A new study shows that deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a safe and effective intervention for treatment-resistant depression in patients with either unipolar major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar ll disorder (BP). The study was published Online First by Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The study was led by Helen S. Mayberg, MD, professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine, with co-investigators Paul E. Holtzheimer, MD, lead psychiatrist and now associate professor and director of the Mood Disorders Service, Dartmouth Medical School, and neurosurgeon Robert E. Gross, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology at Emory. Gross served as chief neurosurgeon for the study.
An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, reports that abnormal sequences of DNA known as rare copy number variants, or CNVs, appear to play a significant role in the risk for early onset bipolar disorder. The findings were published in the Dec. 22 issue of the journal Neuron. CNVs are genomic alterations in which there are too few or too many copies of sections of DNA. Researchers have known that spontaneously occurring (de novo) CNVs - genetic mutations not inherited from parents - significantly increase the risk for some neuropsychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia or the autism spectrum disorders. But their role was unclear in bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression. Principal investigator Jonathan Sebat, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and cellular and molecular medicine at UC San Diego's Institute of Genomic Medicine, and colleagues, found that de novo CNVs contribute significant genetic risk in about 5 percent of early onset bipolar disorder, which appears in childhood or early adulthood.
Individuals suffering from mood and anxiety disorders such as bipolar, panic disorder and major depressive disorder may be more likely to abuse opioids, according to a new study led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They found that mood and anxiety disorders are highly associated with non-medical prescription opioid use. The results are featured in a recent issue of the Journal of Psychological Medicine. Prescription opioids such as oxycontin are a common and effective treatment for chronic and acute pain. Non-medical use of prescription opioids has increased dramatically and, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, prescription opioids are the second most frequently used illegal drug in the U.S. after marijuana.
The identification of genes that contribute to a susceptibility to complex neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorders has been not very successful using conventional genetic approach. There are several problems associating with this conventional approach including carriers of genes cannot be identified in the absence of manifest symptoms and the heterogeneity of neuropsychiatric disorders. A new direction that appears encouraging is the identification of neurobiological or neurobehavioural characteristics associated with these complex neuropsychiatric disorders, or endophenotypes, that may be more closely linked to gene expression. Endophenotype is a biomarker associating with genetic components as well as the clinical symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders.
New research led by University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, finds that rare copy number variants (CNVs) where sections of DNA are either duplicated or missing, seem to play a key role in the risk for early onset bipolar disorder, which appears in childhood or early adulthood. The researchers write about their findings in a paper published online on 22 December in the journal Neuron. CNVs are a particular type of mutation or alteration in the genome where cells end up with an abnormal number of copies of sections of DNA code: either too few, due to deletion, or too many, due to duplication. CNVs can be inherited, or de novo, the latter spontaneously occuring either in the sperm or unfertilized egg, or even in the egg after it has been fertilized. Previous studies have already established that rare CNVs contribute to risk for some some neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and autism, but the role they play in bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, has been less clear.