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      Individual Differences in Stress Responsiveness of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis and Its Vasopressinergic Regulation in Old Monkeys

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      Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science

      Scientific Research Publishing, Inc,

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          Most cited references 40

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          Depression and cortisol responses to psychological stress: a meta-analysis.

          The purpose of this meta-analysis is to examine the association between depression and cortisol responses to psychological stressors. A total of seven studies comparing plasma or cortisol responses to psychological stressors in clinically depressed (MDD) and non-depressed (ND) individuals (N = 196: 98 MDD, 98 ND; 83 men, 113 women; mean age = 40 years) were included. Sample size-adjusted effect sizes (Cohen's d statistic) were calculated and averaged across baseline (before stressor onset), stress (stressor onset up to 25 min after stressor offset), and recovery (more than 25 min after stressor offset) periods. Overall, MDD and ND individuals exhibited similar baseline and stress cortisol levels, but MDD patients had much higher cortisol levels during the recovery period than their ND counterparts. There was also a significant time of day effect in which afternoon studies were more likely to reveal higher baseline cortisol levels, blunted stress reactivity, and impaired recovery in MDD patients. This blunted reactivity-impaired recovery pattern observed among the afternoon studies was most pronounced in studies with older and more severely depressed patients.
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            Major depressive disorder and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity: results from a large cohort study.

            There is a central belief that depression is associated with hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, resulting in higher cortisol levels. However, results are inconsistent. To examine whether there is an association between depression and various cortisol indicators in a large cohort study. Data are from 1588 participants of the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety who were recruited from the community, general practice care, and specialized mental health care. Three groups were compared: 308 control subjects without psychiatric disorders, 579 persons with remitted (no current) major depressive disorder (MDD), and 701 persons with a current MDD diagnosis, as assessed using the DSM-IV Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Cortisol levels were measured in 7 saliva samples to determine the 1-hour cortisol awakening response, evening cortisol levels, and cortisol suppression after a 0.5-mg dexamethasone suppression test. Both the remitted and current MDD groups showed a significantly higher cortisol awakening response compared with control subjects (effect size [Cohen d] range, 0.15-0.25). Evening cortisol levels were higher among the current MDD group at 10 pm but not at 11 pm. The postdexamethasone cortisol level did not differ between the MDD groups. Most depression characteristics (severity, chronicity, symptom profile, prior childhood trauma) were not associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity except for comorbid anxiety, which tended to be associated with a higher cortisol awakening response. The use of psychoactive medication was generally associated with lower cortisol levels and less cortisol suppression after dexamethasone ingestion. This large cohort study shows significant, although modest, associations between MDD and specific hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis indicators. Because a higher cortisol awakening response was observed among both subjects with current MDD and subjects with remitted MDD, this may be indicative of an increased biological vulnerability for depression.
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              Depression as a disease of modernity: explanations for increasing prevalence.

              There has been much speculation about modern environments causing an epidemic of depression. This review aims to (1) determine whether depression rates have increased and (2) review evidence for possible explanations. While available data indicate rising prevalence and an increased lifetime risk for younger cohorts, strong conclusions cannot be drawn due to conflicting results and methodological flaws. There are numerous potential explanations for changing rates of depression. Cross-cultural studies can be useful for identifying likely culprits. General and specific characteristics of modernization correlate with higher risk. A positive correlation between a country's GDP per capita, as a quantitative measure of modernization, and lifetime risk of a mood disorder trended toward significance (p=0.06). Mental and physical well-being are intimately related. The growing burden of chronic diseases, which arise from an evolutionary mismatch between past human environments and modern-day living, may be central to rising rates of depression. Declining social capital and greater inequality and loneliness are candidate mediators of a depressiogenic social milieu. Modern populations are increasingly overfed, malnourished, sedentary, sunlight-deficient, sleep-deprived, and socially-isolated. These changes in lifestyle each contribute to poor physical health and affect the incidence and treatment of depression. The review ends with a call for future research and policy interventions to address this public health crisis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science
                JBBS
                Scientific Research Publishing, Inc,
                2160-5866
                2160-5874
                2015
                2015
                : 05
                : 07
                : 280-294
                Article
                10.4236/jbbs.2015.57029
                © 2015

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