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Contact: Kathryn Ryan, 914-740-2100, kryan@liebertpub.com
What is the Best Measure of Depression Severity in Adolescents?

New Rochelle, NY, March 30, 2015—At present the key symptom for diagnosing major depressive disorder (MDD) in adolescents is irritability. However a new study has found that the severity of anhedonia (the inability to gain pleasure from experiences that usually are enjoyable) rather than of irritability is associated with more severe MDD and worse clinical outcomes and suicide scores. Results of the study are published in Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology (JCAP), a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, and is available free on the JCAP website until April 30, 2015.

Vilma Gabbay, MD, and coauthors at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and New York University Langone Medical Center (New York, NY), and Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research (Orangeburg, NY), used a quantitative approach to focus on symptoms of irritability and anhedonia simultaneously in 90 adolescents with MDD. Only anhedonia severity showed a significant correlation with the severity of overall outcomes, including illness severity, episode duration, and number of MDD episodes. In the article “Anhedonia, but not Irritability Is Associated with Illness Severity Outcomes in Adolescent Major Depression,” the authors emphasize the importance of closely monitoring highly anhedonic depressed adolescents.

“This is a pivotal study of the critical aspects of adolescent depression,” says Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, Editor in chief of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology and President of the Child Mind Institute in New York. “The authors provide us with an insight that has significant implications for early intervention and effective treatment. Their work also reinforces the need for targeted studies of this disease in the adolescent population if we want to understand it and mitigate its harmful effects on youth.”

About the Journal
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology (JCAP), celebrating 25 years in 2015, is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published 10 times a year in print and online. The Journal is dedicated to child and adolescent psychiatry and behavioral pediatrics, covering clinical and biological aspects of child and adolescent psychopharmacology and developmental neurobiology. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the JCAP website.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, Games for Health Journal, and Violence and Gender. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.