Augmentation of learning in schizophrenia by d-serine and auditory remediation is related to auditory and frontally-generated biomarkers: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study [Letter]
Dose-Dependent Augmentation of Neuroplasticity-Based Auditory Learning in Schizophrenia: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized, Target Engagement Clinical Trial of the NMDA Glutamate Receptor Agonist d-serine
BACKGROUND:Patients with schizophrenia show reduced NMDA glutamate receptor-dependent auditory plasticity, which is rate limiting for auditory cognitive remediation (AudRem). We evaluate the utility of behavioral and neurophysiological pharmacodynamic target engagement biomarkers, using a d-serine+AudRem combination. METHODS:Forty-five participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were randomized to 3 once-weekly AudRem visits + double-blind d-serine (80, 100, or 120 mg/kg) or placebo in 3 dose cohorts of 12 d-serine and 3 placebo-treated participants each. In AudRem, participants indicated which paired tone was higher in pitch. The primary outcome was plasticity improvement, operationalized as change in pitch threshold between AudRem tones [(test tone Hz - reference tone Hz)/reference tone Hz] between the initial plateau pitch threshold (mean of trials 20-30 of treatment visit 1) to pitch threshold at the end of visit(s). Target engagement was assessed by electroencephalography outcomes, including mismatch negativity (pitch primary). RESULTS:There was a significant overall treatment effect for plasticity improvement (p = .014). Plasticity improvement was largest within the 80 and 100 mg/kg groups (p < .001, d > 0.67), while 120 mg/kg and placebo-treated participants showed nonsignificant within-group changes. Plasticity improvement was seen after a single treatment and was sustained on subsequent treatments. Target engagement was demonstrated by significantly larger mismatch negativity (p = .049, d = 1.0) for the 100 mg/kg dose versus placebo. CONCLUSIONS:Our results demonstrate sufficient proof of principle for continued development of both the d-serine+AudRem combination and our target engagement methodology. The ultimate utility is dependent on the results of an ongoing larger, longer study of the combination for clinically relevant outcomes.
Protocol Report on the Transcranial Photobiomodulation for Alzheimer"™s Disease (TRAP-AD) Study
Background: Alzheimer"™s disease"™s (AD) prevalence is projected to increase as the population ages and current treatments are minimally effective. Transcranial photobiomodulation (t-PBM) with near-infrared (NIR) light penetrates into the cerebral cortex, stimulates the mitochondrial respiratory chain, and increases cerebral blood flow. Preliminary data suggests t-PBM may be efficacious in improving cognition in people with early AD and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). Methods: In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study with aMCI and early AD participants, we will test the efficacy, safety, and impact on cognition of 24 sessions of t-PBM delivered over 8 weeks. Brain mechanisms of t-PBM in this population will be explored by testing whether the baseline tau burden (measured with 18F-MK6240), or changes in mitochondrial function over 8 weeks (assessed with 31P-MRSI), moderates the changes observed in cognitive functions after t-PBM therapy. We will also use changes in the fMRI Blood-Oxygenation-Level-Dependent (BOLD) signal after a single treatment to demonstrate t-PBM-dependent increases in prefrontal cortex blood flow. Conclusion: This study will test whether t-PBM, a low-cost, accessible, and user-friendly intervention, has the potential to improve cognition and function in an aMCI and early AD population.
The Impact of Post-Stroke Depressive Symptoms on Cognitive Performance in Women and in Men: A 4 Month Prospective Study
Background: Depressive symptoms have been associated with cognitive impairment after stroke, and women may be specifically affected. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate gender-specific characteristics in the relationship between changes in depression severity and changes in cognitive performance after stroke. Methods: We prospectively evaluated 73 patients without a previous history of depression in the first and fourth months after a first ischemic stroke. The severity of depressive symptoms was assessed using the 31-item version of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, and executive function, attention, working memory, and verbal fluency were assessed using a neuropsychological battery. Results: We included 46 (63.0%) men and 27 (36.9%) women, with mean ages of 55.2 (SD ± 15.1) and 46.8 (SD ± 14.7) years, respectively. We found significant improvement in the digit span forward and Stroop dots from month 1 to month 4 post stroke for both men and women. Women, but not men, presented a correlation between changes in phonemic verbal fluency and changes in the 31-item version of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression scores. Improvement in depression was correlated with improvement in verbal fluency, and worsening in depression was correlated with worsening in verbal fluency. Conclusions: Our results suggest that women might be more vulnerable to the relationship between depressive symptoms and cognitive performance, and improvement of depression may be necessary for women"™s improvement in phonemic verbal fluency from the first to the fourth month after a stroke. We did not adjust the results for multiple comparisons. Thus, our findings might be considered preliminary, and confirmatory studies, also focusing on specific characteristics of women that could explain these differences, are warranted.
Photobiomodulation: An Emerging Treatment Modality for Depression
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is considered a global crisis. Conventional treatments for MDD consist of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, although a significant number of patients with depression respond poorly to conventional treatments and are diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Transcranial photobiomodulation (t-PBM) therapy uses near-infrared light, delivered transcranially, to modulate the brain cortex. The aim of this review was to revisit the antidepressant effects of t-PBM, with a special emphasis on individuals with TRD. A search on PubMed and ClinicalTrials.gov tracked clinical studies using t-PBM for the treatment of patients diagnosed with MDD and TRD.
Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter-2 Inhibitors in Depression
Novel treatment strategies that refract existing treatment algorithms for depressive disorders are being sought. Abnormal brain bioenergetic metabolism may represent an alternative, therapeutically targetable neurobiological basis for depression. A growing body of research points to endogenous ketones as candidate neuroprotective metabolites with the potential to enhance brain bioenergetics and improve mood. Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, originally approved for the treatment of diabetes, induce ketogenesis and are associated with mood improvement in population-based studies. In this column, we highlight the rationale for the hypothesis that ketogenesis induced by SGLT2 inhibitors may be an effective treatment for depressive disorders.
Comparison of Adiponectin Levels in Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge-Eating Disorder, Obesity, Constitutional Thinness, and Healthy Controls: A Network Meta-Analysis
Adiponectin is a protein hormone that is produced and secreted primarily by adipose tissue. The levels of adiponectin in those with eating disorders, obesity, and healthy controls have been extensively studied. However, the general picture of the differences in adiponectin levels across the mentioned conditions is still unclear and fragmented. In this study, we pooled previous studies and performed a network meta-analysis to gain a global picture of comparisons of adiponectin levels across eating disorders, obesity, constitutional thinness, and healthy controls. Electronic databases were searched for anorexia nervosa, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, binge-eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, healthy controls, night eating syndrome, obesity, and constitutional thinness in studies where adiponectin levels were measured. A total of 4262 participants from 50 published studies were included in the network meta-analysis. Adiponectin levels were significantly higher in participants with anorexia nervosa than in healthy controls (Hedges' g = 0.701, p < 0.001). However, adiponectin levels in constitutionally thin participants were not significantly different from those of healthy controls (Hedges' g = 0.470, p = 0.187). Obesity and binge-eating disorder were associated with significantly lower adiponectin levels compared to those of healthy controls (Hedges' g = -0.852, p < 0.001 and Hedges' g = -0.756, p = 0.024, respectively). The disorders characterized by excessive increases or decreases in BMI were associated with significant changes in adiponectin levels. These results suggest that adiponectin may be an important marker of severely disequilibrated homeostasis, especially in fat, glucose, and bone metabolisms. Nonetheless, an increase in adiponectin may not simply be associated with a decrease in BMI, as constitutional thinness is not associated with a significant increase in adiponectin.
Zuranolone for the Treatment of Adults With Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Phase 3 Trial
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:) receptor, for the treatment of major depressive disorder. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:Patients 18-64 years of age with severe major depressive disorder were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Patients self-administered zuranolone 50 mg or placebo once daily for 14 days. The primary endpoint was change from baseline in total score on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) at day 15. Safety and tolerability were assessed by incidence of adverse events. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:Of 543 randomized patients, 534 (266 in the zuranolone group, 268 in the placebo group) constituted the full analysis set. Compared with patients in the placebo group, patients in the zuranolone group demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in depressive symptoms at day 15 (least squares mean change from baseline HAM-D score, -14.1 vs. -12.3). Numerically greater improvements in depressive symptoms for zuranolone versus placebo were observed by day 3 (least squares mean change from baseline HAM-D score, -9.8 vs. -6.8), which were sustained at all visits throughout the treatment and follow-up periods of the study (through day 42, with the difference remaining nominally significant through day 12). Two patients in each group experienced a serious adverse event; nine patients in the zuranolone group and four in the placebo group discontinued treatment due to adverse events. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:Zuranolone at 50 mg/day elicited a significantly greater improvement in depressive symptoms at day 15, with a rapid time to effect (day 3). Zuranolone was generally well tolerated, with no new safety findings compared with previously studied lower dosages. These findings support the potential of zuranolone in treating adults with major depressive disorder.
Suicidal ideation and behavior in schizophrenia: The role of negative urgency and psychiatric symptoms [Letter]
Combinations of dextromethorphan for the treatment of mood disorders - a review of the evidence [Review]
INTRODUCTION:Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. However, many patients do not achieve an adequate clinical improvement with pharmacotherapies targeting monoamine receptors, and the onset of therapeutic benefit typically lags by 4-6Â weeks. There is a significant need for mechanistically novel treatments with more rapid efficacy. Combinations of dextromethorphan, an oral N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, can potentially fill this gap. AREAS COVERED:US Clinical Trials registration was systematically searched for studies examining the effects of dextromethorphan in mood disorders. Results were gathered via a PubMed search, adding also press releases, and poster presentations. Two case reports and eight clinical trials were identified for the treatment of MDD or treatment resistant depression (TRD); we also reviewed additional studies in bipolar disorder. EXPERT OPINION:Clinical studies show that the combinations of dextromethorphan with quinidine or bupropion have been effective in decreasing depressive symptomatology in MDD. However, dextromethorphan studies in adults with TRD or with bipolar depression have shown mixed results. The combination of dextromethorphan and bupropion is a well-tolerated, safe, and efficacious treatment option for adults with MDD. Additional studies analyzing the effects of dextromethorphan and bupropion for TRD and bipolar depression are needed.