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People with bipolar disorder (BD) often present emotion dysregulation (ED), a pattern of emotional expression interfering with goal-directed behavior. ED is a transdiagnostic construct, and it is unclear whether it manifests itself similarly in other conditions, such as major depressive disorder (MDD) or borderline personality disorder (BPD), or has specific features in BD. The present systematic review and meta-analysis explored ED and adopted emotion regulation (ER) strategies in BD compared with other psychiatric conditions. PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus, and PsycINFO databases were systematically searched from inception to April 28th, 2022. Studies implementing validated instruments assessing ED or ER strategies in BD and other psychiatric disorders were reviewed, and meta-analyses were conducted. Twenty-nine studies yielding multiple comparisons were included. BD was compared to MDD in 20 studies (n = 2451), to BPD in six studies (n = 1001), to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in three studies (n = 232), to anxiety disorders in two studies (n = 320), to schizophrenia in one study (n = 223), and to post-traumatic stress disorder in one study (n = 31). BD patients did not differ from MDD patients in adopting most adaptive and maladaptive ER strategies. However, small-to-moderate differences in positive rumination and risk-taking behaviors were observed. In contrast, patients with BPD presented an overall higher degree of ED and more maladaptive ER strategies. There were insufficient data for a meta-analytic comparison with other psychiatric disorders. The present report further supports the idea that ED is a transdiagnostic construct spanning a continuum across different psychiatric disorders, outlining specific clinical features that could represent potential therapeutic targets.
Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is an important clinical challenge and may present differently between age groups.
A total of 893 depressed patients recruited within the framework of the European research consortium “Group for the Studies of Resistant Depression” were assessed by generalized linear models regarding age effects (both as numerical and factorial predictors) on treatment outcome, number of lifetime depressive episodes, hospitalization time, and duration of the current episode. Effects of age as numerical predictor on the severity of common depressive symptoms, measured with Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) for two-time points, were assessed by linear mixed models, respectively, for patients showing TRD and treatment response. A corrected p threshold of 0.001 was applied.
Overall symptom load reflected by MADRS (p < 0.0001) and lifetime hospitalization time (p < 0.0001) increased with age in TRD patients but not treatment responders. In TRD, higher age was predicting symptom severity of inner tension, reduced appetite, concentrations difficulties, and lassitude (all p ≤ 0.001). Regarding clinical significance, older TRD patients were more likely to report severe symptoms (item score > 4) for these items both before and after treatment (all p ≤ 0.001).
In this naturalistic sample of severely ill depressed patients, antidepressant treatment protocols were equally effective in addressing TRD in old age. However, specific symptoms such as sadness, appetite, and concentration showed an age-dependent presentation, impacting residual symptoms in severely affected TRD patients and calling for a precision approach by a better integration of age profiles in treatment recommendations.
Wellbeing has a fundamental role in determining life expectancy and major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the main modulating factors of wellbeing. This study evaluated the modulators of wellbeing in individuals with lifetime recurrent MDD (RMDD), single-episode MDD (SMDD) and no MDD in the UK Biobank.
Scores of happiness, meaningful life and satisfaction about functioning were condensed in a functioning-wellbeing score (FWS). We evaluated depression and anxiety characteristics, neuroticism-related traits, physical diseases, lifestyle and polygenic risk scores (PRSs) of psychiatric disorders. Other than individual predictors, we estimated the cumulative contribution to FWS of each group of predictors. We tested the indirect role of neuroticism on FWS through the modulation of depression manifestations using a mediation analysis.
We identified 47 966, 21 117 and 207 423 individuals with lifetime RMDD, SMDD and no MDD, respectively. Depression symptoms and personality showed the largest impact on FWS (variance explained ~20%), particularly self-harm, worthlessness feelings during the worst depression, chronic depression, loneliness and neuroticism. Personality played a stronger role in SMDD. Anxiety characteristics showed a higher effect in SMDD and no MDD groups. Neuroticism played indirect effects through specific depressive symptoms that modulated FWS. Physical diseases and lifestyle explained only 4–5% of FWS variance. The PRS of MDD showed the largest effect on FWS compared to other PRSs.
This was the first study to comprehensively evaluate the predictors of wellbeing in relation to the history of MDD. The identified variables are important to identify individuals at risk and promote wellbeing.
Schizophrenia is associated with a high familiar, social and economic burden. During the recent years early and specific intervention for first psychotic episodes has been suggested to improve the long term outcome of the disease. Despite the promising results obtained so far, early intervention is still scarcely applied. One major problem arises from the translation of research findings into stakeholder policies. In fact very few analyses of cost reductions obtained with early intervention have been reported. In the present paper we present a simulation of direct cost reduction that can be obtained with early intervention programmes. We based our analysis on available data about schizophrenia care costs in Italy and the expected cost reduction with the use of early intervention. We observed that the increase in costs due to the more intensive early intervention is largely compensated by the reduction of inpatient admissions with a reduction of direct costs of 6.01%. Despite the apparently small economic gain, early intervention offers more clinical and social benefits as it seems to be effective also in decreasing relapse rates, in improving the patients' quality of life and disability associated with psychosis and in increasing employment rates. Those indirect costs however are difficult to estimate and were not included in our model.
