Maria J. Portella

Maria J. Portella
IIB Sant Pau · Psychiatry

PhD

About

190
Publications
32,044
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4,352
Citations
Introduction
Neuropsychobiological factors of Major Depressive Disorders using a variety of neuroscientific techniques (cognitive assessment, neuroimaging, genetics and epigenetics)
Additional affiliations
July 2013 - March 2015
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
Position
  • Head of Research Group

Publications

Publications (190)
Article
Background: The evolution of cognitive performance throughout the lifespan in bipolar disorder (BD) is understudied. This cross-sectional study aims to describe the cognitive performance across age groups. Methods: A sample of 654 participants was recruited for this study (BD = 432 and healthy controls -HC- =222). Three subgroups, divided accord...
Preprint
Full-text available
Machine learning (ML) techniques have gained popularity in the neuroimaging field due to their potential for classifying neuropsychiatric disorders based on brain patterns. However, the diagnostic predictive power of the existing algorithms has been limited by small sample sizes, lack of representativeness, data leakage, and/or overfitting. Here, w...
Article
Brain structural abnormalities and low educational attainment are consistently associated with major depressive disorder (MDD), yet there has been little research investigating the complex interaction of these factors. Brain structural alterations may represent a vulnerability or differential susceptibility marker, and in the context of low educati...
Article
Background Despite achieving clinical remission, patients with depression encounter difficulties to return to their premorbid psychosocial functioning. Cognitive dysfunction has been proposed to be a primary mediator of functional impairment. Therefore, the new non-pharmacological procognitive strategy INtegral Cognitive REMediation for Depression...
Article
Background: Long-term efficacy and mechanisms of action of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) are under investigation. Objective: To compare long-term outcomes with active electrode's coordinates and its electrical parameters in patients with TRD treated with DBS in the subgenual cingulate gyrus (SCG-DBS). Met...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Mild cognitive impairment is often associated with affective and other neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS). This co-occurrence might have a relevant impact on disease progression, from MCI to dementia. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the trajectories of cognitive decline in an MCI sample from a memory clinic, taking into c...
Article
Background Alterations in cognitive performance have been described in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the specific risk factors of these changes are not yet known. This study aimed to explore whether inmunometabolic parameters are related to cognitive performance in MDD in comparison to healthy controls (HC) Methods Sample...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the considerable amount of research evidence on the significant role of subjective happiness on mental health, there is no psychometric study of the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) in psychiatric samples. This study was aimed at exploring the psychometric properties of the SHS in a Spanish sample of patients with depressive disorders. Part...
Article
Full-text available
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with an increased risk of brain atrophy, aging-related diseases, and mortality. We examined potential advanced brain aging in adult MDD patients, and whether this process is associated with clinical characteristics in a large multicenter international dataset. We performed a mega-analysis by pooling bra...
Article
The use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in treatment resistant patients with schizophrenia is of considerable current interest, but where to site the electrodes is challenging. This article reviews rationales for electrode placement in schizophrenia based on evidence for localized brain abnormality in the disorder and the targets that have been pro...
Article
Full-text available
Although pharmacotherapy is considered the first-line treatment for bipolar disorders (BD), adjunctive psychoeducation has proven its effectiveness in improving self-management of the disease and reducing relapse rates. Few studies have evaluated the effect of brief group psychoeducation on pragmatic variables, such as the number of hospitalization...
Article
Full-text available
Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) have been recently addressed as risk factors of conversion to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementia types in patients diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Our aim was to determine profiles based on the prominent NPS in MCI patients and to explore the predictive value of these profiles on conversion t...
Article
Treatment-resistant auditory verbal hallucinations (TRAVH) are a relatively prevalent and devastating symptom in patients with schizophrenia (SCZ). Even though their pathological mechanisms are poorly understood, they seem to differ from those underlying non-hallucinating SCZ. In this study, we characterise structural brain changes in SCZ patients...
