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There has been increasing evidence that chronic low-grade inflammation is associated with mood disorders. However, the findings have been inconsistent because of heterogeneity across studies and methodological limitations. Our aim is to prospectively evaluate the bi-directional associations between inflammatory markers including interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) with mood disorders.
The sample consisted of 3118 participants (53.7% women; mean age: 51.0, s.d. 8.8 years), randomly selected from the general population, who underwent comprehensive somatic and psychiatric evaluations at baseline and follow-up (mean follow-up duration = 5.5 years, s.d. 0.6). Current and remitted mood disorders including bipolar and major depressive disorders (MDD) and its subtypes (atypical, melancholic, combined atypical and melancholic, and unspecified) were based on semi-structured diagnostic interviews. Inflammatory biomarkers were analyzed in fasting blood samples. Associations were tested by multiple linear and logistic regression models.
Current combined MDD [β = 0.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.03–0.55] and current atypical MDD (β = 0.32, 95% CI 0.10–0.55) at baseline were associated with increased levels of hsCRP at follow-up. There was little evidence for inflammation markers at baseline predicting mood disorders at follow-up.
The prospective unidirectional association between current MDD subtype with atypical features and hsCRP levels at follow-up suggests that inflammation may be a consequence of this condition. The role of inflammation, particularly hsCRP that is critically involved in cardiovascular diseases, warrants further study. Future research that examines potential influences of medications on inflammatory processes is indicated.
Evidence suggests a relationship between exposure to trauma during childhood and functional impairments in psychotic patients. However, the impact of age at the time of exposure has been understudied in early psychosis (EP) patients.
Two hundred and twenty-five patients aged 18–35 years were assessed at baseline and after 2, 6, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months of treatment. Patients exposed to sexual and/or physical abuse (SPA) were classified according to age at the time of first exposure (Early SPA: before age 11 years; Late SPA: between ages 12 and 15 years) and then compared to patients who were not exposed to such trauma (Non-SPA). The functional level in the premorbid phase was measured with the Premorbid Adjustment Scale (PAS) and with the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale and the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS) during follow-up.
There were 24.8% of patients with a documented history of SPA. Late SPA patients were more likely to be female (p = 0.010). Comparison with non-SPA patients revealed that: (1) both Early and Late SPA groups showed poorer premorbid social functioning during early adolescence, and (2) while patients with Early SPA had poorer functional level at follow-up with lower GAF (p = 0.025) and lower SOFAS (p = 0.048) scores, Late SPA patients did not.
Our results suggest a link between exposure to SPA and the later impairment of social functioning before the onset of the disease. EP patients exposed to SPA before age 12 may present long-lasting functional impairment, while patients exposed at a later age may improve in this regard and have a better functional outcome.
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