Publications by authors named "Beatrice Bortolato"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Peripheral levels of C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, and interleukin-1β across the mood spectrum in bipolar disorder: A meta-analysis of mean differences and variability.

Brain Behav Immun 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Deakin University, IMPACT - the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation, School of Medicine, Barwon Health, 75 Pigdon's Road, Waurn Ponds, Geelong, VIC 3216, Australia. Electronic address:

Importance: It is unclear whether differences exist in the magnitude and variability of pro-inflammatory mediators in the different phases of bipolar disorder (BD) and among subjects with BD, as compared to healthy controls.

Objective: To run a comparative meta-analysis of C-Reactive Protein (CRP), IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α in BD vs healthy controls, measuring mean and variability effects on all subjects. Sensitivity analyses include disease activity.

Data Sources: Systematic review of observational studies in PubMed and PsycInfo up to February 2nd, 2020.

Study Selection: Case-control studies reporting inflammatory mediators' levels in BD and controls.

Data Extraction And Synthesis: Summary distribution measures of circulating CRP, IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α in participants with BD and control groups were extracted. Random-effects multivariate meta-analyses were conducted based on individual study/mediator effect sizes (Hedge's g).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Co-primary outcomes were inflammatory mediators' levels (Hedge's g) and variability (coefficient of variance ratio (CVR)) differences between participants with BD across the mood spectrum and controls.

Results: Out of the initial 729 papers, 72 were assessed and then excluded after full-text review, and ultimately 53 studies were included in the systematic review, while 49 were included in the meta-analysis. The mean age was 36.96 (SD: 9.29) years, and the mean female percentage was 56.31 (SD: 16.61). CRP (g = 0.70, 95% CI 0.31-1.09, k = 37, BD = 2,215 vs HC = 3,750), IL-6 (g = 0.81, 95% CI 0.46-1.16, k = 45, BD = 1,956 vs HC = 4,106), TNF-α (g = 0.49, 95% CI 0.19-0.78, k = 49, BD = 2,231 vs HC = 3,017) were elevated in subjects with BD vs HC, but not IL-1β (g = -0.28, 95% CI -0.68-0.12, k = 4, BD = 87 vs HC = 66). When considering euthymic, depressive, and manic episodes separately, CRP and TNF-α were elevated in both depressive and manic episodes, but not in euthymia, while IL-6 remained elevated regardless of the disease state. No difference in CVR emerged for CRP, IL-1β, and TNF-α, while a lower CVR was observed for IL-6. When considering disease phases, CVR was higher in BD than in HCs for CRP during depressive episodes, lower for IL-6 during euthymia, and higher during manic episodes for CRP, IL-6, and TNF-α. Sensitivity analyses after excluding outliers identified with funnel plot visual inspection, low-quality studies, and considering only studies matched per body mass index confirmed the main results. Meta-regression showed that age (IL-6, TNF-α), gender (CRP), duration of illness (CRP) moderated elevated individual inflammatory levels.

Conclusions And Relevance: Peripheral pro-inflammatory marker elevations were confirmed in BD. CRP and TNF-α could represent state markers, as they were only elevated during mood episodes, while IL-6 appeared to be a trait marker for BD. Increased variability of specific inflammatory mediators in specific disease active states suggests that a subset of subjects with BD may exhibit elevated inflammation as part of a manic or depressive episode.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2021.07.014DOI Listing
July 2021

Evidence-based umbrella review of 162 peripheral biomarkers for major mental disorders.

Transl Psychiatry 2020 05 18;10(1):152. Epub 2020 May 18.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