Article
Full-text available
Delineating the association of age and cortical thickness in healthy individuals is critical given the association of cortical thickness with cognition and behavior. Previous research has shown that robust estimates of the association between age and brain morphometry require large-scale studies. In response, we used cross-sectional data from 17,07...
Article
Full-text available
Delineating the association of age and cortical thickness in healthy individuals is critical given the association of cortical thickness with cognition and behavior. Previous research has shown that robust estimates of the association between age and brain morphometry require large‐scale studies. In response, we used cross‐sectional data from 17,07...
Article
Full-text available
Age has a major effect on brain volume. However, the normative studies available are constrained by small sample sizes, restricted age coverage and significant methodological variability. These limitations introduce inconsistencies and may obscure or distort the lifespan trajectories of brain morphometry. In response, we capitalized on the resource...
Article
Full-text available
Age has a major effect on brain volume. However, the normative studies available are constrained by small sample sizes, restricted age coverage and significant methodological variability. These limitations introduce inconsistencies and may obscure or distort the lifespan trajectories of brain morphometry. In response, we capitalized on the resource...
Article
Background. Cognitive impairment has been reported in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). This study aims to explore the association between lifestyle habits and health-related factors and the presence of cognitive symptoms in MDD patients. Methods. Demographic, clinical, health-related variables and cognitive scores measured with the Ca...
Chapter
The most recent evidence suggest that cognitive dysfunction is a nuclear symptom of major depressive disorder (MDD), which in turn mediates the psychosocial functioning of depressed patients. However, few studies have determined whether cognitive disturbances are observable in the first stages of the disorder as some authors have described the wors...
Article
Full-text available
It has been difficult to find robust brain structural correlates of the overall severity of major depressive disorder (MDD). We hypothesized that specific symptoms may better reveal correlates and investigated this for the severity of insomnia, both a key symptom and a modifiable major risk factor of MDD. Cortical thickness, surface area and subcor...
Article
Full-text available
For many traits, males show greater variability than females, with possible implications for understanding sex differences in health and disease. Here, the ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) Consortium presents the largest-ever mega-analysis of sex differences in variability of brain structure, based on international da...
Article
Importance Large-scale neuroimaging studies have revealed group differences in cortical thickness across many psychiatric disorders. The underlying neurobiology behind these differences is not well understood. Objective To determine neurobiologic correlates of group differences in cortical thickness between cases and controls in 6 disorders: atten...
Article
Full-text available
The problem of poor reproducibility of scientific findings has received much attention over recent years, in a variety of fields including psychology and neuroscience. The problem has been partly attributed to publication bias and unwanted practices such as p‐hacking. Low statistical power in individual studies is also understood to be an important...
Article
Full-text available
Alterations in white matter (WM) microstructure have been implicated in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, previous findings have been inconsistent, partially due to low statistical power and the heterogeneity of depression. In the largest multi-site study to date, we examined WM anisotropy and diffusivity in 1305 MDD...
Article
Full-text available
Background Heterogeneity in cognitive functioning among major depressive disorder (MDD) patients could have been the reason for the small-to-moderate differences reported so far when it is compared to other psychiatric conditions or to healthy controls. Additionally, most of these studies did not take into account clinical and sociodemographic char...
Article
Full-text available
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with an increased risk of brain atrophy, aging-related diseases, and mortality. We examined potential advanced brain aging in adult MDD patients, and whether this process is associated with clinical characteristics in a large multicenter international dataset. We performed a mega-analysis by pooling bra...
Preprint
Full-text available
Delineating age-related cortical trajectories in healthy individuals is critical given the association of cortical thickness with cognition and behaviour. Previous research has shown that deriving robust estimates of age-related brain morphometric changes requires large-scale studies. In response, we conducted a large-scale analysis of cortical thi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Age has a major effect on brain volume. However, the normative studies available are constrained by small sample sizes, restricted age coverage and significant methodological variability. These limitations introduce inconsistencies and may obscure or distort the lifespan trajectories of brain morphometry. In response, we capitalised on the resource...
