Bio

Clinical Focus


  • Resistant Depression
  • Neuromodulation
  • Clinical Psychopharmacology
  • Psychiatry

Academic Appointments


Honors & Awards


  • America's Best Doctors; Psychiatry, Best Doctors (2009-2010)
  • Review Article of the Year, Primary Psychiatry (2004)
  • Teacher of the Year, Dept. Of Psychiatry (1998, 2000, 2001)

Professional Education


  • Residency:Stanford University Medical Center (1993) CA
  • Internship:Stanford University Medical Center (1990) CA
  • Board Certification: Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (1995)
  • Fellowship:Stanford University Medical Center (1993) CA
  • Medical Education:UCSF School of Medicine (1989) CA
  • DMH, UCSF/UC Berkeley, Mental Health (1986)
  • MD, UCSF, Medicine (1989)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Treatment resistant depression.

Novel biological interventions in the treatment of mental illness.

Anti-glucocorticoid drugs in the treatment of mood disorders.

Augmentation strategies in the treatment of depression.

Clinical Trials


  • International Study to Predict Optimised Treatment - in Depression Recruiting

    The aim of this study is to identify genetic, physical (brain) and psychological (cognitive) markers (or combinations of them) that predict specific response to a range of antidepressants treatment (Escitalopram, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder. This study is focused on outcomes which may impact on how "personalised medicine" is implemented in depression.

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  • Investigate Efficacy & Safety of RO4995819 vs. Placebo as Adjunct Tx in Patients w/Major Depressive Disorder Not Recruiting

    The purpose of the study is to explore the efficacy of 6 weeks treatment of an investigational medication, RO4995819, versus placebo as adjunctive therapy in patients with major depression.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Maureen Chang, B.S., 650-725-4620.

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  • Ropinirole Controlled Release (CR) as an Adjunctive Agent in the Treatment of Major Depression Not Recruiting

    This is an 8 week study for patients who are currently taking antidepressant medication but not fully responding. Ropinirole CR would be taken in conjunction with current antidepressant medication. Patients come into the clinic once a week when starting on the medication and then once every other week for the remainder of the 8 weeks.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Jessica Hawkins, (650) 723 - 8323.

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  • Radiosurgical Neuromodulation for Refractory Depression Recruiting

    This study is designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an investigational procedure for treating people with treatment resistant bipolar depression. Precise dose delivery of radiation to the predetermined targets in the brain will be accomplished with known Cyberknife stereotactive radiosurgery methods.. This technology is considered to be noninvasive (does not physically invade your body). We will be studying if the Cyberknife influences the sensitivity of certain nerves of your brain. Although many clinical treatments for psychiatric conditions have been done using stereotactive radiosurgery, the present study is experimental, because we are seeking to use more moderate doses of radiation that are intended not to destroy any brain cells, but to normalize or modulate their function.

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  • 24-Week Placebo-Controlled Trial of Flibanserin Once Daily in Premenopausal Women With Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder Not Recruiting

    This trial is designed to assess the safety and efficacy of flibanserin in the treatment of premenopausal women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire (HSDD) that meets standard diagnostic criteria. Efficacy for flibanserin will be assessed vs. a parallel placebo group.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Jennifer Howden, (650) 498 - 6128.

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  • Treatment Trial for Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures Recruiting

    The investigators propose that patients who receive targeted pharmacotherapy (sertraline) or focused psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for NES) or combined treatment (CBT + sertraline) will report fewer nonepileptic seizures (NES) compared to patients who receive community care / treatment as usual (TAU). The purpose of this study is to provide pilot testing and data to inform the future multicenter randomized controlled trial based on the hypothesis.

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Teaching

2013-14 Courses


Publications

Journal Articles


  • Measuring severe adverse events and medication selection using a "PEER Report" for nonpsychotic patients: a retrospective chart review NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISEASE AND TREATMENT Hoffman, D. A., DeBattista, C., Valuck, R. J., Iosifescu, D. V. 2012; 8: 277-284

    Abstract

    We previously reported on an objective new tool that uses quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) normative- and referenced-electroencephalography sampling databases (currently called Psychiatric EEG Evaluation Registry [PEER]), which may assist physicians in determining medication selection for optimal efficacy to overcome trial-and-error prescribing. The PEER test compares drug-free QEEG features for individual patients to a database of patients with similar EEG patterns and known outcomes after pharmacological interventions. Based on specific EEG data elements and historical outcomes, the PEER Report may also serve as a marker of future severe adverse events (eg, agitation, hostility, aggressiveness, suicidality, homicidality, mania, hypomania) with specific medications. We used a retrospective chart review to investigate the clinical utility of such a registry in a naturalistic environment.This chart review demonstrated significant improvement on the global assessment scales Clinical Global Impression - Improvement and Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction - Short Form as well as time to maximum medical improvement and decreased suicidality occurrences. The review also showed that 54.5% of previous medications causing a severe adverse event would have been raised as a caution had the PEER Report been available at the time the drug was prescribed. Finally, due to the significant amount of off-label prescribing of psychotropic medications, additional, objective, evidence-based data aided the prescriber toward better choices.The PEER Report may be useful, particularly in treatment-resistant patients, in helping to guide medication selection. Based on the preliminary data obtained from this chart review, additional studies are warranted to establish the safety and efficacy of adding PEER data when making medication decisions.

    View details for DOI 10.2147/NDT.S31665

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305552300001

    View details for PubMedID 22802691

  • The use of referenced-EEG (rEEG) in assisting medication selection for the treatment of depression JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH DeBattista, C., Kinrys, G., Hoffman, D., Goldstein, C., Zajecka, J., Kocsis, J., Teicher, M., Potkin, S., Preda, A., Multani, G., Brandt, L., Schiller, M., Iosifescu, D., Fava, M. 2011; 45 (1): 64-75

    Abstract

    To evaluate the efficacy of rEEG(®)-guided pharmacotherapy for the treatment of depression in those circumstances where rEEG and STAR*D provided different recommendations.This was a randomized, single-blind, parallel group, 12 center, US study of rEEG-guided pharmacotherapy vs. the most effective treatment regimens reported in the NIH sponsored STAR*D study. Relatively treatment-resistant subjects ?18 years who failed one or more antidepressants were required to have a QIDS-16-SR score ?13 and a MADRS score ?26 at baseline. All subjects underwent a washout of all current medications (with some protocol-specified exceptions) for at least five half-lives before receiving a QEEG and rEEG report. Subjects randomized to rEEG were assigned a regimen based on the rEEG report. Control subjects who had failed only SSRI's in their current episode were randomized to receive venlafaxine XR. Control subjects who had failed antidepressants from ?2 classes of antidepressants were randomized to receive a regimen from Steps 2-4 of the STAR*D study. Treatment lasted 12 weeks. The primary outcome measures were change from baseline for self-rated QIDS-SR16 and Q-LES-Q-SF.A total of 114 subjects were randomized and 89 subjects were evaluable. rEEG-guided pharmacotherapy exhibited significantly greater improvement for both primary endpoints, QIDS-SR16 (-6.8 vs. -4.5, p<0.0002) and Q-LES-Q-SF (18.0 vs. 8.9, p<0.0002) compared to control, respectively, as well as statistical superiority in 9 out of 12 secondary endpoints.These results warrant additional studies to determine the role of rEEG-guided psychopharmacology in the treatment of depression. If these results were confirmed, rEEG-guided pharmacotherapy would represent an easy, relatively inexpensive, predictive, objective office procedure that builds upon clinical judgment to guide antidepressant medication choice.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.05.009

    View details for Web of Science ID 000287075200011

    View details for PubMedID 20598710

  • Safety considerations of the use of second generation antipsychotics in the treatment of major depression: extrapyramidal and metabolic side effects. Current drug safety DeBattista, C., Debattista, K. 2010; 5 (3): 263-266

    Abstract

    Second generation antipsychotics (SGAs) are increasingly employed in the treatment of depression. Adjunctive aripiprizole and olanzapine/ fluoxetine combination (OFC) have been approved in the US in the treatment of depression. Quetiapine also appears to be poised for an FDA approval as an adjunctive treatment for resistant depression. Historically, first generation antipsychotics were thought to carry an enhanced risk of certain side effects in the treatment of mood disorders, including an enhanced risk of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS). The second generation antipsychotics are also known to be associated with a variety of metabolic side effects. The use of SGA in a depressed population may pose risks that differ from use in other conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. In this paper, the risk of extrapyramidal and metabolic side effects is reviewed in depressed patients treated with second generation antipsychotics.