The literature on non-genetic peripheral biomarkers for major mental disorders is broad, with conflicting results. An umbrella review of meta-analyses of non-genetic peripheral biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia, including first-episode psychosis. We included meta-analyses that compared alterations in peripheral biomarkers between participants with mental disorders to controls (i.e., between-group meta-analyses) and that assessed biomarkers after treatment (i.e., within-group meta-analyses). Evidence for association was hierarchically graded using a priori defined criteria against several biases. The Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) instrument was used to investigate study quality. 1161 references were screened. 110 met inclusion criteria, relating to 359 meta-analytic estimates and 733,316 measurements, on 162 different biomarkers. Only two estimates met a priori defined criteria for convincing evidence (elevated awakening cortisol levels in euthymic BD participants relative to controls and decreased pyridoxal levels in participants with schizophrenia relative to controls). Of 42 estimates which met criteria for highly suggestive evidence only five biomarker aberrations occurred in more than one disorder. Only 15 meta-analyses had a power >0.8 to detect a small effect size, and most (81.9%) meta-analyses had high heterogeneity. Although some associations met criteria for either convincing or highly suggestive evidence, overall the vast literature of peripheral biomarkers for major mental disorders is affected by bias and is underpowered. No convincing evidence supported the existence of a trans-diagnostic biomarker. Adequately powered and methodologically sound future large collaborative studies are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-0835-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7235270PMC
May 2020

Environmental risk factors and nonpharmacological and nonsurgical interventions for obesity: An umbrella review of meta-analyses of cohort studies and randomized controlled trials.

Eur J Clin Invest 2018 Dec 13;48(12):e12982. Epub 2018 Jul 13.

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Background: Multiple environmental factors have been implicated in obesity, and multiple interventions, besides drugs and surgery, have been assessed in obese patients. Results are scattered across many studies and meta-analyses, and they often mix obese and overweight individuals.

Materials And Methods: PubMed and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched through 21 January 2017 for meta-analyses of cohort studies assessing environmental risk factors for obesity, and randomized controlled trials investigating nonpharmacological and nonsurgical therapeutic interventions for obesity. We excluded data on overweight participants. Evidence from observational studies was graded according to criteria that included the statistical significance of the random-effects summary estimate and of the largest study in a meta-analysis, the number of obesity cases, heterogeneity between studies, 95% prediction intervals, small-study effects and excess significance. The evidence of intervention studies for obesity was assessed with the GRADE framework.

Results: Fifty-four articles met eligibility criteria, including 26 meta-analyses of environmental risk factors (166 studies) and 46 meta-analyses of nondrug, nonsurgical interventions (206 trials). In adults, the only risk factor with convincing evidence was depression, and childhood obesity, adolescent obesity, childhood abuse and short sleep duration had highly suggestive evidence. Infancy weight gain during the first year of life, depression and low maternal education had convincing evidence for association with paediatric obesity. All interventions had low or very-low-quality evidence with one exception of moderate-quality evidence for one comparison (no differences in efficacy between brief lifestyle primary care interventions and other interventions for paediatric obesity). Summary effect sizes were mostly small across compared interventions (maximum 5.1 kg in adults and 1.78 kg in children) and even these estimates may be inflated.

Conclusions: Depression, obesity in earlier age groups, short sleep duration, childhood abuse and low maternal education have the strongest support among proposed risk factors for obesity. Furthermore, there is no high-quality evidence to recommend treating obesity with a specific nonpharmacological and nonsurgical intervention among many available, and whatever benefits in terms of magnitude of weight loss appear small.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eci.12982DOI Listing
December 2018

Mapping risk factors for depression across the lifespan: An umbrella review of evidence from meta-analyses and Mendelian randomization studies.

J Psychiatr Res 2018 08 25;103:189-207. Epub 2018 May 25.

Institute for Clinical Research and Education in Medicine (IREM), Padova, Italy; Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, ON, Canada. Electronic address:

