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February 2011



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"Sunflowers", Van Gogh

New Model for Probing Antidepressant Actions

ScienceDaily (Feb. 21, 2011) — The most widely prescribed antidepressants — medicines such as Prozac, Lexapro and Paxil — work by blocking the serotonin transporter, a brain protein that normally clears away the mood-regulating chemical serotonin. Or so the current thinking goes.

That theory about how selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work can now be put to the test with a new mouse model developed by neuroscientists at Vanderbilt University.

These mice, described in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), express a serotonin transporter that has been genetically altered so that it does not respond to many SSRIs or cocaine.

In addition to testing the theory about how SSRIs work, the new mouse model could lead to the development of entirely new classes of antidepressant medications, said Randy Blakely, Ph.D., Allan D. Bass Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry at Vanderbilt and senior author of the PNAS paper.

Read in Full: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110218165259.htm

Depression Tends to Worsen Over Time for Addiction-Prone Women

By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on February 21, 2011

Although some health behavioral problems can decline with age — such as alcohol problems and antisocial behaviors — the risk of depression among women at risk for substance abuse and associated disorders increases.

A longitudinal analysis led by University of Michigan Health System researchers examined the influences of the women’s histories, family life and neighborhood instability on their alcoholism symptoms, antisocial behavior and depression.

The investigation covered a 12-year period including the earlier years of marriage and motherhood.

The research, published in Development and Psychopathology, is part of an ongoing project focusing on families at high risk for substance abuse and associated disorders that has already collected more than 20 years’ worth of data.

Among the study’s other top findings:

  • *The women’s partners’ struggles with addiction and antisocial behavior, such as run-ins with the law, worsened the women’s own symptoms and behaviors.
  • *Children’s behavior also had a negative impact on their mothers. When children exhibited behaviors that included acting out and getting into trouble, their mothers’ alcohol problems and antisocial behavior tended to worsen. Meanwhile, when children were sad, withdrawn or isolated, their mothers’ depression increased.
  • *Living in an unstable neighborhood, where residents move in and out frequently, also had a significant effect on the women’s alcoholism symptoms and level of depression.

“Our findings demonstrate the complexity of the factors affecting changes in alcohol problems, antisocial behavior and depression for these women,” said the study’s senior author, Robert Zucker, Ph.D.

Read in Full: http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/02/21/depression-tends-to-worsen-over-time-for-addiction-prone-women/23723.html

Is What The Depressed Patient Prefers In Term Of Treatment Relevant To Outcome?

Article Date: 22 Feb 2011 – 1:00 PST

This study demonstrates that patients’ relative preference for medication versus psychotherapy should be considered when offering a treatment to depressed patients because receiving the preferred treatment conveys an additional and clinically relevant benefit in outcome.

In the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, a group of German investigators presents new data on role of treatment preferences in the outcome of depression.

Read in Full: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/217090.php

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