Increased levels of peripheral cytokines have been previously associated with depression in preclinical and clinical research. Although the precise nature of peripheral immune dysfunction in depression remains unclear, evidence from animal studies points towards a dysregulated response of peripheral leukocytes as a risk factor for stress susceptibility. This study examined dynamic release of inflammatory blood factors from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in depressed patients and associations with neural and behavioral measures of reward processing. Thirty unmedicated patients meeting criteria for unipolar depressive disorder and 21 healthy control volunteers were enrolled. PBMCs were isolated from whole blood and stimulated ex vivo with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Olink multiplex assay was used to analyze a large panel of inflammatory proteins. Participants completed functional magnetic resonance imaging with an incentive flanker task to probe neural responses to reward anticipation, as well as clinical measures of anhedonia and pleasure including the Temporal Experience of Pleasure Scale (TEPS) and the Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale (SHAPS). LPS stimulation revealed larger increases in immune factors in depressed compared to healthy subjects using an aggregate immune score (t49 = 2.83, p = 0.007). Higher peripheral immune score was associated with reduced neural responses to reward anticipation within the ventral striatum (VS) (r = −0.39, p = 0.01), and with reduced anticipation of pleasure as measured with the TEPS anticipatory sub-score (r = −0.318, p = 0.023). Our study provides new evidence suggesting that dynamic hyper-reactivity of peripheral leukocytes in depressed patients is associated with blunted activation of the brain reward system and lower subjective anticipation of pleasure.
This paper outlines a hierarchical Bayesian framework for interoception, homeostatic/allostatic control, and meta-cognition that connects fatigue and depression to the experience of chronic dyshomeostasis. Specifically, viewing interoception as the inversion of a generative model of viscerosensory inputs allows for a formal definition of dyshomeostasis (as chronically enhanced surprise about bodily signals, or, equivalently, low evidence for the brain's model of bodily states) and allostasis (as a change in prior beliefs or predictions which define setpoints for homeostatic reflex arcs). Critically, we propose that the performance of interoceptive-allostatic circuitry is monitored by a metacognitive layer that updates beliefs about the brain's capacity to successfully regulate bodily states (allostatic self-efficacy). In this framework, fatigue and depression can be understood as sequential responses to the interoceptive experience of dyshomeostasis and the ensuing metacognitive diagnosis of low allostatic self-efficacy. While fatigue might represent an early response with adaptive value (cf. sickness behavior), the experience of chronic dyshomeostasis may trigger a generalized belief of low self-efficacy and lack of control (cf. learned helplessness), resulting in depression. This perspective implies alternative pathophysiological mechanisms that are reflected by differential abnormalities in the effective connectivity of circuits for interoception and allostasis. We discuss suitably extended models of effective connectivity that could distinguish these connectivity patterns in individual patients and may help inform differential diagnosis of fatigue and depression in the future.
Brain function relies on efficient communications between distinct brain systems. The pathology of major depressive disorder (MDD) damages functional brain networks, resulting in cognitive impairment. Here, we reviewed the associations between brain functional connectome changes and MDD pathogenesis. We also highlighted the utility of brain functional connectome for differentiating MDD from other similar psychiatric disorders, predicting recurrence and suicide attempts in MDD, and evaluating treatment responses. Converging evidence has now linked aberrant brain functional network organization in MDD to the dysregulation of neurotransmitter signaling and neuroplasticity, providing insights into the neurobiological mechanisms of the disease and antidepressant efficacy. Widespread connectome dysfunctions in MDD patients include multiple, large-scale brain networks as well as local disturbances in brain circuits associated with negative and positive valence systems and cognitive functions. Although the clinical utility of the brain functional connectome remains to be realized, recent findings provide further promise that research in this area may lead to improved diagnosis, treatments, and clinical outcomes of MDD.
