Major Depressive Disorder and Measures of Cellular Aging: An Integrative Review.

Major Depressive Disorder and Measures of Cellular Aging: An Integrative Review.

Nurs Res Pract. 2013; 2013: 469070
Kinser PA, Lyon DE

Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects millions of individuals and causes significant suffering worldwide. It has been speculated that MDD is associated with accelerated aging-related biological and functional decline. To examine the accelerated aging hypothesis, one of the biomarkers under study is leukocyte telomeres, and specifically the measure of telomere length and telomerase activity. This review integrates findings from eleven human studies which evaluated telomere length and telomerase activity, in order to synthesize the state of the current science and to inform the development of new knowledge and enhance nursing research of depression using appropriate biobehavioral measures. Although preliminary, the findings from this integrated review suggest that there is evidence to support a conceptualization of depression as a stress-related condition in which telomeres shorten over time in relation to cumulative exposure to the chronic stress of depression. For the purposes of testing in future nursing research, visual representations of the theoretical connection between stress vulnerabilities, depression, and health outcomes and key moderators and mediators involved in this conceptualization are provided. The findings from this review and the conceptual framework provided may be a useful step towards advancing therapeutic nursing interventions for this debilitating chronic condition. HubMed – depression


The Psychological Challenge of Late-Life Vision Impairment: Concepts, Findings, and Practical Implications.

J Ophthalmol. 2013; 2013: 278135
Wahl HW

The intention is to summarize the body of evidence speaking to the psychological challenges faced by visually impaired older adults, as well as their coping efforts. This evidence is substantiated by a rich set of concepts, theories, and empirical findings that have accumulated under the umbrella of age-related psychoophthalmology (APO). I introduce the field of APO and continue with a discussion of important concepts and theories for a better understanding of adaptational processes in visually impaired older adults. I then summarize the most relevant and most recent data from four areas: (1) everyday competence, (2) cognitive functioning, (3) social functioning, and (4) subjective well-being-related outcomes, depression, and adaptational processes. Thereafter, major insights related to the current state-of-the art psychosocial interventions with visuallyimpaired older adults are reviewed. I close with the need that the public health community should become more aware of and address the psychosocial needs of visually impaired older adults. HubMed – depression


The Role of Neurotrophins in Major Depressive Disorder.

Transl Neurosci. 2013 Mar 1; 4(1): 46-58
Jiang C, Salton SR

Neurotrophins and other growth factors have been advanced as critical modulators of depressive behavior. Support for this model is based on analyses of knockout and transgenic mouse models, human genetic studies, and screens for gene products that are regulated by depressive behavior and/or antidepressants. Even subtle alteration in the regulated secretion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), for example, due to a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-encoded Val-Met substitution in proBDNF that affects processing and sorting, impacts behavior and cognition. Alterations in growth factor expression result in changes in neurogenesis as well as structural changes in neuronal cytoarchitecture, including effects on dendritic length and spine density, in the hippocampus, nucleus accumbens, and prefrontal cortex. These changes have the potential to impact the plasticity and stability of synapses in the CNS, and the complex brain circuitry that regulates behavior. Here we review the role that neurotrophins play in the modulation of depressive behavior, and the downstream signaling targets they regulate that potentially mediate these behavioral pro-depressant and antidepressant effects. HubMed – depression


Reduced Specificity of Personal Goals and Explanations for Goal Attainment in Major Depression.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(5): e64512
Dickson JM, Moberly NJ

Overgeneralization has been investigated across many domains of cognitive functioning in major depression, including the imagination of future events. However, it is unknown whether this phenomenon extends to representations of personal goals, which are important in structuring long-term behaviour and providing meaning in life. Furthermore, it is not clear whether depressed individuals provide less specific explanations for and against goal attainment.Clinically depressed individuals and controls generated personally important approach and avoidance goals, and then generated explanations why they would and would not achieve these goals. Goals and causal explanations were subsequently coded as either specific or general.Compared to controls, depressed individuals did not generate significantly fewer goals or causal explanations for or against goal attainment. However, compared to controls, depressed individuals generated less specific goals, less specific explanations for approach (but not avoidance) goal attainment, and less specific explanations for goal nonattainment.Our results suggest that motivational deficits in depression may stem partly from a reduction in the specificity of personal goal representations and related cognitions that support goal-directed behaviour. Importantly, the findings have the potential to inform the ongoing development of psychotherapeutic approaches in the treatment of depression. HubMed – depression