Effects of Repeated Stress on Excitatory Drive of Basal Amygdala Neurons in Vivo.

Effects of repeated stress on excitatory drive of basal amygdala neurons in vivo.

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013 Mar 27;
Padival M, Quinette D, Rosenkranz JA

Chronic stress leads to heightened affective behaviors, and can precipitate the emergence of depression and anxiety. These disorders are associated with increased amygdala activity. In animal models, chronic stress leads to increased amygdala-dependent behaviors, as well as hyperactivity of amygdala neurons. However, it is not known whether increased excitatory synaptic drive after chronic stress contributes to hyperactivity of basolateral amygdala (BLA; comprised of basal, lateral and accessory basal nucei) neurons. This study tested whether repeated stress causes an increase in excitatory drive of basal amygdala (BA) neurons in vivo, and whether this is correlated with an increase in the number of dendritic spines and a shift in dendritic distribution. Using in vivo intracellular recordings this study found that repeated restraint stress caused an increase in the frequency of spontaneous excitatory synaptic events in vivo correlated with the number of dendritic spines in reconstructed neurons. Furthermore, parallel changes in the kinetics of the synaptic events and the distribution of spines indicated a more prominent functional contribution of synaptic inputs from across the dendritic tree. The shift in spine distribution across the dendritic tree was further confirmed with examination of Golgi-stained tissue. This abnormal physiological drive of BA neurons after repeated stress may contribute to heightened affective responses after chronic stress. A reduction in the impact of excitatory drive in the BA may therefore be a potential treatment for the harmful effects of chronic stress in psychiatric disorders.Neuropsychopharmacology (2013) accepted article preview online, 27 March 2013; doi:10.1038/npp.2013.74. HubMed – depression


Usefulness of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale for Screening for Psychiatric Morbidity in Chinese Patients with Graves’ Ophthalmopathy.

East Asian Arch Psychiatry. 2013 Mar; 23(1): 6-12
Wong VT, Yu DK

OBJECTIVE. To examine the usefulness of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) for screening psychiatric morbidity in Chinese patients with Graves’ ophthalmopathy. METHODS. A cross-sectional study was conducted from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010 at the specialist eye outpatient clinic at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital. All euthyroid patients diagnosed with Graves’ ophthalmopathy were recruited. They were interviewed with the Chinese version of the HADS and the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Axis I. Demographic data and clinical background information were collected from the patients and their hospital records were reviewed. RESULTS. In all, 124 patients were recruited into the study. Current prevalence of psychiatric disorders was 32%, of which 19% were current depressive disorders and 19% were current anxiety disorders. The HADS provided the best discriminating power for screening for psychiatric morbidity at a cut-off threshold of 10/11. For screening of depressive and anxiety disorders, the cut-off thresholds were 4/5 and 6/7 respectively. CONCLUSION. Depression and anxiety disorders were common in the local population of patients with Graves’ ophthalmopathy. Recognising the predictors for psychiatric morbidity could assist clinicians to identify those patients with a predisposition to developing psychiatric complications, and refer them for appropriate treatment. The HADS can be considered as a screening tool for psychiatric morbidity in patients with Graves’ ophthalmopathy. HubMed – depression


The Effects of Selective History and Environmental Heterogeneity on Inbreeding Depression in Experimental Populations of Drosophila melanogaster.

Am Nat. 2013 Apr; 181(4): 532-544
Long TA, Rowe L, Agrawal AF

Abstract Inbreeding depression varies considerably among populations, but only some aspects of this variation have been thoroughly studied. Because inbreeding depression requires genetic variation, factors that influence the amount of standing variation can affect the magnitude of inbreeding depression. Environmental heterogeneity has long been considered an important contributor to the maintenance of genetic variation, but its effects on inbreeding depression have been largely ignored by empiricists. Here we compare inbreeding depression, measured in two environments, for 20 experimental populations of Drosophila melanogaster that have been maintained under four different selection regimes, including two types of environmentally homogeneous selection and two types environmentally heterogeneous selection. In line with theory, we find considerably higher inbreeding depression in populations from heterogeneous selection regimes. We also use our data set to test whether inbreeding depression is correlated with either stress or the phenotypic coefficient of variation (CV), as suggested by some recent studies. Though both of these factors are significant predictors of inbreeding depression in our study, there is an effect of assay environment on inbreeding depression that cannot be explained by either stress or CV. HubMed – depression


Smoking Cessation, Depression, and Exercise: Empirical Evidence, Clinical Needs, and Mechanisms.

Nicotine Tob Res. 2013 Mar 27;
Bernard P, Ninot G, Moullec G, Guillaume S, Courtet P, Quantin X

INTRODUCTION: Smoking is significantly more common among persons with major depressive disorders (MDDs). Furthermore, smokers with MDD report more difficulties when they quit smoking (greater withdrawal symptoms, higher probability of relapse). The aim of this narrative review is to describe research on exercise and depression and exercise and smoking cessation. METHODS: We have critically reviewed various smoking cessation intervention programs for depressive smokers examining (a) the protective effect of exercise against relapse for smokers with MDD and (b) the benefits of exercise for treating withdrawal symptoms. We have also reviewed the current literature investigating the mechanisms between exercise-depression and exercise-smoking. RESULTS: This review suggests that exercise may reduce depressive symptoms following cessation and provide a useful strategy for managing withdrawal symptoms in smokers with MDD. Various psychological, biological, and genetic hypotheses have been tested (e.g., distraction hypothesis, expectations hypothesis, cortisol hypothesis) and few have obtained significant results. CONCLUSIONS: It might be beneficial for health professionals to recommend physical activity and promote supervised exercise sessions for smokers with MDD during smoking cessation. Future research needs to examine relationships between exercise, smoking, and depression with transdisciplinary and ecological momentary assessment. HubMed – depression



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