MDD Tied to Childhood Trauma Is Treatable

Despite a higher symptom burden, patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and a history of childhood trauma (CT) can achieve significant recovery following treatment with a combination of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, new research suggests. Results from a meta-analysis of 29 studies from 1966 to 2019, which included almost 7000 adults with MDD, showed that more … Read more

A ‘Setback’ for Anti-inflammatory Treatment in Depression

The broad-spectrum antibiotic minocycline (multiple brands) is not effective when added to standard antidepressant therapy, the largest randomized controlled trial of minocycline in treatment-resistant depression (TRD) shows. In the MinoTRD trial, 6 weeks of minocycline 200 mg daily added to stable antidepressant therapy did not show a statistically significant advantage over placebo on the overall … Read more

Ketamine Linked to Reduced Suicidal Thoughts, Depression, Anxiety

Ketamine infusions can help reduce symptoms of suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), new research suggests. Results from a retrospective chart review analysis, which included more than 400 participants with TRD, illustrated that ketamine is a safe and rapid treatment in a real-world patient population, lead author Patrick A. Oliver, … Read more

How Nature Nurtures the Brain: New Imaging Data

Getting close to nature has a positive impact on brain regions involved in stress processing. In a study of healthy adults, researchers observed a decrease in activity in the amygdala after a 1-hour walk in the forest, but not after a stroll on a busy city street. “The results support the previously assumed positive relationship … Read more

Borderline Personality Disorder Raises MDD Relapse Risk After ECT

Borderline personality disorder was significantly associated with relapse after 6 months in adults with major depressive disorder who underwent electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), based on data from 109 individuals. Dr Matthieu Hein ECT has demonstrated effectiveness for treatment of unipolar and bipolar major depression, but relapses within 6 months are frequent, and potential factors affecting relapse … Read more

Expert Views on Psychoactive Drugs at Odds With US Policy

Psychiatrists’ perceptions of the safety, therapeutic value, and abuse potential of psychoactive drugs are inconsistent with current drug policy, results from a new survey show. Adam Levin, MD “The consensus among experts, including psychiatrists, about specific drugs is not consistent or congruent with the schedule of these drugs” in the United States, lead author Adam … Read more

Why Pandemic, Personal Stressors Push Some to Problem Drinking

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center. We live in particularly stressful times, and some people turn to alcohol to cope with challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to any number of personal stressors. And the hits just keep coming, as it seems like stressful infectious disease news keeps … Read more

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Protective Against Depressive Episodes?

New research is suggesting that there are “meaningful” associations between higher dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids and lower risk for depressive episodes. In a longitudinal study of more than 13,000 participants, consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (total and subtypes) was associated with a 2%-65% reduction in the risk for depressive episodes in patients with … Read more

What Ketamine and Psilocybin Can and Cannot Do in Depression

Recent studies with hallucinogens have raised hopes for an effective drug-based therapy to treat chronic depression. At the German Congress of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Torsten Passie, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry and psychotherapy at the Hannover Medical School, gave a presentation on the current state of psilocybin and ketamine/esketamine research. Passie, who also is … Read more

Chemokine Expression Predicts MDD Severity

Adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) had significantly reduced expression of chemokine receptor 4 on blood T lymphocytes, which predicted disease severity in combination with polygenic risk scores in a study of 54 individuals. Chemokines and their receptors “influence neuroendocrine signaling, neurotransmission, and interaction between neurons and microglia and have therefore been suggested to be … Read more