Social Relationships and Depression: Ten-Year Follow-Up From a Nationally Representative Study.

Social relationships and depression: ten-year follow-up from a nationally representative study.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(4): e62396
Teo AR, Choi H, Valenstein M

Social network characteristics have long been associated with mental health, but their longitudinal impact on depression is less known. We determined whether quality of social relationships and social isolation predicts the development of depression.The sample consisted of a cohort of 4,642 American adults age 25-75 who completed surveys at baseline in 1995-1996 and at ten-year follow-up. Quality of relationships was assessed with non-overlapping scales of social support and social strain and a summary measure of relationship quality. Social isolation was measured by presence of a partner and reported frequency of social contact. The primary outcome was past year major depressive episode at ten-year follow-up. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted, adjusting for the presence of potential confounders.Risk of depression was significantly greater among those with baseline social strain (OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.47-2.70), lack of social support (OR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.37-2.35), and poor overall relationship quality (OR 2.60; 95% CI, 1.84-3.69). Those with the lowest overall quality of social relationships had more than double the risk of depression (14.0%; 95% CI, 12.0-16.0; p<.001) than those with the highest quality (6.7%; 95% CI, 5.3-8.1; p<.001). Poor quality of relationship with spouse/partner and family each independently increased risk of depression. Social isolation did not predict future depression, nor did it moderate the effect of relationship quality.Quality of social relationships is a major risk factor for major depression. Depression interventions should consider targeting individuals with low quality of social relationships. HubMed – depression


Personalizing behavioral interventions: the case of late-life depression.

Neuropsychiatry (London). 2012 Apr; 2(2): 135-145
Arean PA

This article reviews the potential utility of behavioral interventions in personalized depression treatment. The paper begins with a definition of personalized treatment, moves to current thinking regarding the various causes of depression, and proposes how those causes can be used to inform the selection of behavioral interventions. Two examples from the late-life depression field will illustrate how a team of researchers at Cornell University (NY, USA) and University of California, San Francisco (CA, USA) created a research partnership to select and study behavioral interventions for older adults with risk factors associated with poor response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications. The paper ends with a discussion of how the process used by the Cornell University-University of California, San Francisco team can be applied to the selection and development of behavioral interventions for other psychiatric disorders. HubMed – depression


A symptom profile analysis of depression in a sample of Iranian patients.

Iran J Med Sci. 2013 Mar; 38(1): 22-9
Seifsafari S, Firoozabadi A, Ghanizadeh A, Salehi A

Background: In some cultures, including ours, direct explanation of inner psychic world is inhibited and stigmatized, therefore finding alternative modes of expression. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess the frequency of somatization in the depressed patients. Methods: The present study comprised 500 patients referred to the outpatient clinic of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, and diagnosed with major depressive disorders based on DSM-IV-TR. The presenting complaints of these patients were assessed through psychiatric interview. The presenting symptoms were divided into three main categories including mental symptoms, pain, and physical symptoms without pain. Statistical analysis (chi-square and logistic regression) were performed to determine the relationship between presenting symptoms and some demographic variables such as age, gender, marital status, educational level and cultural background (urban or rural). Results: Physical symptoms other than pain, mental symptoms, and pain were found in 193 (38.6%), 186 (37.2%), and in 121 (24.2%) patients respectively. Pain and physical complaints were more common in patients with rural cultural background, lower education, women and the married individuals. Headache (15.2%), irritability (10.6%) and pain in different parts of the body (10.4%) were the most frequent chief complaints of the patients. Hypochondriasis, suicidal idea, crying, irritability and insomnia were significant symptoms associated with the complaint of somatization. Conclusion: Somatic symptoms, especially pain, have a significant weight in the chief complaints of depressed patients. Physicians need to pay particular attention to this important issue in order to better understand these patients. HubMed – depression


Nodding syndrome in Ugandan children–clinical features, brain imaging and complications: a case series.

BMJ Open. 2013; 3(5):
Idro R, Opoka RO, Aanyu HT, Kakooza-Mwesige A, Piloya-Were T, Namusoke H, Musoke SB, Nalugya J, Bangirana P, Mwaka AD, White S, Chong K, Atai-Omoruto AD, Mworozi E, Nankunda J, Kiguli S, Aceng JR, Tumwine JK

Nodding syndrome is a devastating neurological disorder of uncertain aetiology affecting children in Africa. There is no diagnostic test, and risk factors and symptoms that would allow early diagnosis are poorly documented. This study aimed to describe the clinical, electrophysiological and brain imaging (MRI) features and complications of nodding syndrome in Ugandan children.Case series.22 children with nodding syndrome brought to Mulago National Referral Hospital for assessment.Clinical features, physical and functional disabilities, EEG and brain MRI findings and a staging system with a progressive development of symptoms and complications.The median age of symptom onset was 6 (range 4-10) years and median duration of symptoms was 8.5 (range 2-11) years. 16 of 22 families reported multiple affected children. Physical manifestations and complications included stunting, wasting, lip changes and gross physical deformities. The bone age was delayed by 2 (range 1-6) years. There was peripheral muscle wasting and progressive generalised wasting. Four children had nodding as the only seizure type; 18 in addition had myoclonic, absence and/or generalised tonic-clonic seizures developing 1-3 years after the onset of illness. Psychiatric manifestations included wandering, aggression, depression and disordered perception. Cognitive assessment in three children demonstrated profound impairment. The EEG was abnormal in all, suggesting symptomatic generalised epilepsy in the majority. There were different degrees of cortical and cerebellar atrophy on brain MRI, but no hippocampal changes. Five stages with worsening physical, EEG and brain imaging features were identified: a prodrome, the development of head nodding and cognitive decline, other seizure types, multiple complications and severe disability.Nodding syndrome is a neurological disorder that may be characterised as probably symptomatic generalised epilepsy. Clinical manifestations and complications develop in stages which might be useful in defining treatment and rehabilitation. Studies of risk factors, pathogenesis, management and outcome are urgently needed. HubMed – depression