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Bipolar disorder (BD) is a potentially chronic mental disorder marked by recurrent depressive and manic episodes, circadian rhythm disruption, and changes in energetic metabolism. “Metabolic jet lag” refers to a state of shift in circadian patterns of energy homeostasis, affecting neuroendocrine, immune, and adipose tissue function, expressed through behavioral changes such as irregularities in sleep and appetite. Risk factors include genetic variation, mitochondrial dysfunction, lifestyle factors, poor gut microbiome health and abnormalities in hunger, satiety, and hedonistic function. Evidence suggests metabolic jet lag is a core component of BD pathophysiology, as individuals with BD frequently exhibit irregular eating rhythms and circadian desynchronization of their energetic metabolism, which is associated with unfavorable clinical outcomes. Although current diagnostic criteria lack any assessment of eating rhythms, technological advancements including mobile phone applications and ecological momentary assessment allow for the reliable tracking of biological rhythms. Overall, methodological refinement of metabolic jet lag assessment will increase knowledge in this field and stimulate the development of interventions targeting metabolic rhythms, such as time-restricted eating.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a complex metabolic-inflammatory disease associated with poor outcomes and decreased quality of life. NAFLD is overrepresented in patients with psychiatric disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia; however, a comprehensive review on NAFLD and psychiatric disorders remains to be delineated. This review endeavors to investigate the association of NAFLD with psychiatric disorders, including shared pathogenesis and future clinical derivatives. Extant literature suggests that patients with psychiatric disorders (in particular, mood disorders) are more susceptible to the development of NAFLD due to multiple reasons, including but not limited to hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis dysregulation, metabolic syndrome, and chronic perceived stress. Moreover, the clinical manifestations of mood disorders (e.g., anhedonia, psychomotor retardation, lifestyle modification, etc.), and potentially long-term treatment with weight-gaining agents, differentially affect these patients, making them more prone to NAFLD. Considering the increased morbidity associated with both mood disorders and NAFLD, our review recommends regular screenings for NAFLD in select patients with mood disorders exhibiting signs of increased risk (i.e., obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, or family history of NAFLD) for better diagnosis and holistic care of both potentially interrelated conditions.
Benzodiazepine (BZD) prescription rates have increased over the past decade in the United States. Available literature indicates that sociodemographic factors may influence diagnostic patterns and/or prescription behaviour. Herein, the aim of this study is to determine whether the gender of the prescriber and/or patient influences BZD prescription.
Cross-sectional study using data from the Florida Medicaid Managed Medical Assistance Program from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. Eligible recipients ages 18 to 64, inclusive, enrolled in the Florida Medicaid plan for at least 1 day, and were dually eligible. Recipients either had a serious mental illness (SMI), or non-SMI and anxiety.
Total 125 463 cases were identified (i.e., received BZD or non-BZD prescription). Main effect of patient and prescriber gender was significant F(1, 125 459) = 0.105, P = 0 .745, partial η2 < 0.001. Relative risk (RR) of male prescribers prescribing a BZD compared to female prescribers was 1.540, 95% confidence intervals (CI) [1.513, 1.567], whereas the RR of male patients being prescribed a BZD compared to female patients was 1.16, 95% CI [1.14, 1.18]. Main effects of patient and prescriber gender were statistically significant F(1, 125 459) = 188.232, P < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.001 and F(1, 125 459) = 349.704, P < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.013, respectively.
Male prescribers are more likely to prescribe BZDs, and male patients are more likely to receive BZDs. Further studies are required to characterize factors that influence this gender-by-gender interaction.
Patients unsuccessfully treated by neurostimulation may represent a highly intractable subgroup of depression. While the efficacy of intravenous (IV) ketamine has been established in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), there is an interest to evaluate its effectiveness in a subpopulation with a history of neurostimulation.
This retrospective, posthoc analysis compared the effects of four infusions of IV ketamine in 135 (x̄ = 44 ± 15.4 years of age) neurostimulation-naïve patients to 103 (x̄ = 47 ± 13.9 years of age) patients with a history of neurostimulation. The primary outcome evaluated changes in depression severity, measured by the Quick Inventory for Depression Symptomatology-Self Report 16-Item (QIDS-SR16). Secondary outcomes evaluated suicidal ideation (SI), anxiety severity, measured by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item (GAD-7), and consummatory anhedonia, measured by the Snaith–Hamilton Pleasure Scale (SHAPS).
