Gastrointestinal distress to serotonergic challenge: A risk marker for emotional disorder?

John V. Campo, Ronald E. Dahl, Douglas E. Williamson, Boris Birmaher, James M. Perel, Neal D. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Serotonin is an important mediator of gut sensation and motility. The authors' aim was to determine whether inadvertent gastrointestinal (GI) distress to serotonergic challenge predicted future major depressive and/or anxiety disorders in exposed children. Method: L-5-hydroxytryptophan was administered to 119 prepubertal children free of psychiatric disorder as part of a psychobiological cohort study initially designed to examine familial loading for mood disorder as the exposure of interest. Subjects were followed longitudinally with standardized psychiatric interviews to identify new-onset mood and anxiety disorders over 90.3 ± 29.2 months, with the average assessment interval being 16.6 ± 6.2 months. Reports of GI distress in a subgroup during serotonergic challenge led the authors to examine GI distress to infusion as an exposure post hoc and to perform survival analysis using major depressive and/or anxiety disorders as the outcomes of interest. Results: GI distress to serotonergic challenge was experienced by 23 subjects, with 7 (30.4%) developing an emotional disorder during follow-up in comparison to 12 (10.4%) of 96 nondistressed subjects. The distressed group was at significantly greater risk of subsequent major depression and/or anxiety (p = .026), even after controlling for family history of psychiatric disorder. Conclusions: GI distress to serotonergic challenge in childhood is associated with heightened risk for subsequent major depressive and/or anxiety disorders. Studies of serotonergic neurotransmission may aid our understanding of nonrandom associations between functional GI symptoms and emotional symptoms and disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1226
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume42
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Anxiety Disorders
Major Depressive Disorder
Mood Disorders
Psychiatry
5-Hydroxytryptophan
Child Psychiatry
Survival Analysis
Synaptic Transmission
Serotonin
Cohort Studies
Anxiety
Interviews
Depression

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Gastrointestinal distress to serotonergic challenge : A risk marker for emotional disorder? / Campo, John V.; Dahl, Ronald E.; Williamson, Douglas E.; Birmaher, Boris; Perel, James M.; Ryan, Neal D.

In: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 42, No. 10, 10.2003, p. 1221-1226.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Campo, John V. ; Dahl, Ronald E. ; Williamson, Douglas E. ; Birmaher, Boris ; Perel, James M. ; Ryan, Neal D. / Gastrointestinal distress to serotonergic challenge : A risk marker for emotional disorder?. In: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2003 ; Vol. 42, No. 10. pp. 1221-1226.
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