    View details for PubMedID 20394571

  • Effects of major depression diagnosis and cortisol levels on indices of neurocognitive function PSYCHONEUROENDOCRINOLOGY Gomez, R. G., Posener, J. A., Keller, J., DeBattista, C., Solvason, B., Schatzberg, A. F. 2009; 34 (7): 1012-1018

    Abstract

    Although many studies have examined separately the effects of depression and cortisol on cognition, no study has examined their relative or potentially additive effects. Our study simultaneously investigated the contributions of clinical status [major depression (MD) versus psychiatrically healthy controls (HC)] and cortisol on a hippocampal/mediotemporal mediated verbal memory task (Paragraph Recall) and a prefrontal cortex/cingulate mediated executive functioning task (Stroop). Thirty-seven unmedicated nondelusional MDs and 18 HCs underwent psychiatric ratings, hourly assessments of cortisol activity over 24 h, and neuropsychological assessments. Hierarchical multiple regressions indicated a significant effect of cortisol but not of diagnosis on verbal memory. Greater cortisol levels were related to poorer memory performance independent of group. In contrast, a significant interaction between cortisol and diagnosis was found for a color-word index of response inhibition. This interaction suggests that the detrimental effect of elevated cortisol level on this type of executive functioning exists only in the healthy control group but not in MDs. On an Interference score, another measure of response inhibition, cortisol had a significant independent effect, but neither the effects of diagnosis and the interaction attained full significance. Our study suggests that cortisol has an independent effect on verbal memory. Also, our study produced evidence of an interaction between diagnosis and cortisol on response inhibition.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2009.01.017

    View details for Web of Science ID 000267471900008

    View details for PubMedID 19261389

  • A multisite trial of mifepristone for the treatment of psychotic depression: A site-by-treatment interaction CONTEMPORARY CLINICAL TRIALS Blasey, C. M., DeBattista, C., Roe, R., Block, T., Belanoff, J. K. 2009; 30 (4): 284-288

    Abstract

    Major Depression with Psychotic Features (psychotic depression) is a common, debilitating psychiatric disease. We hypothesized that mifepristone, a cortisol receptor (GRII) antagonist, would significantly reduce psychotic symptoms in psychotic depression. Two hundred fifty-eight patients with psychotic depression enrolled at 29 sites were randomized to mifepristone or placebo for 7 days. The primary outcome was rapid and sustained response, defined as a 50% or greater decrease in Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale - Positive Symptom Subscale scores at the end of treatment (day7) and 49 days later (day 56). Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel compared proportions of responders to mifepristone versus placebo adjusting for site. Exploratory analyses compared response of patients with mifepristone plasma concentrations of > or =1800 ng/ml to placebo. The primary endpoint was not statistically significant. However, the Breslow-Day test indicated a statistically significant site-by-treatment interaction. Mifepristone produced significantly higher response among the twenty sites who participated from the trial onset (p<.05), whereas no difference was observed at the nine sites added late in the trial. Patients with mifepristone plasma levels > or =1800 ng/ml were significantly more likely to respond than placebo patients (Intent-to-Treat: OR=2.4, p=.03; Initial 20 sites: OR=4.1, p=.002). The results of this trial are instructive in two respects. First, while statistical adjustments for [corrected] site are common in multisite clinical trials, this study reminds trialists to formally evaluate the interaction of site by treatment.Second, the association between increased mifepristone plasma concentration levels and greater clinical response, detected despite the site-by-treatment interaction, suggests that higher plasma levels may be needed for maximizing the probability of a positive response.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cct.2009.03.001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000266853900002

    View details for PubMedID 19318138

  • Utility of Atypical Antipsychotics in the Treatment of Resistant Unipolar Depression CNS DRUGS DeBattista, C., Hawkins, J. 2009; 23 (5): 369-377

    Abstract

    Many patients fail to achieve an adequate response to antidepressant medication. Growing evidence suggests that atypical antipsychotics may augment antidepressant effects, resulting in a greater potential for response. Atypical antipsychotics possess pharmacological actions that are associated with antidepressant properties, including serotonin 5-HT(2) receptor antagonist and 5-HT(1A) and dopamine receptor partial agonist activity. In fact, the term 'atypical antipsychotic' is an unfortunate remnant of the early indication of these drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia. Soon after their introduction, the usefulness of atypical antipsychotics in bipolar disorder was firmly established and their use in the treatment of mood disorders has far outpaced their use in schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Aripiprazole has become the first agent to receive US FDA approval for the adjunctive treatment of unipolar depression. Most recently, Symbyax, a fluoxetine/olanzapine combination, received FDA approval for the acute treatment of treatment-resistant depression. This is the first medication to be FDA approved for this indication. In the present article, the usefulness of antipsychotics in the treatment of resistant unipolar depression is reviewed.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000266961000002

    View details for PubMedID 19453199

  • Sildenafil treatment of women with antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction - A randomized controlled trial JAMA-JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION Nurnberg, H. G., Hensley, P. L., Heiman, J. R., Croft, H. A., DeBattista, C., Paine, S. 2008; 300 (4): 395-404

    Abstract

    Antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction is a common adverse effect that frequently results in premature medication treatment discontinuation and for which no treatment has demonstrated efficacy in women.To evaluate the efficacy of sildenafil for sexual dysfunction associated with selective and nonselective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) in women.An 8-week prospective, parallel-group, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted between September 1, 2003, and January 1, 2007, at 7 US research centers that included 98 previously sexually functioning, premenopausal women (mean [SD] age 37.1 [6] years) whose major depression was remitted by SRIs but who were also experiencing sexual dysfunction.Forty-nine patients were randomly assigned to take sildenafil or placebo at a flexible dose starting at 50 mg adjustable to 100 mg before sexual activity.The primary outcome measure was the mean difference in change from baseline to study end (ie, lower ordinal score) on the Clinical Global Impression sexual function scale. Secondary measures included the Female Sexual Function Questionnaire, the Arizona Sexual Experience scale-female version, the University of New Mexico Sexual Function Inventory-female version, a sexual activity event log, and the Hamilton Depression Rating scale. Hormone levels were also assessed.In an intention-to-treat analysis, women treated with sildenafil had a mean Clinical Global Impression-sexual function score of 1.9 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6-2.3) compared with those taking placebo (1.1; 95% CI, 0.8-1.5), with a mean end point difference of 0.8 (95% CI, 0.6-1.0; P = .001). Assigning baseline values carried forward to the 22% of patients who prematurely discontinued resulted in a mean end point in the sexual function score of 1.5 (95% CI, 1.1-1.9) among women taking sildenafil compared with 0.9 (95% CI, 0.6-1.3) among women taking placebo with a mean end point difference of 0.6 (95% CI, 0.3-0.8; P = .03). Baseline endocrine levels were within normal limits and did not differ between groups. The mean (SD) Hamilton scores for depression remained consistent with remission in both groups (4.0 [3.6]; P = .90). Headache, flushing, and dyspepsia were reported frequently during treatment, but no patients withdrew because of serious adverse effects.In this study population, sildenafil treatment of sexual dysfunction in women taking SRIs was associated with a reduction in adverse sexual effects.clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00375297.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000257831200017

    View details for PubMedID 18647982

  • Depression and smoking cessation: does the evidence support psychiatric practice? Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment Lembke, A., Johnson, K., DeBattista, C. 2007; 3 (4): 487-493

    Abstract

    Depression and smoking are highly comorbid. The vast majority of psychiatrists treating depressed patients do not target or treat nicotine dependence, and many inpatient psychiatric facilities implicitly condone smoking by providing 'smoke breaks'. The reasons for failure to treat are unclear, but are probably linked to the notion that depressed smokers are neither willing nor able to quit, and will become more depressed if they try. We review the clinical evidence on depression and smoking cessation, and find little support for current psychiatric practice. Although quitting smoking does appear to pose a risk for the development of depression, this risk is not clearly higher in those with a past history of depression than those without. Depressed smokers are as capable as nondepressed smokers of quitting smoking, and at least one-quarter of depressed smokers is willing to try. Sustained abstinence may even lead to improvement in depressive disorders. More research is needed to understand the relationship between depression and quitting smoking, but current clinical evidence suggests more resiliency among depressed smokers than common clinical wisdom would dictate.

