ResearchPad - regular-research-articles https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Prescribing Patterns of Psychotropic Drugs and Risk of Violent Behavior: A Prospective, Multicenter Study in Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16181 This prospective cohort study aimed at evaluating patterns of polypharmacy and aggressive and violent behavior during a 1-year follow-up in patients with severe mental disorders.MethodsA total of 340 patients (125 inpatients from residential facilities and 215 outpatients) were evaluated at baseline with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I and II, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Specific Levels of Functioning scale, Brown-Goodwin Lifetime History of Aggression, Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, and State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2. Aggressive behavior was rated every 15 days with the Modified Overt Aggression Scale and treatment compliance with the Medication Adherence Rating Scale.ResultsThe whole sample was prescribed mainly antipsychotics with high levels of polypharmacy. Clozapine prescription and higher compliance were associated with lower levels of aggressive and violent behavior. Patients with a history of violence who took clozapine were prescribed the highest number of drugs. The patterns of cumulative Modified Overt Aggression Scale mean scores of patients taking clozapine (n = 46), other antipsychotics (n = 257), and no antipsychotics (n = 37) were significantly different (P = .001). Patients taking clozapine showed a time trend at 1-year follow-up (24 evaluations) indicating a significantly lower level of aggressive behavior. Patient higher compliance was also associated with lower Modified Overt Aggression Scale ratings during the 1-year follow-up.ConclusionBoth inpatients and outpatients showed high levels of polypharmacy. Clozapine prescription was associated with lower Modified Overt Aggression Scale ratings compared with any other antipsychotics or other psychotropic drugs. Higher compliance was associated with lower levels of aggressive and violent behavior. ]]> <![CDATA[A Neurofunctional Domains Approach to Evaluate D1/D5 Dopamine Receptor Partial Agonism on Cognition and Motivation in Healthy Volunteers With Low Working Memory Capacity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16179 Dopamine D1 receptor signaling plays key roles in core domains of neural function, including cognition and reward processing; however, many questions remain about the functions of circuits modulated by dopamine D1 receptor, largely because clinically viable, selective agonists have yet to be tested in humans.MethodsUsing a novel, exploratory neurofunctional domains study design, we assessed the safety, tolerability, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacokinetics of PF-06412562, a selective D1/D5R partial agonist, in healthy male volunteers who met prespecified criteria for low working memory capacity. Functional magnetic resonance imaging, electrophysiologic endpoints, and behavioral paradigms were used to assess working memory, executive function, and motivation/reward processing following multiple-dose administration of PF-06412562. A total of 77 patients were assigned PF-06412562 (3 mg twice daily and 15 mg twice daily) or placebo administered for 5 to 7 days. Due to the exploratory nature of the study, it was neither powered for any specific treatment effect nor corrected for multiple comparisons.ResultsNominally significant improvements from baseline in cognitive endpoints were observed in all 3 groups; however, improvements in PF-06412562–treated patients were less than in placebo-treated participants. Motivation/reward processing endpoints were variable. PF-06412562 was safe and well tolerated, with no serious adverse events, severe adverse events, or adverse events leading to dose reduction or temporary discontinuation except for 1 permanent discontinuation due to increased orthostatic heart rate.ConclusionsPF-06412562, in the dose range and patient population explored in this study, did not improve cognitive function or motivation/reward processing more than placebo over the 5- to 7-day treatment period.ClinicalTrials.gov IdentifierNCT02306876 ]]> <![CDATA[Balanced Activation of Striatal Output Pathways by Faster Off-Rate PDE10A Inhibitors Elicits Not Only Antipsychotic-Like Effects But Also Procognitive Effects in Rodents]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf5adc2d8-17bf-4e10-be19-77ca00119502

Abstract

Background

Faster off-rate competitive enzyme inhibitors are generally more sensitive than slower off-rate ones to binding inhibition by enzyme substrates. We previously reported that the cyclic adenosine monophosphate concentration in dopamine D1 receptor-expressing medium spiny neurons (D1-MSNs) may be higher than that in D2-MSNs. Consequently, compared with slower off-rate phosphodiesterase 10A inhibitors, faster off-rate ones comparably activated D2-MSNs but partially activated D1-MSNs. We further investigated the pharmacological profiles of phosphodiesterase 10A inhibitors with different off-rates.