Following four infusions, both cohorts reported a significant reduction in QIDS-SR16 Total Score (F (4, 648) = 73.4, P < .001), SI (F (4, 642) = 28.6, P < .001), GAD-7 (F (2, 265) = 53.8, P < .001), and SHAPS (F (2, 302) = 45.9, P < .001). No between-group differences emerged. Overall, the neurostimulation-naïve group had a mean reduction in QIDS-SR16 Total Score of 6.4 (standard deviation [SD] = 5.3), whereas the history of neurostimulation patients reported a 4.3 (SD = 5.3) point reduction.
IV ketamine was effective in reducing symptoms of depression, SI, anxiety, and anhedonia in both cohorts in this large, well-characterized community-based sample of adults with TRD.
Higher body mass index (BMI) has been found to predict greater antidepressant response to intravenous (IV) ketamine treatment. We evaluated the association between BMI and response to repeat-dose IV ketamine in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD).
Adults (N = 230) with TRD received four infusions of IV ketamine at a community-based clinic. Changes in symptoms of depression (ie, Quick Inventory for Depressive Symptomatology-Self-Report 16; QIDS-SR16), suicidal ideation (SI; ie, QIDS-SR16 SI item), anxiety (ie, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 Scale), anhedonic severity (ie, Snaith–Hamilton Pleasure Scale), and functioning (ie, Sheehan Disability Scale) following infusions were evaluated. Participants were stratified by BMI as normal (18.0-24.9 kg/m2; n = 72), overweight (25-29.9 kg/m2; n = 76), obese I (30-34.9 kg/m2; n = 47), or obese II (≥35.0 kg/m2; n = 35).
Similar antidepressant effects with repeat-dose ketamine were reported between BMI groups (P = .261). In addition, categorical partial response (P = .149), response (P = .526), and remission (P = .232) rates were similar between the four BMI groups.
The findings are limited by the observational, open-label design of this retrospective analysis. Pretreatment BMI did not predict response to IV ketamine, which was effective regardless of BMI.
Mental disorders can have a major impact on brain development. Peripheral blood concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are lower in adult psychiatric disorders. Serum BDNF concentrations and BDNF genotype have been associated with cortical maturation in children and adolescents. In 2 large independent samples, this study tests associations between serum BDNF concentrations, brain structure, and psychopathology, and the effects of BDNF genotype on BDNF serum concentrations in late childhood and early adolescence.
Children and adolescents (7-14 years old) from 2 cities (n = 267 in Porto Alegre; n = 273 in São Paulo) were evaluated as part of the Brazilian high-risk cohort (HRC) study. Serum BDNF concentrations were quantified by sandwich ELISA. Genotyping was conducted from blood or saliva samples using the SNParray Infinium HumanCore Array BeadChip. Subcortical volumes and cortical thickness were quantified using FreeSurfer. The Development and Well-Being Behavior Assessment was used to identify the presence of a psychiatric disorder.
Serum BDNF concentrations were not associated with subcortical volumes or with cortical thickness. Serum BDNF concentration did not differ between participants with and without mental disorders, or between Val homozygotes and Met carriers.
No evidence was found to support serum BDNF concentrations as a useful marker of developmental differences in brain and behavior in early life. Negative findings were replicated in 2 of the largest independent samples investigated to date.
We aim to evaluate the effect of caloric restriction (CR) in cognition by comparing performance in neuropsychological tests for working memory between a group of non-obese healthy subjects doing CR for 2 years with another consuming ad libitum diet (AL).
This study was part of a larger multicenter trial called CALERIE that consisted of a randomized clinical trial with parallel-group comparing 2 years of 25% CR and AL in 220 volunteers with a BMI between 22 and 28 kg/m2, across 3 sites. The cognitive tests used were the Cambridge Neuropsychological Tests Automated Battery (CANTAB) for Spatial Working Memory (SWM) including the total number of errors (SWMTE) and strategy (SWMS). Included as possible moderators were sleep quality, mood states, perceived stress, and energy expenditure. Analyses were performed at baseline and months 12 and 24.
After adjustments, there was a significantly greater improvement in working memory assessed by the SWM for CR individuals, compared to AL. At month 24, it was related mostly to lower protein intake, compared to other macronutrients. Changes in SWM were moderated by changes in sleep quality, physical activity, and energy expenditure.
