» Posts in the Depression Category:

Escitalopram not efficacious in dysthymic disorder

Walter van den Broek
January 10, 2012
Dysthymic disorder is a mood disorder consisting of chronic depression, with less severe but longer lasting symptoms than major depressive disorder. Since it's less severe than depressive disorder often psychotherapy will be sufficient to treat this chronic. A recent Cochrane Library review found 17 placebo-controlled double-blind studies in DD, which generally have found significant differences favoring medication treatment form of depression although long term efficacy of treatment hasn't been studied extensively. the Cochrane reviewers concluded that drugs are effective in the treatment of DD, with no differences between and within the drug classes; however, that TCAs are more likely to .....read more »

Online Mood Chart

Walter van den Broek
August 17, 2011
Life Charts or Mood Charts are used by psychiatrists and patients with bipolar disorder and unipolar disorder. Keeping track of mood fluctuations such as in depression or manic phase together with medication use and possible triggers can be of immense value to treatment plans. Optimism is a mood chart app that helps you develop strategies to manage depression, bipolar or other physical and mental health conditions. It can be customized completely to suit your specific circumstances, making it relevant to any health condition that affects (or is affected by) mood. Optimism helps you to: Monitor and develop strategies, specific to yourself, that help you .....read more »

The Neurobiology of Anhedonia

Walter van den Broek
January 4, 2011
In simple terms anhedonia is an important symptom of depression. The DSM IV states that individuals having this anhedonia “may report feeling less interest in hobbies, ‘not caring anymore,’ or not feeling any enjoyment in activities that were previously considered pleasurable”. For the diagnosis of depression either this symptom or low mood is required together with four other features of the disease. Anhedonia is a decrease in motivation as well as reduction in experienced pleasure. Anhedonia has a motivational as well as hedonic aspect. This makes it difficult to translate findings from animal models or other neuroscience research to patient .....read more »

Where does Resilience against Depression Reside in the Brain?

Walter van den Broek
September 1, 2010
Resilience is in psychiatry the positive capacity of people to cope with stress and catastrophe. In this post it's used as having an adaptive system that uses exposure to stress to provide resistance to future negative events. Stress can lead to depression accompanied by atrophy and loss of neurons in the adult hippocampus in experimental studies. The effect of stress or whether you can become depressed due to stress seem to depend on individual characteristics. One characteristic is gene expression. Is it in your genes? Caspi et al showed that the 5-HTT genotype (serotonin transporter gene) moderates the depressogenic influence of .....read more »

Parkinson’s Disease and Depression

Walter van den Broek
July 12, 2010
Depression is common in patients with Parkinson's disease (mean prevalence 17% in patients with Parkinson's). It can be the first sign of the disease. It can be treated with antidepressants. There is little evidence that patients with Parkinson’s disease might benefi t more from any one particular class of antidepressants than any others. The problem with that is side-effects and interactions with the Parkinson medication. ECT is an option for the treatment of depression in Parkinson's disease. It also helps for the motor symptoms although mostly temporary. As the disease progresses the motor symptoms return or become worse. Since Parkinson's disease is .....read more »

10 Websites With The Best Information on Depression

Walter van den Broek
February 5, 2010
After searching for websites about depression (‘‘depression,’’ ‘‘depression treatment,’’ and ‘‘depression help’’) with a popular search engine: Google, the authors of this work carefully examined the websites. The websites were evaluated on accountability, interactivity, esthetics, readability and content quality. They also used the brief DISCERN as a content quality indicator for general consumers. They found 58 sites from which 13 were excluded: 8 were not websites, 3 were blogs or discussion forum, 1 required an access login, and 1 was inaccessible. They analyzed 45 websites, the overall quality of the websites about depression was good. Those with a high score on the .....read more »

Expressions of Depression by Mr. Grinch

Walter van den Broek
December 18, 2009
This video shows the hallmarks of depression which is not only low or sad mood but also being irritable, grumpy and seeking social isolation. These features are xecelnt expressed in this video. For a more precise description of the hallmarks of depression in this video please see: Grinch likely depressed, suffers from lack of love, joy, expert says at physorg. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill psychologist Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D. tells you more about these symptoms in the video So, Bulik says, besides learning that Christmas doesn’t come from a store, we can learn from the Grinch that depression doesn’t .....read more »

Is Screening for Depression in Primary Care Useful?

Walter van den Broek
December 11, 2009
Depression is common the estimated lifetime prevalence is 15%. Most patients with depressive disorders are treated by primary care physicians. Approximately 43% of such primary care patients report some degree of suicidal ideation within the previous week. So treating these patients is no sinecure. Moreover, diagnosing depressive disorder in primary care is not easy. Is it useful to do screening for depression in primary care? A review was conducted for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force about the benefits and harms of screening adult patients for depression. The articles were reviewed by two investigators against in and exclusion criteria, the articles .....read more »

Can MRI Scans Predict Outcome in Depression?

Walter van den Broek
November 25, 2009
In a recent previous post the topic was the neuroanatomy of depression, or which sites of the brain can play a role in depression. Which parts of the brain show the dysfunction underlying depression. MRI scans can link neurobiology of depression with clinical findings through brain imaging studies that examine regional structure, regional function or connectivity. This can aid the diagnosis of depression. But can structural and functional MRI predict response to an antidepressant or psychotherapy? From a recent review including studies examining the relations between imaging and clinical outcome in patients with depression: In general, patients who remit have larger pretreatment .....read more »

The Functional Neuroanatomy of Depression

Dr Shock
November 23, 2009
Based on the results from functional neuroimaging studies, lesion patient studies and brain stimulation studies two important brain areas play an important role in the pathophysiology of depression. These two brain area s are the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is depicted in red on the picture above and the dorsolateral prefrontalcortex in blue. The red part is in the forehead on the inside of the two brain half's (hemispheres) (A) and the blue part is on the outside of the frontal part of both brain parts (B). The funny thing is that .....read more »