Methods

Phosphodiesterase 10A inhibitors with slower (T-609) and faster (T-773) off-rates were used. D1- and D2-MSN activation was assessed by substance P and enkephalin mRNA induction, respectively, in rodents. Antipsychotic-like effects were evaluated by MK-801- and methamphetamine-induced hyperactivity and prepulse inhibition in rodents. Cognition was assessed by novel object recognition task and radial arm maze in rats. Prefrontal cortex activation was evaluated by c-Fos immunohistochemistry in rats. Gene translations in D1- and D2-MSNs were evaluated by translating ribosome affinity purification and RNA sequencing in mice.

Results

Compared with T-609, T-773 comparably activated D2-MSNs but partially activated D1-MSNs. Haloperidol (a D2 antagonist) and T-773, but not T-609, produced antipsychotic-like effects in all paradigms. T-773, but not T-609 or haloperidol, activated the prefrontal cortex and improved cognition. Overall gene translation patterns in D2-MSNs by all drugs and those in D1-MSNs by T-773 and T-609 were qualitatively similar.

Conclusions

Differential pharmacological profiles among those drugs could be attributable to activation balance of D1- and D2-MSNs. The “balanced activation” of MSNs by faster off-rate phosphodiesterase 10A inhibitors may be favorable to treat schizophrenia.

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<![CDATA[Association Between Side Effects and Blood microRNA Expression Levels and Their Targeted Pathways in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder Treated by a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, Escitalopram: A CAN-BIND-1 Report]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf948cf8b-d7de-40c1-b4be-735106db4a59

Abstract

Introduction

Antidepressant drugs are effective therapies for major depressive disorder; however, they are frequently associated with side effects. Although there is some evidence for a relationship between genetic variation and side effects, little is known regarding the role of dynamic molecular factors as moderators of side effects. The aim of this study was to assess microRNA (miRNA) changes associated with side effects during escitalopram treatment and their downstream effects on target gene expression.

Methods

A total 160 patients with major depressive disorder from the CAN-BIND-1 cohort were included. Side effects were assessed with the Toronto Side Effect Scale after 2 weeks of treatment with escitalopram. We assessed the relationship between side effects and changes in peripheral expression of miRNAs between baseline and week 2. For miRNA whose expression changed, we used target prediction algorithms to identify putative messenger RNA (mRNA) targets and assessed their expression.

Results

Nausea was experienced by 42.5% of patients. We identified 45 miRNAs whose expression changed on initiation of escitalopram treatment, of which 10 displayed a negative association with intensity of nausea (miR15b-5p, miR17-5p, miR20a-5p, miR20b-5p, miR103a-3p, miR103b, miR106a-5p, miR182-5p, miR185-5p, and miR660-5p). Additionally, we found negative associations between 4 microRNAs (miR20a-5p, miR106a-5p, miR185-5p, miR660-5p) and mRNA targets. The expression of the miR185-5p target, CAMK2δ was significantly decreased [log 2 mean = −0.048 (0.233)] between weeks 0 and 2 (P = .01)].

Conclusions

We identified an overexpression of miR185-5p during escitalopram treatment of major depressive disorder, which was negatively associated with intensity of nausea, and identified a potential mRNA target that may mediate this effect.

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<![CDATA[Cardiovascular Adverse Reactions During Antipsychotic Treatment: Results of AMSP, A Drug Surveillance Program Between 1993 and 2013]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ncd733c45-6823-4387-b381-5791aa5f7d62

Abstract

Background

Cardiovascular diseases are still the leading cause of global mortality. Some antipsychotic agents can show severe cardiovascular side effects and are also associated with metabolic syndrome.

Methods

This observational study was based on data of AMSP (Arzneimittelsicherheit in der Psychiatrie), a multicenter drug surveillance program in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, that recorded severe drug reactions in psychiatric inpatients.

