Adiposity and Cognitive Function Are Bidirectionally Related

February 27, 2023 · Posted in C – May become important in the future, Risk Factors · Comment 

Sakib et al reported in JAMA New Open that ” In this cohort study that included 11,103 adolescents, executive function and episodic memory were bidirectionally associated with adiposity, and this association was statistically mediated through the morphology of the lateral prefrontal cortex. Obesity (BMI) was associated worse executive functioning, episodic memory, and task performance. Thus preserving cognition is another reason beyond physical health to follow a good diet, get exercise, and use medications for weight loss if obesity is a problem.”

Familial Aggregation of Major Depression Predicts Risk of Major Depression

Gronemann et al reported in JAMA Psychiatry: “In this cohort study of 2,903,430 individuals, maternal, paternal, full sibling, or half-sibling with MD were associated with 2-fold higher risks of MD in men and women….(E)xposure to family MD during childhood and adolescence was associated with increased risk. The risk increased with number of affected family members; (however) individuals exposed when 30 years or older had markedly lower risk.

Editors Note: Even depression in grandparents adds further to the risk of depression.  When there is high familial loading for depression and other psychiatric illnesses, one should be alert to the possible onset of depression in young individuals and treat them early and well accordingly.

Abuse Histories Decrease Rate of Remission to Antidepressant Treatment

February 23, 2023 · Posted in B - Clinically Important for Future Consideration · Comment 

Harkness et al reported in The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (2023) “Greater severity of emotional maltreatment perpetrated by the mother was a significant and direct predictor of lower odds of week 16 remission (odds ratio [OR]=1.68, P =0.02). In contrast, the relations of paternal-perpetrated emotional maltreatment and physical maltreatment to week 16 remission were indirect, mediated through greater severity of anhedonia at week 8.”

Editors note: Response to ADs is less good in those with a history of abuse in childhood. Therefore psychotherapy should be added to medications in such situations to attempt to enhance responsiveness.

Sleep Disturbances in Pediatric Bipolar NOS is the Same as in BP I 

Gianni Faedda reported in Frontiers in Psychiatry (2012) that decreased need for sleep is as prominent in BP NOS children as in those with BP I.  So it appears that with the exception of only brief periods of mania in BP NOS, these children have similar characteristics to those with full blown BP I.  Thus in addition to the briefer periods of mania, one should be on the look out for all the symptoms of bipolar disorder that are not typical of ADHD, including brief or extended periods of euphoria, decreased need for sleep, more extreme degrees of irritability and poor frustration tolerance, hallucination, delusions, suicidal and homicidal ideation, more severe depression, and increases in sexual interest and actions.  When these are present, the bipolar mood instability should  be treated first and only then small doses of psychomotor stimulants can be used to treat what ever residual ADHD remains.  The typical symptoms of ADHD are very of present and comorbid in childhood onset bipolar disorder and cannot be used to discriminate the two diagnoses.  The children with BP NOS are as dysfunctional as those with BP I and take longer to stabilize, so pharmacological treatment may need to be intensive, multimodal, and supplemented by Family Focused Therapy (FFT) or a related family therapy.  It is most often not conceptualized as such, but BP NOS as well as BP I should be considered as a medical emergency and handled by a sophisticated pediatrician and/or referred for psychiatric consultation and therapy.  The longer bipolar disorder is not treated, the worse the outcome is in adulthood.