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There is limited literature on associations between inflammatory tone and response to sequential pharmacotherapies in major depressive disorder (MDD).
In a 16-week open-label clinical trial, 211 participants with MDD were treated with escitalopram 10–20 mg daily for 8 weeks. Responders continued escitalopram while non-responders received adjunctive aripiprazole 2–10 mg daily for 8 weeks. Plasma levels of pro-inflammatory markers—C-reactive protein, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-17, interferon-gamma (IFN)-Γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and Chemokine C–C motif ligand-2 (CCL-2)—measured at baseline, and after 2, 8 and 16 weeks were included in logistic regression analyzes to assess associations between inflammatory markers and treatment response.
Pre-treatment IFN-Γ and CCL-2 levels were significantly associated with a lower of odds of response to escitalopram at 8 weeks. Increases in CCL-2 levels from weeks 8 to 16 in escitalopram non-responders were significantly associated with higher odds of non-response to adjunctive aripiprazole at week 16.
Higher pre-treatment levels of IFN-Γ and CCL-2 were associated with non-response to escitalopram. Increasing levels of these pro-inflammatory markers may be associated with non-response to adjunctive aripiprazole. These findings require validation in independent clinical populations.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is often accompanied by changes in appetite and weight. Prior task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) findings suggest these MDD phenotypes are associated with altered reward and interoceptive processing.
Using resting-state fMRI data, we compared the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) and seed-based connectivity (SBC) among hyperphagic (n = 77), hypophagic (n = 66), and euphagic (n = 42) MDD groups and a healthy comparison group (n = 38). We examined fALFF and SBC in a mask restricted to reward [nucleus accumbens (NAcc), putamen, caudate, ventral pallidum, and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)] and interoceptive (anterior insula and hypothalamus) regions and also performed exploratory whole-brain analyses. SBC analyses included as seeds the NAcc and also regions demonstrating group differences in fALFF (i.e. right lateral OFC and right anterior insula). All analyses used threshold-free cluster enhancement.
Mask-restricted analyses revealed stronger fALFF in the right lateral OFC, and weaker fALFF in the right anterior insula, for hyperphagic MDD v. healthy comparison. We also found weaker SBC between the right lateral OFC and left anterior insula for hyperphagic MDD v. healthy comparison. Whole-brain analyses revealed weaker fALFF in the right anterior insula, and stronger SBC between the right lateral OFC and left precentral gyrus, for hyperphagic MDD v. healthy comparison. Findings were no longer significant after controlling for body mass index, which was higher for hyperphagic MDD.
Our results suggest hyperphagic MDD may be associated with altered activity in and connectivity between interoceptive and reward regions.
Treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) is imprecise and often involves trial-and-error to determine the most effective approach. To facilitate optimal treatment selection and inform timely adjustment, the current study investigated whether neurocognitive variables could predict an antidepressant response in a treatment-specific manner.
In the two-stage Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care (EMBARC) trial, outpatients with non-psychotic recurrent MDD were first randomized to an 8-week course of sertraline selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or placebo. Behavioral measures of reward responsiveness, cognitive control, verbal fluency, psychomotor, and cognitive processing speeds were collected at baseline and week 1. Treatment responders then continued on another 8-week course of the same medication, whereas non-responders to sertraline or placebo were crossed-over under double-blinded conditions to bupropion noradrenaline/dopamine reuptake inhibitor or sertraline, respectively. Hamilton Rating for Depression scores were also assessed at baseline, weeks 8, and 16.
Greater improvements in psychomotor and cognitive processing speeds within the first week, as well as better pretreatment performance in these domains, were specifically associated with higher likelihood of response to placebo. Moreover, better reward responsiveness, poorer cognitive control and greater verbal fluency were associated with greater likelihood of response to bupropion in patients who previously failed to respond to sertraline.
These exploratory results warrant further scrutiny, but demonstrate that quick and non-invasive behavioral tests may have substantial clinical value in predicting antidepressant treatment response.
Sexual dysfunction occurs in 40%-60% of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), due to either the illness itself and/or the effects of antidepressant treatment. The phase-2 CLARITY trial recently demonstrated the efficacy of adjunctive pimavanserin (PIM) for MDD when added to ongoing selective serotonin or serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSRI/SNRI) treatment. No new safety observations were reported in this study. This post-hoc analysis examines the potential impact of PIM treatment on sexual function.
