Abstract in English:Objective: We investigated whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with neuroplasticity and activity of monoamine neurotransmitters, such as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, rs6265), the serotonin transporter (SLC6A4, rs25531), the tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1, rs1800532), the 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 2A (HTR2A, rs6311, rs6313, rs7997012), and the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT, rs4680) genes, are associated with efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in major depression. Methods: Data from the Escitalopram vs. Electrical Current Therapy for Treating Depression Clinical Study (ELECT-TDCS) were used. Participants were antidepressant-free at baseline and presented with an acute, moderate-to-severe unipolar depressive episode. They were randomized to receive escitalopram/tDCS-sham (n=75), tDCS/placebo-pill (n=75), or placebo-pill/sham-tDCS (n=45). General linear models assessed the interaction between treatment group and allele-wise carriers. Additional analyses were performed for each group and each genotype separately. Results: Pairwise group comparisons (tDCS vs. placebo, tDCS vs. escitalopram, and escitalopram vs. placebo) did not identify alleles associated with depression improvement. In addition, exploratory analyses also did not identify any SNP unequivocally associated with improvement of depression in any treatment group. Conclusion: Larger, combined datasets are necessary to identify candidate genes for tDCS response.
Abstract in English:Objective: To explore the role of personality traits in at-risk drinking and current cannabis use among medical students. Methods: This cross-sectional study evaluated 707 medical students from two universities. Multiple logistic regression models for at-risk drinking and current cannabis use were constructed including sociodemographic, psychiatric, and personality variables. Results: At-risk drinking and current cannabis use were reported by 19.3% and 14.9% of participants, respectively. Models including Big Five measures showed associations of at-risk drinking with higher extraversion (p < 0.00001, adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.9) and lower conscientiousness (p = 0.00001, AOR = 0.5); cannabis use was also associated with lower conscientiousness (p = 0.003, AOR = 0.6), besides higher openness to experience (p = 0.002, AOR = 1.9). Models including measures of the Behavioral Inhibition and Activation Systems scales (BIS/BAS) showed associations of at-risk drinking with lower BIS (p = 0.002, AOR = 0.9) and higher BAS fun-seeking (p = 0.0005, AOR = 1.2); cannabis use was also associated with higher BAS fun-seeking (p = 0.008, AOR = 1.2). Personality variables had modest effects on model fit. Conclusion: Specific personality traits were independently associated with at-risk drinking and current cannabis use, albeit with modest effect sizes.
Abstract in English:Objective: Anxiety and depression are prevalent among medical students. Brazilian medical students have higher levels of depression and lower quality of life than their U.S. counterparts, and no preventive intervention exists for this risk group in Brazil. The Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (UP), a cognitive-behavioral treatment protocol for neuroticism, was recently adapted into a single-session, preventive intervention. This study tested the impact of this protocol on psychiatric symptoms and quality of life in Brazilian medical students. Methods: In this open trial, the intervention protocol was translated and adapted to Brazilian Portuguese. Medical students over 18 years of age without psychotic symptoms, severe depressive episodes, or acute psychiatric risk were included, undergoing a psychiatric clinical interview (Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview [MINI]) and evaluation at baseline and at 7 and 30 days after a single-session UP that included experimental avoidance, quality of life, self-esteem, empathy, and anxiety symptom scales. A new evaluation was performed 90 days after the intervention. Results: Sixty-two students participated. Ninety days after the intervention, there were significant reductions in the number of students who met the criteria for social anxiety disorder (p = 0.013) or panic disorder (p = 0.001). There were also significant improvements in depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory, p < 0.001) and quality of life (Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire, p < 0.001). Conclusion: UP improved anxiety and depressive symptoms in medical students. The single-session group format could reduce costs and facilitate application. Future placebo-controlled studies are necessary to confirm these findings.
