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This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry
Nov 2012

This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012;69(11):1097. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.1234

Sullivan et alArticle evaluated whether family histories of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder were higher in cases with autism spectrum disorders using data from 3 large registers in Stockholm, Sweden; across all of Sweden; and in Israel. Both disorders were more common in the immediate relatives of people with autism. Findings from these 3 registers along with similar findings in a Danish study suggest that these disorders share common etiological factors.

Gibbons et alArticle describe a new approach for the diagnosis of depression based on computerized adaptive testing and multidimensional item response theory. Beginning with a “bank” of more than 400 items, they were able to administer the test adaptively using an average of 12 items per person while maintaining a correlation of r = 0.95 with the total 400-item score. Sensitivity of 0.92 and specificity of 0.88 were obtained relative to results of a Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders diagnostic interview for major depressive disorder.

Goldstein et alArticle report past, intake, and follow-up predictors of prospectively observed suicide attempts among youth with bipolar spectrum disorder. This longitudinal analysis indicates high rates of suicide attempts over an average of 5 years of follow-up. Intake depressive severity and family history of depression predicted prospective attempt; in the 8-week period preceding prospectively observed attempts, greater weeks with depression, substance use disorder, and mixed mood symptoms were observed.

Pedersen et alArticle conducted a register-based prospective cohort study among Danish women screened for Toxoplasma gondii IgG antibodies in connection with childbirth and found an association between T gondii seropositivity and self-directed violence in later life (incidence rate ratio of 1.53; 95% CI, 1.27-1.85). The risk increased with increasing levels of T gondii IgG.

McLaughlin et alArticle present data on the prevalence and correlates of intermittent explosive disorder in the US National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement. Nearly two-thirds of adolescents (63.3%) reported lifetime anger attacks involving property destruction, threatened violence, or actual violence; 7.8% met DSM-IV criteria for lifetime intermittent explosive disorder, making it one of the most prevalent disorders studied. Intermittent explosive disorder had early age at onset, high persistence, and marked functional impairment, but low rates of treatment.

D’Onofrio et alArticle examined the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring substance use problems using large, prospective studies in Sweden and the United States. In both samples, offspring exposed to maternal smoking during pregnancy had higher rates of substance use problems, but no association was found when comparing differentially exposed siblings. The results suggest that familial background factors, not a causal influence of maternal smoking during pregnancy, are responsible for later offspring substance use problems.

McLaughlin et alArticle report data on the associations between childhood family adversities (CAs) and first onset of DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavior, and substance disorders in a community epidemiological survey of 6483 US adolescents. About 58% of adolescent respondents reported at least 1 CA and 35% reported multiple CAs. Childhood family adversities were associated with 28.2% of all disorders.

In a prospective study of 158 soldiers deployed to Iraq, Telch et alArticle investigated associations between predeployment fear responding to a single inhalation of 35% carbon dioxide–enriched air and the emergence of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and general anxiety symptoms assessed in the war zone. After controlling for trait anxiety and history of mental illness, reactivity to carbon dioxide inhalation potentiated the effects of war zone stressors on the emergence of posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety symptoms but not depression.

Morey et alArticle investigated amygdala volume differences in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a large case-controlled cohort of recent military veterans (n=200) using high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging (3 T). Smaller amygdala volume was observed in the PTSD compared with trauma-exposed non-PTSD cohorts, which remained significant after statistically controlling for alcohol use, depression, and medication use. The study also replicated well-established findings of decreased volume of the left hippocampus in PTSD.