Article
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been found to be effective in treatment resistant neurological and psychiatric disorders. So far there has been only one completed trial in schizophrenia, in which seven treatment resistant patients received DBS in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC, N = 4) or the nucleus accumbens (NAc, N = 3); four met...
Article
Full-text available
A key objective in the field of translational psychiatry over the past few decades has been to identify the brain correlates of major depressive disorder (MDD). Identifying measurable indicators of brain processes associated with MDD could facilitate the detection of individuals at risk, and the development of novel treatments, the monitoring of tr...
Preprint
Full-text available
For many traits, males show greater variability than females, with possible implications for understanding sex differences in health and disease. Here, the ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) Consortium presents the largest-ever mega-analysis of sex differences in variability of brain structure, based on international da...
Article
Background: Previous magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS) studies have reported brain metabolic abnormalities in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Nevertheless, results have been inconsistent, focusing on fully developed major depression neglecting first episode patients (FED). Longitudinal studies have also been rare and with short follow-up per...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Up to 30% of patients with schizophrenia are resistant to antipsychotic drug treatment, with 60% of such cases also failing to respond to clozapine. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been used in treatment resistant patients with other psychiatric disorders, but there is a lack of trials in schizophrenia, partly due to uncertainties ove...
Preprint
Full-text available
A key objective in the field of translational psychiatry over the past few decades has been to identify the brain correlates common to individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). Identifying measurable indicators of brain processes associated with MDD could facilitate the detection of individuals at risk, and the development of novel treatmen...
Article
Cognitive deficits are a core feature of serious mental illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and are a common cause of functional disability. However, the efficacy of pharmacological interventions for improving the cognitive deficits in these disorders is limited. As pro-cognitive pharmacological treatments are lac...
Article
Introduction: Suicidal behaviour is a major health problem in Spain. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between the recurrence of suicide attempts and the level of lethality reached, and the profile of repeaters who perform more lethal attempts. Method: All patients admitted for attempted suicide in a health area of 360,000 inh...
Article
Background: Although pharmacogenetics for major depressive disorder (MDD) is gaining momentum, the role of genetics in differences in response to antidepressant treatment is controversial, as they depend on multifactorial and polygenic phenotypes. Previous studies focused on the genes of the serotonergic system, leaving apart other pathological fa...
Article
Objective: Asymmetry is a subtle but pervasive aspect of the human brain, and it may be altered in several psychiatric conditions. MRI studies have shown subtle differences of brain anatomy between people with major depressive disorder and healthy control subjects, but few studies have specifically examined brain anatomical asymmetry in relation t...
Article
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is associated with a number of significant impairments in social, occupational and educational functioning. Generalized cognitive disturbances have recently been acknowledged as an important aspect for both diagnosis and prognosis of MDD [1], in which greater cognitive deficits have been associated with poorer psycho...
Article
Full-text available
Background Given the limitation of pharmacological treatments to treat cognitive symptoms in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), cognitive remediation programs has been proposed as a possible procognitive intervention but findings are not conclusive. This study investigates the efficacy of an INtegral Cognitive REMediation (INCREM) that...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with an increased risk of brain atrophy, aging-related diseases, and mortality. We examined potential advanced brain aging in MDD patients, and whether this process is associated with clinical characteristics in a large multi-center international dataset. Methods We performed a mega-analysis...
Article
Background: Neurotrophins such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), inflammation and oxidative damage may contribute to the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BD) in terms of illness activity. To date, there is a lack of studies linking the cognitive impairment observed in BD with these neurobiological mechanisms. This study aimed to inv...
Article
Full-text available
Rate of treatment non-compliance in schizophrenia, like in other chronic diseases. Long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics have proven to be more effective than orals in reducing the number of recurrences. Although the perception of LAIs has changed over the last few years with the introduction of new molecules, there might be prejudices regard...