Study methodology has been presented previously (APA 2019). Adult male and female patients with moderate-to-severe MDD were randomized to PIM 34 mg/day (n=51) or placebo (PBO, n=152) added to ongoing SSRI/SNRI treatment. Massachusetts General Hospital–Sexual Functioning Inventory (MGH-SFI) and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, 17-item version (HAMD-17) item 14 (sexual interest) scores were examined by analysis of covariance.
Adjunctive PIM resulted in significantly greater 5-week reduction (improvement) relative to SSRI/SNRI treatment plus placebo on mean MGH-SFI scores (difference –0.634, SE 0.167; P<0.001; effect size [ES], Cohen’s d 0.614). Similarly, PIM resulted in greater improvement compared with placebo on individual MGH-SFI items that applied to both males and females: Interest in Sex (P=0.006; ES=0.483), Ability to Get Sexually Aroused/Excited (P=0.001; ES=0.560), Ability to Achieve Orgasm (P<0.001; ES=0.609), Overall Sexual Satisfaction (P=0.003; ES=0.524). HAMD-17 item 14 scores were also significantly more reduced (improved) with PIM (P<0.001; ES=0.574).
These results underscore the potential of adjunctive PIM for improving sexual function in patients with MDD and inadequate response to SSRIs/SNRIs. Potential benefits should be confirmed in further studies.
To assess health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and health status of patients with treatment resistant depression (TRD), treated with esketamine nasal spray+oral antidepressant (ESK+AD) vs oral antidepressant+placebo nasal spray (AD+PBO) using European Quality of Life Group-5-Dimension-5-Level (EQ-5D-5L). The EQ-5D-5L descriptive system consists of five domains relevant for patients with depression (mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain, anxiety/depression) and the EQ-Visual Analogue Scale (EQ-VAS).
Data from TRANSFORM-2 (NCT02418585), a randomized, double-blind short-term study were analyzed. Patients (18-64 years inclusive) with TRD were included. Patient reported health status change using EQ-5D-5L and EQ-VAS was measured from baseline to end of 4-week induction phase (endpoint). Each domain of EQ-5D-5L included 5 levels of perceived problems (L1: no problems; L5: extreme problems).
Full analysis set included 223 patients (ESK+AD: 114; AD+PBO: 109). At endpoint, mean (SD) change in health status index was 0.288 (0.2317) for ESK+AD group and 0.231 (0.2506) for AD+PBO group with higher score reflecting higher levels of functioning. At endpoint, percentage of patients reporting problems (grouped L2-L5 responses for each dimension) in ESK+AD vs AD+PBO group: mobility (13.5% vs 25.7%), self-care (16.2% vs 30.5%), usual activities (55.0% vs 71.4%), pain (38.7% vs 52.4%), and anxiety/depression (71.2% vs 78.1%). Mean (SD) change in EQ-VAS score at endpoint was 29.1 (26.32) for ESK+AD and 20.9 (26.60) for AD+PBO group.
Greater improvement in HRQoL and health status using EQ-5D-5L and EQ-VAS was observed among patients with TRD treated with ESK+AD vs AD+PBO.
This study was sponsored by Janssen Research and Development, LLC.
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with fewer than 50% of treated patients achieving full remission. This study (“CLARITY,” ACP-103-042: NCT03018340) examined the 5-HT2A inverse agonist pimavanserin (PIM) as a potential adjunctive treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD).
Adult female and male subjects with a DSM-5 primary diagnosis of a major depressive episode as part of MDD, inadequate response to ongoing SSRIs or SNRIs of adequate dose and duration as confirmed by the Massachusetts General Hospital Antidepressant Treatment History Questionnaire, and a MADRS total score >20 were randomized to PIM 34 mg/day or placebo (PBO) added to their SSRI/SNRI treatment. A sequential parallel comparison design was used, consisting of two 5-week stages. PBO nonresponders in Stage-1 who met prespecified criteria were re-randomized to PIM or PBO for the second period (Stage-2). The primary efficacy measure was the weighted average of Stage-1 and Stage-2 total scores of the HAMD-17.