    View details for PubMedID 19300577

  • Modafinil augmentation of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor therapy in MDD partial responders with persistent fatigue and sleepiness. Annals of clinical psychiatry Fava, M., Thase, M. E., DeBattista, C., Doghramji, K., Arora, S., Hughes, R. J. 2007; 19 (3): 153-159

    Abstract

    Partial response, no response, or residual symptoms following antidepressant therapy is common in clinical psychiatry. This study evaluated modafinil in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who were partial responders to adequate selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) therapy and excessive sleepiness and fatigue.This retrospective analysis pooled the data of patients (18-65 yrs) who participated in two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of modafinil (6-week, flexible-dose study of 100-400 mg/day or 8-week, fixed-dose study of 200 mg/day) plus SSRI therapy. Patients (n=348) met criteria for several residual symptoms (Epworth Sleepiness Scale [ESS] score>or=10; 17-item Hamilton Depression Scale [HAM-D] score between 4 and 25; and Fatigue Severity Scale [FSS] score>or=4).Compared to placebo, modafinil augmentation rapidly (within 1 week) and significantly improved overall clinical condition (Clinical Global Impression-Improvement), wakefulness (ESS), depressive symptoms (17-item HAM-D), and fatigue (FSS) (p<.01 for all). At final visit, patients receiving modafinil augmentation experienced statistically significant improvements in overall clinical condition, wakefulness, and depressive symptoms. Modafinil was well tolerated in combination with SSRI.Results of this pooled analysis provide further evidence suggesting that modafinil is an effective and well-tolerated augmentation therapy for partial responders to SSRI therapy, particularly when patients continue to experience fatigue and excessive sleepiness.

    View details for PubMedID 17729016

  • Mifepristone versus placebo in the treatment of psychosis in patients with psychotic major depression BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY DeBattista, C., Belanoff, J., Glass, S., Khan, A., Horne, R. L., Blasey, C., Carpenter, L. L., Alva, G. 2006; 60 (12): 1343-1349

    Abstract

    Abnormalities in the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis have been implicated in the pathophysiology of psychotic major depression (PMD). Recent studies have suggested that the antiglucocorticoid, mifepristone might have a role in the treatment of PMD. The current study tested the efficacy of mifepristone treatment of the psychotic symptoms of PMD.221 patients, aged 19 to 75 years, who met DSM-IV and SCID criteria for PMD and were not receiving antidepressants or antipsychotics, participated in a double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study. Patients were randomly assigned to either 7 days of mifepristone (n = 105) or placebo (n = 116) followed by 21 days of usual treatment.Patients treated with mifepristone were significantly more likely to achieve response, defined as a 30% reduction in the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). In addition, mifepristone treated patients were significantly more likely to achieve a 50% reduction in the BPRS Positive Symptom Scale (PSS). No significant differences were observed on measures of depression.A seven day course of mifepristone followed by usual treatment appears to be effective and well tolerated in the treatment of psychosis in PMD. This study suggests that the antiglucocorticoid, mifepristone, might represent an alternative to traditional treatments of psychosis in psychotic depression.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.05.034

    View details for Web of Science ID 000242735700011

    View details for PubMedID 16889757

  • The neuropsychological profile of psychotic major depression and its relation to cortisol BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY Gomez, R. G., Fleming, S. H., Keller, J., Flores, B., Kenna, H., DeBattista, C., Solvason, B., Schatzberg, A. F. 2006; 60 (5): 472-478

    Abstract

    Our study described the neuropsychological profile of psychotic major depression (PMD) compared to nonpsychotic major depression (NPMD) patients and psychiatrically healthy controls (HC). We predicted that higher cortisol levels would be associated with greater cognitive deficits.Twenty-nine PMDs, 24 NPMDs, and 26 HCs were recruited at Stanford University Medical Center. Psychiatric ratings, cortisol levels from 1800-0900 hours, and neuropsychological test data were obtained.PMDs had more severe cognitive impairments compared with NPMDs and HCs with the exception of simple verbal attention. PMDs had elevated mean cortisol levels from 1800 to 0100 hours which were significantly correlated with poorer verbal memory and psychomotor speed performance. Cortisol slopes from 1800 to 0100 hours were also significantly correlated with verbal memory and working memory.While PMDs' ability to attend passively to information appears intact, they have more difficulty processing, manipulating, and encoding new information. Elevated cortisol levels, as seen in PMD patients, are associated with poorer cognitive performance especially related to verbal memory for lists of words and working memory.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.11.010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000240506000007

    View details for PubMedID 16483550

  • The efficacy of mifepristone in the reduction and prevention of olanzapine-induced weight gain in rats BEHAVIOURAL BRAIN RESEARCH Beebe, K. L., Block, T., DeBattista, C., Blasey, C., Belanoff, J. K. 2006; 171 (2): 225-229

    Abstract

    Atypical antipsychotics, such as olanzapine, have been associated with clinically significant weight gain. Changes to the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis may partially mediate this weight increase. Two experiments were conducted to test the effects of mifepristone on both mitigating and preventing olanzapine-induced weight gain. In the first experiment, adult female Sprague-Dawley rats gained significantly more weight on average when administered olanzapine for 35 days compared to vehicle controls. Subsequently, the olanzapine-treated rats were randomized to three dose levels of mifepristone (20, 60, and 200 mg/kg) in conjunction with olanzapine. Weight measurements were taken for 21 additional days. Rats receiving olanzapine plus mifepristone rapidly lost a significant portion of the weight gained during the olanzapine only phase (p = 0.0001). Rats in the 200 mg/kg dose group had significantly less abdominal fat compared to controls (p < 0.001) at study end. In the second experiment, daily mifepristone (20, 60, 200 mg/kg) initiated concomitantly with olanzapine was compared with olanzapine alone to determine if mifepristone prevented olanzapine-induced weight gain. After 21 days of treatment, mifepristone treated rats gained significantly less weight and had significantly less abdominal fat than rats administered olanzapine alone (p = 0.0002). Results suggest that mifepristone, a potent glucocorticoid antagonist, may both reduce and prevent olanzapine-induced weight gain in rats.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbr.2006.03.039

    View details for Web of Science ID 000239197500006

    View details for PubMedID 16782211

  • Augmentation and combination strategies for depression JOURNAL OF PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY DeBattista, C. 2006; 20 (3): 11-18

    Abstract

    Treatment-resistant depression represents a common problem, with the vast majority of depressed patients showing incomplete response to antidepressant trials. Augmentation and combination strategies are commonly employed to address this problem, but there are few randomized, controlled studies to guide treatment choice. Indeed, some of the most common augmentation strategies in depression are those with the least controlled evidence. The popularity of bupropion, psychostimulants and atypical antipsychotics as augmentors may not be warranted by existing controlled studies, whereas two less commonly used augmentors-lithium and thyroid hormone- have substantial controlled evidence to support their use. This paper summarizes the state of the evidence for commonly used augmenting strategies and explores preliminary findings for more investigational approaches.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/13597868064310

