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Neurocognitive predictors of adolescent depression: a high risk longitudinal study

Document type: Projects: In progress/completed
Document language: English
Uploaded By: Allan Colver (allancolver)
Date Uploaded: 2012/01/13 12:01:19.807 GMT+1
URL to a webpage or document based online:

Basic Information

Authors: Dr F Rice, University College London UCL
Published on Date: 2009
Funding source project: Medical Research Council (MRC)

Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and the leading cause of non-fatal burden. Adolescence is a key vulnerability period for depression and first onsets often occur during this time. The prognosis of adolescent depression is poor with a significant proportion of young people continuing to have mental health problems and poor outcomes in adult life. However, the treatment options available for adolescent depression are limited: because of concerns about the safety and efficacy of antidepressants in this age group current treatments focus nearly exclusively on psychological interventions. The poor prognosis of adolescent depression means that the early identification of risk and prevention are clinical priorities. The adolescent offspring of depressed parents are at especially high risk of depression and therefore merit special consideration for early intervention and prevention programmes. Prevention of depression early in life has the potential to alter a developmental trajectory and in so doing, reduce burden and suffering across the life span. A better understanding of the processes involved in the onset of adolescent depression can help inform and refine preventive and therapeutic intervention programmes.

A longitudinal high risk study of the adolescent offspring of depressed parents. The proposed study will prospectively examine this high risk group over time and identify neurocognitive predictors of the onset of adolescent depression within this group. This will allow processes that are crucial in the development of depression to be identified. Detailed clinical assessments of adolescent depression are being carried out as part of an ongoing study and will be available for use in the proposed study.

Research Objectives
This proposal will examine hypotheses about the inter-relationships between maladaptive cognitions, neurocognition and the onset of adolescent depression and identify cognitive mechanisms that predict the onset of adolescent depression.

Expected outcomes
This study will separate cognitive mechanisms that predict the onset of depression over time from those that are concomitants of current depression. This will inform and refine preventive interventions. Results of this study will facilitate the early identification of risk for adolescent depression thus helping the appropriate targeting of limited health resources to those at highest risk.

Riche Classification

Demography: All , Adolescent (under 18 years) ,
Population Groups: Children of parents with mental illness ,
Child Related Topics: Health care involving children ,
Health issues, determinants and measures: Psychological determinants , Family health and relations , Mental health , Mental disorders and problems , Mental health , Emotional and personal aspects ,
Languages and Geographical Perspective: English ,
Study type / scale / state of progress / setting: Longitudinal study - cohort, trend, panel , Health care facility , Ongoing ,