Of the 207 patients enrolled, 52 received PIM, and 155 received PBO in Stage 1. Mean age was 46.2 years, and 72.9% of patients were female. Baseline MADRS total (mean [SD]: 31.5 [0.4]) and HAMD-17 total scores (22.2 [0.3]) indicated a moderate overall severity of illness. PIM met the primary endpoint, reducing the weighted Stage-1/Stage-2 HAMD-17 total score relative to PBO (least-square means [LSM] difference, –1.7; standard error [SE], 0.9; P=0.04). Stage-1 PIM patients demonstrated highly significant 5-week improvement on the HAMD-17 (LSM difference=–4.0, SE=1.1; P<0.001; effect size, Cohen’s d: 0.626), separating from placebo by the end of Week 1 (LSM difference=–1.7, SE=0.8; P=0.04). Stage-2 results showed no significant separation among Stage-1 placebo nonresponders (P=0.69). In Stage 2, a substantively smaller number of subjects (n=58) were rerandomized than planned, likely due to restrictive criteria for re-randomization. Greater overall improvement was seen with PIM relative to PBO on the key secondary endpoint, the Sheehan Disability Scale (LSM difference=–0.8, SE=0.3; P=0.004), and positive results were also seen on 7 of the 11 other secondary endpoints, including responder rate (≥50% reduction in HAMD-17 total; P=0.007), Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Functioning Index (P<0.001), and Karolinska Sleepiness Scale for daytime sleepiness (P=0.02). Discontinuations due to adverse events were low (PIM 1.2%, PBO 3.2%). One serious adverse event was reported in each treatment group, deemed unrelated to treatment. No deaths were reported. Laboratory assessments, electrocardiography, and changes in vital signs were unremarkable, and no new safety signals were reported.
Study data provide evidence of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of adjunctive PIM in treating MDD inadequately responsive to SSRI or SNRI therapy. Efforts to confirm these results are ongoing in a Phase 3 program.
This report tests the association of self-reported symptoms of irritability with overt behavior of anger attacks (uncharacteristic sudden bouts of anger that are disproportionate to situation and associated with autonomic activation).
Participants of the Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response in Clinical Care study who completed Massachusetts General Hospital Anger Attacks questionnaire were included (n = 293). At each visit, the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the 16-item Concise Associated Symptom Tracking scale were used to measure depression, anxiety, and irritability. In those with anger attacks present v. those without anger attacks, separate t tests and mixed model analyses compared afore-mentioned symptoms at baseline and changes with treatment respectively. As anger attacks may occur without aggressive behaviors, analyses were repeated based only on the presence of aggressive behaviors.
At baseline, those with anger attacks (n = 109) v. those without anger attacks (n = 184) had similar levels of depression but higher levels of irritability [effect size (d) = 0.80] and anxiety (d = 0.32). With acute-phase treatment, participants with anger attacks experienced a greater reduction in irritability (p < 0.001) but not in depression (p = 0.813) or anxiety (p = 0.771) as compared to those without anger attacks. Yet, irritability levels at week-8 were higher in those with anger attacks (d = 0.32) than those without anger attacks. Similar results were found in participants with aggressive behaviors.
The presence of anger attacks in outpatients with major depressive disorder may identify a sub-group of patients with persistently elevated irritability.
Cognitive deficits in depressed adults may reflect impaired decision-making. To investigate this possibility, we analyzed data from unmedicated adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and healthy controls as they performed a probabilistic reward task. The Hierarchical Drift Diffusion Model (HDDM) was used to quantify decision-making mechanisms recruited by the task, to determine if any such mechanism was disrupted by depression.
Data came from two samples (Study 1: 258 MDD, 36 controls; Study 2: 23 MDD, 25 controls). On each trial, participants indicated which of two similar stimuli was presented; correct identifications were rewarded. Quantile-probability plots and the HDDM quantified the impact of MDD on response times (RT), speed of evidence accumulation (drift rate), and the width of decision thresholds, among other parameters.
RTs were more positively skewed in depressed v. healthy adults, and the HDDM revealed that drift rates were reduced—and decision thresholds were wider—in the MDD groups. This pattern suggests that depressed adults accumulated the evidence needed to make decisions more slowly than controls did.
Depressed adults responded slower than controls in both studies, and poorer performance led the MDD group to receive fewer rewards than controls in Study 1. These results did not reflect a sensorimotor deficit but were instead due to sluggish evidence accumulation. Thus, slowed decision-making—not slowed perception or response execution—caused the performance deficit in MDD. If these results generalize to other tasks, they may help explain the broad cognitive deficits seen in depression.