    View details for Web of Science ID 000237852000003

    View details for PubMedID 16644767

  • The use of mifepristone in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders TRENDS IN ENDOCRINOLOGY AND METABOLISM DeBattista, C., Belanoff, J. 2006; 17 (3): 117-121

    Abstract

    Mifepristone is a potent glucocorticoid and progesterone receptor antagonist. The pathophysiology of a number of neuropsychiatric disorders implicates abnormalities in glucocorticoid function. These include mood disorders such as psychotic major depression and bipolar depression. In addition, cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease might also be partially mediated by abnormalities in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Preliminary studies suggest that mifepristone might have a role in the treatment of a number of neuropsychiatric disorders.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.tem.2006.02.006

    View details for Web of Science ID 000237145300007

    View details for PubMedID 16530421

  • Modafinil augmentation of SSRI therapy in patients with major depressive disorder and excessive sleepiness and fatigue: A 12-week, open-label, extension study CNS SPECTRUMS Thase, M. E., Fava, M., Debattista, C., Arora, S., Hughes, R. J. 2006; 11 (2): 93-102

    Abstract

    Many patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have residual symptoms (eg, persistent fatigue, excessive sleepiness) despite an overall antidepressant response. Placebo-controlled studies indicate that modafinil, a wake-promoting agent, may relieve residual symptoms.This 12-week, open-label, dose titration, extension study followed an 8-week placebo-controlled study of modafinil augmentation in patients with MDD. The dose was 100-400 mg/day. The median stable dose was 300 mg/day. Assessments were the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Brief Fatigue Inventory, Clinical Global Impression of Improvement scale, 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale.Of the 245 patients treated, 194 completed the study; 70% reported Clinical Global Impression of Improvement scale responses of "much improved" or "very much improved" between open-label baseline and final visit (previous randomized modafinil group: 74%; placebo group: 66%). When data were analyzed for four subsets of patients (former modafinil responders, placebo responders, modafinil nonresponders, and placebo nonresponders), improvements in scores on all outcome measures were at least twice as great among former modafinil and placebo nonresponders compared with responders. Most common adverse events were headache (18%), nausea (9%), and dizziness (7%); all were generally mild to moderate in severity.Twelve weeks of modafinil augmentation relieved excessive sleepiness, reduced fatigue, and improved patients' overall clinical condition, including mood.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000235789200009

    View details for PubMedID 16520686

  • Detecting psychotic major depression using psychiatric rating scales JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH Keller, J., Gomez, R. G., Kenna, H. A., Poesner, J., Debattista, C., Flores, B., Schatzberg, A. F. 2006; 40 (1): 22-29

    Abstract

    The aim of this study was to assess whether individual or clusters of psychiatric symptoms can differentiate patients with psychotic major depression (PMD) from those with nonpsychotic depression (NPMD).Data were pooled from two studies investigating patients with moderate depression. A total of 129 subjects were studied. Patients in Sample 1 were unmedicated, while the majority of the patients in Sample 2 were taking psychotropic medications. Baseline rating scales were obtained for all subjects, including the Hamilton depression rating scale and the brief psychiatric rating scale (BPRS). We used discriminant function analyses, logistic regression, and ROC analyses to determine the patterns in symptoms that differentiated the groups.Psychotic patients were adequately differentiated by the unusual thought content (UTC) item of the BPRS. Even mild UTC endorsement was an indicator of PMD. Furthermore, results suggest that the positive symptom subscale of the BPRS was even better at differentiating PMD from NMPD patients. Sensitivity and specificity for this scale were 84% and 99%, respectively.Psychotic major depression is often undiagnosed and poorly treated. One reason for this trend is the failure of physicians to inquire in a more detailed manner about positive symptoms in patients with primary mood symptoms. Although physicians are not likely to have the time to conduct an entire BPRS during an evaluation, our results suggest that a few key symptoms, if assessed directly, may aid the psychiatrist to more effectively diagnose and subsequently treat their depressed patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2005.07.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000235466200002

    View details for PubMedID 16165160

  • Update on augmentation of antidepressant response in resistant depression. Current psychiatry reports DeBattista, C., Lembke, A. 2005; 7 (6): 435-440

    Abstract

    Most patients in acute depression trials fail to achieve remission with antidepressant monotherapy. Many patients seem to require more than one medication to achieve remission or adequate response. Augmentation strategies are commonly used in clinical practice, but most have been poorly studied. In addition, better-studied strategies, such as the use of lithium and thyroid augmentation, have not been well investigated in combination with newer antidepressants. Various novel strategies are being investigated as augmenting agents, including selective dopamine agonists, sex steroids, norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, glucocorticoid-specific agents, and newer anticonvulsants. We review the status of augmentation strategies in the treatment of depression.

    View details for PubMedID 16318821

  • The efficacy of divalproex sodium in the treatment of agitation associated with major depression JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY Debattista, C., Solomon, A., Arnow, B., Kendrick, E., Tilston, J., Schatzberg, A. F. 2005; 25 (5): 476-479

    Abstract

    Agitation is both a feature of major depression and a common side effect of antidepressant treatment. Depressive agitation correlates with overall severity of illness and suicide risk, whereas treatment-emergent agitation may contribute to early discontinuation of pharmacotherapy. Thus, agitation merits investigation as a treatment target in clinical depression.In this study, adults with major depression were evaluated for change in agitation and other mood symptoms during adjunctive treatment with divalproex sodium. Twelve patients on antidepressants, who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria for major depression, were given low doses of divalproex sodium and evaluated repeatedly for symptoms of depression, anxiety, and agitation. Agitation severity was evaluated using the Overt Agitation Severity Scale and the Stanford Scale for Agitation Symptoms. Mood symptoms were assessed with the Hamilton Anxiety and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scales.Nine of 12 patients completed 4 weeks of treatment. All agitation scores decreased sharply, whereas depression (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale) and anxiety (Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale) symptoms decreased only modestly. Decreased agitation was not merely a function of decreases on the Hamilton Depression or Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scales. Relatively low doses of divalproex sodium appear to be useful in the treatment of agitation associated with major depression.The observation that decreases in agitation were not simply an artifact of overall change in depressive or anxiety symptoms is in keeping with the previous clinical impression that divalproex sodium has a specific effect on depressive agitation. Controlled clinical trials are needed to fully evaluate the utility and symptom specificity of divalproex sodium in depression.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.jcp.0000177552.21338.b0

    View details for Web of Science ID 000232287500015

    View details for PubMedID 16160625

  • A placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind study of adjunctive bupropion sustained release in the treatment of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY DeBattista, C., Solvason, B., Poirier, J., Kendrick, E., Loraas, E. 2005; 66 (7): 844-848

    Abstract

    Sexual side effects are among the common reasons patients discontinue selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). While many antidotes have been proposed, few have been subjected to double-blind trials. Some evidence has suggested that bupropion may be an effective antidote for SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. In this double-blind trial, the efficacy of a standard dose of bupropion sustained release (SR) is evaluated in the treatment of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction.Patients with a history of SSRI-induced sexual side effects were randomly assigned to adjunctive treatment with either bupropion SR 150 mg daily or placebo for 6 weeks. Assessments of sexual function and interest included the Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX), Brief Index of Sexual Functioning, and a 10-point visual analogue scale. Efficacy was defined as a 50% improvement on the ASEX at the end of 6 weeks. Data were collected from January 1999 to March 2001.Forty-one patients entered the study and completed the 6-week trial. No significant differences were seen between placebo and bupropion SR on the ASEX or on any measure of sexual functioning at the end of the trial.A fixed dose of 150 mg/day of bupropion SR taken in the morning does not appear to be effective in the treatment of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. Additional trials will be required to define what role, if any, bupropion might have in the treatment of SSRI-induced sexual side effects.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000230663800006

    View details for PubMedID 16013899

  • C-1073 (mifepristone) in the adjunctive treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Current Alzheimer research DeBattista, C., Belanoff, J. 2005; 2 (2): 125-129

    Abstract

    Alzheimer's disease is frequently associated with abnormalities in the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. Elevated cortisol levels in Alzheimer's disease may in turn be associated with a more rapid progression of the illness. In addition, elevated cortisol levels may directly contribute to cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease. Mifepristone is a potent antagonist of the glucocorticoid receptor and blocks the central actions of cortisol. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of glucocorticoid receptor blockade with mifepristone on cognition in Alzheimer's disease.

