Differences in Verbal Memory Retrieval in Breast Cancer Chemotherapy Patients Compared to Healthy Controls: A Prospective fMRI Study.

Differences in verbal memory retrieval in breast cancer chemotherapy patients compared to healthy controls: a prospective fMRI study.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Brain Imaging Behav. 2012 Dec 15;
López Zunini RA, Scherling C, Wallis N, Collins B, Mackenzie J, Bielajew C, Smith AM

Cognitive complaints by breast cancer survivors receiving chemotherapy have led to an increasing interest in elucidating the possible causes of such impairment. Although a number of neuroimaging studies have been conducted, only a handful of them have taken into account cognitive status pre-chemotherapy. The current study included pre-chemotherapy and post-chemotherapy assessment. In addition, various factors such as depression, anxiety, fatigue and days since surgery were considered during analyses. Breast cancer patients performed an fMRI verbal recall task before and an average of 1 month after chemotherapy. Well matched controls also performed the task with a similar timeline. Pre-chemotherapy analyses revealed that patients activated the anterior cingulate less than controls during memory retrieval when anxiety and fatigue scores were added as covariates during group comparisons. In addition, there were also changes in brain activation from pre- to post-chemotherapy in patients but not in controls. Post-chemotherapy, patients had less activation in the bilateral insula, the left inferior orbitofrontal cortex and the left middle temporal gyrus. Finally, patients also showed significantly less activation when compared to controls. Brain regions included: the right middle and superior temporal gyrus, the right medial frontal gyrus, the right inferior orbitofrontal cortex, the left insula and left superior temporal pole. Importantly, depression, anxiety, and particularly fatigue accounted for some of brain activation differences. Our results suggest that chemotherapy in part plays a role in brain activation differences and it also highlights the importance of rigorously controlling for confounding variables. Only by controlling such factors can we understand the role that chemotherapy may play on cognition.
HubMed – depression


Risk of pneumonia and pneumococcal disease in people with severe mental illness: English record linkage studies.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Thorax. 2012 Dec 15;
Seminog OO, Goldacre MJ

BACKGROUND: People with severe mental illness have a higher risk than others of some physical diseases. The risk of pneumococcal disease in people with mental disorders is unknown. This is potentially important because vaccines against the pneumococcus are available. METHODS: We used two datasets of linked hospital admission and death records, the Oxford Record Linkage Study and all-England linked Hospital Episode Statistics, to estimate the risk of lobar pneumonia and other pneumococcal disease (here, all collectively termed pneumococcal disease) in people hospitalised with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety. We compared rates of pneumococcal disease in each cohort with rates in a comparison cohort of people without a record of hospitalisation for these psychiatric disorders. FINDINGS: The risk of pneumococcal disease in each psychiatric group was significantly high in both datasets. In the English national dataset (spanning 1999-2011), the risk of pneumococcal disease in people hospitalised with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety was, respectively, 2.3 (95% CI 2.2 to 2.4), 2.3 (2.2 to 2.3), 2.1 (2.0 to 2.1) and 2.2 (2.1 to 2.2). The risk remained high for years after discharge, suggesting an association with the psychiatric disorder rather than with the event of hospitalisation. CONCLUSIONS: Severe mental illness is a risk factor for lobar pneumonia, pneumococcal pneumonia, pneumococcal septicaemia and meningitis. Possible explanations for the elevated risk include factors relating to lifestyle and health-risk activities. If our findings are replicated elsewhere, there would be a case for considering routine pneumococcal immunisation for people with severe mental illness.
HubMed – depression


Blunted endogenous GABA-mediated inhibition in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Acta Neurol Belg. 2012 Dec 14;
Hassan Z, Sattar MZ, Suhaimi FW, Yusoff NH, Abdulla MH, Yusof AP, Johns EJ

The hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) is involved in the regulation of sympathetic outflow and particularly affects the heart. This study sets out to determine the role of GABA of the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in cardiovascular regulation in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Pharmacological stimulation of glutamatergic receptors with DL-Homocysteic acid (200 mM in 100 nL) in the PVN region showed a significant depression in both mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR) of diabetic rats (Diabetic vs. non-diabetic: MAP 15.0 ± 1.5 vs. 35.8 ± 2.8 mmHg; HR 3.0 ± 2.0 vs. 30.0 ± 6.0 bpm, P < 0.05). Microinjection of bicuculline methiodide (1 mM in 100 nL), a GABA(A) receptor antagonist, produced an increase in baseline MAP and HR in both non-diabetic and diabetic rats. In the diabetic rats, bicuculline injection into the PVN reduced the pressor and HR responses (Diabetic vs. non-diabetic: MAP 6.2 ± 0.8 vs. 25.1 ± 2.2 mmHg; HR 1.8 ± 1.1 vs. 25.4 ± 6.2 bpm, P < 0.05). A microinjection of muscimol (2 mM in 100 nL), which is a GABA(A) receptor agonist, in the PVN elicited decreases in MAP and HR in both groups. The diabetic group showed a significantly blunted reduction in HR, but not MAP (Diabetic vs. non-diabetic: MAP -15.7 ± 4.0 vs. -25.0 ± 3.8 mmHg; HR -5.2 ± 2.1 vs. -39.1 ± 7.9 bpm). The blunted vasopressor and tachycardic responses to bicuculline microinjection in the diabetic rats are likely to result from decreased GABAergic inputs, attenuated release of endogenous GABA or alterations in GABA(A) receptors within the PVN. HubMed – depression


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