To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the prefrontal cortex has been shown to have a statistically and clinically significant anti-depressant effect. The present pilot study was carried out to investigate if right prefrontal low-frequency rTMS as an add-on to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) accelerates the anti-depressant effect and reduces cognitive side effects.
In this randomised, controlled, double-blind study, thirty-five patients with major depression were allocated to ECT+placebo or ECT+low-frequency right prefrontal rTMS. The severity of depression was evaluated during the course using the Hamilton scale for depression (the 17-item as well as the 6-item scale) and the major depression inventory (MDI). Furthermore, neuropsychological assessment of cognitive function was carried out.
The study revealed no significant difference between the two groups for any of the outcomes, but with a visible trend to lower scores for MDI after treatment in the placebo group. The negative impact of ECT on neurocognitive functions was short-lived, and scores on logical memory were significantly improved compared to baseline 4 weeks after last treatment. The ECT-rTMS group revealed generally less impairment of cognitive functions than the ECT-placebo group.
The addition of low-frequency rTMS as an add-on to ECT treatment did not result in an accelerated response. On the contrary, the results suggest that low-frequency rTMS could inhibit the anti-depressant effect of ECT.
The efficacy of antidepressant treatment is fair, but the efficacy is considerably lower in patients failing two or more trials underscoring the need for new treatment options. Our study evaluated the augmenting antidepressant effect of 8-weeks transcranial pulsed electromagnetic field (T-PEMF) therapy in patients with treatment-resistant depression.
A multicenter 8-week single-arm cohort study conducted by the Danish University Antidepressant Group.
In total, 58 participants (20 men and 38 women) with a moderate to severe depression as part of a depressive disorder according to ICD-10 who fulfilled criteria for treatment resistance were included, with 19 participants being nonresponders to electroconvulsive therapy during the current depressive episode. Fifty-two participants completed the study period. Scores on the Hamilton Depression Scale 17-items version (HAM-D17) decreased significantly from baseline (mean = 20.6, SD 4.0) to endpoint (mean = 12.6, SD 7.1; N = 58). At endpoint, utilizing a Last Observation Carried Forward analysis, 49 and 28% of those participants with, respectively, a nonchronic current episode (≤2 years; N = 33) and a chronic current episode (>2 years; N = 25) were responders, that is, achieved a reduction of 50% or more on the HAM-D17 scale. At endpoint, respectively, 30 and 16% obtained remission, defined as HAM-D17 ≤ 7. On the Hamilton Scale 6-item version (HAM-D6), respectively, 51 and 16% obtained remission, defined as HAM-D6 ≤ 4.
The findings indicate a potential beneficial role of T-PEMF therapy as an augmentation treatment to ongoing pharmacotherapy in treatment-resistant depression.
Prior studies suggest that a dysregulation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is involved in the pathophysiology of major depression. We aimed to elucidate changes in cortical GABA content in relation to depression and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).
In total, 11 patients with major depression or depressive episode of bipolar disorder (mean pre-ECT Ham-17 of 26) and 11 healthy subjects were recruited. GABA was quantified using short-TE MRS in prefrontal and occipital cortex. Other neurometabolites such as glutathione (GSH), N-acetylaspartate (NAA) and glutamate (Glu) were secondary outcome measures.
No significant differences in GABA/Cr levels were observed between patients at baseline and healthy subjects in prefrontal cortex, t(20)=0.089, p=0.93 or occipital cortex t(21)=0.37, p=0.72. All patients improved on Ham-17 (mean post-ECT Ham-17 of 9). No significant difference was found in GABA, Glu, glutamine, choline or GSH between pre- and post-ECT values. However, we observed a significant decrease in NAA levels following ECT t(22)=3.89, p=0.0038, and a significant correlation between the NAA decline and the number of ECT sessions p=0.035.
Our study does not support prior studies arguing for GABA as a key factor in the treatment effect of ECT on major depression. The reduction in NAA levels following ECT could be due to neuronal loss or a transient dysfunction in prefrontal cortex. As no long-term follow-up scan was performed, it is unknown whether NAA levels will normalise over time.
