A Novel Target to Improve Outcomes in Late-Life Depression?

A new study sheds light on the neurologic underpinnings of late-life depression (LLD) with apathy and its frequently poor response to treatment. Investigators headed by Faith Gunning, PhD, of the Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, analyzed baseline and posttreatment brain MRIs and functional MRIs (fMRIs) of older adults with depression who … Read more

Pharmacogenomic Testing May Curb Drug Interactions in MDD

Pharmacogenetic testing, which is used to classify how patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) metabolize medications, reduces adverse drug-gene interactions, new research shows. In a randomized clinical trial that included almost 2000 adults with MDD, patients in the pharmacogenomics-guided group were more likely to receive an antidepressant that had no drug-gene interaction than the patients … Read more

No Evidence Low Serotonin Causes Depression?

There is no convincing evidence that low serotonin levels are the primary cause of depression. This is the conclusion of an “exhaustive” review by UK investigators, which upends the widely held belief that depression is the result of lower levels, or reduced activity, of the chemical. Researchers say the results call antidepressant use into question. … Read more

Antidepressants May Curb Opioid Overdose

Patients with a history of depression who are also being treated with opioid analgesics have a lower risk for overdose and self-harm after taking antidepressants, new research suggests. Investigators analyzed insurance claims for more than 200,000 adults with a history of depression. Of these, 8200 experienced adverse events (AEs) during the year after initiation of … Read more

Unique Primary Care Model Effective for Comorbid Depression, PTSD

A unique primary care program successfully manages patients with depression and comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, if widely implemented may result in more rapid treatment and help alleviate wait times for specialty psychiatric care. Zachary Zuschlag, MD “We know there are strains on the mental healthcare system, and sometimes something as simple as getting … Read more

Death Risk Spikes With New Onset-Depression After RA Diagnosis

The development of depression after a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis increased the risk for death “more than sixfold” when compared with having no depression at diagnosis, according to Danish researchers. Cumulative mortality at 10 years was approximately 37% in patients with comorbid RA and depression versus around 13.5% of RA patients with no depression, Jens Kristian … Read more

No Added Benefit of Adjunctive Psychotherapy in Severe Depression?

Adding psychotherapy to pharmacologic treatment does not appear to improve treatment outcomes for patients with major depression, new research suggests. Results of a cross-sectional, naturalistic, multicenter European study showed there were no significant differences in response rates between patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who received combination treatment with psychotherapy and antidepressant medication in comparison … Read more

Genetic Testing for Best Antidepressant Accurate, Cost-Effective

Genetic testing to determine the best antidepressant for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) has the potential to lead to an optimal drug choice on the first try and reduce healthcare costs, new research suggests. CYP2D6 and CYP2C19, from the cytochrome P450 family, are involved in the metabolism and elimination of various molecules, including medications. … Read more

Novel Drug ‘Promising’ for Concomitant Depression, Insomnia

The novel antidepressant seltorexant (Janssen Pharmaceuticals) may be beneficial for patients with concomitant major depressive disorder (MDD) and sleep disturbance, new research suggests. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, adaptive dose-finding study conducted in more than 200 patients with MDD, those with more severe insomnia at baseline had a greater improvement in depressive symptoms vs those with … Read more

Cannabis on Par With Opioids for Pain Relief, Study Suggests

Cannabis-based products may control chronic pain as effectively as opioids, but adverse effects are common, and long-term safety remains unknown, according to a new study. Several other systematic reviews have recently evaluated cannabinoids for treating chronic pain, but the new study’s methodology was “distinct” in “important ways,” leading to “conclusions that differ from other reviews,” … Read more