Results

A total of 404 009 inpatients were monitored between 1993 and 2013, whereas 291 510 were treated with antipsychotics either in combination or alone. There were 376 cases of severe cardiovascular adverse reactions reported in the given timespan, yielding a relative frequency of 0.13%. The study revealed that incidence rates of cardiovascular adverse reactions were highest during treatment with ziprasidone (0.35%), prothipendyl (0.32%), and clozapine (0.23%). The lowest rate of cardiovascular symptoms occurred during treatment with promethazine (0.03%) as well as with aripiprazole (0.06%). The most common clinical symptoms were orthostatic collapse and severe hypotonia, sinustachycardia, QTc prolongation, myocarditis, and different forms of arrhythmia. The dosage at the timepoint when severe cardiovascular events occurred was not higher in any of the given antipsychotics than in everyday clinical practice and was in average therapeutic ranges. In terms of subclasses of antipsychotics, no significant statistical difference was seen in the overall frequencies of adverse reactions cases, when first-generation high potency, first-generation low potency, and second-generation antipsychotics were compared. Thirty percent of adverse events among second-generation antipsychotics were induced by clozapine.

Conclusions

Our findings on cardiovascular adverse reactions contribute to a better understanding of cardiovascular risk profiles of antipsychotic agents in inpatients.

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<![CDATA[Inhibitory Control of Basolateral Amygdalar Transmission to the Prefrontal Cortex by Local Corticotrophin Type 2 Receptor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5a8351ec-a154-4bc6-9937-8bb3e8137bd8

Abstract

Background

Basolateral amygdalar projections to the prefrontal cortex play a key role in modulating behavioral responses to stress stimuli. Among the different neuromodulators known to impact basolateral amygdalar-prefrontal cortex transmission, the corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF) is of particular interest because of its role in modulating anxiety and stress-associated behaviors. While CRF type 1 receptor (CRFR1) has been involved in prefrontal cortex functioning, the participation of CRF type 2 receptor (CRFR2) in basolateral amygdalar-prefrontal cortex synaptic transmission remains unclear.

Methods

Immunofluorescence anatomical studies using rat prefrontal cortex synaptosomes devoid of postsynaptic elements were performed in rats with intra basolateral amygdalar injection of biotinylated dextran amine. In vivo microdialysis and local field potential recordings were used to measure glutamate extracellular levels and changes in long-term potentiation in prefrontal cortex induced by basolateral amygdalar stimulation in the absence or presence of CRF receptor antagonists.

Results

We found evidence for the presynaptic expression of CRFR2 protein and mRNA in prefrontal cortex synaptic terminals originated from basolateral amygdalar. By means of microdialysis and electrophysiological recordings in combination with an intra-prefrontal cortex infusion of the CRFR2 antagonist antisauvagine-30, we were able to determine that CRFR2 is functionally positioned to limit the strength of basolateral amygdalar transmission to the prefrontal cortex through presynaptic inhibition of glutamate release.

Conclusions

Our study shows for the first time to our knowledge that CRFR2 is expressed in basolateral amygdalar afferents projecting to the prefrontal cortex and exerts an inhibitory control of prefrontal cortex responses to basolateral amygdalar inputs. Thus, changes in CRFR2 signaling are likely to disrupt the functional connectivity of the basolateral amygdalar-prefrontal cortex pathway and associated behavioral responses.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of Time-Course, Dose-Effect, and Influencing Factors of Antidepressants in the Treatment of Acute Adult Patients With Major Depression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc8acec65-c217-47ee-b483-ff09e5438354

Abstract

Objective

Model-based meta-analysis was used to describe the time-course and dose-effect relationships of antidepressants and also simultaneously investigate the impact of various factors on drug efficacy.

Methods

This study is a reanalysis of a published network meta-analysis. Only placebo-controlled trials were included in this study. The change rate in depression rating scale scores from baseline was used as an efficacy indicator because a continuous variable is more likely to reflect subtle differences in efficacy between drugs.

Results

A total 230 studies containing 64 346 patients were included in the analysis. The results showed that the number of study sites (single or multi-center) and the type of setting (inpatient or noninpatient) are important factors affecting the efficacy of antidepressants. After deducting the placebo effect, the maximum pure drug efficacy value of inpatients was 18.4% higher than that of noninpatients, and maximum pure drug efficacy value of single-center trials was 10.2% higher than that of multi-central trials. Amitriptyline showed the highest drug efficacy. The remaining 18 antidepressants were comparable or had little difference. Within the approved dose range, no significant dose-response relationship was observed. However, the time-course relationship is obvious for all antidepressants. In terms of safety, with the exception of amitriptyline, the dropout rate due to adverse events of other drugs was not more than 10% higher than that of the placebo group.

