Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sleep Patterns In Children And Teenagers Could Indicate Risk For Depression

Date:
August 14, 2009
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Sleep patterns can help predict which adolescents might be at greatest risk for developing depression, a researcher has found in a five-year study.

Sleep patterns can help predict which adolescents might be at greatest risk for developing depression, a researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center has found in a five-year study.

Related Articles


Sleep is a biological factor known to be associated with adult depression. Depressed adults experience rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep earlier in the sleep cycle than people who are not depressed. Until this study, available online and in the July edition of Neuropsychopharmacology, it had been unclear whether this relationship held true in adolescents.

Dr. Uma Rao, professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern and lead author of the study, found that adolescents with a familial risk for depression but without a depression diagnosis experienced shorter REM latency, meaning they reached the REM stage more quickly. Those adolescents were more likely to develop depression by the end of the five-year study period than those who reached REM sleep later in the cycle.

"Sleep is probably more helpful in determining who is at risk for developing depression than in being a diagnostic marker for depression since REM latency of those adolescents was shorter before they even developed the illness," Dr. Rao said.

Adolescent depression is complex to prevent and to treat in part because baseline levels of sleep and other factors used to diagnosis depression are not clearly defined. For example, in clinical studies, adolescents without manifestation of mental illness can be labeled erroneously as control group members because they haven't yet reached the highest-risk period for developing depression – mid- to late-adolescence and early adulthood.

"Comparing these younger adolescents to those already showing depression obscures study results and can affect our understanding of the underlying mechanisms for depression as well as its treatment," Dr. Rao said. "Long-term studies may be helpful in determining which research participants should be considered as part of the control group. This study is an initial step in determining baseline measures that differentiate healthy adolescents from those who are likely to develop depression, bipolar disorder and other mental diseases as they get older."

Researchers also studied another biological factor known to be associated with adult depression – cortisol, a hormone that is increased when humans are under stress. Evidence in adults shows that increased cortisol levels are related to depression and that cortisol is reduced even before outward signs of depression, such as feelings of sadness, wane. High cortisol levels in remitted patients can help determine who is at risk for relapse of depression.

At the start of the study involving 96 adolescents with no evidence of depression or other psychiatric disorders, researchers monitored the sleep cycles of participants for three days and collected saliva and urine samples to record cortisol levels. The teens were then monitored for up to five years.

In addition to the sleep finding, researchers found that at the end of the five-year study period, adolescents with higher cortisol levels were more likely than others to develop depression.

"Depression is not mediated by sleep alone," Dr. Rao said. "If we can identify factors such as sleep and cortisol and their role, we could start the prevention process before the disease leads children and teenagers down a path well behind their peers educationally and socially."

Currently, Dr. Rao is using magnetic resonance imaging techniques and neuropsychological factors to study their impact on the risk for depression and addictive disorders and to identify youngsters who are likely to respond better to antidepressant medications.

Researchers from the Research and Education Institute for Texas Health Resources and the University of California, Los Angeles, also participated in the research.

The work was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Sleep Patterns In Children And Teenagers Could Indicate Risk For Depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813083335.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2009, August 14). Sleep Patterns In Children And Teenagers Could Indicate Risk For Depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813083335.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Sleep Patterns In Children And Teenagers Could Indicate Risk For Depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813083335.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2015) Each week, millions of Americans take acetaminophen to dull minor aches and pains. Now researchers say it might blunt life&apos;s highs and lows, too. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins