Changes in Depressive Symptoms and Impact on Treatment Course Among Hepatitis C Patients Undergoing Interferon-alpha and Ribavirin Therapy: A Prospective Evaluation
ABSTRACT Accounting for severity of depressive symptoms at baseline (pretreatment), this study describes (i) depressive symptom change over the course of antiviral treatment among patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), and (ii) the relationship of such symptom change to treatment duration and response.
Depressive symptoms, measured with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), were examined prospectively among 129 HCV patients (95% male) who endorsed minimal (n=91), mild (n=28), or moderate depressive symptoms (n=10) prior to commencement of antiviral therapy. Assessments were obtained at baseline, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and thereafter at 4-week intervals until treatment was discontinued or completed.
The average depression score of the participants prior to commencing treatment was 7.4 (minimal depression). Depressive symptoms increased over the course of treatment, with average scores of 12.6 (mild depression) at the final assessment at the end of treatment. Patients with mild depressive symptoms at baseline demonstrated the greatest increase (M(increase)=12.7) and the greatest change (M(Δ)=5.8) in depressive symptoms from baseline to treatment completion. Patients who were minimally depressed at baseline completed the least amount of treatment (74%). Likewise, minimally depressed patients were less likely than mildly and moderately depressed patients to attain an antiviral treatment response.
Depressive symptoms may worsen during antiviral therapy among patients with HCV. Notable changes in patients with subclinical depressive symptoms at baseline may be of significant concern, as the present work suggests that their depressive symptom changes are the most unstable. Thus, findings suggest that the degree of within treatment symptom change may be a more useful predictor (compared with baseline depression status) of ability to tolerate treatment. As the findings of the present study are preliminary, we urge further research and replication before drawing firm conclusions.
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ABSTRACT: Neuro-psychiatric and cognitive disorders are frequent in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) virus (HCV) infection which adversely impact quality of life, antiviral treatment adherence and outcome. HCV has neurotrophic properties and affects lipid metabolism, essential for cognitive function. We evaluated the relationship of lipid profiles with depression and anxiety symptoms and the effects of 12-weeks of therapy with fluvastatin and omega-3 ethyl esters (n-3 PUFA) in a randomised pilot study of CHC prior non-responders. Participants (n = 60) had fasting lipid profiles and assessment of depression and anxiety symptoms using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) questionnaire at each study visit. At screening 26/60 (43 %) had HADS-A score ≥8 and 13/60 (22 %) had HADS-D scores ≥8. Depressed patients had significantly lower apolipoprotein-E concentrations (30 mg/l vs 39 mg/l, P = 0.029) than those without depression and a tendency toward lower total cholesterol (3.8 vs 4.4 mmol/l, P = 0.053). 3 patients discontinued lipid-modifying treatment because of worsening depression. However, there was a small but significant improvement in anxiety symptoms after 12-weeks of high-dose (2-4 g daily) n-3 PUFA. In conclusion, depression in CHC is associated with plasma apoE deficiency. We postulate that apoE deficiency disrupts blood brain barrier integrity to promote HCV infection of the CNS. High-dose n-PUFAs may alleviate anxiety in some CHC patients but the use of lipid lowering therapy must be balanced against risks of worsening depression.Metabolic Brain Disease 03/2014; 29(3). DOI:10.1007/s11011-014-9520-9 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Innate immune cells, particularly macrophages and epithelial cells, play a key role in multiple layers of immune responses. Alarmins and pro-inflammatory cytokines from the IL (interleukin)-1 and TNF (tumour necrosis factor) families initiate the cascade of events by inducing chemokine release from bystander cells and by the up-regulation of adhesion molecules required for transendothelial trafficking of immune cells. Furthermore, innate cytokines produced by dendritic cells, macrophages, epithelial cells and innate lymphoid cells seem to play a critical role in polarization of helper T-cell cytokine profiles into specific subsets of Th1/Th2/Th17 effector cells or regulatory T-cells. Lastly, the innate immune system down-regulates effector mechanisms and restores homoeostasis in injured tissue via cytokines from the IL-10 and TGF (transforming growth factor) families mainly released from macrophages, preferentially the M2 subset, which have a capacity to induce regulatory T-cells, inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and induce healing of the tissue by regulating extracellular matrix protein deposition and angiogenesis. Cytokines produced by innate immune cells represent an attractive target for therapeutic intervention, and multiple molecules are currently being tested clinically in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic diseases, autoinflammatory syndromes, fibrosing processes or malignancies. In addition to the already widely used blockers of TNFα and the tested inhibitors of IL-1 and IL-6, multiple therapeutic molecules are currently in clinical trials targeting TNF-related molecules [APRIL (a proliferation-inducing ligand) and BAFF (B-cell-activating factor belonging to the TNF family)], chemokine receptors, IL-17, TGFβ and other cytokines.Clinical Science 05/2014; 126(9):593-612. DOI:10.1042/CS20130497 · 5.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC) Virus infection is a serious health issue in the US. Standard treatment involves peginterferon alpha and ribavirin, often associated with adverse side effects including flu-like symptoms. These adverse effects are common reasons for the discontinuation of treatment and therefore represent a major obstacle in the effective treatment of CHC. The Hepatitis Physical Symptom Severity Diary, a newly developed patient-reported outcome measure for assessing physical symptoms in CHC patients, was recently developed. It contains four questions addressing flu-like symptoms [the Flu-Like Symptom Index (FLSI)]. Measurement properties of the FLSI in CHC patients were assessed using data from two randomized clinical trials. Exploratory factor analysis using data from baseline and the last visit while on treatment supported a single-factor solution for the FLSI. Internal reliability and test-retest reliability are acceptable (Cronbach's alpha range 0.73-0.81; intraclass correlation coefficient range 0.85-0.97), and correspondence to several similar constructs was acceptable. The FLSI score was higher among those with investigator-reported flu-like symptoms (mean = 4.1) versus those without (1.4), although not statistically significant (p = 0.12). Responsiveness of the FLSI was moderate, as measured by standardized effect sizes and response means, and the minimum important difference (MID) was estimated at 2.5-3.0 points. While additional research should be conducted to evaluate validity with more closely related constructs and to utilize anchor-based methods for estimating the MID, data suggest that the FLSI has acceptable measurement properties and can be an effective tool in assessing flu-like symptoms in CHC patients.Quality of Life Research 12/2013; 23(5). DOI:10.1007/s11136-013-0609-0 · 2.86 Impact Factor