Several care models have been developed to improve treatment for depression, all of which provide “enhanced” evidence-based care (EEC). The essential component of these approaches is Measurement-Based Care (MBC). Specifically, Collaborative Care (CC), and Algorithm-guided Treatment (AGT), and Integrated Care (IC) all use varying forms of rigorous MBC assessment, care management, and/or treatment algorithms as key instruments to optimize treatment delivery and outcomes for depression. This meta-analysis systematically examined the effectiveness of EEC versus usual care for depressive disorders based on cluster-randomized studies or randomized controlled trials (RCTs). PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and PsycInfo, EMBASE, up to January 6th, 2020 were searched for this meta-analysis. The electronic search was supplemented by a manual search. Standardized mean difference (SMD), risk ratio (RR), and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated and analyzed. A total of 29 studies with 15,255 participants were analyzed. EEC showed better effectiveness with the pooled RR for response of 1.30 (95%CI: 1.13–1.50, I2 = 81.9%, P
Context: Chronic pain (CP) is a common and serious medical condition, with an estimated 100 million people affected in the United States. In the 1990s, opioids were increasingly prescribed to manage chronic pain, and this practice contributed to the opioid epidemic of the 21st century. To combat this epidemic, multidisciplinary approaches to chronic pain management are being researched and implemented. Objective: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness of an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course implemented in a semi-rural population with chronic pain. Methods: Participants were recruited from a community-based teaching hospital in Corvallis, Oregon, for a pre-post study. Participants aged 34 to 77 years who reported having chronic pain lasting for at least 1 year before enrollment were included. Participants took an 8-week group MBSR course in 2.5-hour weekly sessions taught by an experienced MBSR instructor. Techniques were self-practiced between sessions with a goal of 30 minutes per day, 6 days per week. Pre- and postsurvey measurements of pain, depression, and functional capacity were taken via online surveys using the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9), the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), and a shortened version of the Modified Oswestry Disability Index (MO). Participants were asked about their satisfaction with the program content, instructor, timing, and location. Results: Twenty-eight participants were included in the study. Paired t tests found significant improvements in PHQ-9, PCS, and MO percent scores from before to after the course. PHQ-9 scores decreased by a mean of 3.7 points (95% CI, -5.5, -1.8), PCS scores decreased by a mean of 4.6 points (95% CI: -7.2, -2.0), and MO percent score decreased by a mean of 9.4% (95% CI: -14.2%, -4.6%). Results showed an overall downward shift in the distribution of depression, disability, and pain scores after the course. Conclusions: MBSR classes were found to benefit participants with chronic pain and depression in this setting, fostering significant improvement in participant perceptions of pain, mood, and functional capacity.
OBJECTIVE: To assess benefits of mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-based intervention for opioid-treated chronic low back pain (CLBP). DESIGN: 26-week parallel-arm pilot randomized controlled trial (Intervention and Usual Care versus Usual Care alone). SETTING: Outpatient. SUBJECTS: Adults with CLBP, prescribed ≥30 mg/day of morphine-equivalent dose (MED) for at least 3 months. METHODS: The intervention comprised eight weekly group sessions (meditation and CLBP-specific CBT components) and 30 minutes/day, 6 days/week of at-home practice. Outcome measures were collected at baseline, 8, and 26 weeks: primary-pain severity (Brief Pain Inventory) and function/disability (Oswestry Disability Index); secondary-pain acceptance, opioid dose, pain sensitivity to thermal stimuli, and serum pain-sensitive biomarkers (Interferon-γ; Tumor Necrosis Factor-α; Interleukins 1ß and 6; C-reactive Protein). RESULTS: Thirty-five (21 experimental, 14 control) participants were enrolled and completed the study. They were 51.8 ± 9.7 years old, 80% female, with severe CLBP-related disability (66.7 ± 11.4), moderate pain severity (5.8 ± 1.4), and taking 148.3 ± 129.2 mg/day of MED. Results of the intention-to-treat analysis showed that, compared with controls, the meditation-CBT group reduced pain severity ratings during the study (P = 0.045), with between-group difference in score change reaching 1 point at 26 weeks (95% Confidence Interval: 0.2,1.9; Cohen's d = 0.86), and decreased pain sensitivity to thermal stimuli (P
Summary Background Emerging evidence suggests increased risk of several physical health conditions in people with ADHD. Only a few physical conditions have been thoroughly studied in relation to ADHD, and there is little knowledge on associations in older adults in particular. We aimed to investigate the phenotypic and aetiological associations between ADHD and a wide range of physical health conditions across adulthood. Methods We did a register study in Sweden and identified full-sibling and maternal half-sibling pairs born between Jan 1, 1932, and Dec 31, 1995, through the Population and Multi-Generation Registers. We excluded individuals who died or emigrated before Jan 1, 2005, and included full-siblings who were not twins and did not have half-siblings. ICD diagnoses were obtained from the National Patient Register. We extracted ICD diagnoses for physical conditions, when participants were aged 18 years or older, from inpatient (recorded 1973–2013) and outpatient (recorded 2001–13) services. Diagnoses were regarded as lifetime presence or absence. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the associations between ADHD (exposure) and 35 physical conditions (outcomes) in individuals and across sibling pairs. Quantitative genetic modelling was used to estimate the extent to which genetic and environmental factors accounted for the associations with ADHD. Findings 4 789 799 individuals were identified (2 449 146 [51%] men and 2 340 653 [49%] women), who formed 4 288 451 unique sibling pairs (3 819 207 full-sibling pairs and 469 244 maternal half-sibling pairs) and 1 841 303 family clusters (siblings, parents, cousins, spouses). The mean age at end of follow-up was 47 years (range 18–81; mean birth year 1966); ethnicity data were not available. Adults with ADHD had increased risk for most physical conditions (34 [97%] of 35) compared with adults without ADHD; the strongest associations were with nervous system disorders (eg, sleep disorders, epilepsy, dementia; odds ratios [ORs] 1·50–4·62) and respiratory diseases (eg, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; ORs 2·42–3·24). Sex-stratified analyses showed similar patterns of results in men and women. Stronger cross-disorder associations were found between full-siblings than between half-siblings for nervous system, respiratory, musculoskeletal, and metabolic diseases (p
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a major and progressive neurodegenerative disorder, yet the biological mechanisms involved in its aetiology are poorly understood. Evidence links this disorder with mitochondrial dysfunction and/or impaired lysosomal degradation – key features of the autophagy of mitochondria, known as mitophagy. Here, we investigated the role of LRRK2, a protein kinase frequently mutated in PD, in this process in vivo. Using mitophagy and autophagy reporter mice, bearing either knockout of LRRK2 or expressing the pathogenic kinase-activating G2019S LRRK2 mutation, we found that basal mitophagy was specifically altered in clinically relevant cells and tissues. Our data show that basal mitophagy inversely correlates with LRRK2 kinase activity in vivo. In support of this, use of distinct LRRK2 kinase inhibitors in cells increased basal mitophagy, and a CNS penetrant LRRK2 kinase inhibitor, GSK3357679A, rescued the mitophagy defects observed in LRRK2 G2019S mice. This study provides the first in vivo evidence that pathogenic LRRK2 directly impairs basal mitophagy, a process with strong links to idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, and demonstrates that pharmacological inhibition of LRRK2 is a rational mitophagy-rescue approach and potential PD therapy.
