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This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry
March 2008

This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008;65(3):249. doi:

Yildiz et alArticle tested the antimanic efficacy of the centrally active protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor tamoxifen citrate in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Tamoxifen demonstrated strong antimanic effects, similar in magnitude and timing to those reported for lithium carbonate and divalproex sodium. Given extensive indications of a role of PKC inhibition in the actions of lithium carbonate and divalproex, the findings encourage development of PKC inhibitors as candidate antimanic agents.

Jorge et alArticle report a controlled trial that demonstrates the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation among geriatric patients with vascular depression. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation was safe and did not produce cognitive deficits among this highly vulnerable group.

Almeida et alArticle examined the association between testosterone concentration and depression in 3987 community-dwelling older men. Men with a free testosterone concentration lower than 6 ng/dL were 3 times more likely to have depression than men with a free testosterone concentration greater than 10 ng/dL, independent of concurrent physical morbidity and other confounding factors.

Räikkönen et alArticle found that young adults with very low birth weight (VLBW) (< 1500 g) report less depression than term controls. This was, however, strongly dependent on the intrauterine growth pattern of the VLBW participants. Those born appropriate for gestational age reported less depression, while those born small for gestational age reported more depression than term controls. Thus, intrauterine growth retardation rather than VLBW per se may pose a risk of depression in young adulthood.

Smoller et alArticle report that a gene shown to influence anxiety in mice is associated with human anxiety-related traits in children and adults. The gene encoding regulator of G protein signaling 2 (RGS2) was associated with laboratory-based measures of shy, inhibited temperament in childhood, introverted personality in adulthood, and functional magnetic resonance imaging reactivity of limbic brain structures (amygdala and insula) known to mediate fear responses.

Dick et alArticle screened tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms at an alcohol-dependence linkage peak on chromosome 7. Several of the most significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms were located in ACN9, a gene involved in gluconeogenesis and the assimilation of acetate into carbohydrate in yeast. Additional genotyping across ACN9 identified multiple variants in the gene associated with alcohol dependence, suggesting ACN9 may be involved in susceptibility to alcohol dependence.

Fontaine et alArticle examined trajectories of female hyperactivity and physical aggression between ages 6 and 12 years and the extent to which these trajectories predicted adjustment problems at age 21 years. Women who followed a trajectory of hyperactivity and physical aggression or a trajectory of hyperactivity alone were at risk for adjustment problems in adulthood (eg, nicotine use problems, aggression in partner relationships, no high school certification).

Culbert et alArticle examined whether prenatal testosterone exposure results in masculinized (ie, lower) disordered eating symptoms. Opposite-sex female twins (who experience increased testosterone in utero from their male co-twin) exhibited lower levels of disordered eating than female same-sex twins and singletons. Levels of anxiety and socialization by being raised with a brother did not account for these effects.

Using data from the National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study, Burnette et alArticle examined the prevalence and health correlates of prostitution among a US sample of men and women entering substance use treatment. The researchers found a high lifetime prevalence of prostitution (50% of women, 19% of men), which was associated with increased physical and mental health problems.

Using genome-wide association in 2 Asian samples, Uhl et alArticle at the National Institutes of Health identified genes whose variants make “polygenic” contributions to vulnerability to methamphetamine dependence. Some genes were uniquely associated with methamphetamine dependence, but many were also identified in studies of dependence on other addictive substances, success in quitting smoking, and/or memory.