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This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry
February 2005

This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005;62(2):122. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.62.2.122

Light and BraffArticle studied patients with schizophrenia and normal comparison subjects to determine if deficits in mismatch negativity are associated with functional status in patients with schizophrenia. They found that mismatch-negativity deficits at frontocentral sites were highly associated (ρ = 0.65) with impairments in everyday functioning in patients with schizophrenia.

Caton et alArticle studied the distinction between DSM-IV substance-induced psychosis and primary psychotic disorder that co-occurs with the use of drugs or alcohol in a referred cohort of psychiatric emergency department admissions. Differences in demographic, family, and clinical domains confirm substance-induced psychosis and primary psychotic disorder as distinct entities.

In a large functional magnetic resonance imaging study (N = 92), Hariri et alArticle demonstrate that the 5-HTTLPR genotype is associated with potentiated amygdala reactivity in healthy volunteers and that this biased drive is consistent with a dominant short allele effect and is equally prominent in men and women. They discuss how such biasing of amygdala reactivity in the context of stressful life experiences and/or deficient cortical regulatory input may contribute to 5-HTTLPR ’s role as a susceptibility factor for affective disorders.

Schmidt et alArticle examined the effects on mood and sexual functioning of adrenal androgen dehydroepiandrosterone in 46 men and women with midlife-onset depression. Adrenal androgen dehydroepiandrosterone was observed to be an effective monotherapy for the treatment of both major and minor depression of moderate severity in both men and women.

In an analysis of US suicide rates from 1996 to 1998 at the county level, Gibbons et alArticle found that those counties that had the highest prescription rates for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors had the lowest suicide rates. In contrast, the greater the prescription rates for tricyclic antidepressants, the higher the suicide rates. Part of these results may reflect the quality of psychiatric services available since counties with lower average income and lower population had higher suicide rates, but part of the effect is clearly correlated with prescription rates of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Kim-Cohen et alArticle tested whether the association between maternal depression and children’s antisocial behavior represents an influence of mothers on children or genetic transmission of psychopathology in families. In a British cohort of 1116 twin pairs, after controlling for genetic risk and parental antisocial personality disorder symptoms, they found evidence that maternal depression predicts children’s antisocial behavior via an environmentally mediated pathway.

Hettema et alArticle applied a multivariate analysis to a large population-based twin sample to examine the structure of the genetic and environmental risk factors for 6 anxiety disorders. They found that there appear to be 2 broad sets of genetic risk factors shared across the anxiety disorders that explain the majority of familial loading, with environmental risk factors both common across and unique to the 6 disorders that account for the remainder of an individual’s vulnerability to these conditions.

Liebowitz et alArticle conducted a 12-week multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo and paroxetine controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of venlafaxine extended release (ER) in adult outpatients with social anxiety disorder. Improvement on the primary outcome measure, the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, with venlafaxine ER was significantly greater than that with placebo and comparable with that with paroxetine.

McKay et alArticle compared telephone-based continuing care with 2 more intensive, face-to-face continuing care interventions, relapse prevention and group counseling, in 359 alcohol- and/or cocaine-dependent patients who had completed a 1-month initial treatment program. Alcohol and cocaine use outcomes in the telephone condition were as good as or better than outcomes in the other 2 conditions over 24 months.

Pomara et alArticle examined the role of the APOE ε4 allele in lorazepam-induced memory impairment in cognitively intact adults. As expected, memory performance decreased after immediate oral drug administration. However, the ε4-positive group demonstrated a persistent deficit. Decreased recovery from drug-induced cognitive toxic effects may provide insights into the earliest effects of the ε4 allele in aging.

Previous studies have suggested that 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) reduce the risk of Alzheimer disease, but Zandi et alArticle report new prospective analyses from the Cache County Study showing no dementia protection from statins. The Cache County Study data do show a cross-sectional relationship between prevalent dementia and statin use, possibly reflecting less frequent prescription of statins to patients with cognitive impairment.