Buprenorphine/samidorphan (BUP/SAM), a combination of BUP (a µ-opioid receptor partial agonist and κ-antagonist) and SAM (a sublingually bioavailable µ-opioid antagonist), is an investigational opioid system modulator for depression. BUP/SAM has shown efficacy versus placebo as an adjunctive treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) and a consistent safety profile in previously reported, placebo-controlled clinical studies.1,2
1. To characterize the safety profile following long-term treatment with BUP/SAM
2. To explore depression symptoms and remission rates in patients with MDD following long-term treatment with BUP/SAM
FORWARD-2 (Clinicaltrials.gov ID: NCT02141399) enrolled patients who had participated in 1 of 4 controlled studies as well as de novo patients. All patients had a confirmed diagnosis of MDD, had a history of inadequate response to standard antidepressant therapies (ADTs), and had been treated with an adequate dose of an established ADT for ≥8weeks before BUP/SAM initiation. ADT dosage could be titrated, but the ADT could not be changed. During the study, patients received open-label, sublingual BUP/SAM 2mg/2mg as adjunctive treatment for up to 52weeks. Safety (primary objective) was assessed via adverse events (AEs), vital signs, laboratory analytes, and electrocardiography. Suicidal ideation or behavior (SIB) was evaluated by the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale. Abuse potential, dependence, and withdrawal were assessed by AEs and the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale. Exploratory efficacy endpoints included mean Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores and remission rate (MADRS ≤10).
Of 1454 total patients, 49% completed the 52-week study, 11% discontinued due to an AE, and 40% discontinued because of other reasons as of the interim data cutoff date (April 30, 2017). Most AEs were of mild/moderate severity. Serious AEs were reported in 3.2% of patients. AEs occurring in ≥10% of patients were nausea, headache, constipation, dizziness, and somnolence. There was no evidence of increased risk of SIB with BUP/SAM. Incidence of euphoria-related events was low (1.2%). After abrupt discontinuation of BUP/SAM, there was little evidence of withdrawal. BUP/SAM was not associated with meaningful changes in laboratory or metabolic parameters or in bodyweight. The mean MADRS score decreased from 22.9 (±9.7) at baseline to 9.8 (±8.8) after 52weeks. The remission rate at 52weeks was 52.5%.
Long-term treatment with BUP/SAM did not reveal any new safety findings and confirmed that the risk of abuse and dependence with BUP/SAM was low. BUP/SAM maintained an antidepressant effect for up to 52weeks of treatment in patients with MDD.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a highly heterogeneous condition in terms of symptom presentation and, likely, underlying pathophysiology. Accordingly, it is possible that only certain individuals with MDD are well-suited to antidepressants. A potentially fruitful approach to parsing this heterogeneity is to focus on promising endophenotypes of depression, such as neuroticism, anhedonia, and cognitive control deficits.
Within an 8-week multisite trial of sertraline v. placebo for depressed adults (n = 216), we examined whether the combination of machine learning with a Personalized Advantage Index (PAI) can generate individualized treatment recommendations on the basis of endophenotype profiles coupled with clinical and demographic characteristics.
Five pre-treatment variables moderated treatment response. Higher depression severity and neuroticism, older age, less impairment in cognitive control, and being employed were each associated with better outcomes to sertraline than placebo. Across 1000 iterations of a 10-fold cross-validation, the PAI model predicted that 31% of the sample would exhibit a clinically meaningful advantage [post-treatment Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) difference ⩾3] with sertraline relative to placebo. Although there were no overall outcome differences between treatment groups (d = 0.15), those identified as optimally suited to sertraline at pre-treatment had better week 8 HRSD scores if randomized to sertraline (10.7) than placebo (14.7) (d = 0.58).