In conclusion, our study supports the use of early intervention in schizophrenia, which could allow an outcome improvement with lower direct and indirect costs.
We recently reported an association between TAAR6 (trace amine associated receptor 6 gene) variations and schizophrenia (SZ). We now report an association of a set of TAAR6 variations and clinical presentation and outcome in a sample of 240 SZ Korean patients. Patients were selected by a Structured Clinical Interview, DSM-IV Axis I disorders – Clinical Version (SCID-CV). Other psychiatric or neurologic disorders, as well as medical diseases, were exclusion criteria. To assess symptom severity, patients were administered the CGI scale and the PANSS at baseline and at the moment of discharge, 1 month later on average. TAAR6 variations rs6903874, rs7452939, rs8192625 and rs4305745 were investigated; rs6903874, rs7452939 and rs8192625 entered the statistical investigation after LD analysis. Rs8192625 G/G homozygosis was found to be significantly associated both with a worse clinical presentation at PANSS total and positive scores and with a shorter period of illness before hospitalization. No haplotype significant findings were found. The present study stands for a role of the TAAR6 in the clinical presentation of SZ. Moreover, our results show that this genetic effect may be counteracted by a correct treatment. Haplotype analysis was not informative in our sample, probably also because of the incomplete SNPs' coverage of the gene we performed. Further studies in this direction are warranted.
Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is the most problematic outcome of depression in terms of functional impairment, suicidal thoughts and decline in physical health.
To investigate the genetic predictors of TRD using a genome-wide approach to contribute to the development of precision medicine.
A sample recruited by the European Group for the Study of Resistant Depression (GSRD) including 1148 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) was characterised for the occurrence of TRD (lack of response to at least two adequate antidepressant treatments) and genotyped using the Infinium PsychArray. Three clinically relevant patient groups were considered: TRD, responders and non-responders to the first antidepressant trial, thus outcomes were based on comparisons of these groups. Genetic analyses were performed at the variant, gene and gene-set (i.e. functionally related genes) level. Additive regression models of the outcomes and relevant covariates were used in the GSRD participants and in a fixed-effect meta-analysis performed between GSRD, STAR*D (n = 1316) and GENDEP (n = 761) participants.
No individual polymorphism or gene was associated with TRD, although some suggestive signals showed enrichment in cytoskeleton regulation, transcription modulation and calcium signalling. Two gene sets (GO:0043949 and GO:0000183) were associated with TRD versus response and TRD versus response and non-response to the first treatment in the GSRD participants and in the meta-analysis, respectively (corrected P = 0.030 and P = 0.027).
The identified gene sets are involved in cyclic adenosine monophosphate mediated signal and chromatin silencing, two processes previously implicated in antidepressant action. They represent possible biomarkers to implement personalised antidepressant treatments and targets for new antidepressants.
Declaration of interest
D.S. has received grant/research support from GlaxoSmithKline and Lundbeck; has served as a consultant or on advisory boards for AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Janssen and Lundbeck. S.M. has been a consultant or served on advisory boards for: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Forest, Johnson & Johnson, Leo, Lundbeck, Medelink, Neurim, Pierre Fabre, Richter. S.K. has received grant/research support from Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Organon, Sepracor and Servier; has served as a consultant or on advisory boards for AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Pfizer, Organon, Schwabe, Sepracor, Servier, Janssen and Novartis; and has served on speakers' bureaus for AstraZeneca, Eli Lily, Lundbeck, Schwabe, Sepracor, Servier, Pierre Fabre, Janssen and Neuraxpharm. J.Z. has received grant/research support from Lundbeck, Servier, Brainsway and Pfizer, has served as a consultant or on advisory boards for Servier, Pfizer, Abbott, Lilly, Actelion, AstraZeneca and Roche and has served on speakers' bureaus for Lundbeck, Roch, Lilly, Servier, Pfizer and Abbott. J.M. is a member of the Board of the Lundbeck International Neuroscience Foundation and of Advisory Board of Servier. A.S. is or has been consultant/speaker for: Abbott, AbbVie, Angelini, Astra Zeneca, Clinical Data, Boehringer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Innovapharma, Italfarmaco, Janssen, Lundbeck, Naurex, Pfizer, Polifarma, Sanofi and Servier. C.M.L. receives research support from RGA UK Services Limited.
The working environment may have a significant effect on response to treatment of depression and this issue has not yet been sufficiently addressed in the scientific literature. There is evidence showing that being engaged in high-level positions can be an obstacle to the success of treatment. This article discusses the few evidence in the literature and some of the possible mechanisms involved. Specific personality attributes and difficulties in adapting to depression may delay access to care and may also reduce treatment compliance. The presence of stress in jobs that require high cognitive function and lack of social support may be elements that hinder the recovery process. Residual symptoms that impact on cognitive functions may undermine adherence to treatment and adversely affect the response. The implications of these issues are potentially relevant for clinical practice in the treatment of depression and for future research.
