Genetic Interactions With Prenatal Social Environment: Effects on Academic and Behavioral Outcomes.

Genetic interactions with prenatal social environment: effects on academic and behavioral outcomes.

J Health Soc Behav. 2013; 54(1): 109-27
Conley D, Rauscher E

Numerous studies report gene-environment interactions, suggesting that specific alleles have different effects on social outcomes depending on environment. In all these studies, however, environmental conditions are potentially endogenous to unmeasured genetic characteristics. That is, it could be that the observed interaction effects actually reflect underlying genetic tendencies that lead individuals into certain environments. What is critical to move this literature forward is random environmental variation that we know is not correlated with innate characteristics of subjects. We exploit a natural experiment that randomizes a particular stressor-birth weight discordance within twin pairs-to address this challenge and ask: Do random differences in early environment (prenatal nutrition) moderate genetic effects on depression, delinquency, or GPA? Using Add Health data, the only consistently significant allele-birth weight interaction we reveal works in the opposite direction of Caspi et al.’s classic finding regarding the interaction of maltreatment with genetic variation in the serotonin transporter promoter. Less robust interactions found for DRD2 and MAOA are consistent with this pattern that reverses prior findings. These results do not necessarily overturn existing research but support our methodological point that gene-environment research must address endogeneity. HubMed – depression


Vitamin D homeostasis, bone mineral metabolism, and seasonal affective disorder during 1 year of Antarctic residence.

Arch Osteoporos. 2013 Dec; 8(1-2): 129
Premkumar M, Sable T, Dhanwal D, Dewan R

Low serum vitamin D and increased parathormone levels were found to be associated with depression and stress in a wintering expedition of 20 healthy male subjects over a period of 1 year in Antarctica. The continuous daylight during summer and the dark polar winter affect endogenous vitamin D production. Long-term effects on bone health need to be studied further.Vitamin D plays a significant role in calcium and bone mineral metabolism and also affects cardiovascular, psychological, and cognitive functions. The ultraviolet B radiation component of sunlight, which shows marked seasonal variation in Antarctica, influences the synthesis of vitamin D. Depression and mood disorders are associated with this extreme photoperiod. In this study, we attempted to gauge the alteration of vitamin D homeostasis in Antarctica and its effect on bone mineral metabolism and mood over a period of 1 year.Twenty male subjects who wintered over at India’s Antarctic base Maitri (70°45’57? S, 11°44’09? E) from November 2010 to December 2011 were studied. Fasting serum samples were collected at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, intact parathyroid hormone (PTH), total alkaline phosphatase (ALP), calcium, and phosphate. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS X), and Perceived Stress Scale were used to measure depression, affect, and stress.Mild vitamin D deficiency was present in two (10 %) subjects on arrival, which increased to seven (35 %) subjects during the polar winter at 6 months. The mean score on the BDI-II screen for depression was significantly higher during midwinter (4.8?±?3.9) when compared with the baseline value (2.9?±?2.1). Only 2/20 (10 %) of subjects met the criteria for minor depression. Higher PTH levels at 6 months correlated with a higher PANAS X score (p?=?0.021). The mean values of calcium, inorganic phosphorus, and ALP were comparable during the course of the expedition.Low light exposure during the dark polar winter, lower vitamin D, and increased intact PTH levels were found to be associated with depression during 1 year of Antarctic residence. The low dietary intake and decreased solar radiation exposure during the polar winter reduce serum vitamin D levels in otherwise healthy individuals, which suggests that supplementation may be necessary. HubMed – depression


Anticholinergic Drug Use, Serum Anticholinergic Activity, and Adverse Drug Events Among Older People: A Population-Based Study.

