The other face of depression, reduced positive affect: the role of catecholamines in causation and cure.
ABSTRACT Despite significant advances in pharmacologic therapy of depression over the past two decades, a substantial proportion of patients fail to respond or experience only partial response to serotonin re-uptake inhibitor antidepressants, resulting in chronic functional impairment. There appears to be a pattern of symptoms that are inadequately addressed by serotonergic antidepressants - loss of pleasure, loss of interest, fatigue and loss of energy. These symptoms are key to the maintenance of drive and motivation. Although these symptoms are variously defined, they are consistent with the concept of ;decreased positive affect'. Positive affect subsumes a broad range of positive mood states, including feelings of happiness (joy), interest, energy, enthusiasm, alertness and self-confidence. Although preliminary, there is evidence to suggest that antidepressants that enhance noradrenergic and dopaminergic activity may afford a therapeutic advantage over serotonergic antidepressants in the treatment of symptoms associated with a reduction in positive affect. Dopaminergic and noradrenergic agents, including the dual acting norepinephrine and dopamine re-uptake inhibitors, have demonstrated antidepressant activity in the absence of serotonergic function, showing similar efficacy to both tricyclic and serotonin re-uptake inhibitor antidepressants. Moreover, the norepinephrine and dopamine re-uptake inhibitor bupropion has been shown to significantly improve symptoms of energy, pleasure and interest in patients with depression with predominant baseline symptoms of decreased pleasure, interest and energy. Focusing treatment on the predominant or driving symptomatology for an individual patient with major depression could potentially improve rates of response and remission.
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ABSTRACT: By 2020, depression is projected to be among the most important contributors to the global burden of disease. A plethora of data confirms that despite the availability of effective therapies, major depressive disorder continues to exact an enormous toll; this, in part, is due to difficulties reaching complete remission, as well as the specific associated costs of both the disorder's morbidity and mortality. The negative effects of depression include those on patients' occupational functioning, including absenteeism, presenteeism, and reduced opportunities for educational and work success. The use of management algorithms has been shown to improve treatment outcomes in major depressive disorder and may be less costly than "usual care" practices. Nevertheless, many patients with depression remain untreated. As well, even those who are treated often continue to experience suboptimal quality of life. As such, the treatment algorithms in this article may improve outcomes for patients suffering with depression. This paper introduces some of the principal reasons underlying these treatment gaps and examines measures or recommendations that might be changed or strengthened in future practice guidelines to bridge them. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.Psychiatry Research 12/2014; 220S1:S3-S14. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: First line antidepressants are the so-called SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), e.g. fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine and escitalopram. Unfortunately, these drugs mostly do not provide full symptom relief and have a slow onset of action. Therefore also other antidepressants are being prescribed that inhibit the reuptake of norepinephrine (e.g. reboxetine, desipramine) or the reuptake of both serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (e.g. venlafaxine, duloxetine, milnacipran). Nevertheless, many patients encounter residual symptoms such as impaired pleasure, impaired motivation, and lack of energy. It is hypothesized that an impaired brain reward system may underlie these residual symptoms. In agreement, there is some evidence that reuptake inhibitors of both norepinephrine and dopamine (e.g. methylphenidate, bupropion, nomifensine) affect these residual symptoms. In the pipeline are new drugs that block all three monoamine transporters for the reuptake of 5-HT, norepinephrine and dopamine, the so-called triple reuptake inhibitors (TRI). The working mechanisms of the above-mentioned antidepressants are discussed, and it is speculated whether depressed patients with different symptoms, sometimes even opposite ones due to atypical or melancholic features, can be matched with the different drug treatments available. In other words, is personalized medicine for major depression an option in the near future? Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.European Journal of Pharmacology 01/2015; · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a highly prevalent chronic psychiatric illness associated with significant morbidity, mortality, loss of productivity, and diminished quality of life. Typically, only a minority of patients responds to treatment and meet criteria for remission as residual symptoms may persist, the result of an inadequate course of treatment and/or the presence of persistent side effects. The foremost goal of treatment should be to restore patients to full functioning and eliminate or relieve all MDD symptoms, while being virtually free of troublesome side effects. The current available pharmacological options to manage persistent depressive symptoms include augmentation or adjunctive combination strategies, both of which target selected psychobiological systems and specific mood and somatic symptoms experienced by the patient. As well, non-pharmacological interventions including psychotherapies may be used in either first-line or adjunctive approaches. However, the evidence to date with respect to available adjunct therapies is limited by few studies and those published have utilized only a small number of subjects and lack enough data to allow for a consensus of expert opinion. This underlines the need for further longer term, large population-based studies and those that include comorbid populations, all of which are seen in real world community psychiatry. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.Psychiatry Research 12/2014; 220S1:S15-S33. · 2.68 Impact Factor