Friday, February 26, 2010

Biol Psychiatry - Rwandan refugee PTSD risk associated with traumatic load, modulated by COMT genotype

Another G*E study. The normal dose-response relationship between traumatic load and PTSD disappears in met homozygotes.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where you start is not where you end. by J Halamka

Insights on growing up, education, development from John Halamka.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

methGraph: A genome visualization tool for PCR-based methylation assays

Lefever et al. "methGraph creates a BED file that is automatically uploaded to the UCSC genome browser, after which the resulting image files are extracted and made available for visualization and download. The generated high-quality figures can easily be customized and exported for use in publications or presentations. methGraph is available at"

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FKBP5 Polymorphisms + Suicidal Events, n=155

Underpowered, but survival curves are interesting.

Am J Psychiatry. 2010 Feb;167(2):190-197. Epub 2009 Dec 15.

Association of FKBP5 Polymorphisms With Suicidal Events in the Treatment of Resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA) Study.

Brent DMelhem NFerrell REmslie GWagner KDRyan NVitiello BBirmaher BMayes TZelazny JOnorato MDevlin B,Clarke GDebar LKeller M.

Dr. Birmaher has participated in forums sponsored by Abcomm, Forest Laboratories, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Shire Pharmaceuticals, and Solvay Pharmaceuticals and has received royalties from Random House and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Dr. Emslie has received research support from Biobehavioral Diagnostics, Forest Laboratories, Shire, and Somerset and is a consultant for Biobehavioral Diagnostics, Eli Lilly, Forest Laboratories, Pfizer, Shire, Validus Pharmaceuticals, and Wyeth. Dr. Keller has received research support or speakers honoraria from, served as a consultant to, or served on advisory boards for Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CENEREX, Cephalon, Cyberonics, Cypress Bioscience, Forest Laboratories, Janssen, JDS, Medtronic, Neuronetics, Novartis, Organon, Pfizer, Roche, Solvay, and Wyeth. All other authors report no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Objective The authors sought to assess the relationship between candidate genes and two clinical outcomes, namely, symptomatic improvement and the occurrence of suicidal events, in a sample of treatment-resistant depressed adolescents. Method A subsample of depressed adolescents participating in the Treatment of SSRI-Resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA) trial, 155 of whom were of European origin, were genotyped with respect to 21 polymorphisms on 12 genes that have a reported association with depression, treatment response, or suicidal events. Participants had not responded to a previous adequate trial with an antidepressant and were randomized to receive either another selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or venlafaxine, with or without cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analyses were conducted using PLINK with permutation procedures. Results No relationship was observed between any polymorphism and response to treatment. The FKBP5 (which codes for a protein causing subsensitivity of the glucocorticoid receptor) rs1360780TT and rs3800373GG genotypes were associated with suicidal events (N=18), even after controlling for treatment effects and relevant covariates. These two SNPs were in significant linkage disequilibrium (r=0.91). Conclusions The FKBP5 genotypes associated with suicidal events in this study have been reported by others to cause the greatest degree of glucocorticoid receptor subsensitivity. These results are consistent with those of other studies linking alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis with suicidal behavior. The small number of events and lack of a placebo condition make these results preliminary. Replication with a larger sample and a placebo condition is needed to assess whether these events are related to treatment.

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Fishy paper on acute stress altering proBDNF/totBDNF expression.

BMC Neurosci. 2010 Jan 14;11(1):4. [Epub ahead of print]

Acute stress alters transcript expression pattern and reduces processing of proBDNF to mature BDNF in Dicentrarchus labrax.

Tognoli CRossi FDi Cola FBaj GTongiorgi ETerova GSaroglia MBernardini GGornati R.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Stress involves alterations of brain functioning that may precipitate to mood disorders. The neurotrophin Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) has recently been involved in stress-induced adaptation. BDNF is a key regulator of neuronal plasticity and adaptive processes. Regulation of BDNF is complex and may reflect not only stress-specific mechanisms but also hormonal and emotional responses. For this reason we used, as an animal model of stress, a fish whose brain organization is very similar to that of higher vertebrates, but is generally considered free of emotional reactions. Results: We provide a comprehensive characterization of BDNF gene in the Dicentrarchus labrax and its transcriptional, translational and post-translational regulation following acute stress. While total BDNF mRNA levels are unchanged, BDNF transcripts 1c and 1d resulted down regulated after acute stress. Acute stress induces also a significant increase in proBDNF levels and reduction in mature BDNF suggesting altered regulation of proBDNF proteolytic processing. Notably, we provide here the first evidence that fishes possess a simplified proteolytic regulation of BDNF since the pro28Kda form, generated by the SKI-1 protease in mammals, is absent in fishes because the cleavage site has first emerged in reptilians. Finally, we show that the proBDNF/totBDNF ratio is a highly predictive novel quantitative biomarker to detect stress in fishes with sensitivity=100%, specificity=87%, and Negative Predictive Value=100%. Conclusion: The high predictivity of proBDNF/totBDNF ratio for stress in lower vertebrates indicates that processing of BDNF is a central mechanism in adaptation to stress and predicts that a similar regulation of pro/mature BDNF has likely been conserved throughout evolution of vertebrates from fish to man.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nucleotide variation in 312 central nervous system genes among male suicide attempters.

Data mining, forward selection, SVM methods applied to 840 SNPs across 312 genes in 277 men.

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Association between BDNF gene and bipolar disorder in a Han Chinese sample.

Meta-analysis of genome-wide association data identifies a risk locus for major mood disorders on 3p21.1

GWAS meta-analysis 3p21.1 is an example of a shared genetic susceptibility locus for bipolar disorder and MDD.

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Electrically controlled DNA adhesion to charged monolayers

DSM-V proposed draft criteria open for comment Feb 10 #dsm5

On February 10 (12:00 am), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) will release the proposed draft diagnostic criteria forDSM

-5 on its Website  The draft criteria represent content changes under consideration. The information posted on the Website includes the proposed criteria, the rationale, the supporting research, and DSM-IV content as a comparison.

The proposed diagnostic criteria will be available on the Website, for public comment until April 20, 2010. APA is inviting health professionals, consumers of mental health services, and family members to visit the site to review and comment on the draft criteria.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Novel Biochemical Markers of Psychosocial Stress in Women. More good stuff from PLoS one

" Background

Prolonged psychosocial stress is a condition assessed through self-reports. Here we aimed to identify biochemical markers for screening and early intervention in women.


Plasma concentrations of interleukin (IL) 1-α, IL1-β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, interferon-γ (INF-γ), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), epidermal growth factor (EGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), total tri-iodothyronine (TT3), total thyroxine (TT4), prolactin, and testosterone were measured in: 195 women on long-term sick-leave for a stress-related affective disorder, 45 women at risk for professional burnout, and 84 healthy women.


We found significantly increased levels of MCP-1, VEGF and EGF in women exposed to prolonged psychosocial stress. Statistical analysis indicates that they independently associate with a significant risk for being classified as ill.


MCP-1, EGF, and VEGF are potential markers for screening and early intervention in women under prolonged psychosocial stress. "

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Automated SMS text message reminders reduce outpatiet nonattendance rates.

Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Indicated Prevention of Psychotic Disorders

Viennese investigators examined the rate of progression to first-episode psychotic disorder in adolescents and young adults aged 13 to 25 years with subthreshold psychosis in this small randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. By study's end (12 months), 2 of 41 individuals (4.9%) in the omega-3 group and 11 of 40 (27.5%) in the placebo group had transitioned to psychotic disorder (P = .007).

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