Drugs Aging. 2013 Mar 9;
Lampela P, Lavikainen P, Garcia-Horsman JA, Bell JS, Huupponen R, Hartikainen S

BACKGROUND: The serum anticholinergic activity (SAA) assay has been used to quantify patients’ anticholinergic load. In addition, several ranked lists of anticholinergic drugs have been developed to assess anticholinergic drug burden. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated whether SAA assay results and scores from three ranked lists of anticholinergic drugs (Carnahan’s Anticholinergic Drug Scale, Rudolph’s Anticholinergic Risk Scale, and Chew’s list) are associated with anticholinergic adverse drug events (ADEs) in older people. METHODS: We analyzed data from participants in the population-based Geriatric Multidisciplinary Good Care of the Elderly Study in Kuopio, Finland (n = 621). Demographic, diagnostic, and drug use data were collected during standardized interviews and verified from medical records. Vision, functional capacity, cognition, and mood were assessed using validated techniques. The SAA was measured from blood samples. RESULTS: The SAA was not associated with anticholinergic ADEs. Anticholinergic drug burden computed using each of the three lists was inversely associated with short-distance vision (p < 0.01), activities of daily living (p < 0.05), and instrumental activities of daily living (p < 0.05) in persons with and without dementia. Furthermore, poorer Mini Mental State Examination and poorer Geriatric Depression Scale scores were associated with the anticholinergic drug burden in persons without dementia (p < 0.05-p < 0.001). The association between anticholinergic drug burden and ADEs was strongest when using the lists developed by Carnahan and Chew. CONCLUSIONS: Scores obtained from ranked lists of anticholinergic drugs were associated with clinically significant anticholinergic ADEs but the SAA was not. This finding supports the usefulness of these lists to help identify patients at risk of anticholinergic ADEs in clinical practice. HubMed – depression


A Qualitative Investigation of Hypomania and Depression in Bipolar II Disorder.

Psychiatr Q. 2013 Mar 10;
Fletcher K, Parker G, Manicavasagar V

Psychological treatments may have differential impacts on bipolar (BP) sub-types, yet little is known about psychological processes in BP II disorder. We explored cognitive processes and behaviors mediating hypomania and depression in participants diagnosed with BP II disorder. Semi-structured interviews with 13 participants were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The majority were able to detect hypomanic and depressive prodromes, and describe behavioral responses to these mood states. Qualitative analyses revealed four theme clusters. Hypomania ascent beliefs described beliefs regarding identity, positioning hypomania as an enjoyable state preferable to depression. Hypomania descent beliefs referred to hypomania as a signal for depression, causing interpersonal difficulties. Beliefs about depression positioned depression as an abnormal, fearful state, impacting negatively interpersonally, occupationally and on self-perceptions. Finally, The impact of chronicity referred to shifts in coping strategies over time, moving from maladaptive to adaptive behavioral responses. Themes were interpreted within the framework of a cognitive model of BP disorder. Clinical implications for BP II disorder were discussed. HubMed – depression


Multiple Risk Factors During Pregnancy in South Africa: The Need for a Horizontal Approach to Perinatal Care.

Prev Sci. 2013 Mar 9;
Tomlinson M, O’Connor MJ, le Roux IM, Stewart J, Mbewu N, Harwood J, Rotheram-Borus MJ

South African children’s long-term health and well-being is jeopardized during their mothers’ pregnancies by the intersecting epidemics of HIV, alcohol use, low birth weight (LBW; <2,500 g) related to poor nutrition, and depressed mood. This research examines these overlapping risk factors among 1,145 pregnant Xhosa women living in 24 township neighborhoods in Cape Town, South Africa. Results revealed that 66 % of pregnant women experienced at least one risk factor. In descending order of prevalence, 37 % reported depressed mood, 29 % were HIV+, 25 % used alcohol prior to knowing that they were pregnant, and 15 % had a previous childbirth with a LBW infant. Approximately 27 % of women had more than one risk factor: depressed mood was significantly associated with alcohol use and LBW, with a trend to significance with HIV+. In addition, alcohol use was significantly related to HIV+. These results suggest the importance of intervening across multiple risks to maternal and child health, and particularly with depression and alcohol use, to positively impact multiple maternal and infant outcomes. HubMed – depression