stephane R. Devantoy ◽  
Marie-Helene Pennestri ◽  
Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise ◽  

Background: While walking in nature has been shown to improve affect in adults from the community to a greater extent than walking in urban settings, it is unknown whether such findings can be generalized to individuals suffering from depression. Using a parallel group design, this randomized controlled trial examined the effects of a single walk in nature versus urban settings on negative and positive affect in adult psychiatric outpatients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). Method: Participants recruited from a psychiatric outpatient clinic for adults with MDD were randomly assigned to a nature or urban walk condition. Thirty-seven adults (mean age=49 years) completed a single 60-minute walk. Negative and positive affect were assessed using The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule or PANAS at 6 time points: before the walk, halfway during the walk, immediately post-walk, at home before bedtime, 24 hours post-walk, and 48 hours post-walk. Results: Controlling for baseline levels of affect before the walk, individuals who walked in nature experienced overall lower levels of negative affect, F(1, 35.039)=4.239, p=.047, compared to those who walked in urban settings. Positive affect did not differ across walk conditions. Limitations: The generalizability of results are limited by the small sample size and the presence of more female than male participants. Conclusions: Walking in nature might be a useful strategy to improve the affect of adults with MDD. Future research should investigate different ways to integrate the beneficial effects of nature exposure into existing treatment plans for psychiatric outpatients with MDD. Keywords: major depressive disorder (MDD); depression; nature; greenspace; affect; randomized-control trial; physical activity

2021 ◽  
Vol 28 ◽  
Giulia Murtas ◽  
Loredano Pollegioni

Background: D-amino acids are present in the human body originating from diet, bacterial flora, and endogenous synthesis (at least for D-serine and, probably, D-aspartate). D-amino acids are involved in important physiological processes (e.g., D-serine and D-aspartate act on the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor as co-agonist and agonist, respectively) and increasing evidence links D-amino acids to different pathological states. Methods: Determination of D-amino acids levels in blood is mainly based on enantiomeric separations by high performance liquid chromatography. Because of the low amount of D-enantiomers compared to the corresponding L-amino acids and the high background noise associated with biological matrices, positive and negative controls are absolutely required to obtain reliable values. Results: Altered levels of D-serine in blood have been reported in several neurological and psychiatric disorders: it has been proposed as promising biomarker in schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Indeed, D-serine levels seem an appropriate predictor of anti-depressant response in major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as a prognostic biomarker of early cognitive decline, especially when considering D-serine and D-proline levels simultaneously. Furthermore, D-amino acids seem useful biomarkers for pathologies not related to the central nervous system such as pancreatic cancer and chronic kidney diseases. Conclusion: This is the first review focusing on the determination of blood levels of D-amino acids as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. The experimental evidence of an involvement of D-amino acids in various physiological pathways suggest investigating their levels in additional pathologies too, such as diabetes mellitus. In conclusion, the levels of D-amino acids in blood may represent novel diagnostic peripheral biomarkers for various disorders. Further studies are required to standardize/automatize the determinations and for confirming their clinical effectiveness.

2021 ◽  
pp. 1-25
Leonardo Pozza Santos ◽  
Antônio Augusto Schäfer ◽  
Fernanda Oliveira Meller ◽  
Inacio Crochemore-Silva ◽  
Bruno Pereira Nunes ◽  

Abstract Objective: To assess the association between household food insecurity (FI) and major depressive episodes (MDE) amid Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil. Design: Cross-sectional study carried out with data from four consecutive population-based studies. Setting: The study was conducted between May and June 2020, in Bagé, a Brazilian southern city. Household FI was measured using the short-form version of the Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale. Utilizing the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, we used two different approaches to define MDE: the cut-off point of ≥9 and the diagnostic criteria proposed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-R). Association between FI and MDE was analysed using crude and adjusted Poisson regression models. Participants: 1550 adults (≥20 years old). Results: The prevalence of household FI was 29.4% (95%C.I 25.0; 34.4). MDE prevalence varied from 4.4% (95%C.I. 3.1 to 6.0), when we used the DSM-IV-R criteria to define this condition, to 9.6% (95%C.I 7.3; 12.5) of the sample, when we used the cut-off point of ≥9 as definition. Prevalence of MDE was more than two times higher in those individuals living with FI, independent of the criteria adopted to define the outcome. Adjustment for potential confounders did not change the association’s magnitude. Conclusion: Household FI has been positively associated with MDE amid Covid-19 pandemic, independent of sociodemographic characteristics of participants. Actions are needed to warrant basic living conditions to avoid food insecurity and hunger and its consequences for the Brazilian population, especially those consequences linked to mental health disorders.

André Hajek ◽  
Hans-Helmut König

The aim was to clarify the prevalence and correlates of probable major depressive disorder and probable generalized anxiety disorder in the general adult population during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were derived from a nationally representative survey (August and September 2021). In total, n = 3075 individuals took part. To quantify probable generalized anxiety disorder, the established Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7; cutoff of 10) was used. Moreover, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9; cutoff of 10) was used to quantify probable major depressive disorder. The prevalence of probable major depressive disorder was 20.0% and the prevalence of probable generalized anxiety disorder was 13.4%. Particularly high prevalence rates were observed for younger individuals, individuals with migration background and individuals with at least one chronic disease. The likelihood of probable major depressive disorder was positively associated with younger age, being unmarried, having a migration background, smoking, daily alcohol intake, the presence of chronic diseases and lower self-rated health. Similarly, the likelihood of probable generalized anxiety disorder was positively associated with younger age, being unmarried, smoking, the presence of chronic diseases and lower self-rated health. In conclusion, the magnitude of probable major depressive disorder and probable generalized anxiety disorder in Germany in late summer of 2021 was highlighted. Identifying the correlates of them may help to tackle individuals at higher risk.

Rosiene da Silva Machado ◽  
Igor Soares Vieira ◽  
Thaise C. Mondin ◽  
Carolina Rheingantz Scaini ◽  
Mariane Lopez Molina ◽  

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