Temporal Organization as a Therapeutic Target.

Temporal organization as a therapeutic target.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2012 Dec; 14(4): 335-7
Wirz-Justice A

Biological functions occur at many different frequencies, and each has its healthy and pathological ranges, patterns, and properties. Physiology, biochemistry, and behavior are not only organized at the morphological level in cells and organs, but separated or coordinated in time for minimal interference and optimal function. One of the most important temporal frameworks is that of the 24-hour day-night cycle, and its change in day length with season. Robust circadian rhythms are important for mental and physical well-being. Though rhythms have been long neglected as irrelevant (in spite of the high prevalence of sleep disorders in nearly every psychiatric illness), we now have tools to document rhythm disruption and, through better understanding of underlying molecular and physiological mechanisms, to develop therapeutic applications. Light as the major synchronizing agent of the biological clock is becoming a treatment option not only for winter depression but other, nonseasonal forms, as well as an adjunct in optimizing sleep-wake cycles, daytime alertness, cognition, and mood in many neuropsychiatric illnesses. Melatonin is the signal of darkness and promotes sleep onset. Manipulation of sleep (wake therapy, phase advance) has yielded the most rapid, nonpharmacological antidepressant effect known, and combinations (with light, medication) provide long-lasting response. Thus, by analogy, new molecules to augment synchronization or mimic changes occuring during night-time wakefulness may yield novel treatments. This issue on biological rhythms contains articles on a variety of different frequencies not included in the usual definition of chronobiology, but which open up interesting approaches to time and illness.
HubMed – depression


Predictors of Mortality and Long-term Outcomes in Treated Cushing’s Disease: A Study of 346 Patients.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Feb 7;
Lambert JK, Goldberg L, Fayngold S, Kostadinov J, Post KD, Geer EB

Context:Active Cushing’s disease (CD) confers a 4-fold increase in mortality and is associated with significant morbidities. Although excess mortality risk may persist even after CD treatment, predictors of risk in treated CD are not well understood.Objective:To identify predictors of mortality, cardiovascular (CV) disease, and recurrence after long-term follow-up among patients with treated CD.Design, Setting, and Patients:A retrospective chart review was conducted to evaluate patients with CD who underwent transsphenoidal adenectomy with a single surgeon.Outcome Measures:Patients were categorized based on disease response after initial treatment. Cox proportional hazard models identified predictors of mortality, recurrence, and CV outcomes in the overall cohort and each subgroup.Results:Three hundred forty-six subjects were included. Mean age was 39.9 years, and mean duration of follow-up was 6.3 years (range, 1 mo to 30 y). Duration of exposure to excess glucocorticoids, estimated by duration of symptoms before diagnosis until remission was achieved by any means, was 40.0 months. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that duration of glucocorticoid exposure elevated the risk of death (P = .038), as did older age at diagnosis (P = 0.0001) and preoperative ACTH concentration (P = .007). Among patients who achieved remission, depression increased the hazard of death (P < .01). Male sex, age at diagnosis, diabetes, and depression elevated the risk of CV disease (P < .05).Conclusion:Long-term follow-up of a large cohort of treated patients with CD identified several novel predictors of mortality. These data illustrate the importance of early recognition and treatment of CD. Long-term follow-up, with management of persistent comorbidities, is needed even after successful treatment of CD.
HubMed – depression


Impact of cost of medicines for chronic conditions on low income households in Australia.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

J Health Serv Res Policy. 2013 Jan; 18(1): 21-7
Kemp A, Preen DB, Glover J, Semmens J, Roughead EE

To determine the cost of medicines for selected chronic illnesses and the proportion of discretionary income this would potentially displace for households with different pharmaceutical subsidy entitlements and incomes.We analysed household income and expenditure data for 9,774 households participating in two Australian surveys in 2009-10. The amount of ‘discretionary’ income available to households after basic living and health care expenditure was modelled for households with high pharmaceutical subsidies: pensioner and non-pensioner concessional (social security entitlements); and households with general pharmaceutical subsidies and low, middle or high incomes. We calculated the proportion of discretionary income that would be needed for medicines if one household member had diabetes or acute coronary syndrome, or if one member also had two co-existing illnesses (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and depression, or asthma and osteoarthritis).Pensioner and low income households had little discretionary income after basic living and health care expenditure (AUD$ 92 and $ 164/week, respectively). Medicines for the specified illnesses ranged from $ 11-$ 42/month for high subsidy households and $ 34-$ 186/month for low subsidy households. Costs reduced substantially once patients reached the annual pharmaceutical cap (safety net), prior to which medicine costs would displace the equivalent of 1%-10% of discretionary income for most household types. However, low income households would have to forego the equivalent of between 5%-26% of their discretionary income for between 7 and 9 months of the year before receiving additional subsidies.Prescription medicines for chronic conditions pose a substantial financial burden to many households, particularly those with low incomes and general pharmaceutical subsidies. Policies are needed to minimize the cost burden of prescription medicines, particularly for low-income working households.
HubMed – depression


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