In a large-scale (N > 33 000) study of copy number variations, Guha et alArticle identified a novel association between schizophrenia and a very rare deletion located at chromosome 16p11.2. This deletion, which encompasses 9 genes, has been previously associated with developmental delay and obesity and is distinct from the previously identified schizophrenia- and autism-associated copy number variation at an adjacent region on chromosome 16p11.2.
MacCabe et alArticle conducted a longitudinal, population-based cohort study in Swedish males, whose cognitive functioning was tested at ages 13 and 18 years using standardized tests. A decline in standardized test score for verbal ability between ages 13 and 18 years was associated with increased risk of hospitalization for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders in adulthood and was a stronger predictor of later psychosis than the score at age 18 years alone.
Steiner et alArticle analyzed sera samples from 459 acutely ill patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, major depression, and borderline personality disorder and matched controls. In a significant fraction of patients with an initial schizophrenia diagnosis (about 10%), specific antibodies against N -methyl-D-aspartate receptor subtypes were identified in sera and cerebrospinal fluid.
In patients with major depressive disorder, pretreatment measures of brain response in the middle occipital cortex during a working memory task predict subsequent antidepressant response to the antimuscarinic agent scopolamine. In a study by Furey et alArticle, these effects were observed selectively when processing face emotion information but not face identity information.
Croarkin et alArticle used transcranial magnetic stimulation paradigms to examine γ-aminobutyric acid–and glutamatergic-mediated neurotransmission in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) and healthy controls. Compared with controls, patients with MDD had higher intracortical facilitation, which indicates increased glutamatergic neurotransmission. Contrary to prior studies of adults with MDD, there were no differences in paradigms that assessed γ-aminobutyric acid tone.
Nock et alArticle report on the epidemiology of suicidal behavior among adolescents using data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement. Adolescents report lifetime suicide ideation (12.1%), plans (4.0%), and attempts (4.1%) at rates similar to those seen among adults. Most suicidal adolescents report a temporally prior mental disorder (>89%), and the majority receive treatment that starts prior to the onset of their suicidal behavior but does not prevent it from occurring (>55%).
Chang et alArticle conducted a longitudinal twin study with multiple raters and showed that the shared view of attention problems was highly heritable in childhood, adolescence, and also early adulthood, suggesting that the previous reports of low heritability for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adults are best explained by rater effects. In addition, the genetic effects on attention problems were developmentally dynamic from childhood to young adulthood, demonstrating both genetic stability and genetic innovation.
McKetin et alArticle demonstrate a dose-response increase in psychotic symptoms during periods of methamphetamine use in a prospective longitudinal study of long-term methamphetamine users.
Nelson et alArticle conducted a candidate gene association study of heroin dependence that included comparison of cases with 2 control groups that varied in terms of prior drug exposure. In the comparison of cases with controls with high rates of drug exposure, they found evidence of substantial risk involving ANKK1 and TTC12 polymorphisms.
Conrod et alArticle report the results of the 2-year primary outcomes of the Adventure effectiveness trial in which school staff were trained to deliver interventions to students with high-risk personality profiles. The intervention program was shown to be associated with sustained reductions on most drinking outcomes in high-risk youth. There was also some evidence of herd effects in low-risk youth who did not receive interventions but who attended schools where this selective prevention program was delivered.
Cohen et alArticle tested a new metric for recovery in Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) by incorporating multidimensional patient-reported outcomes into the Individual Burden of Illness Index for Depression. They show that by including quality of life and functioning in addition to symptom severity, the Individual Burden of Illness Index for Depression captures the full burden of illness in depression before and after treatment more adequately than remission.
In This Issue of JAMA Psychiatry. JAMA Psychiatry. 2013;70(3):248. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.829