    View details for PubMedID 15974908

  • Executive dysfunction in major depressive disorder. Expert review of neurotherapeutics DeBattista, C. 2005; 5 (1): 79-83

    Abstract

    Executive dysfunction is commonly seen in major depression. The types of executive deficits seen in depression include problems with planning, initiating and completing goal-directed activities. Executive dysfunction may vary as a function of the severity of depression. In addition, a subset of geriatric depression is also characterized by prominent deficits in executive functioning. The presence of executive dysfunction in depression is associated with vocational disability and possibly poorer treatment response. While few studies have examined the treatment of executive dysfunction in depression, preliminary work suggests that both pharmacologic interventions and psychosocial interventions such as problem solving therapy may be efficacious.

    View details for PubMedID 15853477

  • A multicenter, placebo-controlled study of modafinil augmentation in partial responders to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors with persistent fatigue and sleepiness JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY Fava, M., Thase, M. E., Debattista, C. 2005; 66 (1): 85-93

    Abstract

    Up to one half of depressed patients have partial or no response to antidepressant monotherapy. This multicenter, placebo-controlled study evaluated the efficacy of modafinil augmentation in major depressive disorder (MDD) patients with fatigue and excessive sleepiness despite selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) monotherapy.Patients (18-65 years) with a DSM-IV diagnosis of MDD and partial response to SSRI monotherapy (> or = 8 weeks) at a stable dose for > or = 4 weeks were eligible. Patients had screening/baseline 31-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) scores of 14 to 26, Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) scores > or = 10, and Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) scores > or = 4. Patients were randomly assigned to augmentation therapy with modafinil 200 mg/day or placebo for 8 weeks. Assessments included the ESS, Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale (CGI-I), 31- and 17-item HAM-D, FSS, Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI), and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS).Of 311 enrolled patients who received > or = 1 dose of study drug, 158 were randomly assigned to modafinil (70% women) and 153 to placebo (72% women); 85% of each treatment group completed the study. At final visit, modafinil significantly improved patients' overall clinical condition compared with placebo on the basis of CGI-I scores (p = .02), and there were trends toward greater mean reductions in ESS, 31- and 17-item HAM-D, and MADRS scores versus placebo. Modafinil significantly reduced BFI scores for worst fatigue at final visit (p < .05 vs. placebo). There were no significant differences between modafinil and placebo at final visit in FSS or BFI total scores. Adverse events significantly more common during modafinil compared with placebo treatment were nausea (9% vs. 2%; p = .01) and feeling jittery (4% vs. 1%; p = .03).These findings suggest that modafinil is a well-tolerated and potentially effective augmenting agent for SSRI partial responders with fatigue and sleepiness.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000226493200012

    View details for PubMedID 15669893

  • HPA axis activation in major depression and response to fluoxetine: a pilot study PSYCHONEUROENDOCRINOLOGY Young, E. A., Altemus, M., Lopez, J. F., Kocsis, J. H., Schatzberg, A. F., Debattista, C., Zubieta, J. K. 2004; 29 (9): 1198-1204

    Abstract

    Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation is a frequently observed phenomenon in major depression. However, whether this activation has any implications for treatment is unknown. To address this question, we examined baseline response to metyrapone and 6-week response to fluoxetine. Premenopausal women (n = 20) who met criteria for major depression with no other confounding Axis I disorders, medications, or medical illnesses and were not taking hormonal contraceptives were evaluated with an evening metyrapone challenge before the onset of treatment. Twenty-one normal women were also studied with the evening metyrapone challenge. The depressed patients then entered an open label treatment with fluoxetine for 6 weeks. Subjects were classified as responders if they demonstrated a 50% or greater decrease in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale rating. As a group, the depressed women demonstrated significantly increased ACTH secretion compared to control women before the onset of treatment, during the metyrapone challenge. Before treatment, women who were non-responders to fluoxetine showed increased HPA axis activation compared to controls, while the fluoxetine responders did not differ significantly from normal subjects in their ACTH levels during metyrapone challenge. These results suggest that overactivity of the HPA axis may be one factor associated with slower response to fluoxetine. This may reflect the greater severity of subjects with HPA axis dysregulation or the need to normalize the HPA axis with medications for optimal response.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2004.02.002

    View details for Web of Science ID 000223107600012

    View details for PubMedID 15219644

  • A prospective trial of modafinil as an adjunctive treatment of major depression JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY DeBattista, C., Lembke, A., Solvason, H. B., Ghebremichael, R., Poirier, J. 2004; 24 (1): 87-90

    Abstract

    Modafinil is a wake-promoting agent approved by the Federal Drug Administration for the treatment of narcolepsy. Preliminary evidence indicates that modafinil may improve fatigue and excessive sleepiness associated with a variety of conditions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the utility of modafinil as an adjunctive treatment of depressed patients. Subjects with a history of major depression with partial response on a stable therapeutic dose of an antidepressant were eligible to participate. All subjects endorsed complaints of significant fatigue and/or excessive sleepiness on clinical assessment. Modafinil was added to their existing regimen at a dose of 100 to 400 mg/d for 4 weeks. Subjects were assessed at 2-week intervals for improvement using the standard depression scales (HDRS, BDI, CGI), fatigue scales (VASF, FSI), and a neuropsychologic battery. Thirty-five subjects were entered and 31 subjects completed the 4-week trial. Significant improvements were seen across all 3 measures of depression (HDRS, BDI, CGIS) and both measures of fatigue (VASF, FSI). On the neurocognitive battery, significant gains in the Stroop Interference Test were seen at 4 weeks, whereas the other cognitive tests showed no change. Modafinil may be a useful and a well-tolerated adjunctive agent to standard antidepressants in the treatment of major depression.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.jcp.0000104910.75206.b9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000188093400015

    View details for PubMedID 14709953

  • Seizure duration with remifentanil/methohexital vs. methohexital alone in middle-aged patients undergoing electroconvulsive therapy ACTA ANAESTHESIOLOGICA SCANDINAVICA Smith, D. L., Angst, M. S., Brock-Utne, J. G., Debattista, C. 2003; 47 (9): 1064-1066

    Abstract

    The object of this study was to test whether substituting part of the methohexital dose with the short-acting opioid remifentanil would prolong seizure duration in middle-aged patients while providing a similar depth of anesthesia as with methohexital alone. This has been reported for the combined use of methohexital and remifentanil in elderly patients, but has not been investigated in middle-aged patients likely to require a higher total dose of methohexital for inducing anesthesia.Seven patients (42+/-10 years; mean +/-SD) receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) were anesthetized with methohexital (1.25 mg kg-1) or with methohexital (0.625 mg kg-1) plus remifentanil (1 micro g kg-1) in this randomized, double blind, crossover study. Additional methohexital was given as needed until loss of eyelash reflex was observed. Suxamethonium (1 mg kg-1) was used for muscular paralysis.Motor and EEG seizure durations were significantly longer after induction with methohexital plus remifentanil (45+/-14 and 58+/-15 s) than with methohexital alone (31+/-11 and 42+/-18 s). A methohexital dose of 1.2+/-0.3 and 1.9+/-0.3 mg was necessary to achieve loss of eyelash reflex if methohexital was used with and without remifentanil. Peak heart rate after ECT was significantly higher if remifentanil was coadministered with methohexital (148+/-12 vs. 126+/-24 b.p.m).Substituting part of the methohexital dose with remifentanil is a useful anesthetic technique to prolong seizure duration in middle-aged patients requiring a 1.5-fold higher induction dose of methohexital than elderly patients, the only population studied to date for the combined use of methohexital and remifentanil in ECT.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000185251000003

