Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nearly all depressed adolescents recover with treatment, but half relapse, study finds

Date:
November 2, 2010
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
A study of adolescents who had a major depressive disorder found that nearly all recovered from their episode after treatment. But within five years, nearly half of them had relapsed, and females were at much higher risk of another major episode, researchers found.

A study of adolescents who had a major depressive disorder found that nearly all recovered from their episode after treatment. But within five years, nearly half of them had relapsed, and females were at much higher risk of another major episode, researchers at Duke University Medical Center found.

Related Articles


"We need to learn why females in this age range have higher chances of descending into another major depression after they have made a recovery," said John Curry, Ph.D., lead author of the study and professor in the Duke Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

The study was published in the Nov. 1 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

The current study was a follow-up investigation of 86 male and 110 female adolescents who had participated in the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS), a short-term depression treatment study of 12 weeks.

Major depression is a mood disorder characterized by depressed mood; loss of interest, disruptions in appetite, sleep, energy; poor concentration; worthlessness; and suicidal thoughts or behavior. Adolescents must have at least five of these symptoms for a length of time to be diagnosed with major depression. In TADS, the adolescents were all at least moderately to severely depressed and the average length of time they had been depressed before they started treatment was about 40 weeks. The depression had also interfered with their school work, family life or their friendships.

After the initial 12-week treatment, the subjects were then followed for five years by the current study, known as SOFTAD (Survey of Outcomes Following Treatment for Adolescent Depression).

The follow-up study found that 96.4 percent of the participants had recovered for at least 8 weeks after short-term treatment. Those who responded to the short-term treatment rather than partially or not at all were significantly more likely to recover by the two-year follow-up mark.

The most effective treatment was a combination of the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) with cognitive behavioral therapy.

Reaching recovery within two years was not significantly related to being in the group that received the combination therapy. Instead, it mattered whether the patients responded to treatment, as opposed to being partial responders or nonresponders.

The three other arms of the short-term treatment were fluoxetine alone, cognitive therapy alone, or a placebo. (After the short-term treatment, those who had been in the placebo group were offered their TADS treatment of choice).

Of the 189 patients who recovered (out of the total of 196), 88 of them, or nearly half, had a recurrence of major depression. Recurrence couldn't be predicted by the child's full short-term treatment response or by original treatment. Those who responded fully or partially were less likely to have a recurrence than were nonresponders, 42.9 percent versus 67.6 percent, respectively.

Gender played a significant role in recurrence, with a majority of females (57.6 percent) having another major depression versus just 32.9% of males.

Curry hypothesized that females may tend toward depression recurrence for a variety of reasons. Young females may be at risk for a second depression if they have a feeling that they cannot personally make any impact, which affects the desire to set or reach goals, or if they have a tendency toward unproductive, repetitive thoughts that focus on their negative experiences, personal weaknesses, or bad feelings, he said.

Although females are more likely to become depressed than males during adulthood as well as adolescence, adult women are not more likely than men to have a second major depression, Curry said.

"Further research needs to be done to confirm our findings and to sort out the variables that may be associated with recurrent major depression in young women," Curry said.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Senior author was John March, M.D., MPH, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Duke and director of Neurosciences Medicine for the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

Other Duke authors include Susan Silva, Barbara Burns and Karen Wells of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and from the Duke Clinical Research Institute, Dr. Silva and Jerry Kirchner. Many authors from other institutions contributed to this study, including those at the Oregon Research Institute and Department of Psychology at the University of Oregon, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, University of Texas-Southwestern, Columbia University Medical Center, Cincinnati Children's Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, University of Oregon, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Curry and Dr. Wells provide training through the REACH Institute. Dr. March owns equity in MedAvante; is a consultant for Pfizer, Wyeth, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Johnson & Johnson; is an advisor for Lilly (maker of Prozac), Pfizer, Scion, and Psymetrix; receives research support from Pfizer and Lilly; and receives royalties from MultiHealth Systems, Guilford Press, and Oxford University Press.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. John Curry; Susan Silva; Paul Rohde; Golda Ginsburg; Christopher Kratochvil; Anne Simons; Jerry Kirchner; Diane May; Betsy Kennard; Taryn Mayes; Norah Feeny; Anne Marie Albano; Sarah Lavanier; Mark Reinecke; Rachel Jacobs; Emily Becker-Weidman; Elizabeth Weller; Graham Emslie; John Walkup; Elizabeth Kastelic; Barbara Burns; Karen Wells; John March. Recovery and Recurrence Following Treatment for Adolescent Major Depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2010; DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.150

Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Nearly all depressed adolescents recover with treatment, but half relapse, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101101161901.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2010, November 2). Nearly all depressed adolescents recover with treatment, but half relapse, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101101161901.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Nearly all depressed adolescents recover with treatment, but half relapse, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101101161901.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. 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