The prognostic impact of previous depression on myocardial infarction survival remains poorly understood.
To examine the association between depression and all-cause mortality following myocardial infarction.
Using Danish medical registries, we conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study. We included all patients with first-time myocardial infarction (1995–2014) and identified previous depression as either a depression diagnosis or use of antidepressants. We used Cox regression to compute adjusted mortality rate ratios (aMRRs) with 95% confidence intervals.
We identified 170 771 patients with first-time myocardial infarction. Patients with myocardial infarction and a previous depression diagnosis had higher 19-year mortality risks (87% v. 78%). The overall aMRR was 1.11 (95% CI 1.07–1.15) increasing to 1.22 (95% CI 1.17–1.27) when including use of antidepressants in the depression definition.
A history of depression was associated with a moderately increased all-cause mortality following myocardial infarction.
Previous morphology and diffusion-imaging studies have suggested that structural changes in white matter is an important part of the pathophysiology of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). However, different methodological approaches and the heterogeneity of patient samples question the validity of the findings.
Materials and methods
In total, 30 patients were matched for age and sex with 30 healthy controls. All participants underwent T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging and T2 fluid-attenuated inversion recovery. Voxel-based morphometry and tract-based spatial statistics were used to compare white matter volumes and diffusion tensor imaging between groups. These data were analysed correcting for the effects of multiple comparisons, age, sex, severity and duration of illness as nuisance covariates. White matter hyperintensities were manually identified.
Increase in fractional anisotropy in cerebellum was the most prominent result. A decrease in fractional anisotrophy in patients comparable with previous studies was located in forceps minor. There were no differences in the white matter morphology or in the white matter hyperintensities between patients and healthy controls.
Decrease in fractional anisotrophy in forceps minor and increase in cerebellum were found, and they were not due to neither white matter hyperintensities nor morphology of the white matter. Cerebellar hyperconnectivity could be an important part of OCD pathophysiology.
The main aim of the present study was to replicate a previous finding in major depressive disorder (MDD) of association between reduced hippocampal volume and the long variant of the di- and triallelic serotonin transporter polymorphism in SLC6A4 on chromosome 17q11.2. Secondarily, we also hypothesised that 5-HTTLPR may be a risk factor for MDD.
Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the hippocampus was studied in 23 inpatients suffering from MDD and in 33 healthy controls. Normalised volumetric MRI data of hippocampus were assessed with adjustment for total brain volume and tensor-based morphometry was used to elucidate structural brain differences. A triallelic genetic marker resulting from two SLC6A4 promoter region polymorphisms, 5-HTTLPR and rs25531, was analysed for association with MDD and quantitative traits.
Healthy controls had a smaller relative hippocampal volume (relative to brain size) but a larger total brain volume compared with patients with MDD. For patients compared with healthy controls, atrophy was found in the right temporal lobe and pons medulla. Allele and genotype frequencies were strikingly different from the previous study that we aimed to replicate, and no significant associations with the serotonin transporter polymorphism were found.
The present quantitative and morphometric MRI study was not able to replicate the previous finding of association between reduced hippocampal volume in depressed patients and the serotonin transporter polymorphism.
Studies investigating mortality secondary to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are few.
To assess the risk of mortality from natural and unnatural causes among ECT recipients compared with other psychiatric in-patients over a 25-year period.
Register-based cohort study of all in-patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital from 1976 to 2000. Cause-specific mortality was analysed using log–linear Poisson regression.
There were 783 deceased in-patients who had received ECT compared with 5781 who had not. Patients who had received ECT had a lower overall mortality rate from natural causes (RR=0.82,95% CI 0.74–0.90) but a slightly higher suicide rate (RR=1.20,95% CI 0.99–1.47), especially within the first 7 days after the last ECT treatment (RR=4.82,95% CI 2.12–10.95).
Further investigation of the effect of ECT on physical health and the observed increased suicide rate immediately following treatment are needed, although the last finding is likely to result from selection bias.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.