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

Does Ketamine Live Up to the Hype in Depression?

This transcript has been edited for clarity. Stephen M. Strakowski, MD: Hello. Thank you so much for joining us today. I’m very excited to have two very illustrious and intelligent guests talk us through an interesting topic, the use of ketamine for depression. I’m Dr Stephen Strakowski, a professor of psychiatry at both Indiana University … Read more

No Evidence Low Serotonin Causes Depression?

There is no convincing evidence that low serotonin levels are the primary cause of depression. This is the conclusion of an “exhaustive” review by UK investigators, which upends the widely held belief that depression is the result of lower levels, or reduced activity, of the chemical. Researchers say the results call antidepressant use into question. … Read more

Antidepressants May Curb Opioid Overdose

Patients with a history of depression who are also being treated with opioid analgesics have a lower risk for overdose and self-harm after taking antidepressants, new research suggests. Investigators analyzed insurance claims for more than 200,000 adults with a history of depression. Of these, 8200 experienced adverse events (AEs) during the year after initiation of … Read more

Electroacupuncture Promising for Depression-Related Insomnia

Electroacupuncture (EA) may significantly improve sleep quality in patients with depression who also have insomnia, new research suggests. In a study of more than 200 adults with depression and comorbid insomnia, change from baseline to week 8 on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was 3 points greater in the group receiving EA vs a … Read more

Depression Screens Do Not Reduce Suicidal Acts in Teens: Study

Screening adolescents for signs of depression does not reduce their emergency department visits, hospitalizations, or treatment for suicidal behaviors, according to research published on July 8 in Preventive Medicine. Adolescents who underwent a depression screening were just as likely to need these services as those who did not. In 2016, the US Preventive Services Task … Read more

Gun Safety ‘Wrapped in a Mental Health Bill’: Health Provisions

The gun safety law forged through tense bipartisan talks in the Senate last month has been heralded as the first federal legislation in 30 years to combat rising gun violence. But what often falls below the radar is the new law’s focus on improving mental health services. News has coverage largely centered on the law’s … Read more

When Suffering Defies Diagnosis

I still remember the woman who came to my office that day, years ago. She was struggling and uncomfortable, and she wanted “something” for stress. She described her life, and to me, it sounded stressful. She lived in a blended family and she described the chaos that one might expect to find in a household … Read more

No Added Benefit of Adjunctive Psychotherapy in Severe Depression?

Adding psychotherapy to pharmacologic treatment does not appear to improve treatment outcomes for patients with major depression, new research suggests. Results of a cross-sectional, naturalistic, multicenter European study showed there were no significant differences in response rates between patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who received combination treatment with psychotherapy and antidepressant medication in comparison … Read more

ECT Tied to Reduction in All-Cause Mortality in Major Depression

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may lower mortality for patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD), new research suggests. In an analysis of data from a large database of inpatients across the United States, use of ECT for those with resistant MDD was associated with significantly lower in-hospital mortality compared with those who did not receive ECT. … Read more