Depression Research Roundup: February 2, 2024

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What is new in research on depression?

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science thodonal_AdobeStock

In this Research Roundup, we explore new studies on depression, major depressive disorder (MDD), and novel treatment approaches in various patient populations.

Investigating Zuranolone for the Treatment of MDD
This systematic review of the efficacy and safety of zuranolone in treating MDD included 4 studies with 1454 patients. The meta-analysis indicated significant improvements in depressive symptoms, as measured by Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) scores, with higher response and remission rates in the treatment group compared with the control group at day 15. Despite mostly positive outcomes, zuranolone use was also associated with an increased incidence of adverse reactions, emphasizing the importance of considering safety implications in its clinical application.

The investigators concluded that, overall, “Our findings suggest that zuranolone is a promising, simple, and convenient treatment for patients with MDD, offering potential guidance for clinical practice.”

Reference

Wang S, Zhang W, Liu Z, et al. Efficacy and safety of zuranolone in the treatment of major depressive disorder: a meta-analysisFront Neurosci. 2024;17:1332329.

Depression, Anxiety, and Smartphone Addiction in Nursing Students During the Pandemic
This study aimed to examine the association between symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and smartphone addiction in nursing students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings revealed a high prevalence (62.6%) of smartphone addiction among the 206 participating nursing students, with a significant relationship observed between symptoms of depression and anxiety, ranging from moderate to severe, and smartphone addiction.
The investigators concluded that, “The data show that the construction and implementation of smartphone use policies in the academic and hospital context to prevent smartphone addiction and control associated risk factors is necessary.”

Reference

Meneses MO, Andrade EMLR. Relationship between depression, anxiety, stress and smartphone addiction in COVID-19 nursing studentsRev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2024;32:e4056.

A New Approach to Measuring Remission in MDD
The study introduced a FATCAT-awFC pipeline, combining functional and structural connectivity data to explore neural network-level changes associated with symptom remission in MDD. Using this approach on participants undergoing antidepressant treatment, remitters (REM) were differentiated from non-remitters (NREM) by lower anatomically weighted functional connectivity (awFC) within specific brain networks. Longitudinal analysis revealed distinct connectivity changes for REM from baseline to week 8, emphasizing the utility of the pipeline in providing a comprehensive understanding of connectivity alterations associated with MDD symptom remission.

The investigators concluded that, “The FATCAT-awFC pipeline has the benefit of providing insight on the 'full picture' of connectivity changes for REMs and NREMs while making for an easy, intuitive approach.”

Reference

Ayyash S, Davis AD, Alders GL, et al. Assessing remission in major depressive disorder using a functional-structural data fusion pipeline: a CAN-BIND-1 studyIBRO Neurosci Rep. 2024;16:135-146.

Note: This Research Roundup was prepared with the assistance of ChatGPT.

Let us hear from you! Want to share your insights with colleagues on the latest research on depression and other psychiatric disorders, treatments, and issues? Write to us at PTEditor@mmhgroup.com.

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