Öngür et alArticle used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study relational memory in healthy controls and subjects with schizophrenia. After subjects had learned to discriminate pairs of visual stimuli drawn from a sequence, they were tested for their ability to infer relationships in novel pairs. This ability is impaired in schizophrenia and is associated with reduced activation of the right parietal cortex and left hippocampus.
Variation at the DAOA/G30 gene locus has been reported to be associated with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In a study of more than 2800 individuals, Williams et alArticle report evidence that variation at this locus increases risk for major mood disorder, irrespective of traditional diagnostic category.
Freeman et alArticle identified new onsets of depressed mood in women approaching menopause with no history of depression. Depressive symptoms were more than 4 times more likely to occur in the menopausal transition than before menopause. Within-woman change in the levels and variability of reproductive hormones during the menopausal transition were each significantly associated with depressive symptoms after adjusting for other risk factors.
Cohen et alArticle examined the relationship between the menopausal transition and risk for onset of a first lifetime episode of depression as part of the Harvard Study of Moods and Cycles. Premenopausal women with no history of major depression who entered the perimenopause were twice as likely to develop significant depressive symptoms as women who remained premenopausal.
Using positron emission tomography, Shively et alArticle studied neural serotonin receptor 1A (5-HT1A) binding in depressed and normal adult female monkeys. Like humans with depression, depressed monkeys had widespread decreases in 5-HT1A binding. The 5-HT1A binding in specific regions was associated with aggression, affiliation, activity, and heart rate. These observations suggest common neurobiological substrates for depressive behavior in human and nonhuman primates and provide the first nonhuman primate model of adult depression associated with social stress.
Patel et alArticle carried out a community survey in Goa, India, to investigate the influence of gender disadvantage and reproductive health on the risk for depression in women aged 18 to 50 years. Factors indicative of gender disadvantage were associated with the increased risk for depression. A strong association was found with gynecological symptoms, which may be somatic equivalents of depression in women in Asian cultures.
Kessler et alArticle present data on the epidemiology of DSM-IV panic attacks (PA) and panic disorder (PD) with or without agoraphobia (AG) from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Lifetime prevalence of PA only (22.7%) is much higher than of PA-AG without PD (0.8%), PD only (3.7%), or PD-AG (1.1%). Although persistence, severity, comorbidity, impairment, and treatment are all lowest for PA only and highest for PD-AG, even isolated panic attacks were found to have significant comorbidity and impairment.
Bellack et alArticle conducted a clinical trial comparing Behavioral Treatment for Substance Abuse in Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (BTSAS), a new treatment for drug abuse in people with severe mental illness, with a manualized treatment as usual. The BTSAS program was significantly more effective than the comparison treatment in reduced drug use and survival in treatment during 6 months.
Audrain-McGovern et alArticle investigated the interaction between team sport participation and dopamine genetic variants on adolescent smoking progression. Team sport participation buffered the impact of dopaminergic smoking risk genotypes on adolescent smoking progression. The protective effects can be explained, in part, by the physical activity associated with team sport participation.
Using fluorodeoxyglucose F18–positron emission tomography, Ercoli et alArticle examined the relationship between degree of subjective memory complaints at baseline and 2-year change in cerebral glucose metabolism in 30 healthy, aging (50-82 years), nondemented adults, 16 with APOE4 risk for Alzheimer disease and 14 without. In all subjects, regardless of APOE4 status, more complaints of frequent forgetting were associated with global cerebral metabolic decline. In only the APOE4 carriers, greater reported use of compensatory strategies for memory problems correlated with greater decline in temporal lobe glucose metabolism.
Bloch et alArticle examined the effects of pharmacologically induced hypogonadism on several cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers that could mediate the behavioral concomitants of acute androgen withdrawal. In healthy, young men, hypogonadism was uniformly associated with decreased sexual function and the development of hot flushes, whereas mood was altered in only a few men. Decreased sexual interest correlated significantly with CSF measures of androsterone during both hypogonadism and testosterone replacement, and the magnitude of the change in sexual interest correlated significantly with the corresponding change in CSF androsterone levels.
Psychiatric patients with identical symptoms can differ markedly on clinical features, treatment response, prognosis, and, presumably, etiology. Mill et alArticle present data from 2 cohorts suggesting how genetic information may help refine 1 disorder notable for its heterogeneity: ADHD. They show that polymorphisms in 2 dopamine system genes might help to define a cognitively distinct group of children with ADHD with differential prognosis.
This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006;63(4):352. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.63.4.352