On the long term, CR in healthy individuals seems to have a slightly positive effect on working memory. The study of brain CR targets opens new possibilities to prevent and treat cognitive deficits.
During the past two decades, it has been amply documented that neuropsychiatric disorders (NPDs) disproportionately account for burden of illness attributable to chronic non-communicable medical disorders globally. It is also likely that human capital costs attributable to NPDs will disproportionately increase as a consequence of population aging and beneficial risk factor modification of other common and chronic medical disorders (e.g., cardiovascular disease). Notwithstanding the availability of multiple modalities of antidepressant treatment, relatively few studies in psychiatry have primarily sought to determine whether improving cognitive function in MDD improves patient reported outcomes (PROs) and/or is cost effective. The mediational relevance of cognition in MDD potentially extrapolates to all NPDs, indicating that screening for, measuring, preventing, and treating cognitive deficits in psychiatry is not only a primary therapeutic target, but also should be conceptualized as a transdiagnostic domain to be considered regardless of patient age and/or differential diagnosis.
Cognitive dysfunction is a symptomatic domain identified across many mental disorders. Cognitive deficits in individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) contribute significantly to occupational and functional disability. Notably, cognitive subdomains such as learning and memory, executive functioning, processing speed, and attention and concentration are significantly impaired during, and between, episodes in individuals with MDD. Most antidepressants have not been developed and/or evaluated for their ability to directly and independently ameliorate cognitive deficits. Multiple interacting neurobiological mechanisms (eg, neuroinflammation) are implicated as subserving cognitive deficits in MDD. A testable hypothesis, with preliminary support, posits that improving performance across cognitive domains in individuals with MDD may improve psychosocial function, workplace function, quality of life, and other patient-reported outcomes, independent of effects on core mood symptoms. Herein we aim to (1) provide a rationale for prioritizing cognitive deficits as a therapeutic target, (2) briefly discuss the neurobiological substrates subserving cognitive dysfunction, and (3) provide an update on current and future treatment avenues.
Oxidative stress has been documented in chronic schizophrenia and in the first episode of psychosis, but there are very little data on oxidative stress prior to the disease onset.
This work aimed to compare serum levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in young individuals at ultra-high risk (UHR) of developing psychosis with a comparison healthy control group (HC).
Thirteen UHR subjects and 29 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC) were enrolled in this study. Clinical assessment included the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS), the Semi-Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis-I (SCID-I) or the Kiddie-SADS-Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL), and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale. Activities of SOD and GPx were measured in serum by the spectrophotometric method using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits.
After adjusting for age and years of education, there was a significant lower activity of SOD and lower GPX activity in the UHR group compared to the healthy control group (rate ratio [RR]=0.330, 95% CI 0.187; 0.584, p<0.001 and RR=0.509, 95% CI 0.323; 0.803, p=0.004, respectively). There were also positive correlations between GAF functioning scores and GPx and SOD activities.
Our results suggest that oxidative imbalances could be present prior to the onset of full-blown psychosis, including in at-risk stages. Future studies should replicate and expand these results.
Mixed features specifier (MFS) is a new nosological entity defined and operationalized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), 5th Edition. The impetus to introduce the MFS and supplant mixed states was protean, including the lack of ecological validity, high rates of misdiagnosis, and guideline discordant treatment for mixed states. Mixed features specifier identifies a phenotype in psychiatry with greater illness burden, as evidenced by earlier age at onset, higher episode frequency and chronicity, psychiatric and medical comorbidity, suicidality, and suboptimal response to conventional antidepressants. Mixed features in psychiatry have historical, conceptual, and nosological relevance; MFS according to DSM-5, is inherently neo-Kraepelinian insofar as individuals with either Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or Bipolar Disorder (BD) may be affected by MFS. Clinicians are encouraged to screen all patients presenting with a major depressive episode (or hypomanic episode) for MFS. Although “overlapping symptoms” were excluded from the diagnostic criteria (eg, agitation, anxiety, irritability, insomnia), clinicians are encouraged to probe for these nonspecific symptoms as a possible proxy of co-existing MFS. In addition to conventional antidepressants, second generation antipsychotics and/or conventional mood stabilizers (eg, lithium) may be considered as first-line therapies for individuals with a depressive episode as part of MDD or BD with mixed features.
