Age-by-Disease Biological Interactions: Implications for Late-Life Depression.

Age-by-disease biological interactions: implications for late-life depression.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Front Genet. 2012; 3: 237
McKinney BC, Oh H, Sibille E

Onset of depressive symptoms after the age of 65, or late-life depression (LLD), is common and poses a significant burden on affected individuals, caretakers, and society. Evidence suggests a unique biological basis for LLD, but current hypotheses do not account for its pathophysiological complexity. Here we propose a novel etiological framework for LLD, the age-by-disease biological interaction hypothesis, based on the observations that the subset of genes that undergoes lifelong progressive changes in expression is restricted to a specific set of biological processes, and that a disproportionate number of these age-dependent genes have been previously and similarly implicated in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression. The age-by-disease biological interaction hypothesis posits that age-dependent biological processes (i) are “pushed” in LLD-promoting directions by changes in gene expression naturally occurring during brain aging, which (ii) directly contribute to pathophysiological mechanisms of LLD, and (iii) that individual variability in rates of age-dependent changes determines risk or resiliency to develop age-related disorders, including LLD. We review observations supporting this hypothesis, including consistent and specific age-dependent changes in brain gene expression and their overlap with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disease pathways. We then review preliminary reports supporting the genetic component of this hypothesis. Other potential biological mediators of age-dependent gene changes are proposed. We speculate that studies examining the relative contribution of these mechanisms to age-dependent changes and related disease mechanisms will not only provide critical information on the biology of normal aging of the human brain, but will inform our understanding of age-dependent diseases, in time fostering the development of new interventions for prevention and treatment of age-dependent diseases, including LLD.
HubMed – depression


Cognitive and neural aspects of information processing in major depressive disorder: an integrative perspective.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Front Psychol. 2012; 3: 489
Foland-Ross LC, Gotlib IH

Researchers using experimental paradigms to examine cognitive processes have demonstrated that Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is associated not with a general deficit in cognitive functioning, but instead with more specific anomalies in the processing of negatively valenced material. Indeed, cognitive theories of depression posit that negative biases in the processing of information play a critical role in influencing the onset, maintenance, and recurrence of depressive episodes. In this paper we review findings from behavioral studies documenting that MDD is associated with specific difficulties in attentional disengagement from negatively valenced material, with tendencies to interpret information in a negative manner, with deficits in cognitive control in the processing of negative material, and with enhanced memory for negative material. To gain a better understanding of the neurobiological basis of these abnormalities, we also examine findings from functional neuroimaging studies of depression and show that dysfunction in neural systems that subserve emotion processing, inhibition, and attention may underlie and contribute to the deficits in cognition that have been documented in depressed individuals. Finally, we briefly review evidence from studies of children who are at high familial risk for depression that indicates that abnormalities in cognition and neural function are observable before the onset of MDD and, consequently, may represent a risk factor for the development of this disorder. By integrating research from cognitive and neural investigations of depression, we can gain a more comprehensive understanding not only of how cognitive and biological factors interact to affect the onset, maintenance, and course of MDD, but also of how such research can aid in the development of targeted strategies for the prevention and treatment of this debilitating disorder.
HubMed – depression


Efficacy of hypnosis-based treatment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a pilot study.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Front Psychol. 2012; 3: 465
Palmieri A, Kleinbub JR, Calvo V, Sorarù G, Grasso I, Messina I, Sambin M

Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and its devastating neurodegenerative consequences have an inevitably psychological impact on patients and their caregivers: however, although it would be strongly needed, there is a lack of research on the efficacy of psychological intervention. Our aim was to investigate the effect of hypnosis-based intervention on psychological and perceived physical wellbeing in patients and the indirect effect on caregivers. Methods: We recruited eight ALS volunteers patients as a pilot sample for an hypnosis intervention and self-hypnosis training protocol lasting 1?month. Anxiety and depression level was measured in patients and caregivers at pre and post treatment phase. Quality of life and perceived physical symptoms changes were also investigated in patients. Results: One month pre-post treatment improvement in depression, anxiety, and quality of life was clearly clinically observed and confirmed by psychometric analyses on questionnaire data. Moreover, decreases in physical symptoms such as pain, sleep disorders, emotional lability, and fasciculations were reported by our patients. Improvements in caregiver psychological wellbeing, likely as a consequence of patients psychological and perceived physical symptomatology improvement, were also observed. Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, even if at a preliminary level, this is the first report on efficacy psychological intervention protocol on ALS patients. The findings provide initial support for using hypnosis and self-hypnosis training to manage some ALS physical consequences and mainly to cope its dramatic psychological implications for patients and, indirectly, for their caregivers.
HubMed – depression


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