    View details for PubMedID 12969096

  • Adjunct modafinil for the short-term treatment of fatigue and sleepiness in patients with major depressive disorder: A preliminary double-blind, placebo-controlled study JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY Debattista, C., Doghramji, K., Menza, M. A., Rosenthal, M. H., Fieve, R. R. 2003; 64 (9): 1057-1064

    Abstract

    Fatigue and sleepiness are primary symptoms of depression that may not resolve with antidepressant therapy. Modafinil is a novel agent that has been shown to improve wakefulness and lessen fatigue in a variety of conditions. In this study, we examined the utility of modafinil as an adjunct therapy to treat fatigue and sleepiness in patients with major depression who are partial responders to antidepressants.Patients with partial response to anti-depressant therapy given for at least a 6-week period for a current major depressive episode (DSM-IV criteria) were enrolled in this 6-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multicenter study. Patients received once-daily doses (100-400 mg) of modafinil or matching placebo as adjunct treatment to ongoing antidepressant therapy. The effects of modafinil were evaluated using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), the Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGI-C), and the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). Adverse events were monitored throughout the study.One hundred thirty-six patients were randomized to treatment, with 118 patients (87%) completing the study. Most patients (82%) were fatigued, and one half of patients (51%) were sleepy. Modafinil rapidly improved fatigue and daytime wakefulness, with significantly greater mean improvements from baseline than placebo in fatigue (FSS) scores at week 2 (p < .05) and sleepiness (ESS) scores at week 1 (p < .01); the differences between modafinil and placebo at week 6 were not statistically significant. Assessment of the augmentation effects of modafinil (HAM-D, CGI-C, and SF-36) did not significantly distinguish modafinil from placebo. Modafinil was well tolerated in combination with a variety of antidepressants.Modafinil may be a useful adjunct therapy for the short-term management of residual fatigue and sleepiness in patients who are partial responders to antidepressant therapy.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000185457600011

    View details for PubMedID 14628981

  • Safety of antidepressants in the elderly. Expert opinion on drug safety Sommer, B. R., Fenn, H., Pompei, P., DeBattista, C., Lembke, A., Wang, P., Flores, B. 2003; 2 (4): 367-383

    Abstract

    Until the 1980s, the two major classes of antidepressants, the tricyclics and the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), were effective but had severe side effects, requiring monitoring by psychiatrists. The past several years have brought new classes of antidepressants that are safer for the patient to take and far easier for the non-psychiatrist to prescribe. Whilst this is of enormous value, it leaves the physician with the dilemma of which one to prescribe. These new antidepressants cannot safely be used interchangeably. This paper will discuss each of the antidepressants presently available, with particular emphasis on safety in the elderly. Drug interactions, side effects and particular challenges to the older patient will be described. The authors will then advise a general strategy for prescribing antidepressants.

    View details for PubMedID 12904093

  • A prospective trial of bupropion SR augmentation of partial and non-responders to Serotonergic antidepressants JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY Debattista, C., Solvason, H. B., Poirier, J., Kendrick, E., Schatzberg, A. F. 2003; 23 (1): 27-30

    Abstract

    Many patients fail to achieve an adequate response to a given antidepressant trial. The best-studied augmentation agents, lithium and thyroid supplementation are less commonly used. Augmenting antidepressants with bupropion has become an increasingly common strategy in the treatment of resistant depression. Several case reports and 2 open label studies suggest efficacy of this strategy. The purpose of this study is to further examine the utility of bupropion sustained release (SR) augmentation in patients with inadequate response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Patients who met DSM-IV criteria for major depression and had failed to achieve adequate response to an SSRI were considered for this study. Eligible patients were required to have a score of 16 on the 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). Patients were treated openly for 6 weeks with bupropion SR added to their existing antidepressant. The dose range of bupropion was 150 to 300 mg per day. At each visit, patients were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Hamilton Depression Ratings Scale (HDRS), and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI). Twenty-eight patients (12 men, 16 women) entered the study. Twenty-five patients completed the six-week trial. With respect to the clinical benefit of bupropion SR augmentation, 15 out of 28, or 54% of patients, were classified as responders, showing a decrease in their HDRS or BDI scores of 50% or more between baseline and Week 6. This prospective, open-label trial supports the use of bupropion SR in the augmentation of SSRIs and venlafaxine. Placebo controlled trials should be completed to further evaluate the efficacy of this strategy.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000180765000005

    View details for PubMedID 12544372

  • The timing of electroconvulsive therapy and bispectral index after anesthesia induction using different drugs does not affect seizure duration JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ANESTHESIA Lemmens, H. J., Levi, D. C., Debattista, C., Brock-Utne, J. G. 2003; 15 (1): 29-32

    Abstract

    To determine the association between bispectral index (BIS) and seizure duration obtained by electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) administered sooner or later after anesthetic induction.Prospective, randomized, crossover study.University-affiliated medical center.Nine ASA physical status I, II, and III patients undergoing a total of 31 ECTs.ECT was administered soon (<210 sec) or later (between 210 sec and 360 sec) after anesthetic induction. In each individual patient, drug regimens and ECT machine settings were identical.BIS immediately before the start of the ECT and the duration of the EEG seizure were recorded, as well as the time period between loss of consciousness and ECT administration.There was no relationship between BIS level and seizure duration. Moreover, seizure duration was not dependent on the time of ECT administration in the time window between one and 6 minutes after loss of consciousness.The hypnotic drug effect measured by the BIS is not correlated to the seizure duration obtained by ECT.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/S0952-8180(02)00477-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000182004300006

    View details for PubMedID 12657408

  • Fetal heart rate decelerations during ECT-induced seizures: is it important? ACTA ANAESTHESIOLOGICA SCANDINAVICA Debattista, C., Cochran, M., Barry, J. J., Brock-Utne, J. G. 2003; 47 (1): 101-103

    Abstract

    Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is sometimes indicated during pregnancy and may offer advantages over pharmacotherapy for the patient and the fetus (1,2). However, very little data is available on the impact of epileptic or ECT-induced seizures on the fetus. We report a case of brief fetal heart rate decelerations in a fetus associated with maternal ECT-induced convulsions.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000179948400019

    View details for PubMedID 12492807

  • An open label trial of C-1073 (mifepristone) for psychotic major depression BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY Belanoff, J. K., Rothschild, A. J., Cassidy, F., Debattista, C., Baulieu, E. E., Schold, C., Schatzberg, A. F. 2002; 52 (5): 386-392

    Abstract

    The rationale for treating patients with psychotic major depression (PMD) with glucocorticosteroid receptor (GR) antagonists is explained.Thirty patients with PMD, with Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD-21) scores of 18 or greater, were assigned in an open label trial to receive 50 mg, 600 mg, or 1200 mg of mifepristone for 7 days.All the subjects completed the protocol; there were no dropouts. Side effects were mild and sporadic. Of 19 subjects in the combined 600- and 1200-mg group, 13 had a 30% or greater decline in their Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) scores, compared with 4 of 11 in the 50-mg group. In the 600- and 1200-mg group, 12 of 19 subjects showed a 50% decline in the BPRS positive symptom subscale, a more sensitive index for the symptoms seen in PMD, compared with 3 of 11 in the 50-mg group; 8 of 19 subjects in the 600- and 1200-mg group had a 50% decline in the HAMD-21, compared with 2 of 11 in the 50-mg group.These results suggest that short term use of GR antagonists may be effective in the treatment of psychotic major depression and that further blinded studies are warranted.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000177985100002

    View details for PubMedID 12242054

  • Slowing the progression of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease using mifepristone JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR NEUROSCIENCE Belanoff, J. K., Jurik, J., Schatzberg, L. D., Debattista, C., Schatzberg, A. F. 2002; 19 (1-2): 201-206