The development of depression may involve a complex interplay of environmental and genetic risk factors. PubMed and PsycInfo databases were searched from inception through August 3, 2017, to identify meta-analyses and Mendelian randomization (MR) studies of environmental risk factors associated with depression. For each eligible meta-analysis, we estimated the summary effect size and its 95% confidence interval (CI) by random-effects modeling, the 95% prediction interval, heterogeneity with I, and evidence of small-study effects and excess significance bias. Seventy meta-analytic reviews met the eligibility criteria and provided 134 meta-analyses for associations from 1283 primary studies. While 109 associations were nominally significant (P < 0.05), only 8 met the criteria for convincing evidence and, when limited to prospective studies, convincing evidence was found in 6 (widowhood, physical abuse during childhood, obesity, having 4-5 metabolic risk factors, sexual dysfunction, job strain). In studies in which depression was assessed through a structured diagnostic interview, only associations with widowhood, job strain, and being a Gulf War veteran were supported by convincing evidence. Additionally, 8 MR studies were included and provided no consistent evidence for the causal effects of obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption. The proportion of variance explained by genetic risk factors was extremely small (0.1-0.4%), which limited the evidence provided by the MR studies. Our findings suggest that despite the large number of putative risk factors investigated in the literature, few associations were supported by robust evidence. The current findings may have clinical and research implications for the early identification of individuals at risk for depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2018.05.020DOI Listing
August 2018

Prevalence, incidence and mortality from cardiovascular disease in patients with pooled and specific severe mental illness: a large-scale meta-analysis of 3,211,768 patients and 113,383,368 controls.

World Psychiatry 2017 Jun;16(2):163-180

Institute for Clinical Research and Education in Medicine, Padua, Italy.

People with severe mental illness (SMI) - schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder - appear at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), but a comprehensive meta-analysis is lacking. We conducted a large-scale meta-analysis assessing the prevalence and incidence of CVD; coronary heart disease; stroke, transient ischemic attack or cerebrovascular disease; congestive heart failure; peripheral vascular disease; and CVD-related death in SMI patients (N=3,211,768) versus controls (N=113,383,368) (92 studies). The pooled CVD prevalence in SMI patients (mean age 50 years) was 9.9% (95% CI: 7.4-13.3). Adjusting for a median of seven confounders, patients had significantly higher odds of CVD versus controls in cross-sectional studies (odds ratio, OR=1.53, 95% CI: 1.27-1.83; 11 studies), and higher odds of coronary heart disease (OR=1.51, 95% CI: 1.47-1.55) and cerebrovascular disease (OR=1.42, 95% CI: 1.21-1.66). People with major depressive disorder were at increased risk for coronary heart disease, while those with schizophrenia were at increased risk for coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and congestive heart failure. Cumulative CVD incidence in SMI patients was 3.6% (95% CI: 2.7-5.3) during a median follow-up of 8.4 years (range 1.8-30.0). Adjusting for a median of six confounders, SMI patients had significantly higher CVD incidence than controls in longitudinal studies (hazard ratio, HR=1.78, 95% CI: 1.60-1.98; 31 studies). The incidence was also higher for coronary heart disease (HR=1.54, 95% CI: 1.30-1.82), cerebrovascular disease (HR=1.64, 95% CI: 1.26-2.14), congestive heart failure (HR=2.10, 95% CI: 1.64-2.70), and CVD-related death (HR=1.85, 95% CI: 1.53-2.24). People with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia were all at increased risk of CVD-related death versus controls. CVD incidence increased with antipsychotic use (p=0.008), higher body mass index (p=0.008) and higher baseline CVD prevalence (p=0.03) in patients vs.

Controls: Moreover, CVD prevalence (p=0.007), but not CVD incidence (p=0.21), increased in more recently conducted studies. This large-scale meta-analysis confirms that SMI patients have significantly increased risk of CVD and CVD-related mortality, and that elevated body mass index, antipsychotic use, and CVD screening and management require urgent clinical attention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wps.20420DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5428179PMC
June 2017

Systematic assessment of environmental risk factors for bipolar disorder: an umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Bipolar Disord 2017 03 3;19(2):84-96. Epub 2017 May 3.

Institute for clinical Research and Education in Medicine, I.R.E.M., Padova, Italy.

Objectives: The pathophysiology of bipolar disorder is likely to involve both genetic and environmental risk factors. In our study, we aimed to perform a systematic search of environmental risk factors for BD. In addition, we assessed possible hints of bias in this literature, and identified risk factors supported by high epidemiological credibility.

Methods: We searched the Pubmed/MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycInfo databases up to 7 October 2016 to identify systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational studies that assessed associations between putative environmental risk factors and BD. For each meta-analysis, we estimated its summary effect size by means of both random- and fixed-effects models, 95% confidence intervals (CIs), the 95% prediction interval, and heterogeneity. Evidence of small-study effects and excess of significance bias was also assessed.