Article
Introduction: Neurocognitive impairment is considered an essential symptom of schizophrenia, particularly in its early stages. Nonetheless, the neuropsychological features of borderline personality disorder (BPD) could cast doubt on the specificity of neurocognitive dysfunctions. The aim of this study is to determine whether neurocognitive deficit...
Article
Background Major depressive disorder (MDD) is accompanied by atypical brain structure affecting grey and white matter from the early stages. Neuroimaging studies of first-episode depression (FED) have provided evidence on this regard, but most of the studies are cross-sectional. The aim of this longitudinal study was to test potential changes in gr...
Article
Objective and subjective cognitive measures are altered in major depressive disorder (MDD), but there is a poor correlation between them. This study aims to explore such discrepancy and the characteristics explaining this phenomenon. 229 patients with MDD subdivided into remitted (n = 57), partially remitted (n = 90) and acute (n = 82) underwent a...
Article
Exploring depressive symptom severity is progressively shifting from the traditional assessment of symptom domains to detailed examination of individual symptoms. This study aimed at determining whether using an alternative scoring method (i.e., summing all scorable items instead of summing symptom domains) for the Quick Inventory of Depressive Sym...
Article
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) entails cognitive dysfunction in many cognitive domains, but it is still uncertain whether such deficits are present in the early stages. The purpose of the study is to determine the cognitive performance in first episode depression (FED) exploring the presence of different cognitive profiles, and the role of cogniti...
Article
Full-text available
Previous works have studied structural brain characteristics in first-episode psychosis (FEP), but few have focused on the relation between brain differences and illness trajectories. The aim of this study is to analyze gray and white matter changes in FEP patients and their relation with one-year clinical outcomes. A sample of 41 FEP patients and...
Article
Full-text available
Despite safety concerns raised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), evidence supporting QT-lengthening effects of escitalopram is far to be conclusive. We aimed to evaluate the relationship between escitalopram plasma levels (Escit-PL) and corrected QT-interval length (QTc-length) in 91 outpatients recruited from a hospital setting. Fifteen pati...
Article
Objective: To determine the influence of body mass index (BMI) on cognition in euthymic bipolar patients and healthy matched controls in a post hoc study of 2 cross-sectional and longitudinal exploratory studies. Method: A total sample of 121 individuals was examined, which included 52 euthymic bipolar disorder I or II patients (DSM-IV-TR criter...
Article
Cognitive symptoms play a central role in schizophrenia and are strongly associated with social functioning. Treatment with clozapine presents controversial results regarding its effects on cognition. The opposite effects of clozapine and n-desmethylclozapine (NDMC) on cholinergic system have been suggested to underlie these inconclusive findings....
Article
Background Abnormalities in the hippocampus have been implicated in the pathophysiology of psychosis. However, it is still unclear whether certain abnormalities are a pre-existing vulnerability factor, a sign of disease progression or a consequence of environmental factors. We hypothesized that first-episode psychosis patients who progress to schiz...
Article
Introduction The influence of age and gender in the electrical charge delivered in a given population was analysed using an electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) clinical database. Material and method An observational, prospective, longitudinal study with descriptive analysis was performed using data from a database that included total bilateral frontot...
Conference Paper
Introduction Major depression cognitive impairments lasts in remission periods, have an impact on treatment outcome and hamper psychosocial functioning. Thus, its accurate detection and specific treatment has become a crucial step. Objectives In order to assess objective cognitive functioning (OCF), a neuropsychological battery was administered. F...
Conference Paper
Introduction Life functioning difficulties are a relevant but undervalued consequence of major depression. Mood symptoms and cognitive deficits have a significant, and somehow independent, impact on them. Therefore, cognitive difficulties should be considered a potential target to improve patients’ functioning. Aims To examine the degree in which...
Article
The aim of this study is to analyze the differences in low frequency fluctuation (LFF) values between schizophrenia patients with and without auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH). Nineteen schizophrenia patients with persistent AVH (HP), fourteen non-hallucinating schizophrenia patients (nHP) and twenty healthy controls (HC) underwent R-fMRI. LFF v...