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Some clinical studies have reported reduced peripheral glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) level in elderly patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). We verified whether a reduction in plasma GDNF level was associated with MDD.
Plasma GDNF level was measured in 23 healthy control subjects and 23 MDD patients before and after 6 weeks of treatment.
Plasma GDNF level in MDD patients at baseline did not differ from that in healthy controls. Plasma GDNF in MDD patients did not differ significantly from baseline to the end of treatment. GDNF level was significantly lower in recurrent-episode MDD patients than in first-episode patients before and after treatment.
Our findings revealed significantly lower plasma GDNF level in recurrent-episode MDD patients, although plasma GDNF levels in MDD patients and healthy controls did not differ significantly. The discrepancy between our study and previous studies might arise from differences in the recurrence of depression or the ages of the MDD patients.
Background. Little is known about the long-term outcome of personality disorder traits. The purpose of this study was to investigate, in a community-residing population, the longitudinal relationship between psychiatrist-assessed personality disorder scores and global functioning 13–18 years later.
Method. A stratified random sample of residents of east Baltimore were examined by psychiatrists in 1981 and asssessed for DSM-III personality disorders using a semi-structured instrument, the Standardized Psychiatric Examination. A total of 292 persons were re-examined by different psychiatrists during 1994–1999 using the Schedules for the Assessment of Neuropsychiatry (SCAN). After completion of the SCAN, the subjects' functional status was evaluated using the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). The relationships between personality dimensions and follow-up GAF scores were evaluated using linear regression models.
Results. All of the personality disorder scales measured in 1981 were inversely related to functioning 13–18 years later, with the exception of narcissistic and compulsive scales. After controlling for Axis I disorders diagnosed contemporaneously with GAF assessment, schizoid, antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and avoidant personality disorder scores significantly predicted GAF scores.
Conclusions. Most dimensions of DSM-III personality disorder traits were significantly associated with global functioning after an interval of 15 years. However, only schizoid, antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and avoidant personality disorder traits had long-term effects on functioning when Axis I disorders at follow-up were controlled. This suggests that the functional effect of the other personality disorder traits may be mediated through their relationship with Axis I disorders. Future research is needed using more specific and sensitive outcome measures.
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