Results: Sixteen publications met the inclusion criteria (seven meta-analyses and nine qualitative systematic reviews). Fifty-one unique environmental risk factors for BD were evaluated. Six meta-analyses investigated associations with a risk factor for BD. Only irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) emerged as a risk factor for BD supported by convincing evidence (k=6; odds ratio [OR]=2.48; 95% CI=2.35-2.61; P<.001), and childhood adversity was supported by highly suggestive evidence. Asthma and obesity were risk factors for BD supported by suggestive evidence, and seropositivity to Toxoplasma gondii and a history of head injury were supported by weak evidence.

Conclusions: Notwithstanding that several environmental risk factors for BD were identified, few meta-analyses of observational studies were available. Therefore, further well-designed and adequately powered studies are necessary to map the environmental risk factors for BD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bdi.12490DOI Listing
March 2017

Biological mechanisms of depression following treatment with interferon for chronic hepatitis C: A critical systematic review.

J Affect Disord 2017 Feb 27;209:235-245. Epub 2016 Nov 27.

Department of Clinical Medicine and Translational Psychiatry Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil; Department of Neuroscience, University of Padova, Padova, Italy; Mental Health Department, Local Health Unit ULSS 17, Monselice, Padova, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: A significant subset of patients infected by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) develops a major depressive episode (MDE) during Interferon-alpha (IFN-α) based immunotherapy. We performed a systematic review of studies which examined biological mechanisms contributing to the onset of a MDE during IFN-α-based immunotherapy for HCV.

Methods: Major electronic databases were searched from inception up until 15th February 2016 for peer-reviewed prospective studies that had enrolled HCV infected patients who received IFN-α treatment. A diagnosis of MDE had to be established by means of a standardized diagnostic interview at baseline and endpoint.

Results: Eight unique references met inclusion criteria. A total of 826 participants with HCV (37.3% females, mean age 46.7 years) were included in this systematic review. The overall MDE incidence rate was 34.8%, with follow-up ranging between 4 and 48 weeks. The methodological quality varied across selected studies. It was observed that Interleukin-6, salivary cortisol, arachidonic acid / eicosapentaenoicacid plus docosahexaenoic acid ratio, and genetic polymorphisms may present variations which are linked to a predisposition to INF-α-induced depression.

Limitations: A meta-analysis could not be performed due to the diverse biological mechanisms investigated and the lack of replicated evidence.

Conclusions: This systematic review indicates that several potential mechanisms may be implicated in the onset of a MDE following IFN-α-based immunotherapy for chronic HCV. However, replicated evidence is lacking and therefore the mechanisms involved in IFN-α-induced depression in humans remain unclear.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.11.039DOI Listing
February 2017

Depression in cancer: The many biobehavioral pathways driving tumor progression.

Cancer Treat Rev 2017 Jan 16;52:58-70. Epub 2016 Nov 16.

Department of Clinical Medicine and Translational Psychiatry Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil. Electronic address:

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is common among cancer patients, with prevalence rates up to four-times higher than the general population. Depression confers worse outcomes, including non-adherence to treatment and increased mortality in the oncology setting. Advances in the understanding of neurobiological underpinnings of depression have revealed shared biobehavioral mechanisms may contribute to cancer progression. Moreover, psychosocial stressors in cancer promote: (1) inflammation and oxidative/nitrosative stress; (2) a decreased immunosurveillance; and (3) a dysfunctional activation of the autonomic nervous system and of the hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal axis. Consequently, the prompt recognition of depression among patients with cancer who may benefit of treatment strategies targeting depressive symptoms, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue and sleep disturbances, is a public health priority. Moreover, behavioral strategies aiming at reducing psychological distress and depressive symptoms, including addressing unhealthy diet and life-style choices, as well as physical inactivity and sleep dysfunction, may represent important strategies not only to treat depression, but also to improve wider cancer-related outcomes. Herein, we provide a comprehensive review of the intertwined biobehavioral pathways linking depression to cancer progression. In addition, the clinical implications of these findings are critically reviewed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctrv.2016.11.004DOI Listing
January 2017

Cognitive remission: a novel objective for the treatment of major depression?

