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Articles by M. Fava
Total Records ( 3 ) for M. Fava
  D. A Pizzagalli , A. J Holmes , D. G Dillon , E. L Goetz , J. L Birk , R Bogdan , D. D Dougherty , D. V Iosifescu , S. L Rauch and M. Fava
 

OBJECTIVE: Major depressive disorder is characterized by impaired reward processing, possibly due to dysfunction in the basal ganglia. However, few neuroimaging studies of depression have distinguished between anticipatory and consummatory phases of reward processing. Using functional MRI (fMRI) and a task that dissociates anticipatory and consummatory phases of reward processing, the authors tested the hypothesis that individuals with major depression would show reduced reward-related responses in basal ganglia structures. METHOD: A monetary incentive delay task was presented to 30 unmedicated individuals with major depressive disorder and 31 healthy comparison subjects during fMRI scanning. Whole-brain analyses focused on neural responses to reward-predicting cues and rewarding outcomes (i.e., monetary gains). Secondary analyses focused on the relationship between anhedonic symptoms and basal ganglia volumes. RESULTS: Relative to comparison subjects, participants with major depression showed significantly weaker responses to gains in the left nucleus accumbens and the caudate bilaterally. Group differences in these regions were specific to rewarding outcomes and did not generalize to neutral or negative outcomes, although relatively reduced responses to monetary penalties in the major depression group emerged in other caudate regions. By contrast, evidence for group differences during reward anticipation was weaker, although participants with major depression showed reduced activation to reward cues in a small sector of the left posterior putamen. In the major depression group, anhedonic symptoms and depression severity were associated with reduced caudate volume bilaterally. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that basal ganglia dysfunction in major depression may affect the consummatory phase of reward processing. Additionally, morphometric results suggest that anhedonia in major depression is related to caudate volume.

  G. I Papakostas , D Mischoulon , I Shyu , J. E Alpert and M. Fava
  Objective

Despite the progressive increase in the number of antidepressants, many patients with major depressive disorder continue to be symptomatic. Clearly, there is an urgent need to develop better tolerated and more effective treatments for this disorder. The use of S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), a naturally occurring molecule that serves as a methyl donor in human cellular metabolism, as adjunctive treatment for antidepressant nonresponders with major depressive disorder represents one such effort toward novel pharmacotherapy development.

Method

Participants were 73 serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) nonresponders with major depressive disorder enrolled in a 6-week, double-blind, randomized trial of adjunctive oral SAMe (target dose: 800 mg/twice daily). Patients continued to receive their SRI treatment at a stable dose throughout the 6-week trial. The primary outcome measure for the study was the response rates according to the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM–D).

Results

The HAM–D response and remission rates were higher for patients treated with adjunctive SAMe (36.1% and 25.8%, respectively) than adjunctive placebo (17.6% versus 11.7%, respectively). The number needed to treat for response and remission was approximately one in six and one in seven, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in the proportion of SAMe- versus placebo-treated patients who discontinued the trial for any reason (20.6% versus 29.5%, respectively), due to adverse events (5.1% versus 8.8%, respectively), or due to inefficacy (5.1% versus 11.7%, respectively).

Conclusions

These preliminary results suggest that SAMe can be an effective, well-tolerated, and safe adjunctive treatment strategy for SRI nonresponders with major depressive disorder and warrant replication.

 
 
 
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