CORRECTED – Teenager recovery from depression often fleeting

(Corrects journal name in paragraph 2 to Archives of General
Psychiatry from Archives of Adolescent Psychiatry)

* Most adolescents and teenagers relapse

* Female teenagers at greatest risk

By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO, Nov 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Most depressed adolescents and
teenagers who get treatment with drugs, therapy or both will
get some relief, but nearly half will relapse within five
years, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

And females are by far at greatest risk, they said.

“We need to learn why females in this age range have higher
chances of descending into another major depression after they
have made a recovery,” John Curry of Duke University in North
Carolina, whose study appears in the Archives of General
Psychiatry, said in a statement.

Curry and colleagues studied 86 depressed males and 110
depressed females aged 12 to 17 who were assigned to one of
four short-term treatments — the Eli Lilly (LLY.N: ) drug
fluoxetine or Prozac, a type of talk therapy known as cognitive
behavioral therapy, a combination of the two, or a placebo.

They were followed for up for five years.

Nearly 95 percent of the participants recovered from their
initial bout of depression, including 88.3 percent who
recovered within two years.

But of the 189 teenagers who recovered, 88, or 46.6
percent, had another major depression over the five-year
period.

They said being female was the biggest factor that
predicted a relapse in the study, with 57 percent of females
having a relapse, compared with just 33 percent of males.

Curry said it is not clear why females have a greater risk,
but it may be that they are more inclined to repeatedly
ruminate on negative thoughts or feelings of inadequacy.

Although females are more likely to become depressed than
males during adulthood as well as adolescence, adult women are
not more likely than men to have a second major bout of
depression, Curry said.

“Further research needs to be done to confirm our findings
and to sort out the variables that may be associated with
recurrent major depression in young women,” Curry said.

The team had thought the type of treatment would play a
role in how lasting the recovery was, but that was not the
case.

They said no individual treatment or treatment combination
reduced the risk of relapse. But they did say teenagers who
responded within the first two years were most likely to have a
lasting reprieve from their symptoms.

In a separate study in the journal Pediatrics, researchers
at the University of Washington, Seattle Children’s and Group
Health said they have developed a patient questionnaire that is
a good screening test for depression in adolescents.

The test, known as PHQ-9, is a short, easy to score test
that has been proven to spot major depression in adults.

Dr. Laura Richardson tested the screening tool on 442 teens
aged 13 to 17 and compared it to a longer, more labor-intensive
screening tool called the Child Diagnostic Interview Schedule.

They found the test was highly sensitive at picking out
teenagers with depression, and could be useful as a screening
tool for primary care doctors.
(Editing by Eric Beech)

CORRECTED – Teenager recovery from depression often fleeting