Mood changes in depressives predict success of therapy

November 08, 1999

A night without sleep can sometimes provide temporary relief for depressives. Researchers at the University of Groningen have found that anti-depression treatments such as sleep deprivation have a more favourable effect the greater the variation in the daily mood pattern of the patient. The study was financed by the NWO's Council for Medical and Health Research. Its aim was to test the theory that depression is the result of a disturbance in the biological clock.

Depressives often display regular changes in mood over the course of the day, with some being sombre in the morning and more cheerful in the evening, for example. The Dutch researchers evaluated the mood of 81 patients twice a day by having them fill in an internationally accepted self-assessment questionnaire for depression. On average, the patients suffered from major mood swings once every four days, while in some of them this even took place on four out of every five days.

In the patients with the greatest daily mood changes, the researchers then altered the running of the biological clock with respect to their sleep-wake rhythm by exposing them to light during the morning and evening. The body reacts immediately to such interventions and adjusts its biological clock. Nevertheless, these interventions did not produce any improvement in the patients' mood, nor did they produce depressed mood in members of a healthy control group. This would appear to show that depression is probably not the result of disturbances in the biological clock. The scientists also discovered a correlation between the extent to which daily mood swings change from day to day and the effect of anti-depression treatments.

The various treatments lasted six weeks and consisted of anti-depressive medication, sleep deprivation and psychotherapy. They turned out to be more effective the more the mood pattern changed from day to day. The actual nature of the treatment made no difference. The researchers therefore assume that further research into ways of increasing the sensitivity of patients to stimuli will be more effective than research devoted to finding the best therapy for a specific patient.
Further information: Marijke Gordijn (University of Groningen)
T +31 50 363 7658
F +31 50 363 2148

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to