Importance Chronic back pain (CBP) is a leading cause of disability, and treatment is often ineffective. Approximately 85% of cases are primary CBP, for which peripheral etiology cannot be identified, and maintenance factors include fear, avoidance, and beliefs that pain indicates injury. Objective To test whether a psychological treatment (pain reprocessing therapy [PRT]) aiming to shift patients’ beliefs about the causes and threat value of pain provides substantial and durable pain relief from primary CBP and to investigate treatment mechanisms. Design, Setting, and Participants This randomized clinical trial with longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and 1-year follow-up assessment was conducted in a university research setting from November 2017 to August 2018, with 1-year follow-up completed by November 2019. Clinical and fMRI data were analyzed from January 2019 to August 2020. The study compared PRT with an open-label placebo treatment and with usual care in a community sample. Interventions Participants randomized to PRT participated in 1 telehealth session with a physician and 8 psychological treatment sessions over 4 weeks. Treatment aimed to help patients reconceptualize their pain as due to nondangerous brain activity rather than peripheral tissue injury, using a combination of cognitive, somatic, and exposure-based techniques. Participants randomized to placebo received an open-label subcutaneous saline injection in the back; participants randomized to usual care continued their routine, ongoing care. Main Outcomes and Measures One-week mean back pain intensity score (0 to 10) at posttreatment, pain beliefs, and fMRI measures of evoked pain and resting connectivity. Results At baseline, 151 adults (54% female; mean [SD] age, 41.1 [15.6] years) reported mean (SD) pain of low to moderate severity (mean [SD] pain intensity, 4.10 [1.26] of 10; mean [SD] disability, 23.34 [10.12] of 100) and mean (SD) pain duration of 10.0 (8.9) years. Large group differences in pain were observed at posttreatment, with a mean (SD) pain score of 1.18 (1.24) in the PRT group, 2.84 (1.64) in the placebo group, and 3.13 (1.45) in the usual care group. Hedges g was −1.14 for PRT vs placebo and −1.74 for PRT vs usual care (P
Early life stress has been linked to increased methylation of the Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 3 Group C Member 1 (NR3C1) gene, which codes for the glucocorticoid receptor. Moreover, early life stress has been associated with substance use initiation at a younger age, a risk factor for developing substance use disorders. However, no studies to date have investigated whether NR3C1 methylation can predict substance use in young individuals. This study included adolescents 13–14 years of age that reported no history of substance use at baseline, (N = 1041; males = 46%). Participants contributed saliva DNA samples and were followed in middle adolescence as part of KUPOL, a prospective cohort study of 7th-grade students in Sweden. Outcome variables were self-reports of (i) recent use, (ii) lifetime use, and (iii) use duration of (a) alcohol, (b) tobacco products, (c) cannabis, or (d) any substance. Outcomes were measured annually for three consecutive years. The predictor variable was DNA methylation at the exon 1 F locus of NR3C1. Risk and rate ratios were calculated as measures of association, with or without adjustment for internalizing symptoms and parental psychiatric disorders. For a subset of individuals (N = 320), there were also morning and afternoon salivary cortisol measurements available that were analyzed in relation to NR3C1 methylation levels. Baseline NR3C1 hypermethylation associated with future self-reports of recent use and use duration of any substance, before and after adjustment for potential confounders. The overall estimates were attenuated when considering lifetime use. Sex-stratified analyses revealed the strongest association for cigarette use in males. Cortisol analyses revealed associations between NR3C1 methylation and morning cortisol levels. Findings from this study suggest that saliva NR3C1 hypermethylation can predict substance use in middle adolescence. Additional longitudinal studies are warranted to confirm these findings.