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Identifying Depression Early in Adolescence (IDEA) project and biomarkers of adolescent depression

Abstract Description

The identification of adolescents at risk of depression is a necessary step to enable development of early intervention and prevention strategies and to reduce the increasing prevalence of depression. This talk will introduce the multidisciplinary IDEA project and present novel findings from a systematic review of biological factors associated with increased risk of adolescent depression. 

We searched systematically electronic databases since inception until 31st July 2018, including MEDLINE (via Ovid), PsycINFO, Web of Science (Core Collection), Lilacs, and Global Health. We included studies involving adolescents between age 10-25 years and reporting one or more biological markers associated with increased risk of depression. Forty-three studies met the inclusion criteria. Most studies were from high-income countries (n=40) with only 3 studies coming from low- and middle-income countries. Main results from the review show higher morning cortisol levels preceding development of adolescent depression. Increased levels of interelukin-6 are associated with presence of adolescent depression. The functional brain MRI studies show a pattern of overall
reduced frontal activity, leading to reduced control and subsequent increased activity in limbic subcortical regions in adolescent depression. Initial findings from the systematic review have identified potential biomarkers, which could guide or be targeted for future prevention strategies for adolescent depression.