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Using postmortem human brain tissue, Konopaske and colleagues observe dendritic spine loss and reduced dendritic complexity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex from patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The dendritic spine loss in bipolar disorder is a novel finding and suggests that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may share some important pathophysiological features.
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Correll and colleagues report on cardiometabolic health in 398 patients with first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorders at the time of enrollment in the National Institute of Mental Health–funded Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode study. The authors found an elevated, concerning prevalence of smoking and several important metabolic risk parameters compared with the US population in their mid-20s, despite only 47 days of lifetime antipsychotic exposure. They found significant metabolic risk associations with olanzapine treatment and less so with quetiapine.
Pinto Pereira and colleagues use a general population cohort to examine the direction of association between depressive symptoms and physical activity between 23 to 50 years of age. They found that activity was associated with lower symptoms, with no variation by age. Conversely, higher symptom level was associated with lower activity in early adulthood but the association weakened thereafter. Findings highlight the potential for activity to prevent or alleviate depressive symptoms whereas early-adult symptoms may deter activity.
Using a meta-analytic approach, Köhler and colleagues find that anti-inflammatory pharmacological treatment administered to adults during 6 to 12 weeks shows antidepressant effects compared with a placebo without increased risk for adverse effects. In particular, the selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor celecoxib improved antidepressant treatment, remission, and response. This supports a proof of concept concerning use of anti-inflammatory treatment in depression and identification of subgroups whose benefit hereof might be warranted.
The study by Scott and colleagues examines the relationship between subjective perception of relative social status and mental disorders. Significant inverse associations between subjective social status and the odds of many DSM-IV mental disorders were found to persist in a wide range of countries, even after comprehensive adjustment for objective social status. These findings suggest that research to date has underestimated the steepness of the social gradient in mental disorders.
Highlights. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(12):1311. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.2769