Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in collaboration with Dutch scientists, have found that certain metabolites -; small molecules produced by the process of metabolism -; may be predictive indicators for persons at risk for recurrent major depressive disorder.
The findings were published in the January 11, 2021 online issue of Translational Psychiatry.
This is evidence for a mitochondrial nexus at the heart of depression. It’s a small study, but it is the first to show the potential of using metabolic markers as predictive clinical indicators of patients at greatest risk -; and lower risk -; for recurring bouts of major depressive symptoms.”
Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, Study’s Senior Author, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Pathology, UC San Diego School of Medicine
Recurrent major depressive disorder (in lay terms, clinical depression) is a mood disorder characterized by multiple symptoms in combination: feelings of sadness or hopelessness, anger or frustration, loss of interest, sleep disturbances, anxiety, slowed or difficulty thinking, suicidal thoughts and unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is among the most common mental illnesses in the United States, with an estimated lifetime prevalence of 20.6 percent, meaning one in five Americans will suffer at least one episode during their lives. For patients who have recurrent MDD (rMDD), the five-year recurrence risk is up to 80 percent.
For their study, Naviaux and colleagues in The Netherlands recruited 68 subjects (45 females, 23 males) with rMDD who were in antidepressant-free remission and 59 age- and gender-matched controls.…