Calati R, Pedrini L, Alighieri S, Alvarez MI, Desideri L, Durante D, Favero F, Iero L, Magnani G, Pericoli V, Polmonari A, Raggini R, Raimondi E, Riboni V, Scaduto MC, Serretti A, De Girolamo G. Is cognitive behavioural therapy an effective complement to antidepressants in adolescents? A meta-analysis.
Objective: Evidence on effectiveness of combined treatments versus antidepressants alone in adolescents consists on a few studies in both major depressive and anxiety disorders. A meta-analysis of randomised 12-week follow-up studies in which antidepressant treatment was compared to combined treatment consisting of the same antidepressant with cognitive behavioural therapy has been performed.
Methods: Data were entered into the Cochrane Collaboration Review Manager software and were analysed within a random effect framework. A quality assessment has been performed through Jadad Scale.
Results: Higher global functioning at the Children's Global Assessment Scale was found in the combined treatment group (p < 0.0001) as well as higher improvement at the Clinical Global Impressions Improvement Scale (p = 0.04). No benefit of combined treatment was found on depressive symptomatology at the Children's Depression Rating Scale – Revised.
Conclusion: Combined treatment seems to be more effective than antidepressant alone on global functioning and general improvement in adolescents with major depressive and anxiety disorders.
Chiesa A, Brambilla P, Serretti A. Functional neural correlates of mindfulness meditations in comparison with psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and placebo effect. Is there a link?
Mindfulness meditations (MM) are a group of meditation practices which are increasingly receiving attention. The aim of the present work is to review current findings about the neural correlates of MM and compare such findings with other specific and non-specific treatments.
A literature search was undertaken using MEDLINE, ISI web of knowledge, the Cochrane database and references of retrieved articles. Studies which focused on the functional neural correlates of MM, psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and placebo published up to August 2009 were screened in order to be considered for the inclusion.
Main findings suggest that long-term MM practice allows a more flexible emotional regulation by engaging frontal cortical structures to dampen automatic amygdala activation. A large overlap exists between cerebral areas activated during MM, psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and those activated by placebo. However, while MM, psychotherapy and placebo seem to act through a top-down regulation, antidepressants seem to act through a bottom-up process.
MM seem to target specific brain areas related to emotions and emotional regulation. Similar mechanisms have been observed also in other interventions, particularly psychotherapy.
Genetic factors are largely implicated in predisposing to schizophrenia. Environmental factors contribute to the onset of the disorder in individuals at increased genetic risk. Cognitive deficits have emerged as endophenotypes and potential therapeutic targets for schizophrenia because of their association with functional outcome. The aims of this review were to analyse the joint effect of genetic and environmental (G×E) factors on liability to schizophrenia and to investigate relationships between genes and cognitive endophenotypes focusing on practical applications for prevention and rehabilitation.
Medline search of relevant studies published between 1990 and 2008.
In schizophrenia, examples of G×E interaction include the catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) (Val158Met) polymorphism, which was found to moderate the onset of psychotic manifestations in response to stress and to increase the risk for psychosis related to cannabis use, and neurodevelopmental genes such as AKT1 (serine-threonine kinase), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), DTNBP1 (dysbindin) and GRM3 (metabotropic glutamate receptor 3), which were associated with development of schizophrenia in adulthood after exposure to perinatal obstetric complications. Neurocognitive deficits are recognised as core features of schizophrenia that facilitate the onset of the disorder and have a great impact on functional outcome. Neurocognitive deficits are also endophenotypes that have been linked to a variety of genes [COMT, neuregulin (NRG1), BDNF, Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) and dysbindin] conferring susceptibility to schizophrenia. Recently, it has emerged that cognitive improvement during rehabilitation therapy was under control of COMT (Val158Met) polymorphism.
This review could indicate a pivotal role of psychiatric genetics in prevention and rehabilitation of schizophrenic psychoses.
Self-harm is a direct, socially unacceptable,repetitive behavior that causes minor to moderate physical injury without suicidal intent. It is also a significant and growing concern among prison inmates, although it has been rarely studied. In the present study, we aimed to investigate demographic, psychosocial, and clinical variables associated to this critical bahaviour in a high risk sample of 1,555 male prisoners.
Prisoners were interviewed about their history of self-mutilation, psychiatric history,and forensic history. The prisoners completed the Barratt Impulsivity Scale, Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, and Childhood Trauma Questionnaire.
Eighteen percent of prisoners had a history of self-harm. They more frequently reported childhood traumas, were more likely to be unmarried, previously imprisoned, tested positive for substance abuse, had a history of suicide attempt, and more likely showed violent tendencies.
Self-harm among prisoners is common, being found in almost 20% of the subjects in our sample. Self-mutilation among prisoners appears to be multi-factorial with developmental, socio-demographic, psychiatric, and personality determinants.
Self-harm is associated with critical behaviors such as violence, substance abuse and suicide attempts, which represent major critical problems in contention environments.