    Abstract

    High circulating levels of glucocorticoid hormones adversely affect cognition. Previous studies exploring the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and basal cortisol levels in the elderly reported that subjects with mid-range cortisol levels outperformed subjects with high cortisol levels on assessments of memory and attention. This study examines the efficacy of mifepristone, a glucocorticoid-antagonist, in decelerating the rate of cortisol-related cognitive decline in subjects with mile-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD). Rate of cognitve decline is compared in AD subjects randomized to receive 200 mg of mifepristone daily for 6 mo or placebo. The Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS) and the Folstein Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) will be the primary measures used to assess change in cognitve function over the 6 mo period, supplemented by a neuropsychological battery testing memory and language and reasoning skills. During each visit, subjects will have samples collected for determination of plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), serum cortisol and salivary cortisol levels to assess HPA axis activity. The placebo arm of this study also investigate whether subjects with high baseline cortisol levels experience greater declines in cognitive impairment over time relative to subjects with Ad who have low baseline cortisol levels. Additionally, this study test the hypothesis that AD subjects with elevated cortisol at baseline will perform more poorly on neuropsychological exams that do subjects with low cortisol.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000177794700032

    View details for PubMedID 12212781

  • Cortisol feedback during the HPA quiescent period in patients with major depression AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY Posener, J. A., Debattista, C., Williams, G. H., Schatzberg, A. F. 2001; 158 (12): 2083-2085

    Abstract

    The authors tested the hypothesis that patients with major depression have a defect in the mechanism by which cortisol exerts negative feedback on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis during the HPA axis quiescent period.Twenty-nine patients with major depression and 25 healthy comparison subjects were randomly assigned to administration of 15 mg cortisol or placebo infused over 2 hours beginning at 7:00 p.m. Cortisol and ACTH levels were measured at baseline and every 30 minutes from 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.Differences between the patients and the comparison subjects in the ACTH response to the cortisol infusion, relative to the ACTH response to placebo, were not found.The results provide some evidence that patients with major depression do not have an abnormality of cortisol feedback during the HPA axis quiescent period.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000172452100028

    View details for PubMedID 11729034

  • Is electroconvulsive therapy effective for the depressed patient with comorbid borderline personality disorder? JOURNAL OF ECT Debattista, C., Mueller, K. 2001; 17 (2): 91-98

    Abstract

    Among the more common current indications for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is treatment-resistant depression. Treatment resistance is correlated with a number of factors, including the presence of comorbid personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD). A detailed review of the literature was undertaken and very few reports or studies have dealt specifically with ECT in borderline patients. Thirteen original reports on ECT outcome in personality disordered patients were identified. Depressed patients with a personality disorder, particularly BPD, may have a poorer outcome on some measures. However, the available data suggests that depression in these patients can be effectively treated with ECT. The depressed, borderline patient appears to have two distinct disorders, one which is responsive to ECT and the other which is not. Unfortunately, the literature is limited by lack of rigorous randomized treatment studies, lack of long-term follow-up, and other methodological weaknesses. Clinical guidelines are suggested.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000169270500002

    View details for PubMedID 11417933

  • Sertraline versus imipramine to prevent relapse in chronic depression JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS Koran, L. M., Gelenberg, A. J., Kornstein, S. G., Howland, R. H., Friedman, R. A., Debattista, C., Klein, D., Kocsis, J. H., Schatzberg, A. F., Thase, M. E., Rush, A. J., Hirschfeld, R. M., LaVange, L. M., Keller, M. B. 2001; 65 (1): 27-36

    Abstract

    Chronic depressions are common, disabling and under-treated, and long-term treatment is little studied. We report the continuation phase results from a long-term treatment study.After 12 weeks of acute phase treatment in a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, multi-center trial of sertraline or imipramine, patients with chronic depression (> or = 2 years in major depression, or major depression superimposed on dysthymia) continued study drug for 16 weeks. Initially, 635 patients were randomized to sertraline or imipramine in a 2:1 ratio. Nonresponders after 12 weeks entered a 12-week double-blind crossover trial of the alternate medication. Entry into continuation treatment required at least a satisfactory response (partial remission) to initial or crossover treatment.Of 239 acute or crossover responders to sertraline, 60% entered continuation in full remission and 40% with a partial remission. These proportions were identical for imipramine patients (n = 147). For both drug groups, over two-thirds of those entering in full remission retained it. For those entering in partial remission, over 40% achieved full remission. Patients requiring crossover treatment were less likely to maintain or improve their response during continuation treatment. The two drugs did not differ significantly in response distribution, drop out rates or discontinuation due to side effects during continuation treatment.The absence of a placebo group constrains interpretation of our results, but chronic depressions have low placebo response rates.Most chronic depression patients who remit with 12 weeks of sertraline or imipramine treatment maintain remission during 16 weeks of continuation treatment. Most patients with a satisfactory therapeutic response (partial remission) after 12 weeks of treatment maintain it or further improve. Patients treated with imipramine experienced more side effects, but both drugs were well tolerated.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000168910100005

    View details for PubMedID 11426506

  • Psychopharmacologic treatment strategies for depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Glick, I. D., Suppes, T., Debattista, C., Hu, R. J., Marder, S. 2001; 134 (1): 47-60

    Abstract

    Patients with serious psychiatric disorders are frequently treated by primary care physicians, who may have difficulty keeping up with recent advances in psychiatry. This paper presents an updated synopsis for three major psychiatric illnesses: major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Current definitions, updated diagnostic criteria, short- and long-term treatment strategies with algorithms, and special challenges for the clinician are discussed for each of these illnesses. On the basis of each illness's distinct characteristics, five treatment principles are emphasized: 1) Treatment strategies should be long-term and should emphasize adherence, 2) treatment choice should be empirical, 3) combinations of medications may be helpful, 4) a combination of psychosocial and pharmacologic treatments may be more useful than either alone, and 5) the family or "significant others" as well as a consumer organization need to be involved. Some of the new directions in dinical research to refine these strategies and meet these challenges are also described.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000166043300007

    View details for PubMedID 11187420

  • Acute antidepressant effects of intravenous hydrocortisone and CRH in depressed patients: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY Debattista, C., Posener, J. A., Kalehzan, B. M., Schatzberg, A. F. 2000; 157 (8): 1334-1337

    Abstract

    The primary objective of this investigation was to examine the acute antidepressant effects of intravenous hydrocortisone and ovine corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) infusions in patients with major depression.Twenty-two patients who met DSM-III-R criteria for nonpsychotic major depression were randomly assigned to receive intravenously 1 mg/kg of ovine CRH, 15 mg of hydrocortisone, or saline under double-blind conditions on day 1. Standard depression rating scales were completed on day 1 before the study medications were administered and again the following day (day 2).Patients treated with hydrocortisone demonstrated a significantly greater reduction in total 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores (mean reduction=8.4 points or 37%) than patients given ovine CRH (mean=1.2 points) or placebo (mean=1.3 points).Acute hydrocortisone infusion is associated with a rapid and robust reduction in depressive symptoms. The authors discuss the therapeutic implications of these findings.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000088520100027

    View details for PubMedID 10910802

  • Neuropsychological deficits in psychotic versus nonpsychotic major depression and no mental illness AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY Schatzberg, A. F., Posener, J. A., Debattista, C., Kalehzan, B. M., Rothschild, A. J., Shear, P. K. 2000; 157 (7): 1095-1100

    Abstract

    At least three studies have indicated that patients with psychotic major depression studied under non-drug-free conditions differ from patients with nonpsychotic major depression and healthy comparison subjects on several measures of neuropsychological performance. The current study explored specific impairments in cognitive function in subjects with psychotic major depression, subjects with nonpsychotic major depression, and healthy comparison subjects studied under drug-free conditions.A battery of neuropsychological tests was administered to 11 patients with psychotic major depression, 32 patients with nonpsychotic major depression, and 23 normal comparison subjects under drug-free conditions. The three groups did not differ statistically in age, sex, or level of education. To ensure that participants had minimal levels of severity and endogenicity, all patients were required to have a score of at least 20 on the 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and a score of at least 7 on the Core Endogenomorphic Scale, which uses eight items from the Hamilton depression scale.Patients with psychotic major depression demonstrated significantly greater impairment than patients with nonpsychotic major depression and/or comparison subjects in attention and response inhibition (as measured by the Stroop color-word subscale score) as well as in verbal declarative memory (as measured by the Paragraph Recall Test).These data indicate that patients with psychotic major depression demonstrate impairment in functions thought to be mediated by the frontal cortex and mediotemporal lobes.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000087931200011

