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This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry
May 2011

Archives Of General Psychiatry

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011;68(5):441. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.30

Karg et al Article performed a meta-analysis on the interaction between the serotonin transporter promoter allelic variant and stress in the development of depression. Unlike previous smaller meta-analyses, they find strong evidence supporting an interaction and evidence that the type of stressors studied was a key variable in determining which studies identified the interaction and which did not.

Brugha et al Article report on a general population epidemiological survey of autism in adulthood using a 2-phase strategy in England (7461 screening interviews; 618 diagnostic). The weighted prevalence was 9.8 per 1000. Prevalence was higher in men, those without educational qualifications, and those living in social (government-financed) housing. Prevalence was not related to respondent's age. Recent apparent rises in autism rates must therefore reflect better case finding rather than some new environmental toxin.

Hazlett et al Article examined brain volume in preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) longitudinally. Generalized cerebral cortical enlargement was observed in the ASD group. Cortical thickness did not differ between groups, but an increase in surface area was present in the ASD group. These findings indicate that brain enlargement in ASD results from an increased rate of brain growth prior to age 2 years and may be associated with increased cortical surface area.

Föcking et al Article investigated protein expression in the hippocampus in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They used 2-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis to compare protein profiles in 4 hippocampal subregions and found a striking overlap of proteomic changes between disorders. The cornu ammonis subregion 2/3 was most affected. The findings suggest involvement of synaptic, cytoskeletal, and metabolic pathways. Validation work confirmed changes in septin11 and proteins involved in the membrane trafficking process of clathrin-mediated endocytosis.

Mechelli et al Article investigated volumetric differences between subjects at ultra high risk for psychosis who later develop schizophrenia and those who do not by combining magnetic resonance imaging data from 5 different international research centers. The results indicate that reduced left parahippocampal volume is specifically associated with the later onset of psychosis.

Using data from a large military cohort, Sandweiss et al Article found physical injuries were significantly associated with postdeployment posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Baseline psychiatric status was also significantly associated with postdeployment PTSD, irrespective of injury severity. Service members who have predeployment psychiatric conditions or injury while deployed may benefit from interventions targeted to prevent postdeployment PTSD or ensure early identification and treatment.

Culbertson et al Article examined the effect of bupropion treatment on cue-induced craving in smokers using functional magnetic resonance imaging and found that bupropion treatment was associated with reductions in subjective cue-induced craving and cue-induced activation of prefrontal and limbic brain regions when smokers resisted the urge to smoke.

Franklin et al Article used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the effects of the first-line smoking cessation medication varenicline on smoking cue exposure (a major relapse predictor). They found that varenicline diminished premedication brain responses to smoking cues and eliminated smoking cue−elicited craving. The results of this study reveal a distinctive new action of varenicline that may contribute to its clinical efficacy.

Fallucca et al Article examined differences in regional cortical thickness in treatment-naive pediatric patients with major depressive disorder, treatment-naive pediatric patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and healthy pediatric controls. Regional alterations in cortical thickness distinguished patients with major depressive disorder from both patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and healthy controls. Changes in the parietal and temporal cortex were most pronounced, while no significant alterations were found in frontal lobe structures.