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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.
Objective: Acute kidney injury is common in neonates following surgery for congenital heart disease. We conducted a retrospective analysis to determine whether neonates with smaller pre-operative renal volume were more likely to develop post-operative acute kidney injury. Design/Setting: We conducted a retrospective review of 72 neonates who underwent congenital heart surgery for any lesion other than patent ductus arteriosus at our institution from January 2007 to December 2011. Renal volume was calculated by ultrasound using the prolate ellipsoid formula. The presence and severity of post-operative acute kidney injury was determined both by measuring the peak serum creatinine in the first 7 days post-operatively and by using the Acute Kidney Injury Network scoring system. Results: Using a linear change point model, a threshold renal volume of 17 cm3 was identified. Below this threshold, there was an inverse linear relationship between renal volume and peak post-operative creatinine for all patients (p = 0.036) and the subgroup with a single morphologic right ventricle (p = 0.046). There was a non-significant trend towards more acute kidney injury using Acute Kidney Injury Network criteria in all neonates with renal volume ≤17 cm3 (p = 0.11) and in the subgroup with a single morphologic right ventricle (p = 0.17). Conclusions: Pre-operative renal volume ≤17 cm3 is associated with a higher peak post-operative creatinine and potentially greater risk for post-operative acute kidney injury for neonates undergoing congenital heart surgery. Neonates with a single right ventricle may be at higher risk.
Sleep disturbances are persistent residual symptoms following remission of major depressive disorder (MDD) and are associated with an increased risk of MDD recurrence. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effect of exercise augmentation on self-reported sleep quality in participants with non-remitted MDD.
Participants were randomized to receive selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) augmentation with one of two doses of exercise: 16 kilocalories per kilogram of body weight per week (KKW) or 4 KKW for 12 weeks. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the clinician-rated Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS-C). The four sleep-related items on the IDS-C (Sleep Onset Insomnia, Mid-Nocturnal Insomnia, Early Morning Insomnia, and Hypersomnia) were used to assess self-reported sleep quality.
Significant decreases in total insomnia (p < 0.0001) were observed, along with decreases in sleep onset, mid-nocturnal and early-morning insomnia (p's <0.002). Hypersomnia did not change significantly (p = 0.38). Changes in total, mid-nocturnal and early-morning insomnia were independent of changes in depressive symptoms. Higher baseline hypersomnia predicted a greater decrease in depression severity following exercise treatment (p = 0.0057). No significant moderating effect of any baseline sleep on change in depression severity was observed. There were no significant differences between exercise treatment groups on total insomnia or any individual sleep item.
Exercise augmentation resulted in improvements in self-reported sleep quality in patients with non-remitted MDD. Given the prevalence of insomnia as a residual symptom following MDD treatment and the associated risk of MDD recurrence, exercise augmentation may have an important role in the treatment of MDD.
Attitudes and expectations about treatment have been associated with symptomatic outcomes, adherence and utilization in patients with psychiatric disorders. No measure of patients' anticipated benefits of treatment on domains of everyday functioning has previously been available.
The Anticipated Benefits of Care (ABC) is a new, 10-item questionnaire used to measure patient expectations about the impact of treatment on domains of everyday functioning. The ABC was collected at baseline in adult out-patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) (n=528), bipolar disorder (n=395) and schizophrenia (n=447) in the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP). Psychometric properties of the ABC were assessed, and the association of ABC scores with treatment response at 3 months was evaluated.
Evaluation of the ABC's internal consistency yielded Cronbach's α of 0.90–0.92 for patients across disorders. Factor analysis showed that the ABC was unidimensional for all patients and for patients with each disorder. For patients with MDD, lower anticipated benefits of treatment was associated with less symptom improvement and lower odds of treatment response [odds ratio (OR) 0.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.57–0.87, p=0.0011]. There was no association between ABC and symptom improvement or treatment response for patients with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, possibly because these patients had modest benefits with treatment.
The ABC is the first self-report that measures patient expectations about the benefits of treatment on everyday functioning, filling an important gap in available assessments of attitudes and expectations about treatment. The ABC is simple, easy to use, and has acceptable psychometric properties for use in research or clinical settings.
Dyadic discord, while common in depression, has not been specifically evaluated as an outcome predictor in chronic major depressive disorder. This study investigated pretreatment dyadic discord as a predictor of non-remission and its relationship to depressive symptom change during acute treatment for chronic depression.
Out-patients with chronic depression were randomized to 12 weeks of treatment with nefazodone, the Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy or their combination. Measures included the Marital Adjustment Scale (MAS) and the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology – Self Report (IDS-SR30). Of 681 original patients, 316 were partnered and 171 of these completed a baseline and exit MAS, and at least one post-baseline IDS-SR30. MAS scores were analysed as continuous and categorical variables (‘dyadic discord’ v. ‘no dyadic discord’ defined as an MAS score >2.36. Remission was defined as an IDS-SR30 of ⩽14 at exit (equivalent to a 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression of ⩽7).
Patients with dyadic discord at baseline had lower remission rates (34.1%) than those without dyadic discord (61.2%) (all three treatment groups) (χ2=12.6, df=1, p=0.0004). MAS scores improved significantly with each of the treatments, although the change was reduced by controlling for improvement in depression. Depression remission at exit was associated with less dyadic discord at exit than non-remission for all three groups [for total sample, 1.8 v. 2.4, t(169)=7.3, p<0.0001].
Dyadic discord in chronically depressed patients is predictive of a lower likelihood of remission of depression. Couple therapy for those with dyadic discord may increase remission rates.
Recent acute efficacy trials of antidepressants in youth have suggested that high placebo-response rates in children (<12 years of age) indicate that children may be more responsive to non-specific treatment interventions. Yet, these studies generally have not presented age-specific outcome data. The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy outcomes for children (<12 years of age) and adolescents (≥12 years of age) using the combined data from two previously published double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of fluoxetine.
Children (<12 years of age) and adolescents (≥12 years of age) with major depressive disorder were randomized to fluoxetine or placebo for 8–9 weeks of treatment. Outcome was assessed using the Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R) and Clinical Global Impressions scale.
Random regression of the CDRS-R showed a treatment group by age group interaction (F1,338=4.10, P=.044), indicating that the treatment effect was significantly more pronounced in children than adolescents. Within children, response at exit to fluoxetine was significantly better than placebo (56.9% vs 33.3%; P=.009). Adolescent response rates at exit were not significantly different between the groups (51.1% vs 38.6%; P=.128). Remission rates were low for both groups.
In the combined fluoxetine trials, drug-placebo difference was greater in children compared with adolescents. Contrary to expectations, the placebo-response rate was lower in the children than the adolescents.
The sputter-induced epitaxy change of in-plane orientation occurring in YBa2Cu3O7-x (001) thin films grown on MgO (001) substrates by pulsed organo-metallic beam epitaxy (POMBE) is investigated by a series of film growth and characterization experiments, including RBS and TEM. The factors influencing the orientation change are systematically studied. The experimental results suggest that the substrate surface morphology change caused by the ion sputtering and the Ar ion implantation in the substrate surface layer are not the major factors that affect the orientation change. Instead, the implantation of W ions, which come from the hot filament of the ion gun, and the initial Ba deposition layer in the YBCO film growth play the most important roles in controlling the epitaxy orientation change. Microstructure studies show that a BaxMg1-xO buffer layer is formed on top of the sputtered substrate surface due to Ba diffusion into the W implanted layer. It is believed that the formation of this buffer layer relieves the large lattice mismatch and changes the YBCO film from the 45° oriented growth to the 0° oriented growth.