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      The Link between Thyroid Function and Depression


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      Journal of Thyroid Research

      Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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          The relation between thyroid function and depression has long been recognized. Patients with thyroid disorders are more prone to develop depressive symptoms and conversely depression may be accompanied by various subtle thyroid abnormalities. Traditionally, the most commonly documented abnormalities are elevated T4 levels, low T3, elevated rT3, a blunted TSH response to TRH, positive antithyroid antibodies, and elevated CSF TRH concentrations. In addition, thyroid hormone supplements appear to accelerate and enhance the clinical response to antidepressant drugs. However, the mechanisms underlying the interaction between thyroid function and depression remain to be further clarified. Recently, advances in biochemical, genetic, and neuroimaging fields have provided new insights into the thyroid-depression relationship.

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          Most cited references 118

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          Neuroimaging studies of mood disorders.

          Neuroimaging studies of major depression have identified neurophysiologic abnormalities in multiple areas of the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex, the amygdala, and related parts of the striatum and thalamus. Some of these abnormalities appear mood state-dependent and are located in regions where cerebral blood flow increases during normal and other pathologic emotional states. These neurophysiologic differences between depressives and control subjects may thus implicate areas where physiologic activity changes to mediate or respond to the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive manifestations of major depressive episodes. Other abnormalities persist following symptom remission, and are found in orbital and medial prefrontal cortex areas where postmortem studies demonstrate reductions in cortex volume and histopathologic changes in primary mood disorders. These areas appear to modulate emotional behavior and stress responses, based upon evidence from brain mapping, lesion analysis, and electrophysiologic studies of humans and/or experimental animals. Dysfunction involving these regions is thus hypothesized to play a role in the pathogenesis of depressive symptoms. Taken together, these findings implicate interconnected neural circuits in which pathologic patterns of neurotransmission may result in the emotional, motivational, cognitive, and behavioral manifestations of primary and secondary affective disorders.
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            Modulating dysfunctional limbic-cortical circuits in depression: towards development of brain-based algorithms for diagnosis and optimised treatment.

             Helen Mayberg (2002)
            While characterization of pathogenetic mechanisms underlying major depression is a fundamental aim of neuroscience research, an equally critical clinical goal is to identify biomarkers that might improve diagnostic accuracy and guide treatment selection for individual patients. To this end, a synthesis of functional neuroimaging studies examining regional metabolic and blood flow changes in depression is presented in the context of a testable limbic-cortical network model. 'Network' dysfunction combined with active intrinsic compensatory processes is seen to explain the heterogeneity of depressive symptoms observed clinically, as well as variations in pretreatment scan patterns described experimentally. Furthermore, the synchronized modulation of these dysfunctional limbic-cortical pathways is considered critical for illness remission, regardless of treatment modality. Testing of response-specific functional relationships among regional 'nodes' within this network using multivariate approaches is discussed, with a perspective aimed at identifying biomarkers of treatment non-response, relapse risk and disease vulnerability. Characterization of adaptive and maladaptive functional interactions among these pathways is seen as a critical step towards future development of evidenced-based algorithms that will optimize the diagnosis and treatment of individual depressed patients.
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              Modulation of cortical-limbic pathways in major depression: treatment-specific effects of cognitive behavior therapy.

              Functional imaging studies of major depressive disorder demonstrate response-specific regional changes following various modes of antidepressant treatment. To examine changes associated with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Brain changes underlying response to CBT were examined using resting-state fluorine-18-labeled deoxyglucose positron emission tomography. Seventeen unmedicated, unipolar depressed outpatients (mean +/- SD age, 41 +/- 9 years; mean +/- SD initial 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score, 20 +/- 3) were scanned before and after a 15- to 20-session course of outpatient CBT. Whole-brain, voxel-based methods were used to assess response-specific CBT effects. A post hoc comparison to an independent group of 13 paroxetine-treated responders was also performed to interpret the specificity of identified CBT effects. A full course of CBT resulted in significant clinical improvement in the 14 study completers (mean +/- SD posttreatment Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score of 6.7 +/- 4). Treatment response was associated with significant metabolic changes: increases in hippocampus and dorsal cingulate (Brodmann area [BA] 24) and decreases in dorsal (BA 9/46), ventral (BA 47/11), and medial (BA 9/10/11) frontal cortex. This pattern is distinct from that seen with paroxetine-facilitated clinical recovery where prefrontal increases and hippocampal and subgenual cingulate decreases were seen. Like other antidepressant treatments, CBT seems to affect clinical recovery by modulating the functioning of specific sites in limbic and cortical regions. Unique directional changes in frontal cortex, cingulate, and hippocampus with CBT relative to paroxetine may reflect modality-specific effects with implications for understanding mechanisms underlying different treatment strategies.

                Author and article information

                J Thyroid Res
                Journal of Thyroid Research
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                14 December 2011
                : 2012
                Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, P.O. Box 11-0236, Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Michael Bauer

                Copyright © 2012 M. P. Hage and S. T. Azar.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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