    View details for PubMedID 10873917

  • Pramipexole augmentation of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor in the treatment of depression JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY Debattista, C., Solvason, H. B., Breen, J. A., Schatzberg, A. F. 2000; 20 (2): 274-275

    View details for Web of Science ID 000086302800029

    View details for PubMedID 10770475

  • Negative-pressure pulmonary edema: A potential mazard in patients undergoing ECT JOURNAL OF ECT Cochran, M., Debattista, C., Schmiesing, C., Brock-Utne, J. G. 1999; 15 (2): 168-170

    View details for Web of Science ID 000084423300012

    View details for PubMedID 10378160

  • The Texas Medication Algorithm Project: Report of the Texas Consensus Conference Panel on medication treatment of major depressive disorder JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY Crismon, M. L., Trivedi, M., Pigott, T. A., Rush, A. J., Hirschfeld, R. M., Kahn, D. A., Debattista, C., Nelson, J. C., Nierenberg, A. A., Sackeim, H. A., Thase, M. E. 1999; 60 (3): 142-156

    Abstract

    This article describes the development of consensus medication algorithms for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder in the Texas public mental health system. To the best of our knowledge, the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) is the first attempt to develop and prospectively evaluate consensus-based medication algorithms for the treatment of individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses. The goals of the algorithm project are to increase the consistency of appropriate treatment of major depressive disorder and to improve clinical outcomes of patients with the disorder.A consensus conference composed of academic clinicians and researchers, practicing clinicians, administrators, consumers, and families was convened to develop evidence-based consensus algorithms for the pharmacotherapy of major depressive disorder in the Texas mental health system. After a series of presentations and panel discussions, the consensus panel met and drafted the algorithms.The panel consensually agreed on algorithms developed for both nonpsychotic and psychotic depression. The algorithms consist of systematic strategies to define appropriate treatment interventions and tactics to assure optimal implementation of the strategies. Subsequent to the consensus process, the algorithms were further modified and expanded iteratively to facilitate implementation on a local basis.These algorithms serve as the initial foundation for the development and implementation of medication treatment algorithms for patients treated in public mental health systems. Specific issues related to adaptation, implementation, feasibility testing, and evaluation of outcomes with the pharmacotherapeutic algorithms will be described in future articles.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000079368100002

    View details for PubMedID 10192589

  • ECT in dissociative identity disorder and comorbid depression JOURNAL OF ECT Debattista, C., Solvason, H. B., Spiegel, D. 1998; 14 (4): 275-279

    Abstract

    Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously named multiple personality disorder, is a diagnosis often complicated by comorbid major depression. We report on four cases of DID associated with severe self-destructive behavior and comorbid major depression treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). In three of the patients, ECT appeared to be helpful in treating the comorbid depression without adversely affecting the DID. The potential risks of using ECT in patients with DID are reviewed.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000084422900011

    View details for PubMedID 9871851

  • Serotonergic synergism: The risks and benefits of combining the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors with other serotonergic drugs BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY Debattista, C., Sofuoglu, M., Schatzberg, A. F. 1998; 44 (5): 341-347

    Abstract

    It has become common clinical practice to combine the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors with other serotonergic agents for augmentation or adjunctive purposes. The empirical basis for using these combinations remains limited, but is growing. Also growing is a literature that suggests that even the most apparently benign combinations of serotonergic drugs carry at least some risk of serious pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic drug interactions, such as a serotonin syndrome.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000075793700005

    View details for PubMedID 9755356

  • Developing treatment algorithms for unipolar depression in cyberspace: International Psychopharmacology Algorithm Project (IPAP) PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY BULLETIN Trivedi, M. H., Debattista, C., Fawcett, J., Nelson, C., Osser, D. N., Stein, D., Jobson, K. 1998; 34 (3): 355-359

    View details for Web of Science ID 000078297300025

    View details for PubMedID 9803769

  • Treatment of psychotic depression AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY Debattista, C., Solvason, H. B., Belanoff, J., Schatzberg, A. 1997; 154 (11): 1625-1626

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997YD36500038

    View details for PubMedID 9356580

  • Development of obsessive symptoms during nefazodone treatment AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY Sofuoglu, M., Debattista, C. 1996; 153 (4): 577-578

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UC47800039

    View details for PubMedID 8599413

  • SUMATRIPTAN PROPHYLAXIS FOR POSTELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY HEADACHES HEADACHE Debattista, C., Mueller, K. 1995; 35 (8): 502-503

    Abstract

    Very little has been written about headaches following electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) but the incidence has been estimated at 26%. Patients with a history of migraine occasionally have similar headaches precipitated by ECT. In addition, some patients may have headaches that persist for months after a series of ECT treatments, while some patients who have a preexisting headache problem report improvement with ECT. Serotonergic mechanisms have been proposed both for the efficacy of ECT and its tendency to produce headaches in susceptible patients. There have been no studies on the prophylaxis or treatment of post-ECT headache. While various strategies have been suggested for these headaches, even case reports documenting the efficacy of these strategies are lacking. We, therefore, report a case of severe, refractory, post-ECT headaches which responded to prophylactic treatment with sumatriptan.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995RW29600014

    View details for PubMedID 7591748

  • PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH PAROXETINE WITHDRAWAL AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY Debattista, C., Schatzberg, A. F. 1995; 152 (8): 1235-1236

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995RL64200039

    View details for PubMedID 7625481

Conference Proceedings


  • 24-hour monitoring of cortisol and corticotropin secretion in psychotic and nonpsychotic major depression Posener, J. A., Debattista, C., Williams, G. H., Kraemer, H. C., Kalehzan, B. M., Schatzberg, A. F. AMER MEDICAL ASSOC. 2000: 755-760

    Abstract

    Considerable research has been devoted to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in depression, but relatively little attention has been given to intensive monitoring of hormone secretion over time. Such research is potentially important because the HPA axis has prominent circadian and ultradian periodicity. Comparison of depressed patients with and without psychotic features is also important because HPA axis abnormalities may be especially pronounced in psychotic depressed patients.Eleven patients with psychotic major depression (PMD patients), 38 patients with nonpsychotic major depression (NPMD patients), and 33 healthy control subjects, all drug free, were studied. Patients with PMD and NPMD were outpatients recruited primarily by advertisement. Subjects were admitted to a General Clinical Research Center and had blood drawn through an intravenous line for determination of cortisol and corticotropin (ACTH) levels every hour for 24 hours.Among NPMD patients, the 24-hour cortisol amplitude was significantly (P =.02) reduced in comparison with control subjects, while ACTH indices did not differ between NPMD patients and the control group. Among PMD patients, the ACTH 24-hour mean was significantly (P =.03) increased compared with controls, while PMD patients and the control group did not differ significantly in cortisol indices.In the population studied, PMD and NPMD patients have distinct profiles of HPA axis dysregulation.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000088582000005

    View details for PubMedID 10920463

  • Phenomenology and treatment of agitation Schatzberg, A. F., Debattista, C. PHYSICIANS POSTGRADUATE PRESS. 1999: 17-20

    Abstract

    Agitation is a troublesome, common symptom in major depression that can be difficult to manage. It is sometimes a side effect of antidepressant treatment and may occasionally represent a mixed bipolar episode. If agitation fails to respond to an antidepressant alone, treatment may be augmented with a benzodiazepine, a neuroleptic, or lithium. Preliminary evidence indicates that divalproex, which has been found useful for bipolar disorder and for agitation associated with Alzheimer's disease, may also be effective for agitated depression. A controlled trial is now underway.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000081543500004

    View details for PubMedID 10418809

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