Conclusion

The number of study sites and the type of setting are significant impact factors for the efficacy of antidepressants. Except for amitriptyline, the other 18 antidepressants have little difference in efficacy and safety.

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<![CDATA[Regulation of CRF mRNA in the Rat Extended Amygdala Following Chronic Cocaine: Sex Differences and Effect of Delta Opioid Receptor Agonism]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc69a6e42-e997-41b9-bdcc-885df6a7d5ea

Abstract

Background

Cocaine withdrawal activates stress systems. Females are more vulnerable to relapse to cocaine use and more sensitive to withdrawal-induced negative affect. Delta opioid receptors modulate anxiety-like behavior during cocaine withdrawal in rats. This study measured the time course of gene regulation of one of the main stress peptides, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), and its type 1 receptor in male and female rats as well as the ability of the delta opioid receptor agonist SNC80 to normalize cocaine withdrawal-induced changes in CRF mRNA.

Methods

Rats were injected with cocaine or saline 3 times daily for 14 days. Brains were collected 30 minutes, 24 hours, 48 hours, 7 days, and 14 days following the last injection. The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, central amygdala, and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis were processed for quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR measurement of CRF and CRFR1 mRNA. Additional rats received SNC80 during early cocaine withdrawal, and CRF mRNA was measured in the central amygdala.

Results

CRF mRNA was elevated in the central amygdala at 24 hours and the paraventricular nucleus at 48 hours of cocaine withdrawal in males and females. Significant sex differences in cocaine-induced CRF upregulation were found in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis at 30 minutes and 24 hours. SNC80 administration attenuated the increase in CRF mRNA in the central amygdala of female rats only.

Conclusions

CRF mRNA regulation during cocaine withdrawal is sex, time, and brain region dependent. Administration of a delta opioid receptor agonist during early withdrawal may ameliorate stress-related negative affect in females by abrogating the induction of CRF mRNA.

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<![CDATA[Staging of Schizophrenia With the Use of PANSS: An International Multi-Center Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9a6095c6-85f7-4776-b22b-34f463a6bd9b

Abstract

Introduction

A specific clinically relevant staging model for schizophrenia has not yet been developed. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the factor structure of the PANSS and develop such a staging method.

Methods

Twenty-nine centers from 25 countries contributed 2358 patients aged 37.21 ± 11.87 years with schizophrenia. Analysis of covariance, Exploratory Factor Analysis, Discriminant Function Analysis, and inspection of resultant plots were performed.

Results

Exploratory Factor Analysis returned 5 factors explaining 59% of the variance (positive, negative, excitement/hostility, depression/anxiety, and neurocognition). The staging model included 4 main stages with substages that were predominantly characterized by a single domain of symptoms (stage 1: positive; stages 2a and 2b: excitement/hostility; stage 3a and 3b: depression/anxiety; stage 4a and 4b: neurocognition). There were no differences between sexes. The Discriminant Function Analysis developed an algorithm that correctly classified >85% of patients.

Discussion

This study elaborates a 5-factor solution and a clinical staging method for patients with schizophrenia. It is the largest study to address these issues among patients who are more likely to remain affiliated with mental health services for prolonged periods of time.

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<![CDATA[Effects of the Alpha-1 Antagonist Prazosin on KOR Agonist-Induced Reinstatement of Alcohol Seeking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Neff90ec4-81b8-4fd5-96e7-87d3fe0ccadf

Abstract

Background

Stress is associated with relapse to alcohol seeking during abstinence, but the processes underlying this relationship are poorly understood. Noradrenaline is a key transmitter in stress responses and in stress-induced drug seeking. The alpha-1 adrenoceptor antagonist prazosin has been investigated as a treatment for alcoholism and for chronic stress disorders that are frequently comorbid with alcoholism. In rats, we previously showed that prazosin blocks reinstatement of alcohol seeking induced by footshock and yohimbine stressors and reduces yohimbine-induced brain activation. The role of alpha-1 adrenoceptors in reinstatement induced by other stressors is not known. Our most recent work is on the role of kappa opioid receptors in stress-induced reinstatement of alcohol seeking and have reported that the selective kappa opioid receptor agonist U50,488 induces reinstatement and neuronal activation in stress- and relapse-related brain regions. Here we determine the involvement of alpha-1 receptors in reinstatement and brain activation induced by U50,488.