A subset of MDD patients optimally suited to sertraline can be identified on the basis of pre-treatment characteristics. This model must be tested prospectively before it can be used to inform treatment selection. However, findings demonstrate the potential to improve individual outcomes through algorithm-guided treatment recommendations.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a highly prevalent, debilitating disorder that is often chronic, recurrent, and costly, with the economic burden in the United States for the year 2000 exceeding $83 billion. Recent data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) indicate that MDD has a lifetime prevalence of 16.2% and a 12-month prevalence of 6.6% in the US. Among those reporting at least one episode of MDD in the previous 12 months, mean episode duration was 16 weeks. Roughly 60% of patients experienced role impairment that was “severe” or “very severe,” and nearly 80% reported comorbid disorders as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, with MDD only rarely being primary. Although 51.6% of patients with MDD received health care treatment for the illness, treatment was “adequate,” as defined by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research and the American Psychiatric Association guidelines (ie, ≥4 outpatient visits with any type of physician for pharmacotherapy that included use of either an antidepressant or a mood stabilizer for ≥30 days or ≥8 outpatient visits with any professional in the specialty mental health sector for psychotherapy lasting a mean of ≥30 visits) in 41.9% of treated cases. Only 21.6% of all MDD patients in the NCS-R, therefore, received minimal guideline-level treatment.
Introduction: Concomitant psychotropic medication (CPM) treatment is common in persons with major depression (MDD). However, relationships with patient characteristics and response to treatment are unclear.
Methods: Participants with nonpsychotic MDD (N=2682) were treated with citalopram, 20–60 mg/day. Sociodemographic, clinical, and treatment outcome characteristics were compared between those using CPMs at study entry or during up to 14 weeks of citalopram treatment, and non-users.
Results: About 35% of participants used a CPM. Insomnia was the predominant indication (70.3%). CPM users were more likely to be seen in primary care settings (69.3% versus 30.7%), be white, of non-Hispanic ethnicity, married, and have a higher income, private insurance, and certain comorbid disorders. CPM users had greater depressive severity, poorer physical and mental functioning, and poorer quality of life than non-users. Response and remission rates were also lower. CPM users were more likely to achieve ≥50 mg/day of citalopram, to report greater side effect intensity, and to have serious adverse events, but less likely to be intolerant of citalopram.
Conclusion: CPMs are associated with greater illness burden, more Axis I comorbidities (especially anxiety disorders), and lower treatment effectiveness. This suggests that CPM use may identify a more difficult to treat population that needs more aggressive treatment.
Given the wide variety of available antidepressant therapies, an important question is how effective are we in treating depression? In clinical research trials of antidepressants, a treatment response is defined as a 50% or greater improvement in depressive symptoms, whereas remission is defined as having minimal or absent symptoms at the end of treatment. Approximately 50% of patients treated with antidepressants have a treatment response, but only about 25% have a complete remission. Many treatment responders therefore have residual symptoms despite adequate treatment. This is critically important because depressed patients with residual symptoms, even though mild in severity, still have significant functional impairment, have a high risk of relapsing into a more severe episode, and may have a more chronic course of illness. Such patients also do not show a full functional recovery from their depression. Recent comparative studies have found that remission rates are significantly higher with venlafaxine (Effexor) compared to serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which might be due to their different effects on neurotransmitter systems. The use of medication combinations, having additive and/or synergistic antidepressant effects, or adding psychotherapy following a course of pharmacotherapy also can be used to treat residual symptoms and lead to a more complete remission.
Background: This study compared the 16-item Clinician and Self-Report versions of the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS-C16 and QIDS-SR16) and the 10-item Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) in adult outpatients. The comparison was based on psychometric features and their performance in identifying those in a major depressive episode as defined by the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition.
Methods: Of 278 consecutive outpatients, 181 were depressed. Classical test theory, factor analysis, and item response theory were used to evaluate the psychometric features and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses.
Results: All three measures were unidimensional. All had acceptable reliability (coefficient α=.87 for MADRS10, .82 for QIDS-C16, and .80 for QIDS-SR16). Test information function was higher for the MADRS (ie, it was most sensitive to individual differences in levels of depression). The MADRS and QIDS-C16 slightly but consistently outperformed the QIDS-SR16 in differentiating between depressed versus non-depressed patients.
Conclusion: All three measures have satisfactory psychometric properties and are valid screening tools for a major depressive episode.
Introduction: Insomnia symptoms, which are common in depression, have a significant impact on function and quality of life. However, little is known about the prevalence and associated features of insomnia symptoms in representative treatment-seeking patients with depression.
Methods: Data from the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial were analyzed. STAR*D recruited 3,743 adult outpatients diagnosed with nonpsychotic major depressive disorder (MDD) from primary (n=18) and psychiatric care (n=23) clinics across the United States. Baseline sociodemographic and clinical features were compared between those with insomnia symptoms (84.7%) and those without (15.3%).
