Childhood trauma and insulin resistance in patients suffering from depressive disorders. Experimental neurology Nasca, C., Watson, K., Bigio, B., Robakis, T., Myoraku, A., Wroolie, T., McEwen, B. S., Rasgon, N. 2019


OBJECTIVE: Insulin resistance (IR) is a metabolic dysfunction often co-morbid with major depressive disorder (MDD). The paths to development of MDD remain largely unspecified, highlighting a need for identification of risk factors. Here, we tested whether specific subscales of childhood trauma as well as family history of type-2 diabetes (Fam-Hx-Dm2) contribute to the development of metabolic dysfunction and severity of depressive symptoms.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We used a sample of 45 adults suffering from MDD that was well-characterized for insulin resistance and sensitivity as assessed by measures of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) plasma insulin (FPI) levels, body mass index (BMI), weight, homeostasis model assessment of insulin sensitivity (HOMA), Matsuda index as well as both glucose and insulin responses to oral glucose challenges. Severity of depressive symptoms was assessed with the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-21). Physical, sexual and emotional abuse as well as physical and emotional neglect were assessed with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. First- or second-degree relatives with type-2 diabetes defined fam-Hx-DM2.RESULTS: Individuals reporting higher rates of emotional abuse were more likely to have greater IR as showed by elevated FPI levels and HOMA. No association was found with any of the other subscales of childhood trauma (e.g., physical abuse). Similarly, Fam-Hx-DM2 was associated with greater degree of IR as shown by elevated FPI, HOMA, but also FPG, weigh and BMI.. Moreover, we report a relationship and interaction between Fam-Hx-DM2 and emotional abuse on severity of depressive symptoms. Specifically, emotional abuse and Fam-HX-DM2 predicted severity of depressive symptoms at HDRS-21. Also, severity of depressive symptoms was greater with higher reported rates of emotional abuse but only in patients with negative Fam-Hx-Dm2. Individuals reporting higher emotional abuse and negative Fam-Hx-Dm2 also showed higher FPG levels. Conversely, individuals reporting higher emotional abuse and positive Fam-Hx-Dm2 showed higher FPI levels. This data suggest that Fam-Hx-Dm2 may define two different metabolic endophenotypes.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that Fam-HX-DM2 and emotional abuse represent separate risk factors for developing metabolic dysfunction (i.e.: IR) in patients suffering from MDD, and that the effects of emotional abuse on psychiatric illness may depend upon the personal characteristics, including Fam-Hx-DM2.

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