The Identifying Depression Early in Adolescence Risk Stratified Cohort (IDEA-RiSCo): rationale, methods, and baseline characteristics

Christian Kieling, Claudia Buchweitz, Arthur Caye, Pedro H. Manfro, Rivka Pereira, Anna Viduani, Mauricio Anés, Lucas Battel, Silvia Benetti, Helen Fisher, Rakesh Karmacharya, Brandon A Kohrt, Thais Martini, Sandra Petresco, Jadar Piccin, Thiago Rocha, Luis Augusto Rohde, Fernanda Rohrsetzer, Laila Souza, Bruna VelazquezAnnabel Walsh, Leehyun Yoon, Zuzanna Zajkowska, Valentina Zonca, Johnna R. Swartz, Valeria Mondelli

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Background: The characterization of adolescents at high risk for developing depression has traditionally relied on the presence or absence of single risk factors. More recently, the use of composite risk scores combining information from multiple variables has gained attention in prognostic research in the field of mental health. We previously developed a sociodemographic composite score to estimate the individual level probability of depression occurrence in adolescence, the Identifying Depression Early in Adolescence Risk Score (IDEA-RS). Objectives: In this report, we present the rationale, methods, and baseline characteristics of the Identifying Depression Early in Adolescence Risk Stratified Cohort (IDEA-RiSCo), a study designed for in-depth examination of multiple neurobiological, psychological, and environmental measures associated with the risk of developing and with the presence of depression in adolescence, with a focus on immune/inflammatory and neuroimaging markers. Methods: Using the IDEA-RS as a tool for risk stratification, we recruited a new sample of adolescents enriched for low (LR) and high (HR) depression risk, as well as a group of adolescents with a currently untreated major depressive episode (MDD). Methods for phenotypic, peripheral biological samples, and neuroimaging assessments are described, as well as baseline clinical characteristics of the IDEA-RiSCo sample. Results: A total of 7,720 adolescents aged 14–16 years were screened in public state schools in Porto Alegre, Brazil. We were able to identify individuals at low and high risk for developing depression in adolescence: in each group, 50 participants (25 boys, 25 girls) were included and successfully completed the detailed phenotypic assessment with ascertainment of risk/MDD status, blood and saliva collections, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Across a variety of measures of psychopathology and exposure to negative events, there was a clear pattern in which either the MDD group or both the HR and the MDD groups exhibited worse indicators in comparison to the LR group. Conclusion: The use of an empirically-derived composite score to stratify risk for developing depression represents a promising strategy to establish a risk-enriched cohort that will contribute to the understanding of the neurobiological correlates of risk and onset of depression in adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number697144
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Early online date21 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2021


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