Stressful life events and major depressive disorders

Feinberg Child Study Center, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, 14 Kaplan Street, Petah Tikva, Israel.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.47). 09/2008; 160(2):192-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2007.06.008
Source: PubMed


This study examined the relationship between stressful life events (SLE) and recurrent major depressive disorders. Three groups of 50 subjects were assessed: Patients with recurrent major depressive disorder with melancholic features; patients with borderline personality disorder; and healthy controls. Interviews for AXIS I and II DSM-IV Disorders were used for diagnosis. The Israel Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Interview Life Event Scale and the Coddington Life Events Schedule were used to measure life events and were confirmed with an interview. Beck Depression Inventory was also administered. The proportions of loss-related events in childhood and in the year preceding the first episode were higher in the depressed group than in the control groups during the same time period. Proportions of SLE, uncontrolled and independent events were also more common in the depressed patients in the year preceding the first episode. No category of SLE differentiated the groups following the first depressive episode. The study's conclusion is that SLE play an important role in the onset of depressive disorders. There are specific kinds of SLE that occur in childhood and in the year preceding the first episode. SLE has a less significant role in the maintenance of this illness.

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    • "Stress in early childhood is also associated with depression throughout life. Both chronic stress, such as prolonged poverty, and acute stressful events, such as parental divorce or being separated from the family, increase the risk of depression in later adult life (Kessler et al. 1997; Sadowski et al. 1999; Pesonen et al. 2007; Horesh et al. 2008). It has been suggested that the relationship between stress and depression varies across the life course. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The aetiology of depression is multifactorial, with biological, cognitive and environmental factors across the life course influencing risk of a depressive episode. There is inconsistent evidence linking early life development and later depression. The aim of this study was to investigate relationships between low birthweight (LBW), infant neurodevelopment, and acute and chronic stress as components in pathways to depression in adulthood. Method: The sample included 4627 members of the National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD; the 1946 British birth cohort). Weight at birth, age of developmental milestones, economic deprivation in early childhood, acute stressors in childhood and adulthood, and socio-economic status (SES) in adulthood were assessed for their direct and indirect effects on adolescent (ages 13 and 15 years) and adult (ages 36, 43 and 53 years) measures of depressive symptoms in a structural equation modelling (SEM) framework. A structural equation model developed to incorporate all variables exhibited excellent model fit according to several indices. Results: The path of prediction from birthweight to age of developmental milestones to adolescent depression/anxiety to adult depression/anxiety was significant (p < 0.001). Notably, direct paths from birthweight (p = 0.25) and age of developmental milestones (p = 0.23) to adult depression were not significant. Childhood deprivation and stressors had important direct and indirect effects on depression. Stressors in adulthood were strongly associated with adult depression. Conclusions: Depression in adulthood is influenced by an accumulation of stressors across the life course, including many that originate in the first years of life. Effects of early-life development on mental health appear by adolescence.
    Psychological Medicine 02/2014; 44(13):1-10. DOI:10.1017/S0033291714000385 · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    • "interest, but an actual aversion to the previously-rewarding sucrose solution. Such extreme anhedonia is noted in severe cases of major depression in human patients, including the melancholic subtype [34] [45] [46], which may be more likely to occur following stressful life events and in patients with low sensation-seeking personalities [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52]. The melancholic subtype also may be related to a reduction in reward processing [53] [54], paralleling similar observations in bLR rats such as a reduction in dopaminergic tone in nucleus accumbens [44] and decreased propensity to self-administer drugs of abuse [43]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The onset of major depressive disorder is likely precipitated by a combination of heredity and life stress. The present study tested the hypothesis that rats selectively bred on a trait related to emotional reactivity would show differential susceptibility or resilience to the development of depression-like signs in response to chronic mild variable intermittent stress (CMS). Male Sprague-Dawley rats that were bred based on the trait of either high or low locomotor activity in response to a novel environment were exposed to 4 weeks of CMS or control conditions. Changes in hedonic behavior were assessed using weekly sucrose preference tests and anxiety-like behavior was evaluated using the novelty-suppressed feeding test. During 4 weeks of CMS, bred low responder (bLR) rats became anhedonic at a faster rate and to a larger degree than bred high responder (bHR) rats, based on weekly sucrose preference tests. Measures of anxiety-like behavior in the novelty-suppressed feeding test were also significantly increased in the CMS-exposed bLR rats, though no differences were observed between CMS-exposed bHR rats and their unstressed controls. These findings present further evidence that increased emotional reactivity is an important factor in stress susceptibility and the etiology of mood disorders, and that bHR and bLR rats provide a model of resistance or vulnerability to stress-induced depression. Furthermore, exposing bHR and bLR rats to CMS provides an excellent way to study the interaction of genetic and environmental factors in the development of depression-like behavior.
    Physiology & Behavior 02/2011; 103(2):210-6. DOI:10.1016/j.physbeh.2011.02.001 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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