depression

Predicting future course of psychotic illness

University of Adelaide psychiatry researchers have developed a model that could help to predict a patient’s likelihood of a good outcome from treatment — from their very first psychotic episode. The model is based on a range of factors, including clinical symptoms, cognitive abilities, MRI scans of the brain’s structure, and biomarkers in the patient’s blood. Speaking in the lead up to Mental Health Week (5-12 October), the University’s Head of Psychiatry, Professor Bernhard Baune,…

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Brief depression questionnaires could lead to unnecessary antidepressant prescriptions

Short questionnaires used to identify patients at risk for depression are linked with antidepressant medications being prescribed when they may not be needed, according to new research from UC Davis Health System published in the September-October issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Known as “brief depression symptom measures,” the self-administered questionnaires are used in primary care settings to determine the frequency and severity of depression symptoms among patients. Several questionnaires have…

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Smartphone app reveals users’ mental health, performance, behavior

Dartmouth researchers and their colleagues have built the first smartphone app that automatically reveals students’ mental health, academic performance and behavioral trends. In other words, your smartphone knows your state of mind — even if you don’t — and how that affects you. The StudentLife app, which compares students’ happiness, stress, depression and loneliness to their academic performance, also may be used in the general population — for example, to monitor mental health, trigger intervention…

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First blood test to diagnose depression in adults

The first blood test to diagnose major depression in adults has been developed by Northwestern Medicine® scientists, a breakthrough approach that provides the first objective, scientific diagnosis for depression. The test identifies depression by measuring the levels of nine RNA blood markers. RNA molecules are the messengers that interpret the DNA genetic code and carry out its instructions. The blood test also predicts who will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy based on the behavior of…

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Everyday discrimination impacts mental health

Researchers have determined that African Americans and Caribbean blacks who experience discrimination of multiple types are at substantially greater risk for a variety of mental disorders including anxiety, depression and substance abuse. The research — co-authored by professor Christopher Salas-Wright at The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work and published in the August 2014 edition of Addictive Behaviors — suggests that experiences of discrimination in the form of disrespect and condescension do not alone…

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Why is stress more devastating for some?

Some people take stress in stride; others are done in by it. New research at Rockefeller University has identified the molecular mechanisms of this so-called stress gap in mice with very similar genetic backgrounds — a finding that could lead researchers to better understand the development of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression. “Like people, each animal has unique experiences as it goes through its life. And we suspect that these life experiences can…

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Family dinners good for teens’ mental health, could protect from cyberbullying

Cyberbullying was associated with mental health and substance use problems in adolescents but family dinners may help protect teens from the consequences of cyberbullying and also be beneficial for their mental health. About 1 in 5 adolescents has experienced recent online bullying and cyberbullying, like traditional bullying, can increase the risk of mental health problems in teens as well as the misuse of drugs and alcohol. It is important to understand whether cyberbullying contributes uniquely…

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Monoamine oxidase A: Biomarker for postpartum depression

Many women suffer from baby blues after giving birth. Some even develop full-blown postpartum depression in the weeks that follow. Monoamine oxidase A, an enzyme responsible for the breakdown of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, plays an important role in this condition. In comparison to healthy women, women who experience postpartum depression present strongly elevated levels of the enzyme in their brains. This was discovered by a Canadian-German research team including Julia Sacher from the…

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Weighty issue: Stress and high-fat meals combine to slow metabolism in women

A new study in women suggests that experiencing one or more stressful events the day before eating a single high-fat meal can slow the body’s metabolism, potentially contributing to weight gain. Researchers questioned study participants about the previous day’s stressors before giving them a meal consisting of 930 calories and 60 grams of fat. The scientists then measured their metabolic rate — how long it took the women to burn calories and fat — and…

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