Nolan Williams, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
New antidepressant treatments are needed that are effective, rapid acting, safe, and tolerable. Intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) is a noninvasive brain stimulation treatment that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment-resistant depression. Recent methodological advances suggest that the current iTBS protocol might be improved through 1) treating patients with multiple sessions per day at optimally spaced intervals, 2) applying a higher overall pulse dose of stimulation, and 3) precision targeting of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) circuit. The authors examined the feasibility, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of Stanford Accelerated Intelligent Neuromodulation Therapy (SAINT), an accelerated, high-dose resting-state functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI)-guided iTBS protocol for treatment-resistant depression.Twenty-two participants with treatment-resistant depression received open-label SAINT. fcMRI was used to individually target the region of the left DLPFC most anticorrelated with sgACC in each participant. Fifty iTBS sessions (1,800 pulses per session, 50-minute intersession interval) were delivered as 10 daily sessions over 5 consecutive days at 90% resting motor threshold (adjusted for cortical depth). Neuropsychological testing was conducted before and after SAINT.One participant withdrew, leaving a sample size of 21. Nineteen of 21 participants (90.5%) met remission criteria (defined as a score <11 on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale). In the intent-to-treat analysis, 19 of 22 participants (86.4%) met remission criteria. Neuropsychological testing demonstrated no negative cognitive side effects.SAINT, an accelerated, high-dose, iTBS protocol with fcMRI-guided targeting, was well tolerated and safe. Double-blinded sham-controlled trials are needed to confirm the remission rate observed in this initial study.
View details for DOI 10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.19070720
View details for PubMedID 32252538
The Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in the pathophysiology of a variety of mood and cognitive disorders. Neuroendocrine studies have demonstrated HPA axis overactivity in major depression, a relationship of HPA axis activity to cognitive performance, and a potential role of HPA axis genetic variation in cognition. In schizophrenia differential HPA activity has been found, including higher rates of non-suppression to dexamethasone challenge and higher salivary cortisol levels, which have been a premonitory risk factor for conversion to psychosis in adolescents at risk for developing schizophrenia. The present study investigated the simultaneous roles HPA axis activity and clinical symptomatology play in poor cognitive performance. Patients with major depression with psychosis (PMD) or schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SCZ) and healthy controls (HC) were studied. All participants underwent a diagnostic interview and psychiatric ratings, a comprehensive neuropsychological battery, and overnight hourly blood sampling for cortisol. Cognitive performance did not differ between the clinical groups, though they both performed more poorly than the HC's across a variety of cognitive domains. Across all subjects, cognitive performance was negatively correlated with higher cortisol, and PMD patients had higher evening cortisol levels than did SCZ and HCs. Cortisol and clinical symptoms, as well as age, sex, and antipsychotic use predicted cognitive performance. Diathesis stress models and their links to symptomatology, cognition, and HPA function are discussed.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.schres.2019.07.003
View details for PubMedID 31307859
View details for Web of Science ID 000432466300476
View details for PubMedID 29415152