Skip to content

This Week in Psychiatry – 11/22/10

November 19, 2010

Stressful Life Events and Depression Risks: A Twin Study

A recent twin study from the Archives of General Psychiatry addressed the difficulty of measuring environmental causality in psychiatric disorders. Researchers analyzed the relationship between “dependent stressful life events (dSLEs)” and current and past episodes of major depression. Participants included 4,910 male and female adult twins. There was a strong association between dSLEs and risk for major depression in male (OR, 4.55) and female (OR, 5.85) twins. The association was weaker, however, among monozygotic twins discordant for dSLE exposure. Overall, the researchers wrote, the causal effect of dSLEs on the risk for major depression is small, and often simply unrelated.

Sleeping Pills and Anxiolytics Associated with Greater Mortality Risks

Anxiolytic and hypnotic drug use are associated with greater mortality odds, according to a recent longitudinal, population-based review in The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Data on 14,117 adults aged 18–102 years were collected biennially for 12 years. Anxiolytic or hypnotic use within the past month was associated with 3.22 times greater mortality odds. The mortality odds were still significantly higher (1.36) after controlling for mental and physical health, lifestyle, and sociodemographic characteristics.

Is Poor Social Cognition Linked to Prodromal Schizophrenia?

Do persons with familial risk of schizophrenia demonstrate social cognition deficits? In a Schizophrenia Bulletin study researchers assessed young relatives of schizophrenia patients for neurocognitive function and prodromal psychopathology. Compared with controls, the at-risk group was more likely to misperceive neutral faces as negative, and their reaction time for emotion recognition tasks was longer. These social cognitive impairments were significantly associated with more prodromal psychopathology. Neurocognition impairments, however, were not related to social cognitive proficiency. —Lonnie Stoltzfoos


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: