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1.  The impact of maternal smoking during pregnancy on depressive and anxiety behaviors in children: the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study 
BMC Medicine  2015;13:24.
Background
Maternal smoking during pregnancy (MSDP) is associated with multiple adverse childhood outcomes including externalizing behaviors. However, the association between MSDP and internalizing (anxiety and depressive) behaviors in offspring has received less investigation. We aimed to assess the association between MSDP and childhood internalizing (anxiety and depressive) behaviors in a very large, well-characterized cohort study.
Methods
We assessed the association between MSDP and internalizing behaviors in offspring utilizing information drawn from 90,040 mother-child pairs enrolled in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Mothers reported smoking information, including status and frequency of smoking, twice during pregnancy. Mothers also reported their child’s internalizing behaviors at 18 months, 36 months, and 5 years. Associations between MSDP and childhood internalizing behaviors, including dose-response and timing of smoking in pregnancy, were assessed at each time point.
Results
MSDP was associated with increased internalizing behaviors when offspring were aged 18 months (B = 0.11, P <0.001) and 36 months (B = 0.06, P <0.01), adjusting for numerous potential confounders. Higher rates of smoking (e.g., >20 cigarettes per day) were associated with higher levels of internalizing behaviors. Maternal smoking during early pregnancy appeared to be the critical period for exposure.
Conclusions
We found evidence supporting a potential role for MSDP in increasing internalizing (anxiety and depressive) behaviors in offspring. We also found evidence supportive of a possible causal relationship, including dose-dependency and support for a predominant role of early pregnancy exposure. Further investigation utilizing genetically informed designs are warranted to assess this association.
doi:10.1186/s12916-014-0257-4
PMCID: PMC4314755  PMID: 25644294
Anxiety; Depression; Cigarette smoking; Pregnancy; Obstetrics; Psychiatry
2.  Pop, heavy metal and the blues: secondary analysis of persistent organic pollutants (POP), heavy metals and depressive symptoms in the NHANES National Epidemiological Survey 
BMJ Open  2014;4(7):e005142.
Objectives
Persistent environmental pollutants, including heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs), have a ubiquitous presence. Many of these pollutants affect neurobiological processes, either accidentally or by design. The aim of this study was to explore the associations between assayed measures of POPs and heavy metals and depressive symptoms. We hypothesised that higher levels of pollutants and metals would be associated with depressive symptoms.
Setting
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Participants
A total of 15 140 eligible people were included across the three examined waves of NHANES.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Depressive symptoms were assessed using the nine-item version of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), using a cut-off point of 9/10 as likely depression cases. Organic pollutants and heavy metals, including cadmium, lead and mercury, as well as polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs), pesticides, phenols and phthalates, were measured in blood or urine.
Results
Higher cadmium was positively associated with depression (adjusted Prevalence Ratios (PR)=1.48, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.90). Higher levels of mercury were negatively associated with depression (adjusted PR=0.62, 95% CI 0.50 to 0.78), and mercury was associated with increased fish consumption (n=5500, r=0.366, p<0.001). In addition, several PFCs (perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorohexane sulfonic acid, perfluorodecanoic acid and perfluorononanoic acid) were negatively associated with the prevalence of depression.
Conclusions
Cadmium was associated with an increased likelihood of depression. Contrary to hypotheses, many of persistent environmental pollutants were not associated or negatively associated with depression. While the inverse association between mercury and depressive symptoms may be explained by a protective role for fish consumption, the negative associations with other pollutants remains unclear. This exploratory study suggests the need for further investigation of the role of various agents and classes of agents in the pathophysiology of depression.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005142
PMCID: PMC4120423  PMID: 25037643
MENTAL HEALTH
3.  So depression is an inflammatory disease, but where does the inflammation come from? 
BMC Medicine  2013;11:200.
Background
We now know that depression is associated with a chronic, low-grade inflammatory response and activation of cell-mediated immunity, as well as activation of the compensatory anti-inflammatory reflex system. It is similarly accompanied by increased oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS), which contribute to neuroprogression in the disorder. The obvious question this poses is ‘what is the source of this chronic low-grade inflammation?’
Discussion
This review explores the role of inflammation and oxidative and nitrosative stress as possible mediators of known environmental risk factors in depression, and discusses potential implications of these findings. A range of factors appear to increase the risk for the development of depression, and seem to be associated with systemic inflammation; these include psychosocial stressors, poor diet, physical inactivity, obesity, smoking, altered gut permeability, atopy, dental cares, sleep and vitamin D deficiency.
