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This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry
June 2004

This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004;61(6):538. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.61.6.538-a

Weickert et al Article mappedthe expression of dysbindin, a schizophrenia susceptibility gene, in postmortembrains from individuals with schizophrenia and suitable controls. They observedreduced levels of dysbindin messenger RNA in the frontal cortex and midbrain,2 regions in which dopaminergic processes are prominent.

Rosa-Neto et al Article measuredan index of serotonin synthesis, brain regional α-[11C] methyl-L-tryptophan trapping (K*, milliliters per gram per minute), in theareas involved in the regulation of mood in medication-free patients witha current episode of major depression. Compared with healthy men and women,normalized K* values were significantly decreased in the anterior cingulateand mesial temporal lobe. The results suggest that reduced serotonin synthesisin parts of the limbic and paralimbic cortices may contribute to the developmentand expression of major depression.

Mufson et al Article conductedan effectiveness study of interpersonal psychotherapy modified for depressedadolescents (IPT-A) as compared with treatment as usual delivered in school-basedhealth clinics serving impoverished urban communities. Adolescents treatedwith IPT-A as compared with treatment as usual demonstrated greater reductionin depression symptoms and greater improvement in overall functioning. School-basedclinicians were able to implement a brief evidence-based treatment interventionin a real-world setting, thereby narrowing the gap between treatment conductedin the laboratory and in the community.

Butters et al Article studiedpatients with late-life depression and healthy comparison subjects to characterizeneuropsychological functioning in the disorder and to examine its associationwith putative risk factors. They found that more than half of the patientswith depression exhibited significant impairment, most often in information-processingspeed and visuospatial and executive abilities. Moreover, the broad-basedimpairments were mediated almost entirely by the slowed information-processingspeed and not by factors more commonly thought to cause cognitive deficits.

Xu et al Article foundthat a specific haplotype cluster of the D2 dopamine receptor gene(DRD2) was associated with high risk of heroin dependencein a Chinese case-control population. A recombination "hotspot" generated2 daughter haplotypes associated with lower risk of heroin dependence in aGerman population. The results of this study helped to resolve previous contradictoryfindings with substance abuse and provide evidence for a functional role forthe DRD2 gene in heroin dependence.

Hudziak et al Article investigatedthe genetic and environmental contributions to the Obsessive-Compulsive Scalein large samples of twins aged 7, 10, and 12 years from the Netherlands TwinRegistry and a sample of mixed-age twins from the Missouri Twin Study. Theanalyses revealed that the Obsessive-Compulsive Scale is influenced by significantadditive genetic influences (approximately 45%). These findings are consistentacross age, sex, and cultures.

Glasson et al Article foundan increase in obstetric complications among a population-based cohort ofpeople with autism spectrum disorders compared with controls. Case mothershad greater frequencies of threatened abortion during pregnancy and were morelikely to receive epidural caudal anesthesia and have labor induced. Caseinfants were more likely to experience fetal distress and be delivered byeither an elective or emergency cesarean section.