Methods

We trained male Long-Evans rats to self-administer alcohol (12% w/v), extinguished alcohol-reinforced responding, and then determined the effects of prazosin (1 mg/kg) on U50,488 (2.5 mg/kg)-induced reinstatement and regional Fos expression.

Results

Prazosin blocked U50,488-induced reinstatement and decreased U50,488-induced Fos expression in the orbitofrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens core, ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, central and basolateral amygdalar nuclei and ventral tegmental area.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that prazosin may reduce U50,488-induced relapse by inhibiting activity in 1 or more of these brain areas.

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<![CDATA[Brexpiprazole as Adjunctive Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder Following Treatment Failure With at Least One Antidepressant in the Current Episode: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N912255e7-8fc2-476f-819f-dc627d8bfb59

Abstract

Background

This systematic review and meta-analysis included double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials of brexpiprazole adjunctive treatment (0.5–3 mg/d) for major depressive disorder where antidepressant treatment had failed.

Methods

The outcomes were the response rate (primary), remission rate (secondary), Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale score (secondary), Sheehan Disability Scale scores (secondary), Clinical Global Impression–Improvement/Severity scores, discontinuation rate, and individual adverse events. A subgroup meta-analysis of the data at week 6 compared outcomes by dose >2 mg/d or ≤2 mg/d (2 mg/d is the recommended dose).

Results

We identified 9 studies (n = 3391). Compared with placebo, brexpiprazole (any dose) was superior for response rate (risk ratio [RR] = 0.93, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 0.89−0.97, number needed to treat = 17), remission rate (RR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.93−0.98, number needed to treat = 25), Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale score (standardized mean difference = −0.20, 95% CI = −0.29, −0.11), Sheehan Disability Scale score (standardized mean difference = −0.12, 95% CI = −0.21, −0.04), and Clinical Global Impression–Improvement/Severity scores but was associated with a higher discontinuation rate, akathisia, insomnia, restlessness, somnolence, and weight increase. Doses >2 mg/d had a significantly higher RR for response rate than ≤2 mg/d (0.96 vs 0.89); moreover, compared with placebo, doses >2 mg/d were associated with higher incidences of akathisia (RR = 4.58) and somnolence (RR = 7.56) as well as were marginally associated with a higher incidence of weight increase (RR = 3.14, P = .06). Compared with placebo, doses ≤2 mg/d were associated with higher incidences of akathisia (RR = 2.28) and weight increase (RR = 4.50).

Conclusions

Brexpiprazole adjunctive treatment is effective for major depressive disorder when antidepressant treatment fails. At 6 weeks, doses ≤2 mg/d presented a better risk/benefit balance than >2 mg/d.

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<![CDATA[Association of BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism and Brain BDNF Levels with Major Depression and Suicide]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6db059d5eed0c48450bdad

Abstract

Background

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is implicated in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder and suicide. Both are partly caused by early life adversity, which reduces brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein levels. This study examines the association of brain-derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met polymorphism and brain brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels with depression and suicide. We hypothesized that both major depressive disorder and early life adversity would be associated with the Met allele and lower brain brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels. Such an association would be consistent with low brain-derived neurotrophic factor mediating the effect of early life adversity on adulthood suicide and major depressive disorder.

Methods

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met polymorphism was genotyped in postmortem brains of 37 suicide decedents and 53 nonsuicides. Additionally, brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein levels were determined by Western blot in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 9), anterior cingulate cortex (Brodmann area 24), caudal brainstem, and rostral brainstem. The relationships between these measures and major depressive disorder, death by suicide, and reported early life adversity were examined.

Results

Subjects with the Met allele had an increased risk for depression. Depressed patients also have lower brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in anterior cingulate cortex and caudal brainstem compared with nondepressed subjects. No effect of history of suicide death or early life adversity was observed with genotype, but lower brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in the anterior cingulate cortex were found in subjects who had been exposed to early life adversity and/or died by suicide compared with nonsuicide decedents and no reported early life adversity.

Conclusions

This study provides further evidence implicating low brain brain-derived neurotrophic factor and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor Met allele in major depression risk. Future studies should seek to determine how altered brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression contributes to depression and suicide.

