Understanding Resilience.

Understanding resilience.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Front Behav Neurosci. 2013; 7: 10
Wu G, Feder A, Cohen H, Kim JJ, Calderon S, Charney DS, Mathé AA

Resilience is the ability to adapt successfully in the face of stress and adversity. Stressful life events, trauma, and chronic adversity can have a substantial impact on brain function and structure, and can result in the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and other psychiatric disorders. However, most individuals do not develop such illnesses after experiencing stressful life events, and are thus thought to be resilient. Resilience as successful adaptation relies on effective responses to environmental challenges and ultimate resistance to the deleterious effects of stress, therefore a greater understanding of the factors that promote such effects is of great relevance. This review focuses on recent findings regarding genetic, epigenetic, developmental, psychosocial, and neurochemical factors that are considered essential contributors to the development of resilience. Neural circuits and pathways involved in mediating resilience are also discussed. The growing understanding of resilience factors will hopefully lead to the development of new pharmacological and psychological interventions for enhancing resilience and mitigating the untoward consequences.
HubMed – depression


Effects of milnacipran on cognitive flexibility following chronic stress in rats.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Eur J Pharmacol. 2013 Feb 16;
Naegeli KJ, O’Connor J, Banerjee P, Morilak DA

Cognitive dysfunction is a component of affective disorders, including depression. Chronic stress is a risk factor for depression, and we have shown that exposing rats to chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) induces a deficit of cognitive flexibility, the ability to modify behavior based on feedback from a changing environment. Deficits of cognitive flexibility, measured by extra-dimensional set-shifting on the Attentional Set-shifting Test (AST), are consistent with dysregulation of prefrontal cortical function, also characteristic of depression. We have shown that increasing norepinephrine in the medial prefrontal cortex facilitated set-shifting, and chronic treatment with the selective norepinephrine reuptake blocker, desipramine, restored cognitive flexibility in rats that had been compromised by CUS. Serotonin reuptake blockade also prevented CUS-induced deficits in cognitive flexibility, suggesting a role for both monoamines in this process. Milnacipran is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) with moderate preference for blocking norepinephrine reuptake. In this study, we tested the effects of chronic milnacipran treatment on cognitive set-shifting after CUS. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated chronically by minipump with milnacipran (30mg/kg/day), the positive control drug, desipramine (5mg/kg/day), or vehicle, and exposed to CUS or unstressed control conditions. For CUS, a different acute stressor was presented daily for 14 days. On Day 17, rats were tested on the AST. Consistent with previous results, CUS impaired cognitive set-shifting. Further, chronic treatment with either milnacipran or desipramine preserved cognitive flexibility after CUS, suggesting that milnacipran may have efficacy in the management of cognitive dysfunction as a component of stress-related illnesses, including fibromyalgia and depression.
HubMed – depression


Difficulties in emotional regulation and substance use disorders: A controlled family study of bipolar adolescents.

Filed under: Depression Treatment

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Feb 16;
Wilens TE, Martelon M, Anderson JP, Shelley-Abrahamson R, Biederman J

BACKGROUND: Self-regulatory mechanisms appear etiologically operant in the context of both substance use disorders (SUD) and bipolar disorder (BD), however, little is known about the role of deficits in emotional self-regulation (DESR) as it relates to SUD in context to mood dysregulation. To this end, we examined to what extent DESR was associated with SUD in a high-risk sample of adolescents with and without BD. METHODS: 203 families were assessed with a structured psychiatric interview. Using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), a subject was considered to have DESR when he or she had an average elevation of 1 standard deviation (SD) above the norm on 3 clinical scale T scores (attention, aggression, and anxiety/depression; scores: 60×3?180). RESULTS: Among probands and siblings with CBCL data (N=303), subjects with DESR were more likely to have any SUD, alcohol use disorder, drug use disorder, and cigarette smoking compared to subjects with scores <180 (all p values <0.001), even when correcting for BD. We found no significant differences in the risk of any SUD and cigarette smoking between those with 1SD and 2SD above the mean (all p values >0.05). Subjects with cigarette smoking and SUD had more DESR compared to those without these disorders. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents with DESR are more likely to smoke cigarettes and have SUD. More work is needed to explore DESR in longitudinal samples.
HubMed – depression


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