BMC Med 2016 Jan 22;14. Epub 2016 Jan 22.

Translational Psychiatry Research Group and Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Rua Prof. Costa Mendes 1608, 4° andar, Fortaleza, CE, 60430-040, Brazil.

Background: Cognitive dysfunction in major depressive disorder (MDD) encompasses several domains, including but not limited to executive function, verbal memory, and attention. Furthermore, cognitive dysfunction is a frequent residual manifestation in depression and may persist during the remitted phase. Cognitive deficits may also impede functional recovery, including workforce performance, in patients with MDD. The overarching aims of this opinion article are to critically evaluate the effects of available antidepressants as well as novel therapeutic targets on neurocognitive dysfunction in MDD.

Discussion: Conventional antidepressant drugs mitigate cognitive dysfunction in some people with MDD. However, a significant proportion of MDD patients continue to experience significant cognitive impairment. Two multicenter randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reported that vortioxetine, a multimodal antidepressant, has significant precognitive effects in MDD unrelated to mood improvement. Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate was shown to alleviate executive dysfunction in an RCT of adults after full or partial remission of MDD. Preliminary evidence also indicates that erythropoietin may alleviate cognitive dysfunction in MDD. Several other novel agents may be repurposed as cognitive enhancers for MDD treatment, including minocycline, insulin, antidiabetic agents, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, S-adenosyl methionine, acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, melatonin, modafinil, galantamine, scopolamine, N-acetylcysteine, curcumin, statins, and coenzyme Q10. The management of cognitive dysfunction remains an unmet need in the treatment of MDD. However, it is hoped that the development of novel therapeutic targets will contribute to 'cognitive remission', which may aid functional recovery in MDD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-016-0560-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4724131PMC
January 2016

Cognitive dysfunction in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia: a systematic review of meta-analyses.

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat 2015 17;11:3111-25. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Translational Psychiatry Research Group and Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.

Cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD). A neurocognitive profile characterized by widespread cognitive deficits across multiple domains in the context of substantial intellectual impairment, which appears to antedate illness onset, is a replicated finding in SZ. There is no specific neuropsychological signature that can facilitate the diagnostic differentiation of SZ and BD, notwithstanding, neuropsychological deficits appear more severe in SZ. The literature in this field has provided contradictory results due to methodological differences across studies. Meta-analytic techniques may offer an opportunity to synthesize findings and to control for potential sources of heterogeneity. Here, we performed a systematic review of meta-analyses of neuropsychological findings in SZ and BD. While there is no conclusive evidence for progressive cognitive deterioration in either SZ or BD, some findings point to more severe cognitive deficits in patients with early illness onset across both disorders. A compromised pattern of cognitive functioning in individuals at familiar and/or clinical risk to psychosis as well as in first-degree relatives of BD patients suggests that early neurodevelopmental factors may play a role in the emergence of cognitive deficits in both disorders. Premorbid intellectual impairment in SZ and at least in a subgroup of patients with BD may be related to a shared genetically determined influence on neurodevelopment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S76700DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4689290PMC
December 2015

The Involvement of TNF-α in Cognitive Dysfunction Associated with Major Depressive Disorder: An Opportunity for Domain Specific Treatments.

Curr Neuropharmacol 2015 ;13(5):558-76

Department of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, University Health Network, University of Toronto, 399 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5T2S8.