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<![CDATA[Disrupted Olfactory Integration in Schizophrenia: Functional Connectivity Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b42c59a463d7e1c4ced995f

Abstract

Background

Evidence for olfactory dysfunction in schizophrenia has been firmly established. However, in the typical understanding of schizophrenia, olfaction is not recognized to contribute to or interact with the illness. Despite the solid presence of olfactory dysfunction in schizophrenia, its relation to the rest of the illness remains largely unclear. Here, we aimed to examine functional connectivity of the olfactory bulb, olfactory tract, and piriform cortices and isolate the network that would account for the altered olfaction in schizophrenia.

Methods

We examined the functional connectivity of these specific olfactory regions in order to isolate other brain regions associated with olfactory processing in schizophrenia. Using the resting state functional MRI data from the Center for Biomedical Research Excellence in Brain Function and Mental Illness, we compared 84 patients of schizophrenia and 90 individuals without schizophrenia.

Results

The schizophrenia group showed disconnectivity between the anterior piriform cortex and the nucleus accumbens, between the posterior piriform cortex and the middle frontal gyrus, and between the olfactory tract and the visual cortices.

Conclusions

The current results suggest functional disconnectivity of olfactory regions in schizophrenia, which may account for olfactory dysfunction and disrupted integration with other sensory modalities in schizophrenia.

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<![CDATA[Monoamine Oxidase A Gene Methylation and Its Role in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: First Evidence from the South Eastern Europe (SEE)-PTSD Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b594adc463d7e5ad39d04b8

Abstract

Background

Posttraumatic stress disorder is characterized by an overactive noradrenergic system conferring core posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms such as hyperarousal and reexperiencing. Monoamine oxidase A is one of the key enzymes mediating the turnover of noradrenaline. Here, DNA methylation of the monoamine oxidase A gene exonI/intronI region was investigated for the first time regarding its role in posttraumatic stress disorder risk and severity.

Methods

Monoamine oxidase A methylation was analyzed via direct sequencing of sodium bisulfite-treated DNA extracted from blood cells in a total sample of N=652 (441 male) patients with current posttraumatic stress disorder, patients with remitted posttraumatic stress disorder, and healthy probands (comparison group) recruited at 5 centers in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and the Republic of Kosovo. Posttraumatic stress disorder severity was measured by means of the Clinician-Administered Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Scale and its respective subscores representing distinct symptom clusters.

Results

In the male, but not the female sample, patients with current posttraumatic stress disorder displayed hypermethylation of 3 CpGs (CpG3=43656362; CpG12=43656514; CpG13=43656553, GRCh38.p2 Assembly) as compared with remitted Posttraumatic Stress Disorder patients and healthy probands. Symptom severity (Clinician-Administered Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Scale scores) in male patients with current posttraumatic stress disorder significantly correlated with monoamine oxidase A methylation. This applied particularly to symptom clusters related to reexperiencing of trauma (cluster B) and hyperarousal (cluster D).

Conclusions

The present findings suggest monoamine oxidase A gene hypermethylation, potentially resulting in enhanced noradrenergic signalling, as a disease status and severity marker of current posttraumatic stress disorder in males. If replicated, monoamine oxidase A hypermethylation might serve as a surrogate marker of a hyperadrenergic subtype of posttraumatic stress disorder guiding personalized treatment decisions on the use of antiadrenergic agents.

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<![CDATA[Selective Activation of Striatal NGF-TrkA/p75NTR/MAPK Intracellular Signaling in Rats That Show Suppression of Methamphetamine Intake 30 Days following Drug Abstinence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4c645d463d7e0b052d96dd

Abstract

Background

The continuing epidemic of methamphetamine addiction has prompted research aimed at understanding striatal dysfunctions potentially associated with long-term methamphetamine use.

Methods

Here, we investigated transcriptional and translational alterations in the expression of neurotrophic factors in the rat striatum at 30 days following methamphetamine self-administration and footshock punishment. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were trained to self-administer methamphetamine (0.1 mg/kg/injection, i.v.) or saline during twenty-two 9-hour sessions. Subsequently, rats were subjected to incremental footshocks for 13 additional methamphetamine self-administration sessions. This paradigm led to the identification of rats with shock-resistant and shock-sensitive phenotypes. Thirty days following the last footshock session, the dorsal striatum was dissected and processed for gene expression and protein analyses.