Summary
The identification of known sources of inflammation provides support for inflammation as a mediating pathway to both risk and neuroprogression in depression. Critically, most of these factors are plastic, and potentially amenable to therapeutic and preventative interventions. Most, but not all, of the above mentioned sources of inflammation may play a role in other psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-200
PMCID: PMC3846682  PMID: 24228900
Depression; Inflammation; Cytokines; Diet; Obesity; Exercise; Smoking; Vitamin D; Dental cares; Sleep; Atopic; Gut; Oxidative stress
4.  The Impact of Smoking in Adolescence on Early Adult Anxiety Symptoms and the Relationship between Infant Vulnerability Factors for Anxiety and Early Adult Anxiety Symptoms: The TOPP Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63252.
Cigarette smoking is increased in people with trait anxiety and anxiety disorders, however no longitudinal data exist illuminating whether smoking in adolescence can influence the developmental trajectory of anxiety symptoms from early vulnerability in infancy to adult anxiety expression. Using The Tracing Opportunities and Problems in Childhood and Adolescence (TOPP) Study, a community-based cohort of children and adolescents from Norway who were observed from the age of 18months to age 18–19years, we explored the relationship between adolescent smoking, early vulnerability for anxiety in infancy (e.g. shyness, internalizing behaviors, emotional temperaments) and reported early adult anxiety.
Structural equation modeling demonstrated that adolescent active smoking was positively associated with increased early adulthood anxiety (β = 0.17, p<0.05), after controlling for maternal education (proxy for socioeconomic status). Adolescent anxiety did not predict early adult smoking. Adolescent active smoking was a significant effect modifier in the relationship between some infant vulnerability factors and later anxiety; smoking during adolescence moderated the relationship between infant internalizing behaviors (total sample: active smokers: β = 0.85,p<0.01, non-active smokers: ns) and highly emotional temperament (total sample: active smokers: β = 0.55,p<0.01,non-active smokers: ns), but not shyness, and anxiety in early adulthood. The results support a model where smoking acts as an exogenous risk factor in the development of anxiety, and smoking may alter the developmental trajectory of anxiety from infant vulnerability to early adult anxiety symptom expression. Although alternative non-mutually exclusive models may explain these findings, the results suggest that adolescent smoking may be a risk factor for adult anxiety, potentially by influencing anxiety developmental trajectories. Given the known adverse health effects of cigarette smoking and significant health burden imposed by anxiety disorders, this study supports the importance of smoking prevention and cessation programs targeting children and adolescence.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063252
PMCID: PMC3655993  PMID: 23696803
5.  How cigarette smoking may increase the risk of anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders: a critical review of biological pathways 
Brain and Behavior  2013;3(3):302-326.
Multiple studies have demonstrated an association between cigarette smoking and increased anxiety symptoms or disorders, with early life exposures potentially predisposing to enhanced anxiety responses in later life. Explanatory models support a potential role for neurotransmitter systems, inflammation, oxidative and nitrosative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, neurotrophins and neurogenesis, and epigenetic effects, in anxiety pathogenesis. All of these pathways are affected by exposure to cigarette smoke components, including nicotine and free radicals. This review critically examines and summarizes the literature exploring the role of these systems in increased anxiety and how exposure to cigarette smoke may contribute to this pathology at a biological level. Further, this review explores the effects of cigarette smoke on normal neurodevelopment and anxiety control, suggesting how exposure in early life (prenatal, infancy, and adolescence) may predispose to higher anxiety in later life. A large heterogenous literature was reviewed that detailed the association between cigarette smoking and anxiety symptoms and disorders with structural brain changes, inflammation, and cell-mediated immune markers, markers of oxidative and nitrosative stress, mitochondrial function, neurotransmitter systems, neurotrophins and neurogenesis. Some preliminary data were found for potential epigenetic effects. The literature provides some support for a potential interaction between cigarette smoking, anxiety symptoms and disorders, and the above pathways; however, limitations exist particularly in delineating causative effects. The literature also provides insight into potential effects of cigarette smoke, in particular nicotine, on neurodevelopment. The potential treatment implications of these findings are discussed in regards to future therapeutic targets for anxiety. The aforementioned pathways may help mediate increased anxiety seen in people who smoke. Further research into the specific actions of nicotine and other cigarette components on these pathways, and how these pathways interact, may provide insights that lead to new treatment for anxiety and a greater understanding of anxiety pathogenesis.
doi:10.1002/brb3.137
PMCID: PMC3683289  PMID: 23785661
Anxiety; anxiety disorder; cigarette; epigenetic; inflammation; mitochondria; neurodevelopment; neurotransmitters; neurotrophins; nicotine; nitrosative stress; oxidative stress
6.  Aspirin: a review of its neurobiological properties and therapeutic potential for mental illness 
BMC Medicine  2013;11:74.
