Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Childhood maltreatment linked to long-term depression risk and poor response to treatment

Date:
August 14, 2011
Source:
King's College London
Summary:
People who have experienced maltreatment as children are twice as likely to develop both multiple and long-lasting depressive episodes as those without a history of childhood maltreatment, according to a new study. The research also found that maltreated individuals are more likely to respond poorly to pharmacological and psychological treatment for depression.

People who have experienced maltreatment as children are twice as likely to develop both multiple and long-lasting depressive episodes as those without a history of childhood maltreatment, according to a new study. The research, led by a team at King's College London Institute of Psychiatry also found that maltreated individuals are more likely to respond poorly to pharmacological and psychological treatment for depression.

The results, to be published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, have emerged from a combined analysis of 16 epidemiological studies involving more than 20,000 participants and of 10 clinical trials involving more than 3,000 participants.

Depression ranks among the most common psychiatric disorders worldwide, with one in ten children exposed to maltreatment including psychological, physical or sexual abuse or neglect. By 2020, depression is predicted to be the second leading contributor to the global burden of disease across all ages, according to the World Health Organisation. The societal impact of depression is largely accounted for by individuals who develop multiple and long-lasting depressive episodes.

Previous research has shown that maltreated individuals are more likely to show abnormalities in biological systems sensitive to psychological stress -- such as the brain, the endocrine, and the immune system -- both in childhood and in adult life, which could have important clinical implications.

Dr Andrea Danese, senior investigator of the study at King's says: 'Identifying those at risk of multiple and long-lasting depressive episodes is crucial from a public health perspective. The results indicate that childhood maltreatment is associated both with an increased risk of developing recurrent and persistent episodes of depression, and with an increased risk of responding poorly to treatment.

'Therefore prevention and early therapeutic interventions targeting childhood maltreatment could prove vital in helping prevent the major health burden owing to depression. Knowing that individuals with a history of maltreatment won't respond as well to treatment may also be valuable for clinicians in determining patients' prognosis.'

Dr Danese continues: 'The biological abnormalities associated with childhood maltreatment could potentially explain why individuals with a history of maltreatment respond poorly to treatment for depression.'

Individuals with a history of maltreatment are at elevated risk of mental illness throughout their lives. However, in order to understand how early experiences bring about mental illness, future research should explore biological changes associated with maltreatment before accumulation of multiple depressive episodes.

Dr Rudolf Uher, co-author of the paper, says: 'Our study has shown that antidepressant medication, psychological treatment and the combination of the two are less effective in those who have a history of childhood maltreatment. Whilst we still do not know exactly what type of treatment may improve their care, it may be that new treatments based on the biological vulnerabilities associated with childhood maltreatment could prove an exciting avenue for research.'

The research was supported by the UK MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre (SGDP), and the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, both at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. The authors are funded by the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD/Brain and Behavior Research Fund, USA), the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research, and the European Commission.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by King's College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. V. Nanni, R. Uher, A. Danese. Childhood Maltreatment Predicts Unfavorable Course of Illness and Treatment Outcome in Depression: A Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2011; DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2011.11020335

Cite This Page:

King's College London. "Childhood maltreatment linked to long-term depression risk and poor response to treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110814131624.htm>.
King's College London. (2011, August 14). Childhood maltreatment linked to long-term depression risk and poor response to treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110814131624.htm
King's College London. "Childhood maltreatment linked to long-term depression risk and poor response to treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110814131624.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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:
from the past week

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