Abstract in English:Objective: Autistic traits are associated with a burdensome clinical presentation of anorexia nervosa (AN), as is AN with concurrent depression. The aim of the present study was to explore the intertwined association between complex psychopathology combining autistic traits, subthreshold bipolarity, and mixed depression among people with AN. Method: Sixty patients with AN and concurrent major depressive episode (mean age, 22.2±7 years) were cross-sectionally assessed using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient test (AQ-test), the Hamilton depression scales for depression and anxiety, the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), the Hypomania-Checklist-32 (HCL-32), second revision (for subthreshold bipolarity), the Brown Assessment and Beliefs Scale (BABS), the Yale-Brown-Cornell Eating Disorders Scale (YBC-EDS), and the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q). Cases were split into two groups depending on body mass index (BMI): severe AN (AN+) if BMI < 16, not severe (AN-) if BMI ≥ 16. Results: The “subthreshold bipolarity with prominent autistic traits” pattern correctly classified 83.6% of AN patients (AN+ = 78.1%; AN- = 91.3%, Exp(B) = 1.391). AN+ cases showed higher rates of positive scores for YMRS items 2 (increased motor activity-energy) and 5 (irritability) compared to AN- cases. Conclusions: In our sample, depressed patients with severe AN had more pronounced autistic traits and subtly mixed bipolarity. Further studies with larger samples and prospective follow-up of treatment outcomes are warranted to replicate these findings.
Abstract in English:Objective: This was the first national epidemiological study on oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) in Iran, which provided new information about the prevalence, comorbidities, and sociodemographic predictors of ODD. Methods: Data from a face-to-face household survey of 30,532 children and adolescents aged 6-18 years were collected from across all 31 provinces of Iran using a multistage cluster sampling design. The Persian version of the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children – Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL) was used in this study. Results: The lifetime prevalence of ODD was found to be 3.9%. ODD was significantly more common in boys than girls and appeared in late adolescence more frequently than in childhood. A lower prevalence of ODD was found among participants who lived in rural areas. ODD is highly likely to co-occur with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and depressive disorders. Conclusions: The findings of this national population-based study confirm and extend previous findings on the prevalence, comorbidities, and sociodemographic predictors of ODD.
Abstract in English:Objective: Presence of psychotic symptoms seems to be a commonplace in early-onset bipolar disorder (BD). However, few studies have examined their occurrence in adolescent-onset BD. We sought to investigate the frequency of affective and psychotic symptoms observed during the first manic episode in adolescents. Methods: Forty-nine adolescents with bipolar I disorder (DSM-IV criteria) were admitted to a psychiatric hospital during their first acute manic episode. Assessment for current psychiatric diagnosis was performed by direct clinical interview and the DSM-IV version of the Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents (DICA). Results: Teenage inpatients with BD consistently exhibited typical manic features, such as euphoria, grandiosity, and psychomotor agitation. In addition, disorganization and psychotic symptoms were present in 82 and 55% of the total sample, respectively. There was no significant difference in symptoms between early- and late-adolescent subgroups. Remarkably, most patients (76%) reported previous depressive episode(s); of these, 47% had prominent psychotic features in the prior depressive period. Conclusion: These findings suggest that disorganization and psychotic symptoms during the first manic episode are salient features in adolescent-onset BD, and that psychotic depression frequently may precede psychotic mania. Nevertheless, differential diagnosis with schizophrenia should be routinely ruled out in cases of early-onset first psychotic episode.
Abstract in English:Objective: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of a 5 mg sublingual dose of zolpidem, compared to a 10 mg oral dose, at bedtime and “as needed” following middle-of-the-night awakenings. Methods: Participants were randomized into an oral group (oral zolpidem 10 mg and sublingual placebo at bedtime and “as-needed”) and a sublingual group (oral placebo and sublingual zolpidem 5 mg at bedtime and “as-needed”). Participants underwent medical evaluation, polysomnography, the psychomotor vigilance test, and completed questionnaires. Results: Of 85 patients, 67 met the criteria for insomnia (48±10 years; 79% women) and were randomized. Of these, 46 completed 92±5 days of treatment. Mild-to-moderate adverse events were reported by 25% of the participants, including headache, sleepiness, and dizziness. Both treatments decreased middle-of-the-night awakenings by an average of -3.1±2.3 days/week and increased total sleep time by 1.5 hours. Changes in sleep quality and insomnia severity scores were also favorable and comparable between groups: variation depended on continuation of treatment. Regarding PSG findings, sleep latency decreased more in the sublingual group than the oral group (-14±42 vs. 10±29 min; p = 0.03). The psychomotor vigilance test showed minor residual effects 30 minutes after awakening, which reversed after 2 hours. Conclusions: The safety and efficacy of both zolpidem formulations are comparable. The sublingual 5 mg dose induced sleep more rapidly. Clinical trial registration: NCT01896336
Abstract in English:Objective: The ICD-11 Trauma Questionnaire (ITQ) was developed as a joint effort by researchers from several countries to evaluate post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and complex-PTSD (C-PTSD) symptoms. This study is part of a multi-center international collaborative research project that aims to provide psychometric support for this initial instrument in different languages, considering the specific contexts related to complex traumatization. This study verified the psychometric characteristics of the Portuguese version of the ITQ, evaluating symptoms beyond those described the existing literature. Methods: We examined the results of a convenience sample totaling 268 Portuguese and Angolan participants. Two instruments were applied: the ITQ, which evaluates symptoms resulting from a traumatic life event, and the Life Events Checklist (LEC), which evaluates stressful life events. The general characteristics of the scales are described, and reliability analysis and validity studies were performed. Results: Cronbach’s alpha varied between 0.84 and 0.88, and the exploratory factorial analysis results were consistent with the concept of C-PTSD, with five components explaining 61.58% of scale variance. Conclusion: The results suggest good psychometric characteristics for the Portuguese version of the ITQ, and thus it can be included in protocols intended evaluating complex traumatic symptoms.
Abstract in English:Objective: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is often accompanied by stigma, which could contribute to a worse prognosis. The objective of this study is to identify the variables associated with stigma in PD patients who are candidates for deep brain stimulation (DBS). Methods: We investigated sociodemographic and clinical variables associated with stigma in a sample of 54 PD patients indicated for DBS. The independent variables were motor symptoms assessed by the Movement Disorder Society‐sponsored revision of the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS III), depressive symptoms measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, age, disease duration and the presence of a general medical condition. The Mobility, Activities of daily living and Emotional well-being domains of the 39-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) were also investigated as independent variables, and the Stigma domain of the PDQ-39 scale was considered the outcome variable. Results: After multiple linear regression analysis, activities of daily living remained associated with the Stigma domain (B = 0.42 [95%CI 0.003-0.83], p = 0.048). The full model accounted for 15% of the variance in the Stigma domain (p = 0.03). Conclusions: Although causal assumptions are not appropriate for cross-sectional studies, the results suggest that ADL difficulties could contribute to greater stigma in PD patients with refractory motor symptoms who are candidates for DBS.
Abstract in English:Objective: Depression is highly prevalent in hemodialysis patients, but few studies have evaluated older hemodialysis patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of depression, its associated factors and its impact on quality of life in an older population on hemodialysis. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study including 173 hemodialysis patients aged 60 years or older in Recife, Brazil. Depression was evaluated using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview when depressive symptoms (according to the 5-item Geriatric Depression Scale) were present. Quality of life was assessed with the Control, Autonomy, Self-realization and Pleasure Questionnaire (CASP-16). Data were also collected on sociodemographic, laboratory (albumin, parathormone, hemoglobin, and phosphorus) and dialysis (dialysis vintage, vascular access and hemodialysis adequacy) characteristics. Results: Depression was present in 22.5% of the sample. Depressed patients presented low CASP-16 quality of life scores (31.6 vs. 24.2, p < 0.001), twice the odds of albumin levels < 3.8 g/dL (OR 2.36; 95%CI 1.10-5.07; p = 0.027) and higher parathormone levels (OR 1.06; 95%CI 1.00-1.13; p = 0.05). Conclusion: Older hemodialysis patients have a high prevalence of depression. Depressed patients presented poor quality of life, lower serum albumin and higher parathormone levels. Teams dealing with older hemodialysis patients should include depression and quality of life assessments in care protocols.
