Acute Stress Selectively Reduces Reward Sensitivity.

Acute stress selectively reduces reward sensitivity.

Front Hum Neurosci. 2013; 7: 133
Berghorst LH, Bogdan R, Frank MJ, Pizzagalli DA

Stress may promote the onset of psychopathology by disrupting reward processing. However, the extent to which stress impairs reward processing, rather than incentive processing more generally, is unclear. To evaluate the specificity of stress-induced reward processing disruption, 100 psychiatrically healthy females were administered a probabilistic stimulus selection task (PSST) that enabled comparison of sensitivity to reward-driven (Go) and punishment-driven (NoGo) learning under either “no stress” or “stress” (threat-of-shock) conditions. Cortisol samples and self-report measures were collected. Contrary to hypotheses, the groups did not differ significantly in task performance or cortisol reactivity. However, further analyses focusing only on individuals under “stress” who were high responders with regard to both cortisol reactivity and self-reported negative affect revealed reduced reward sensitivity relative to individuals tested in the “no stress” condition; importantly, these deficits were reward-specific. Overall, findings provide preliminary evidence that stress-reactive individuals show diminished sensitivity to reward, but not punishment, under stress. While such results highlight the possibility that stress-induced anhedonia might be an important mechanism linking stress to affective disorders, future studies are necessary to confirm this conjecture. HubMed – depression


Risperidone, quetiapine, and olanzapine adjunctive treatments in major depression with psychotic features: a comparative study.

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2013; 9: 485-492
Gabriel A

The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of novel antipsychotics in the treatment of psychotic depression.Consecutive patients who were admitted (n = 51) with a confirmed diagnosis of major depression with psychotic features (delusions or hallucinations or both) participated in this open-label, naturalistic study. All patients were treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) (citalopram or venlafaxine extended release [XR]), and atypical antipsychotic agents were added, as tolerated, during the first week of initiating the citalopram or venlafaxine. There were patients (n = 16) who received risperidone, who received quetiapine (n = 20), and who received olanzapine (n = 15), as an adjunctive treatment to either citalopram or venlafaxine for at least 8 weeks. Outcome measures included the Clinical Global Impression-Severity subscale (CGI-S), as the primary outcome measure, as well as the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression-21 item (HAM-D21) and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). Tolerance to treatments and weight changes were monitored over the period of the trial.All patients completed the trial with no drop outs. At 8 weeks, there was a statistically significant (P < 0.001) clinical improvement in all outcome measures for both the depressive and psychotic symptoms, for all three groups of atypical adjunctive treatments. Utilizing analysis of variance (ANOVA), there were no significant differences between the three adjunctive treatment groups in outcome measures. The three antipsychotic agents were equally tolerated. At 8 weeks there was slight increase in weight in the three treatment groups, which was statistically significant (P > .01) in the olanzapine group.Quetiapine, risperidone, and olanzapine, given as adjunctive treatment with SSRIS or SNRIs can significantly and equally improve depressive and psychotic symptoms, in the short-term treatment of major depression with psychotic features. The author recommends that large controlled trials be conducted to examine the differences in long-term efficacy and tolerance between the atypical antipsychotic agents, in the treatment of major depression with or without psychotic features. HubMed – depression



Depress Anxiety. 2013 Apr 17;
Platt B, Kadosh KC, Lau JY

Adolescence is a period of major risk for depression, which is associated with negative personal, social, and educational outcomes. Yet, in comparison to adult models of depression, very little is known about the specific psychosocial stressors that contribute to adolescent depression, and whether these can be targeted by interventions. In this review, we consider the role of peer rejection. First, we present a comprehensive review of studies using innovative experimental paradigms to understand the role of peer rejection in adolescent depression. We show how reciprocal relationships between peer rejection and depressive symptoms across adolescence powerfully shape and maintain maladaptive trajectories. Second, we consider how cognitive biases and their neurobiological substrates may explain why some adolescents are more vulnerable to the effects of, and perhaps exposure to, peer rejection compared to others. Finally, we draw attention to emerging cognitive and functional magnetic resonance imaging-based neurofeedback training, which by modifying aspects of information processing may promote more adaptive responses to peer rejection. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying adolescent depression may not only alleviate symptoms during a period of substantial developmental challenges, but may also reduce the burden of the disorder across the lifespan. HubMed – depression