Results

PCR arrays revealed significant differences in neurotrophins and their receptors between the 2 phenotypes. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor protein levels were increased in the dorsal striatum of both shock-resistant and shock-sensitive rats. However, neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase 1 phosphorylation and nerve growth factor receptor protein expression were increased only in the shock-sensitive phenotype. Moreover, shock-sensitive rats showed increased abundance of several phosphorylated proteins known to participate in Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signaling cascade including cRaf, ERK1/2, MSK1, and CREB.

Conclusions

These findings support the notion that animals with distinct phenotypes for methamphetamine intake in the presence of adverse consequences also display differential changes in an intracellular signaling cascade activated by nerve growth factor-TrkA/p75NTR interactions. Thus, the development of pharmacological agents that can activate nerve growth factor-dependent pathways may be a promising therapeutic approach to combat methamphetamine addiction.

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<![CDATA[Platelet-Derived Growth Factor as an Antidepressant Treatment Selection Biomarker: Higher Levels Selectively Predict Better Outcomes with Bupropion-SSRI Combination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bf2543dd5eed0c484f381bc

Abstract

Background

Platelet derived growth factor is integral to maintenance of blood brain barrier, increases in response to blood brain barrier disruption, and may reflect neuroinflammation. Based on previous reports of better outcomes with dopaminergic antidepressants in depressed patients with elevated inflammatory biomarkers, we hypothesize that elevated peripheral platelet derived growth factor levels can serve as a powerful biomarker for selecting dopaminergic antidepressants.

Methods

Platelet derived growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, and granulocyte colony stimulating factor were measured as part of Bioplex Pro human cytokine 27-plex kit in participants of the Combining Medications to Enhance Depression Outcomes trial who provided baseline plasma (n=166) and were treated with either bupropion-plus-escitalopram, escitalopram-plus-placebo, or venlafaxine-plus-mirtazapine. Differential changes in overall symptom severity and anhedonia as well as side effects were tested with a treatment-arm-by-biomarker interaction in mixed model analyses. Effect of biomarkers with significant interaction was calculated in subsequent analyses stratified by treatment arm.

Results

There was a significant treatment-arm-by-platelet derived growth factor interaction for depression severity (P=.03) and anhedonia (P=.008) but not for side effects (P=.44). Higher baseline platelet derived growth factor level was associated with greater reduction in depression severity (effect size=0.71, P=.015) and anhedonia (effect size=0.66, P=.02) in the bupropion- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor but not the other two treatment arms. There was no significant treatment-arm-by-biomarker interaction for both depression severity and side effects with the other two biomarkers.

Conclusion

As compared with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor monotherapy or venlafaxine-plus-mirtazapine, bupropion-plus-escitalopram selectively improves anhedonia, which in turn results in improved overall depression severity in depressed patients with elevated platelet derived growth factor levels.

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<![CDATA[Interferon-Alpha Reduces Human Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Increases Apoptosis via Activation of Distinct STAT1-Dependent Mechanisms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a7567463d7e6595398c5f

Abstract

Background

In humans, interferon-α treatment for chronic viral hepatitis is a well-recognized clinical model for inflammation-induced depression, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects are not clear. Following peripheral administration in rodents, interferon-α induces signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 (STAT1) within the hippocampus and disrupts hippocampal neurogenesis.

Methods

We used the human hippocampal progenitor cell line HPC0A07/03C to evaluate the effects of 2 concentrations of interferon-α, similar to those observed in human serum during its therapeutic use (500 pg/mL and 5000 pg/mL), on neurogenesis and apoptosis.

Results

Both concentrations of interferon-α decreased hippocampal neurogenesis, with the high concentration also increasing apoptosis. Moreover, interferon-α increased the expression of interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15), ubiquitin-specific peptidase 18 (USP18), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) via activation of STAT1. Like interferon-α, co-treatment with a combination of ISG15, USP18, and IL-6 was able to reduce neurogenesis and enhance apoptosis via further downstream activation of STAT1. Further experiments showed that ISG15 and USP18 mediated the interferon-α-induced reduction in neurogenesis (potentially through upregulation of the ISGylation-related proteins UBA7, UBE2L6, and HERC5), while IL-6 mediated the interferon-α-induced increase in apoptosis (potentially through downregulation of aquaporin 4). Using transcriptomic analyses, we showed that interferon-α regulated pathways involved in oxidative stress and immune response (e.g., Nuclear Factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 [Nrf2] and interferon regulatory factor [IRF] signaling pathway), neuronal formation (e.g., CAMP response element-binding protein [CREB] signaling), and cell death regulation (e.g., tumor protein(p)53 signaling).

