Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Minor Depression Is Effectively Treated with Medication

05.10.2004


Minor depression, an underdiagnosed and undertreated subset of major depressive disorder that affects upwards of 15 million Americans*, can be effectively treated with a drug called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), according to a multi-center study led by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and published in the October 2004 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.



“This is especially important since patients with minor depression are not only at risk for significant psychosocial impairment, but for major depressive episodes that can be even more debilitating,” said the study’s lead author, Lewis L. Judd, M.D., professor of psychiatry and chair of the UCSD Department of Psychiatry

He added that unclear categories of illness and diagnosis in the past have led psychiatrists to generally consider minor depression to be a negligible condition that didn’t require any treatment. While some mental health professionals have considered minor depression to be a non-specific variation of normal mood, more recent studies have identified it as a clinically significant medical condition.**


Now, urging that minor depression can and should be treated, Judd said the new study of 162 patients with minor depressive disorder showed that patients given the SSRI fluoxetine (brand name Prozac) over a 12-week period showed significantly greater improvement in mood and psychosocial function as compared to depressed patients receiving a placebo. Several standard psychiatric tests were used to compare the results.***

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) notes that minor depression is a common disorder that can impair a person’s functioning and quality of life, and serve as a serious risk factor for major depression. The difference between major and minor depression is the number of symptoms. Major depressive disorder includes the primary criteria of sadness plus at least five symptoms (such as insomnia, weight loss or gain, low energy, difficulty concentrating, reduction in sexual drive, suicidal ideas and/or behavior, psychomotor slowing, restlessness or irritability, inertia to initiate activity, and persistent physical symptoms, such as headache or digestive disorders, that don’t respond to treatment); minor depression includes the same primary sadness plus one or two additional symptoms.

Judd, a former director of the NIMH and a national expert on depression, said “minor depression is the same as or a less severe variant of major depressive disorder. Significantly, it doesn’t reach the threshold of a major depression. In previous studies, we’ve seen that depressive symptoms wax and wane over an individual’s lifetime, with most depressed patients usually suffering from minor depression more of the time than major depression.”

Because it impairs individuals, Judd and the other leaders of the study recommend treatment for minor depression, especially before it balloons into a major episode. His co-leaders and co-authors of the study were A. John Rush, M.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; and David J. Kupfer, M.D., University of Pittsburgh.

The UCSD study coordinator and co-author of the paper was Mark H. Rapaport, M.D., then a member of the UCSD Department of Psychiatry and currently chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California. Rapaport noted that the study “is one of the first and largest studies to evaluate the efficacy of an SSRI in the treatment of a well characterized cohort of subjects with minor depression. It has shown us that treating less than major depression with an SSRI does work.”

Additional authors of the study were Kimberly A. Yonkers, M.D., Yale University School of Medicine; Ellen Frank, Ph.D. and Michael E. Thase, M.D., University of Pittsburgh; John M. Plewes, M.D., Pamela J. Schettler, Ph.D., and Gary Tollefson, M.D., Ph.D., Eli Lilly & Co.

The study was funded by an unrestricted investigator-initiated contract from Eli Lilly & Co. and by grants from the NIMH and the Roher Fund of the University of California, San Diego.

* Source = National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
The NIMH definition of depression: A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.

** American Journal of Psychiatry 2002, 159:637-643.

*** Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, the Clinical Global Impression severity scale, and the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>