Major depressive disorder is a highly prevalent, chronic and recurring disorder, associated with substantial impairment in cognitive and interpersonal functions. Accumulating evidence suggests that inflammatory processes play an important role in the etio-pathogenesis, phenomenology, comorbidity and treatment of MDD. Suboptimal remission rates and the persistence of cognitive deficits contribute to functional impairment in MDD inviting the need for the development of mechanistically novel and domain specific treatment approaches. The MEDLINE/ Pubmed database was searched from inception to February, 9th, 2014 with combinations of the following search terms: 'TNF-alpha', 'depression', 'infliximab', 'etanercept', 'adalimumab', 'golimumab' and 'certolizumab'. Preclinical and clinical evidence linking TNF-α to MDD pathophysiology were reviewed as well as the current status of TNF-α modulators as novel agents for the treatment of MDD. Experimental models and clinical studies provide encouraging preliminary evidence for the efficacy of TNF- α antagonists in mitigating depressive symptoms and improving cognitive deficits. Further studies are warranted to confirm these data in larger randomized controlled trials in primary psychiatric populations. Translational research provides a promising perspective that may aid the development and/or repurposing of mechanism-based treatments for depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment in MDD.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4761629PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1570159x13666150630171433DOI Listing
July 2016

Cognitive dysfunction in depression - pathophysiology and novel targets.

CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets 2014 ;13(10):1819-35

Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceara, Rua Prof. Costa Mendes, 1608, 4o andar, 60430-040, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with cognitive dysfunction encompassing several domains, including memory, executive function, processing speed and attention. Cognitive deficits persist in a significant proportion of patients even in remission, compromising psychosocial functioning and workforce performance. While monoaminergic antidepressants may improve cognitive performance in MDD, most antidepressants have limited clinical efficacy. The overarching aims of this review were: (1) to synthesize extant literature on putative biological pathways related to cognitive dysfunction in MDD and (2) to review novel neurotherapeutic targets for cognitive enhancement in MDD. We found that reciprocal and overlapping biological pathways may contribute to cognitive dysfunction in MDD, including an hyperactive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, an increase in oxidative and nitrosative stress, inflammation (e.g., enhanced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines), mitochondrial dysfunction, increased apoptosis as well as a diminished neurotrophic support. Several promising neurotherapeutic targets were identified such as minocycline, statins, anti-inflammatory compounds, N-acetylcysteine, omega-3 poliunsaturated fatty acids, erythropoietin, thiazolidinediones, glucagon-like peptide-1 analogues, S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe), cocoa flavonols, creatine monohydrate and lithium. Erythropoietin and SAMe had pro-cognitive effects in randomized controlled trials (RCT) involving MDD patients. Despite having preclinical and/or preliminary evidences from trials suggesting possible efficacy as novel cognitive enhancing agents for MDD, no RCT to date was performed for most of the other therapeutic targets reviewed herein. In conclusion, multiple biological pathways are involved in cognitive dysfunction in MDD. RCTs testing genuinely novel pro-cognitive compounds for MDD are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1871527313666141130203627DOI Listing
September 2015

Cognitive dysfunction in major depressive disorder: a state-of-the-art clinical review.

CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets 2014 ;13(10):1804-18

Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, University of Toronto, 399 Bathurst Street, MP 9-325, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2S8, Canada.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent and recurring mental disorder often associated with high rates of non-recovery and substantial consequences on psychosocial outcome. Cognitive impairment is one of the most frequent residual symptoms of MDD. The persistence of cognitive impairment even in remitted phases of the disorder, notably in the domains of executive function and attention, suggests that it may serve as a mediational nexus between MDD and poor functional outcome, accounting for occupational and relational difficulties regardless of clinical improvement on depressive symptoms. The critical impact of cognitive deficits on psychosocial dysfunction invites clinicians to regularly screen and assess cognition across multiple domains, taking into account also clinical correlates of cognitive dysfunction in MDD. Despite the availability of several instruments for the screening and assessment of cognitive dysfunction, the lack of consensus guiding the choice of appropriate instruments increases the likelihood to underestimate cognitive dysfunction in MDD in clinical settings. On the other hand, the unsatisfactory effect of most antidepressant treatments on cognitive deficits for many individuals with MDD calls for the development of genuinely novel therapeutic agents with potential to target cognitive dysfunction. Notwithstanding the necessity of further investigations, this review indicates that neuropsychological deficits (e.g., impaired executive functions) are stable markers of MDD and underscores the need for the development of integrative and multi-modal strategies for the prevention and treatment of neuropsychological impairments in MDD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1871527313666141130203823DOI Listing
September 2015
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