What is new in research on depression?
In this Research Roundup, we explore new studies on several different types of depression, their effects on specific patient populations, and the efficacy of treatments such as psychotherapy and exercise interventions.
Efficacy of Exercise Interventions on Depressive Symptoms in Children and Adolescents
This systematic review and meta-analysis of 35 studies investigated the effect of exercise interventions on depressive symptoms in children and adolescents. The results suggest that exercise interventions can be effective in reducing depressive symptoms in this population, with moderate to large effect sizes observed. However, the investigators note that more high-quality studies are needed to confirm these findings and determine the optimal type, intensity, and duration of exercise interventions.
“The effects of exercise interventions on depressive symptoms in children and adolescents are related to the exercise modality; therefore, selecting appropriate and effective exercise modalities is crucial in preventing or reducing depression in this population,” the investigators concluded. “Based on the available evidence, this study provides preliminary confirmation of the ranking of the effects of the 4 exercise interventions, with aerobic exercise being superior to group training, which is superior to resistance training, which is superior to aerobic combined with resistance exercise.”
Li J, Zhou X, Huang Z, Shao T. Effect of exercise intervention on depression in children and adolescents: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. BMC Public Health. 2023;23(1):1918.
Effects of Internet-Delivered Psychotherapy on Patients With Depression or Anxiety
The MULTI-PSYCH study is a Swedish cohort study that investigates the effectiveness of internet-delivered psychotherapy for individuals with anxiety or depression. The study includes genetic, clinical, and socioeconomic data, and has already yielded findings related to genetic risk scores, symptom reduction, and predictors of major depressive disorder (MDD) remission. The study is ongoing and aims to contribute to the development of personalized mental health treatments.
“Initial uses of MULTI-PSYCH include the discovery of an association between polygenic risk scores for autism spectrum disorder and response to internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (ICBT), the development of a machine learning model for baseline prediction of remission status after ICBT in MDD and data contributions to genome wide association studies for ICBT outcome,” the investigators wrote. “Other projects have been launched or are in the planning phase.”
Boberg J, Kaldo V, Mataix-Cols D, et al. Swedish multimodal cohort of patients with anxiety or depression treated with internet-delivered psychotherapy (MULTI-PSYCH). BMJ Open. 2023;13(10):e069427.
Connections Between Age at First Birth and Postpartum Depression
This study utilized Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis to investigate the relationship between age at first birth (AFB) and postpartum depression (PPD). The analysis revealed a statistically significant negative correlation between AFB and PPD, suggesting that delaying the age of first childbirth may reduce the risk of PPD. The study also identified potential mediating factors such as major depressive disorder, family income levels, and marital stress that may influence this relationship.
The investigators concluded that, “AFB may be an important risk factor that may provide more clues for PPD prevention and treatment.”
Ou Z, Gao Z, Wang Q, Lin Y, Ye D. Association between age at first birth and postpartum depression: a two-sample Mendelian randomization analysis. Heliyon. 2023;9(10):e20500.
Note: Assistance from ChatPDF and ChatGPT was used in the preparation of this research roundup.
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