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Half of Teens Treated for Depression Will Relapse: Study
Date:11/1/2010

, the study authors stated.

The authors conducted a follow-up of 86 boys and 110 girls with an average of age of about 14 who had participated in a previous randomized trial of four different treatments for major depression: the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) alone; cognitive behavioral therapy alone; a combination of Prozac plus cognitive behavioral therapy; or a placebo.

Not surprisingly, those who had responded completely to treatment (no symptoms) were more likely to experience full recovery than teens who had only responded partially to their treatment, or not at all.

But almost 47 percent of teens in the original study who had received treatment for 12 weeks had a relapse, regardless of which treatment group they had been in and regardless of how well they had been two years after the study.

Girls were more likely to suffer depression again than boys (about 58 percent versus 33 percent, respectively), as were teens with an anxiety disorder.

Why were girls more at risk?

"I don't really know but girls did have more anxiety and that might be the factor, because anxiety disorders also predicted recurrence. And it's generally true that girls have more anxiety disorders than boys," Curry said.

The authors of a second study in the same issue of the journal matched police and medical records of sexual abuse with a listing of psychiatric cases in Victoria, Australia.

The nearly 3,000 children who had been sexually abused were about twice as likely to develop psychosis in later life, and 2.6 times more likely to develop schizophrenia, said researchers led by Margaret Cutajar of Monash University, in Victoria.

The risk was higher if the abuse involved penetration, especially if it occurred during the ages of 12 through 16, and if more than one abuser was involved, the researchers said.

More information

There's more on adolescent depression at the

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