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Life stress and blunted reward processing each have been associated with the onset and maintenance of major depressive disorder. However, much of this work has been cross-sectional, conducted in separate lines of inquiry, and focused on recent life stressor exposure, despite the fact that theories of depression posit that stressors can have cumulative effects over the lifespan. To address these limitations, we investigated whether acute and chronic stressors occurring over the lifespan interacted with blunted reward processing to predict increases in depression over time in healthy youth.
Participants were 245 adolescent girls aged 8–14 years old (Mage = 12.4, s.d. = 1.8) who were evaluated at baseline and two years later. The reward positivity (RewP), an event-related potential measure of reward responsiveness, was assessed at baseline using the doors task. Cumulative lifetime exposure to acute and chronic stressors was assessed two years later using the Stress and Adversity Inventory for Adolescents (Adolescent STRAIN). Finally, depressive symptoms were assessed at both baseline and follow-up using the Children's Depression Inventory.
As hypothesized, greater lifetime acute stressor exposure predicted increases in depressive symptoms over two years, but only for youth exhibiting a blunted RewP. This interaction, however, was not found for chronic stressors.
Lifetime acute stressor exposure may be particularly depressogenic for youth exhibiting a blunted RewP. Conversely, a robust RewP may be protective in the presence of greater acute lifetime stressor exposure.
Aerobic exercise has demonstrated antidepressant efficacy among adults with major depression. There is a poor understanding of the neural mechanisms associated with these effects. Deficits in reward processing and cognitive control may be two candidate targets and predictors of treatment outcome to exercise in depression.
Sixty-six young adults aged 20.23 years (s.d. = 2.39) with major depression were randomized to 8 weeks of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (n = 35) or light stretching (n = 31). Depressive symptoms were assessed across the intervention to track symptom reduction. Reward processing [reward positivity (RewP)] and cognitive control [error-related negativity (ERN)] were assessed before and after the intervention using event-related brain potentials.
Compared to stretching, aerobic exercise resulted in greater symptom reduction (gs = 0.66). Aerobic exercise had no impact on the RewP (gav = 0.08) or ERN (gav = 0.21). In the aerobic exercise group, individuals with a larger pre-treatment RewP [odds ratio (OR) = 1.45] and increased baseline depressive symptom severity (OR = 1.18) were more likely to respond to an aerobic exercise program. Pre-treatment ERN did not predict response (OR = 0.74).
Aerobic exercise is effective in alleviating depressive symptoms in adults with major depression, particularly for those with increased depressive symptom severity and a larger RewP at baseline. Although aerobic exercise did not modify the RewP or ERN, there is preliminary support for the utility of the RewP in predicting who is most likely to respond to exercise as a treatment for depression.
Past studies permitting the mapping of surnames in Britain are limited. Guppy (1890) published data on the distribution in Great Britain of the surnames of land-owning farmers, whom he considered to be the geographically most stable element in the society. Unfortunately Guppy only recorded part of the data – the frequency of surnames in the counties in which they reached or exceeded 7 per thousand; thus data on even the most common surnames were lacking for some counties.
Through the cooperation of the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys of the Registrar General's office, it has been possible to acquire, edit and computerize an alphabetically arranged list of the number of persons of each of a selected list of surnames married in each registration district of England and Wales in the first three months of 1975. Some analyses of these data have been undertaken (Lasker, 1983; Mascie- Taylor and Lasker, 1984; G. W. Lasker and C. G. N. Mascie-Taylor, in preparation). We here add maps and diagrams of the geographic distributions of these surnames.
Marriage records are generally preferable for distribution studies to birth or death records because the population sampled by marriage records is the adult breeding population of interest in human population genetics, whereas some individuals listed in birth and death records never lived to enter the breeding population. Although most individuals listed in the marriage records were resident in the district where the marriage was registered, there are some exceptions, especially among the bridegrooms.
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