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Depression Center Colloquium Series

For health professionals and researchers with an interest in depression and related illnesses.

2011 Colloquia

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Please note: CME credit is not available when viewing archived presentations. In order to receive CME credit, you must attend the live presentation. Participants who view the live activity from a remote location can receive credit as long as they are able to interact with the live presenter and audience.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 from 11:45-1:30 p.m.

Is Depression Contagious? New Findings on how Mental Health Evolves in Social Networks and Populations

  • James Niels Rosenquist, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
  • Daniel Eisenberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health

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Dr. James Niels Rosenquist and Dr. Daniel Eisenberg present research data studying the effects of social networks and interpersonal interaction on the development of depressive symptoms. Statistically significant findings suggest that depressive symptoms may be contagious similarly to biologically transferred medical conditions like  influenza or other transmitted diseases. Both Dr. Rosenquist and Dr. Eisenberg consider the treatment of depression in terms of psychiatric and economic value. Investigating the effects of a possibly contagious nature of depression on large groups leads to possible economic outcomes due to externality or spillover. This increases the value of preventative interventions and treatment. Dr. Eisenberg's study sample included college roommate pairs from two different universities. Matching was used instead of randomization since this was a natural experiment, and samples were highly comparable.  This study yielded relatively weak findings, though anxiety and depression were found to be slightly contagious. Anxiety contagion was more likely to occur among women. Depression contagion was 9% more likely among men with depressed roommates and did not occur among women. Mental health improvement from being paired with a depressed roommate was more likely among women. Dr. Rosenquist's presentation focused on understanding social networks expanding beyond college roommates and illustrating network models. He touches upon the ideas of clustering, transitivity, and centrality of networks. He also focuses on the effects of peers over long periods of time.

Key Words: social networks, clustering, transitivity, centrality, peers, depression, contagion, natural experiment, gender differences, economic externalize


October 13, 2011

The Long Run: Collaborative Longitudinal Research in Mood Disorders  

  • Myrna Weissman, Ph.D., Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons and the School of Public Health, Columbia University; Chief of the Department in Clinical-Genetic Epidemiology at New York State Psychiatric Institute.
  • Melvin McInnis, M.D., Thomas B. and Nancy Upjohn Woodworth Professor of Bipolar Disorder and Depression, University of Michigan Medical School and Depression Center

Dr. Myrna Weissman, Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry at Columbia University, and Dr. Melvin McInnis, Professor of Bipolar Disorder and Depression at the University of Michigan, present their viewpoints on longitudinal research and their longitudinal research findings. To emphasize the educational value of longitudinal research, Dr. Weissman refers to the Framingham study, to where most information relating to heart disease can be sourced. Longitudinal research has allowed for a 25 year, generational follow up evaluating the prevalence of depression amongst the descendants of family members with the diagnosis. High-risk individuals descending from either one or both parents who have major depressive disorder are found to be 2 to 6 times more likely to develop depression than the no-risk controls. When answering how depression manifests in its initial stages, researchers find anxiety to be a key sign along with substance abuse. MRI, EEG, and DNA scanning are used to study endophenotypes and the genetics involved with major depression. It is important to isolate biomarkers that are noted to be causal and not simply correlated. A biomarker must occur before the illness and must be state dependent in order to possibly be considered causal. Findings suggest that depression can be linked with the thinning or disturbance of cortical matter. Findings also compare the relationships between parent and child improvement. As a general trend, researchers find children more likely to improve when their depressed parent has remitted.

Key Words: epidemiology, depression, longitudinal research, interventions, cortical matter, anxiety, translational research, endophenotypes, high risk, framingham study


September 23, 2011

Trauma, Attachment, and Childhood PTSD*

  • Neil Boris, MD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology; Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics; Co-clinical director, Early Childhood Support and Services (ECSS); Tulane University School of Medicine
  • Maria Muzik, MD, MS, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Neuroscience of Meditation

  • Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D.,Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry; Director, Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, University of Wiscosin-Madison
  • Anthony King, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry,
    University of Michigan School of Medicine

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Dr. Richard J. Davidson and Dr. Anthony King present their experiences and research findings on the effects of meditation on neurology. After spending time in India and observing the importance of meditation amongst Indian monks, specifically the Dalai Lama, Dr. Davidson conjectured the uses of Eastern meditation in Western psychology and neurology. He critiqued the roles of “mental health” institutions, reminding us that mental health is not equated to the absence of mental illness, but there are measures beyond simply curing mental illness that need to be addressed in order to achieve mental health. Neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and neurologically based behaviors are discussed emphasizing the connectedness between mind, brain, and body. Similarly, Dr. Davidson mentions how psychosocial factors can moderate the course of an illness. Simple studies have been conducted on how “pure compassion” meditation affects long term meditation practitioners differently than it effects novice practitioners. EEG imaging illustrated noticeable differences between meditative and resting states, with significantly more persistent and greater  high amplitude oscillations during the meditative states of the long term practitioners. Dr. King later talks more in depth about the incorporation of meditation into therapy, outlining the uses and effectiveness of mindfulness based stress reduction, dialectic behavioral therapy, and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBT). Data suggests that MBT significantly decreases avoidant, dissociative, and hyper-arousal symptoms found in PTSD patients. Patients reported that strategies such as self-compassion, mindfulness, and other regulatory strategies had noticeable positive effects.

Key Words: meditation, compassion, mindfulness, PTSD, depression, mindfulness based stress reduction, dialectic behavioral therapy, mindfulness based cognitive theory, neuroplasticity, epigenetics


Friday, April 29, 2011

Mood Repair and Positive Affect in Childhood-Onset Depression

  • Maria Kovacs, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine 
  • Nestor L. Lopez-Duran, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan

Friday, March 11, 2011

Psycho-Oncology: Results of Research Partnership with Michigan State University

  • Michael Boivin, Ph.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor, Neurology, and Core Faculty Member, International Neurological and Psychiatric Epidemiology Program, Michigan State University
  • Bruno Giordani, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Michigan

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rumination: From Basic Mechanisms to Intervention

  • Ethan Kross, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
  • Julian F. Thayer, Ph.D., The Ohio Eminent Scholar Professor in Health Psychology, The Ohio State University

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