MDD Research Roundup: May 3, 2024


What is new in research on major depressive disorder?

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In this Research Roundup, we explore new studies on promising treatments for and common morbidities associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) in various patient populations.

Suicide Attempt in Comorbid MDD and Autoimmune Thyroiditis

This study investigated the prevalence and determinants of suicide attempts in patients with first-episode drug-naïve (FEDN) MDD and autoimmune thyroiditis. It found that patients with MDD and autoimmune thyroiditis with abnormal thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels have a significantly higher likelihood of reporting suicide attempts compared with those without autoimmune thyroiditis. Furthermore, anxiety levels, thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) levels, and TSH levels are independently associated with suicide attempts in this population.

“Patients with MDD and autoimmune thyroiditis with abnormal TSH are at higher risk for suicide attempt,” the investigators concluded. “TPOAb, TSH, and anxiety are all independently associated with suicide attempts in this population, and regular thyroid checks are warranted.”


Luo Y, Zhou Y, Peng P, et al. Prevalence and clinical correlates of suicide attempts in patients with first-episode drug-naïve major depressive disorder and comorbid autoimmune thyroiditisBJPsych Open. 2024;10(3):e95.

Short-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy for Depressive Disorders

This study systematically reviewed the efficacy of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (STPP) combined with antidepressants for treating depressive disorders. Although STPP did not significantly affect remission rates within the first 6 months, it notably improved various aspects of functioning, such as acceptability, work adjustment, and interpersonal relationships. After 12 months, there was a significant difference in remission rates, with combined therapy showing a favorable outcome.

Notably, adding STPP to pharmacotherapy reduced the recurrence rate by almost 50% in the long term. STPP was particularly effective for patients with longer or more severe depressive episodes and a history of childhood abuse. However, it had no significant impact on comorbid MDD and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The investigators concluded that further research with larger samples is necessary to identify specific patient subgroups that may benefit most from this combined approach.


Di Salvo G, Perotti C, Ricci V, et al. Efficacy and suitability of adding short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (STPP) to pharmacotherapy in patients with depressive disorders: a systematic reviewTrends Psychiatry Psychother. Published online April 30, 2024.

Efficacy of Short Sprint Training for Women With MDD

This study aimed to assess the effects of short sprint training (sSIT) on depressive symptoms, physical fitness, and incidental physical activity in women diagnosed with moderate/severe MDD. In the study, 17 adult women diagnosed with moderate/severe MDD were assigned to either a sSIT group or a control group.

The sSIT group underwent 6 sessions of 6 to 10 minutes over 2 weeks, resulting in significant improvements in depressive symptoms, aerobic fitness, body composition, and incidental physical activity compared with the control group. The investigators concluded that these findings suggest that sSIT may be an effective and time-efficient intervention for treating MDD in women.


Ribeiro JA, Schuch FB, Tonello L, et al. Effectiveness of short sprint interval training in women with major depressive disorder: a proof-of-concept studyFront Psychiatry. 2024;15:1356559.

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

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