Cortico-Cortical White Matter Motor Pathway Microstructure Is Related to Psychomotor Retardation in Major Depressive Disorder.

Cortico-cortical white matter motor pathway microstructure is related to psychomotor retardation in major depressive disorder.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

PLoS One. 2012; 7(12): e52238
Bracht T, Federspiel A, Schnell S, Horn H, Höfle O, Wiest R, Dierks T, Strik W, Müller TJ, Walther S

Alterations of brain structure and function have been associated with psychomotor retardation in major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the association of motor behaviour and white matter integrity of motor pathways in MDD is unclear. The aim of the present study was to first investigate structural connectivity of white matter motor pathways in MDD. Second, we explore the relation of objectively measured motor activity and white matter integrity of motor pathways in MDD. Therefore, 21 patients with MDD and 21 healthy controls matched for age, gender, education and body mass index underwent diffusion tensor imaging and 24 hour actigraphy (measure of the activity level) the same day. Applying a probabilistic fibre tracking approach we extracted connection pathways between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), the SMA-proper, the primary motor cortex (M1), the caudate nucleus, the putamen, the pallidum and the thalamus. Patients had lower activity levels and demonstrated increased mean diffusivity (MD) in pathways linking left pre-SMA and SMA-proper, and right SMA-proper and M1. Exploratory analyses point to a positive association of activity level and mean-fractional anisotropy in the right rACC-pre-SMA connection in MDD. Only MDD patients with low activity levels had a negative linear association of activity level and mean-MD in the left dlPFC-pre-SMA connection. Our results point to structural alterations of cortico-cortical white matter motor pathways in MDD. Altered white matter organisation of rACC-pre-SMA and dlPFC-pre-SMA pathways may contribute to movement initiation in MDD.
HubMed – depression


Effects of head-down bed rest on the executive functions and emotional response.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

PLoS One. 2012; 7(12): e52160
Liu Q, Zhou R, Chen S, Tan C

Prolonged bed rest may cause changes in the autonomic nervous system that are related to cognition and emotion. This study adopted an emotional flanker task to evaluate the effect of 45 days -6° head-down bed rest (HDBR) on executive functioning in 16 healthy young men at each of six time points: the second-to-last day before the bed rest period, the eleventh, twentieth, thirty-second and fortieth day during the bed rest period, and the eighth day after the bed rest period. In addition, self-report inventories (Beck Anxiety Inventory, BAI; Beck Depression Inventory, BDI; Positive Affect and Negative Affect Scale, PANAS) were conducted to record emotional changes, and the participants’ galvanic skin response (GSR), heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) were assessed as measures of physiological activity. The results showed that the participants’ reaction time on the flanker task increased significantly relative to their responses on the second-to-last day before the period of bed rest, their galvanic skin response weakened and their degrees of positive affect declined during the bed rest period. Our results provide some evidence for a detrimental effect of prolonged bed rest on executive functioning and positive affect. Whether this stems from a lack of aerobic physical activity and/or the effect of HDBR itself remains to be determined.
HubMed – depression


Stabilizing ER Ca(2+) Channel Function as an Early Preventative Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

PLoS One. 2012; 7(12): e52056
Chakroborty S, Briggs C, Miller MB, Goussakov I, Schneider C, Kim J, Wicks J, Richardson JC, Conklin V, Cameransi BG, Stutzmann GE

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative condition with no known cure. While current therapies target late-stage amyloid formation and cholinergic tone, to date, these strategies have proven ineffective at preventing disease progression. The reasons for this may be varied, and could reflect late intervention, or, that earlier pathogenic mechanisms have been overlooked and permitted to accelerate the disease process. One such example would include synaptic pathology, the disease component strongly associated with cognitive impairment. Dysregulated Ca(2+) homeostasis may be one of the critical factors driving synaptic dysfunction. One of the earliest pathophysiological indicators in mutant presenilin (PS) AD mice is increased intracellular Ca(2+) signaling, predominantly through the ER-localized inositol triphosphate (IP(3)) and ryanodine receptors (RyR). In particular, the RyR-mediated Ca(2+) upregulation within synaptic compartments is associated with altered synaptic homeostasis and network depression at early (presymptomatic) AD stages. Here, we offer an alternative approach to AD therapeutics by stabilizing early pathogenic mechanisms associated with synaptic abnormalities. We targeted the RyR as a means to prevent disease progression, and sub-chronically treated AD mouse models (4-weeks) with a novel formulation of the RyR inhibitor, dantrolene. Using 2-photon Ca(2+) imaging and patch clamp recordings, we demonstrate that dantrolene treatment fully normalizes ER Ca(2+) signaling within somatic and dendritic compartments in early and later-stage AD mice in hippocampal slices. Additionally, the elevated RyR2 levels in AD mice are restored to control levels with dantrolene treatment, as are synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. A? deposition within the cortex and hippocampus is also reduced in dantrolene-treated AD mice. In this study, we highlight the pivotal role of Ca(2+) aberrations in AD, and propose a novel strategy to preserve synaptic function, and thereby cognitive function, in early AD patients.
HubMed – depression


Evidence-Based Treatment Planning for Depression Facilitator's Guide

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Psychodynamic Treatment of Depression
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