Cognitive dysfunction is common in major depressive disorder (MDD) and a critical determinant of health outcome. Anhedonia is a criterion item toward the diagnosis of a major depressive episode (MDE) and a well-characterized domain in MDD. We sought to determine the extent to which variability in self-reported cognitive function correlates with anhedonia.
A post hoc analysis was conducted using data from (N=369) participants with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)-defined diagnosis of MDD who were enrolled in the International Mood Disorders Collaborative Project (IMDCP) between January 2008 and July 2013. The IMDCP is a collaborative research platform at the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, and the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Measures of cognitive function, anhedonia, and depression severity were analyzed using linear regression equations.
A total of 369 adults with DSM-IV-TR–defined MDD were included in this analysis. Self-rated cognitive impairment [ie, as measured by the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS)] was significantly correlated with a proxy measure of anhedonia (r=0.131, p=0.012). Moreover, total depression symptom severity, as measured by the total Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score, was also significantly correlated with self-rated measures of cognitive dysfunction (r=0.147, p=0.005). The association between anhedonia and self-rated cognitive dysfunction remained significant after adjusting for illness severity (r=0.162, p=0.007).
These preliminary results provide empirical data for the testable hypothesis that anhedonia and self-reported cognitive function in MDD are correlated yet dissociable domains. The foregoing observation supports the hypothesis of overlapping yet discrete neurobiological substrates for these domains.
Treating to target in chronic diseases [e.g. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)] fosters precision, consistency, and appropriateness of treatment selection and sequencing. Therapeutic target definitions/endpoints in MDD should satisfy patient-, provider-, and societal expectations. Functional recovery in depression and return to both physical and mental health are the overarching therapeutic objectives. Treating to target in MDD implies multidimensional symptomatic remission, with a particular emphasis on cognitive function and aspects of positive mental health. Several atypical antipsychotic agents (i.e. brexpiprazole, aripiprazole, quetiapine) are FDA-approved as augmentation agents in MDD. Vortioxetine, duloxetine, and psychostimulants have evidence of independent, direct, and robust effects on cognitive function in MDD. Vortioxetine is the only agent that demonstrates efficacy across multiple cognitive domains in MDD associated with functional recovery. Measurement-based care, health information technology/systems, and integrated care models (e.g. medical homes) provide requisite tools and health environments for optimal health outcomes in MDD. Achieving remission in MDD does not equate to health. Return to positive mental health as well as full functioning provide the impetus to pivot away from traditional provider-defined outcomes toward an inclusive perspective involving patient- and society-defined outcomes (i.e. optimization of human capital). As in other chronic diseases, treating to target (e.g. cognitive function) further increases the probability of achieving optimal health outcomes.
Herein we review the evidence supporting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved and emerging treatments for bipolar depression.
A PubMed search of all English-language articles published up to July 2013 was conducted. The search terms were quetiapine, olanzapine-fluoxetine, olanzapine, lurasidone, ketamine, modafinil/armodafinil, and lamotrigine. The search was augmented with a manual review of relevant article reference lists, as well as posters presented at national and international meetings. Articles selected for review were based on the adequacy of sample size, the use of standardized diagnostic instruments, validated assessment measures, and overall manuscript quality.
Olanzapine-fluoxetine combination (OFC), quetiapine, and lurasidone are FDA-approved for the acute treatment of bipolar depression. Lurasidone is the most recently approved agent for bipolar depression. Olanzapine-fluoxetine combination and quetiapine are approved as single modality therapies while lurasidone is approved as a monotherapy and as an adjunct to lithium or divalproex. The overall effect size of the 3 treatments in mitigating depressive symptoms is similar. Clinically significant weight gain and metabolic disruption as well as sedation are significant limitations of OFC and quetiapine. The minimal propensity for weight gain as well as the metabolic neutrality of lurasidone in the bipolar population is a clinically significant advantage. Evidence also supports lamotrigine with compelling evidence as an adjunct to lithium and in recurrence prevention paradigm; suggested evidence also exists for ketamine and modafinil/armodafinil; notwithstanding, these treatments remain investigational.
Relatively few agents are FDA-approved for bipolar depression. The selection and sequencing of agents in bipolar depression should give primacy to those agents that are FDA-approved. Further refinement of the selection process will need to pay careful attention to the relative hazards of weight gain and metabolic disruption in this highly susceptible population. Other agents with differential mechanisms (eg, ketamine) offer a promising alternative in bipolar depression.
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