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Mean BDNF serum concentration is lower in patients with major depression (MD) as compared to healthy controls. BDNF increases during the course of antidepressant treatment. This increase has been associated with symptom amelioration. The aim of this study was to analyse the relation between early and late BDNF changes during antidepressant treatment.
Forty-six patients with MD according to DSM-IV were included for this study. Patients were treated as clinically indicated. Depression severity was assessed by HAMD-17 by trained raters from baseline to week 6 in weekly intervals. Serum at each visit (baseline, V1-V6) was obtained from whole blood after centrifugation with 1.000 × g for 15 minutes. Aliquots were frozen at −80°C until analysis. BDNF serum concentration was determined with ELISA (R&D Systems). We analysed correlations between early changes of BDNF level (baseline to weeks 1 and 2) with BDNF changes in the later course of treatment (change from baseline to weeks 4, 5 and 6). Further, the association between early and late BDNF changes was calculated by means of linear regression analysis.
There was a high correlation between BDNF changes in the early course of treatment and final BDNF changes (p< 0.05 for each analysis). Early BDNF changes accounted for a high percentage of the variance of late BDNF changes (p< 0.05 for each analysis).
These results suggest that an early change of BDNF serum level is predictive for BDNF change in the later course of antidepressant treatment in patients with Major Depression.
In patients with major depression (MD), mean BDNF serum concentration increases during antidepressant treatment. This increase has been associated with symptom amelioration. In a previous analysis of the time course of BDNF serum concentration, we could show a high association between early and final changes of BDNF levels during antidepressant treatment. The aim of this study was to analyse the predictive value of early BDNF changes for BDNF changes after 4 to 6 weeks of antidepressant treatment in individual patients with MD.
Forty-six patients with MD according to DSM-IV were included in this study. All patients were treated as clinically indicated. Depression severity was assessed by HAMD-17 by trained raters from baseline to week 6 in weekly intervals. Serum at each visit (baseline, V1-V6) was obtained from whole blood after centrifugation with 1.000 × g for 10 minutes. Aliquots were frozen at -80°C until analysis. BDNF serum concentration was determined with ELISA (R&D Systems). We determined sensitivity and specificity of early changes (from baseline to weeks 1 and 2) of BDNF serum concentration to BDNF changes in the later course (from baseline to weeks 4 to 6) of treatment.
BDNF increase from BL to week 2 predicted BDNF increase from baseline to week 5 with high sensitivity (81%) and specificity (73%). Further analyses revealed comparable results (data not shown).
These results suggest that early BDNF increase is predictive for final BDNF increase in individual patients with MD during antidepressant treatment.
Postoperative cognitive impairment is among the most common medical complications associated with surgical interventions – particularly in elderly patients. In our aging society, it is an urgent medical need to determine preoperative individual risk prediction to allow more accurate cost–benefit decisions prior to elective surgeries. So far, risk prediction is mainly based on clinical parameters. However, these parameters only give a rough estimate of the individual risk. At present, there are no molecular or neuroimaging biomarkers available to improve risk prediction and little is known about the etiology and pathophysiology of this clinical condition. In this short review, we summarize the current state of knowledge and briefly present the recently started BioCog project (Biomarker Development for Postoperative Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly), which is funded by the European Union. It is the goal of this research and development (R&D) project, which involves academic and industry partners throughout Europe, to deliver a multivariate algorithm based on clinical assessments as well as molecular and neuroimaging biomarkers to overcome the currently unsatisfying situation.
This chapter examines boredom – an emotion often described as one of the plagues of modern societies. In educational settings, boredom is also often experienced. The chapter first outlines how boredom is defined and operationalized including current approaches to differentiating specific types of boredom. We further review the extent to which boredom has been investigated in the research literature and how it has been assessed. Empirical evidence on the prevalence of boredom in students is outlined, and preliminary findings on the frequency of boredom experiences in teachers is highlighted. Theoretical considerations and empirical findings are subsequently addressed concerning the effects and causes of academic boredom, as are relevant conceptual frameworks and findings on how to most effectively cope with boredom in educational settings. Implications for the prevention and reduction of boredom in the classroom following from empirical literature are then discussed. Finally, we outline potential next steps in research on academic boredom.