Conclusions

We identify novel molecular mechanisms mediating the effects of interferon-α on the human hippocampus potentially involved in inflammation-induced neuropsychiatric symptoms.

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<![CDATA[The Role of the Working Alliance in Treatment for Alcohol Problems]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5aea8c43463d7e1ed4786c8d

Little research has been done on the role of the therapeutic working alliance in treatment for alcohol problems. This longitudinal study’s objectives were (a) to identify predictors of working alliance and (b) to investigate whether client and/or therapist reports of the working alliance predicted posttreatment motivation and then later treatment outcome. Client and therapist perceptions of the working alliance were assessed after the first treatment session using a short form of the Working Alliance Inventory (WAI) among 173 clients taking part in the United Kingdom Alcohol Treatment Trial (UKATT) and randomized to motivational enhancement therapy (MET) or social behavior and network therapy (SBNT) with complete data on all measures of interest. Structural equation models were fitted to identify predictors of WAI scores and investigate the relationships between WAI and measures of drinking during treatment, posttreatment motivation, and successful treatment outcome (abstinent or nonproblem drinker), and measures of drinks per drinking day and nondrinking days, assessed 9 months after the conclusion of treatment. Motivation to change drinking when treatment began was a strong predictor of client—adjusted coefficient = 2.21 (95% confidence interval [CI] [0.36, 4.06]—but not therapist WAI. Client WAI predicted successful treatment outcome—adjusted odds ratios (OR) = 1.09 (95% CI [1.02, 1.17])—and had effects on drinking during treatment, and on posttreatment motivation to change. There was evidence for effect modification by treatment, with strong associations between WAI and posttreatment motivation, and evidence of WAI prediction of treatment outcomes in the MET group, but no evidence of associations for SBNT. Therapist WAI was not strongly associated with treatment outcome (adjusted OR = 1.05; 95% CI [0.99, 1.10]). The working alliance is important to treatment outcomes for alcohol problems, with client evaluation of the alliance strongly related to motivation to change drinking throughout treatment for MET. It was also much more important than therapist-rated alliance in this study.

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<![CDATA[Ultra-Brief Mindfulness Training Reduces Alcohol Consumption in At-Risk Drinkers: A Randomized Double-Blind Active-Controlled Experiment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bf25420d5eed0c484f37aec

Abstract

Background

Like other complex psychosocial interventions, mindfulness-based treatments comprise various modality-specific components as well as nonspecific therapeutic ingredients that collectively contribute to efficacy. Consequently, the isolated effects of mindfulness strategies per se remain unclear.

Methods

Using a randomized double-blind design, we compared the isolated effects of 11-minutes of “supervised” mindfulness instruction against a closely matched active control (relaxation) on subjective, physiological, and behavioral indices of maladaptive alcohol responding in drinkers at risk of harm from alcohol use (n = 68). Simple follow-up instructions on strategy use were provided, but practice was unsupervised and not formally monitored.

Results

Both groups showed acute reductions in craving after training, although a trend group x time interaction (P = .056) suggested that this reduction was greater in the relaxation group (d = 0.722 P < .001) compared with the mindfulness group (d = 0.317, P = .004). Furthermore, upregulation of parasympathetic activity was found after relaxation (d = 0.562; P < .001) but not mindfulness instructions (d = 0.08; P > .1; group x time interaction: P = .009). By contrast, only the mindfulness group showed a reduction in past-week alcohol consumption at 7-day follow-up (-9.31 units, d = 0.593, P < .001), whereas no significant reduction was seen in the relaxation group (-3.00 units, d = 0.268, P > .1; group x time interaction: P = .026).

Conclusion

Very brief mindfulness practice can significantly reduce alcohol consumption among at-risk drinkers, even with minimal encouragement to use this strategy outside of the experimental context. The effects on consumption may therefore represent a lower bound of efficacy of “ultra-brief” mindfulness instructions in hazardous drinkers, at least at short follow-up intervals.

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