Abstract in English:Objective: To evaluate the impact of multidimensional interventions on quality of life (QoL) and depressive symptoms in Brazilian older adults living in the community. Methods: Longitudinal, quasi-experimental study of older adults receiving conventional primary health care (PHC). The interventions were designed in response to a first round of data collection and validated through pilot testing in groups of older adults from another community. The validated interventions were then applied to an intervention group (IG). To measure their effect, we used the Medical Outcomes Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) quality of life scale and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-30). Results: The sample comprised 118 participants. IG participants exhibited significant improvement in several QoL domains (SF-36): mental health (p = 0.010), general health perceptions (p = 0.016), and physical functioning (p = 0.045). No such improvement occurred in controls (p > 0.050). The prevalence of depression (GDS-30) fell from 36.7 to 23.3% in the IG, despite no significant difference (p = 0.272). Controls also reported a reduction in depressive symptoms, but only from 44.8 to 41.4% (p = 0.112). Conclusions: This multidimensional intervention was associated with significant improvement in mental health, general health perceptions, and physical functioning in a sample of Brazilian older adults. Clinical trial registration: RBR-92dbtx.
Abstract in English:Objective: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Brazilians aged 10 to 24 years. We aimed to review and describe the research output on suicide in children and adolescents in Brazil and to identify strengths and gaps in this literature. Methods: PubMed/MEDLINE was searched for studies on suicide of children and adolescents (aged 0-19 years) in Brazil, published from inception to December 31, 2017. Results: Our search identified 1,061 records, of which 146 were included. A large proportion (134 studies; 90.4%) were original articles classified as observational epidemiological studies. Fifty-two articles (35.6%) used primary data. Of those, 18 (12.3%) evaluated prevalence of suicidal behaviors in population-based samples. Seventy studies (47.9%) addressed death by suicide, and the remainder reported other phenomena, such as ideation, planning, or suicide attempt. Only 37 publications (25.3%) studied children and/or adolescents exclusively. Most of the studies (53.5%) were conducted with samples from the South and Southeast regions of Brazil. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that the body of evidence on suicide among children and adolescents in Brazil is limited. The scientific output is of low quality, and there is a complete lack of interventional studies specifically designed for the youth population.
Abstract in English:Objective: To evaluate the association between childhood trauma (CT) and serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) during crack-cocaine withdrawal. Method: Thirty-three male crack-cocaine users were recruited at admission to a public addiction treatment unit. Serum BDNF and TBARS levels were evaluated at intake and discharge. Information about drug use was assessed by the Addiction Severity Index-6th Version (ASI-6); CT was reported throughout the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). CTQ scores were calculated based on a latent analysis model that divided the sample into low-, medium-, and high-level trauma groups. Results: There was a significant increase in BDNF levels from admission to discharge, which did not differ across CT subgroups. For TBARS levels, we found a significant time vs. trauma interaction (F2,28 = 6.357, p = 0.005,ηp 2 = 0.312). In participants with low trauma level, TBARS decreased, while in those with a high trauma level, TBARS increased during early withdrawal. Conclusion: TBARS levels showed opposite patterns of change in crack-cocaine withdrawal according to baseline CT. These results suggest that CT could be associated with more severe neurological impairment during withdrawal.
Abstract in English:Current pharmacotherapy of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is palliative and unable to modify the progression of neurodegeneration. Treatments that can improve patients’ quality of life with fewer side effects are needed, but not yet available. Cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychotomimetic constituent of cannabis, has received considerable research attention in the last decade. In this context, we aimed to critically review the literature on potential therapeutic effects of CBD in PD and discuss clinical and preclinical evidence supporting the putative neuroprotective mechanisms of CBD. We searched MEDLINE (via PubMed) for indexed articles published in English from inception to 2019. The following keywords were used: cannabis; cannabidiol and neuroprotection; endocannabinoids and basal ganglia; Parkinson’s animal models; Parkinson’s history; Parkinson’s and cannabidiol. Few studies addressed the biological bases for the purported effects of CBD on PD. Six preclinical studies showed neuroprotective effects, while three targeted the antidyskinetic effects of CBD. Three human studies have tested CBD in patients with PD: an open-label study, a case series, and a randomized controlled trial. These studies reported therapeutic effects of CBD on non-motor symptoms. Additional research is needed to elucidate the potential effectiveness of CBD in PD and the underlying mechanisms involved.