Major depression, minor depression, and double depression: Are they distinct clinical entities?
ABSTRACT The clinical concept of "double depression," i.e., the superimposition of a major depressive disorder in a patient with dysthymic disorder, implies that there are at least some differences between dysthymia, major depression, and double depression. However, the relationship between these two syndromes remains unclear. The present study uses genetic methodology to explore any possible relationship between minor depression, double depression, and major depression. From 1988-1990, all consecutive unrelated inpatients and outpatients (index cases) presenting to a university-based mood disorders service had detailed family histories taken, using modification of the "family history method." Diagnoses for index cases and their first-degree relatives were made according to Research Diagnostic Criteria. For all index cases with a diagnosis of minor or intermittent depression, and minor/intermittent depression plus either single or recurrent depression ("double depression"), morbidity risks for mood disorders were calculated for first-degree relatives (parents, siblings, and children) using the maximum likelihood approach. Results showed no significant differences in morbidity risk calculations to first-degree relatives of index cases with minor/intermittent depression, major depression, or double depression. The data from this genetic perspective suggest that single depression, recurrent depression, minor depression, and double depression are indistinguishable.
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ABSTRACT: Clinically significant non-major depression has been underinvestigated despite its high prevalence and public health impact. Although there is an increasing recognition of the importance of non-major forms of depression, their nosological boundaries and neurobiological mechanisms remain largely unknown. The authors discuss the literature pertaining to the current concepts, phenomenology, neurobiology, and treatment approaches to geriatric non-major clinically significant depression. They examine the similarities and differences between various subtypes of depressive disorders and compare non-major, clinically significant depression in elderly patients with non-geriatric adult populations. They draw conclusions from the published literature and propose clinical criteria for the diagnosis of clinically significant non-major depression in elderly persons.American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 05/2002; 10(3):239-55. DOI:10.1176/appi.ajgp.10.3.239 · 3.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of our study was to examine the neuroanatomical correlates of late-onset minor and major depression and to compare them with similar measures obtained from nondepressed controls. Our study groups were comprised of 18 patients with late-onset minor depression, 35 patients diagnosed with late-onset major depression, and 30 nondepressed controls. All subjects were scanned by using a 1. 5-tesla MRI scanner. Absolute whole brain volume and normalized measures of prefrontal and temporal lobe volumes were obtained and used for comparison among groups. Our findings indicate that patients with minor depression present with specific neuroanatomical abnormalities that are comparable with the major depression group but significantly different from the controls. Normalized prefrontal lobe volumes show a significant linear trend with severity of depression, with volumes decreasing with illness severity. Whole brain volumes did not differ significantly among groups. These findings have broad implications for the biology of late-life depression and suggest that there may be common neurobiological substrates that underlie all clinically significant forms of late-onset mood disturbances.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/1998; 95(13):7654-8. DOI:10.1073/pnas.95.13.7654 · 9.81 Impact Factor
Article: Depressive illness[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: WHO estimate that by the beginning of the next century major unipolar depression will be one of the most important causes of ill health overall. Whereas the cause of depression is still obscure, it is becoming clear that a number of diverse factors are likely to be implicated, both genetic and environmental. Effective treatment of depression similarly involves a variety of methods, from electro-convulsive therapy to inter-personal psychotherapy. The pathophysiology of depression is gradually becoming accessible through research strategies, such as functional neuroimaging paired with mood altering interventions.The Lancet 11/1999; 354(9187):1369-75. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(99)03121-9 · 45.22 Impact Factor