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  • Oxytocin Genotype Moderates the Impact of Social Support on Psychiatric Distress in Alcohol-Dependent Patients.

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    Oxytocin Genotype Moderates the Impact of Social Support on Psychiatric Distress in Alcohol-Dependent Patients.

    Alcohol Alcohol. 2017 Oct 13;:1-7

    Authors: Love TM, Cranford JA, Burmeister M, Wojnar M, Zucker RA, J Brower K

    Abstract
    Aims: The social environment strongly influences individual mental health. Individuals with strong social support systems tend to experience higher levels of well-being, lower levels of psychological distress and exhibit fewer psychiatric symptoms. However, there is a significant degree of individual variability as to the extent to which social support is beneficial to overall mental health. From a neurobiological perspective, it is suggested that the social hormone, oxytocin, may moderate the favorable effects of social interaction. To explore this possibility, we evaluated oxytocin genotype, social support and psychological health in a group of individuals diagnosed with DSM-IV alcohol dependence.
    Methods: The associations between OXT genotype, social support and psychological health were analyzed in data from 269 adults diagnosed with DSM-IV alcohol dependence (25% female) admitted into residential treatment programs and outpatient centers in Warsaw, Poland.
    Results: In line with past observations, we noted that psychiatric distress scores were negatively correlated with social support. Extending these observations, we uncovered a significant moderating effect of OXT genotype (rs2740210) on the relationship between social support and psychiatric distress. While G carriers displayed the predicted negative relationship between social support and psychiatric distress, T homozygotes failed to exhibit such a relationship.
    Conclusion: Genetically driven variation in oxytocin system functioning may influence the degree to which the beneficial effects of social support are felt in this population. These results have direct clinical relevance as enhancing social engagement to improve mental health may prove to be a less effective strategy in some patients owing to intrinsic factors.
    Short summary: The associations between oxytocin genotype, social support, and psychological health were analyzed in data from 269 adults diagnosed with DSM-IV alcohol dependence. A significant moderating effect of OXT genotype (rs2740210) on the relationship between social support and psychiatric distress was detected.

    PMID: 29040351 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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  • Abnormal emotional and neural responses to romantic rejection and acceptance in depressed women.

    Abnormal emotional and neural responses to romantic rejection and acceptance in depressed women.

    J Affect Disord. 2018 Feb 27;234:231-238

    Authors: Yttredahl AA, McRobert E, Sheler B, Mickey BJ, Love TM, Langenecker SA, Zubieta JK, Hsu DT

    Abstract
    INTRODUCTION: Responding adaptively to one's social environment is a key factor predicting the course of major depressive disorder (MDD). Socially rejecting events can exacerbate, whereas socially accepting events can ameliorate depressive symptoms. The neural responses to rejection and acceptance in MDD are relatively unexplored.
    METHODS: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure neural responses to romantic rejection and acceptance in women diagnosed with current MDD (n = 19) and a matched group of healthy controls (HCs) (n = 19). During fMRI, participants received rejecting, accepting, and neutral feedback from self-selected potential romantic partners.
    RESULTS: In women with MDD but not HCs, rejection significantly increased activity in the right anterior insula relative to neutral feedback. Greater activation during rejection was found in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex in MDD compared to HCs. Women with MDD reported stronger emotional responses than HCs to both rejection and acceptance. In addition, left and right nucleus accumbens (NAcc) activity mediated the relationship between trait reward responsiveness and increased ratings of feeling "happy and accepted" following acceptance in HCs, but not the MDD group.
    DISCUSSION: Women with MDD were behaviorally and neurally hyperresponsive to rejection. Although both groups were behaviorally responsive to acceptance, in MDD this was dissociated from NAcc activity. These findings highlight abnormal behavioral and neural responses to social cues in MDD, with implications for disease prognosis and the development of novel and sensitive biomarkers for MDD focused on neural pathways for social-affective processing.
    LIMITATIONS: Conclusions may be limited to depressed women in a romantic context.

    PMID: 29547816 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]