Results: The most common presentation was the simultaneous presence of sleep onset, mid-nocturnal, and early morning insomnia symptoms (27.1%). Of these three types of insomnia symptoms, mid-nocturnal insomnia symptoms were the most commonly found alone (13.5%) and in combination with one or more other types (82.3%). Insomnia symptoms were associated with several indicators of a more severe depressive illness. Only a small proportion of participants with insomnia symptoms were receiving treatment for sleep disturbances at study initiation, and the vast majority of those receiving treatment still reported having insomnia symptoms.
Conclusion: In outpatients who seek treatment for nonpsychotic MDD in typical clinical settings, insomnia symptoms are very common, undertreated, and indicative of a more severe depression.
Antidepressant treatments have evolved over the last 20 years, and many new drugs with complex mechanisms of action are available. It has become apparent that mechanism of action is significant in terms of treatment impact. We may have some capacity to predict the potential outcomes of treatment based on what drugs we use. Depression management requires elaborate assessment in order to keep track of treatment progress and know how to move through the sequences of therapy. Many patients with depression who are treated with antidepressants do not experience full remission, and a large number of patients who do recover eventually relapse. Remission as a treatment goal is difficult to achieve. One of the reasons why remission rates are low is that the currently available treatment choices are implemented improperly. Also, our understanding of the neurobiology of depression is still in the early stages. As we gain more knowledge about what this disorder truly entails, we will be able to achieve better treatment outcomes, and we can hope that remission will become the standard of care in treating patients with depression.
Introduction: Effective management of major depressive disorder (MDD) continues to be a challenging task for psychiatrists and primary care physicians. This trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of adjunctive aripiprazole versus antidepressant monotherapy in patients with MDD and independently replicated the positive findings of two similar trials.
Methods: Patients (N=1, 147) with MDD experiencing a major depressive episode and a history of inadequate response to antidepressant monotherapy were enrolled (week 0); 827 received single-blind adjunctive placebo plus open-label antidepressant (escitalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine controlled release, sertraline, or venlafaxine extended release) for 8 weeks to confirm inadequate response to antidepressants; 349 patients with inadequate response were randomized (1:1) to double-blind, adjunctive placebo (n=172) or adjunctive aripiprazole (n=177; 2–20 mg/day). Primary outcome was the mean change in Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) Total score from baseline (week 8) to endpoint (week 14).
Results: Clinically significant improvements in depressive symptoms as assessed by decreases in the MADRS Total score were greater with adjunctive aripiprazole (−10.1) than placebo (−6.4; P<.001). Remission rates were greater for adjunctive aripiprazole than for adjunctive placebo (week 14, 36.8% vs 18.9%; P<.001). Completion rates with adjunctive aripiprazole and placebo were high (83% vs. 87%) and discontinuations due to adverse events were low (6.2% vs 1.7%).
Conclusion: For some patients with MDD who do not obtain adequate symptom relief with antidepressant monotherapy, adjunctive therapies can significantly improve depressive symptoms. As reported, adjunctive aripiprazole was associated with a two-fold higher remission rate than adjunctive placebo. This, and previous studies, have shown that discontinuations due to adverse events were low and completion rates were high, and has indicated that both antidepressant and aripiprazole in combination were relatively well-tolerated and safe. This is the third consecutive clinical trial, in the absence of a failed trial, to demonstrate that aripiprazole augmentation to antidepressants is an efficacious and well-tolerated treatment for patients with MDD who do not respond adequately to standard antidepressant monotherapy (ClinicalTrials.gov study NCT00105196).
The terrorist attacks in the USA on 11 September 2001 affected suicide rates in two European countries, whereas overall US rates remained stable. The effect on attack site rates, however, has not been studied.
To examine post-attack suicide rates in areas surrounding the three airline crash sites.
Daily mortality rates were modelled using time series techniques. Where rate change was significant, both duration and geographic scope were analysed.
Around the World Trade Center, post-attack 180-day rates dropped significantly (t = 2.4, P = 0.0046), whereas comparison condition rates remained stable. No change was observed for Pentagon or Flight 93 crash sites.
The differential effect by site suggests that proximity may be less important that other event characteristics. Both temporal and geographic aspects of rate fluctuation after sentinel events appear measurable and further analyses may contribute valuable knowledge about how sociological forces affect these rates.