There is compelling evidence to support an aetiological role for inflammation, oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS), and mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathophysiology of major neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer's disease (AD). These may represent new pathways for therapy. Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is an irreversible inhibitor of both cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2, It stimulates endogenous production of anti-inflammatory regulatory 'braking signals', including lipoxins, which dampen the inflammatory response and reduce levels of inflammatory biomarkers, including C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin (IL)--6, but not negative immunoregulatory cytokines, such as IL-4 and IL-10. Aspirin can reduce oxidative stress and protect against oxidative damage. Early evidence suggests there are beneficial effects of aspirin in preclinical and clinical studies in mood disorders and schizophrenia, and epidemiological data suggests that high-dose aspirin is associated with a reduced risk of AD. Aspirin, one of the oldest agents in medicine, is a potential new therapy for a range of neuropsychiatric disorders, and may provide proof-of-principle support for the role of inflammation and O&NS in the pathophysiology of this diverse group of disorders.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-74
PMCID: PMC3751197  PMID: 23506529
aspirin; depression; schizophrenia; dementia; inflammation; cytokines; neuroprogression; treatment; COX
7.  Cigarette smoking, nicotine dependence and anxiety disorders: a systematic review of population-based, epidemiological studies 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:123.
Background
Multiple studies have demonstrated that rates of smoking and nicotine dependence are increased in individuals with anxiety disorders. However, significant variability exists in the epidemiological literature exploring this relationship, including study design (cross-sectional versus prospective), the population assessed (random sample versus clinical population) and diagnostic instrument utilized.
Methods
We undertook a systematic review of population-based observational studies that utilized recognized structured clinical diagnostic criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or International Classification of Diseases (ICD)) for anxiety disorder diagnosis to investigate the relationship between cigarette smoking, nicotine dependence and anxiety disorders.
Results
In total, 47 studies met the predefined inclusion criteria, with 12 studies providing prospective information and 5 studies providing quasiprospective information. The available evidence suggests that some baseline anxiety disorders are a risk factor for initiation of smoking and nicotine dependence, although the evidence is heterogeneous and many studies did not control for the effect of comorbid substance use disorders. The identified evidence however appeared to more consistently support cigarette smoking and nicotine dependence as being a risk factor for development of some anxiety disorders (for example, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder), although these findings were not replicated in all studies. A number of inconsistencies in the literature were identified.
Conclusions
Although many studies have demonstrated increased rates of smoking and nicotine dependence in individuals with anxiety disorders, there is a limited and heterogeneous literature that has prospectively examined this relationship in population studies using validated diagnostic criteria. The most consistent evidence supports smoking and nicotine dependence as increasing the risk of panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. The literature assessing anxiety disorders increasing smoking and nicotine dependence is inconsistent. Potential issues with the current literature are discussed and directions for future research are suggested.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-123
PMCID: PMC3523047  PMID: 23083451
agoraphobia; anxiety disorder; cigarette smoking; epidemiology; generalized anxiety disorder; nicotine dependence; obsessive-compulsive disorder; panic disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder; specific phobia
8.  A consensus statement for safety monitoring guidelines of treatments for major depressive disorder 
Objective
This paper aims to present an overview of screening and safety considerations for the treatment of clinical depressive disorders and make recommendations for safety monitoring.
Method
Data were sourced by a literature search using MEDLINE and a manual search of scientific journals to identify relevant articles. Draft guidelines were prepared and serially revised in an iterative manner until all co-authors gave final approval of content.
Results
Screening and monitoring can detect medical causes of depression. Specific adverse effects associated with antidepressant treatments may be reduced or identified earlier by baseline screening and agent-specific monitoring after commencing treatment.
Conclusion
The adoption of safety monitoring guidelines when treating clinical depression is likely to improve overall physical health status and treatment outcome. It is important to implement these guidelines in the routine management of clinical depression.
doi:10.3109/00048674.2011.595686
PMCID: PMC3190838  PMID: 21888608

Results 1-8 (8)