Although schizophrenia has been associated with abnormalities in brain anatomy, imaging studies have not fully determined the nature and relative contributions of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) disturbances underlying these findings. We sought to determine the pattern and distribution of these GM and WM abnormalities. Furthermore, we aimed to clarify the contribution of abnormalities in cortical thickness and cortical surface area to the reduced GM volumes reported in schizophrenia.
We recruited 76 persons with schizophrenia and 57 healthy controls from the community and obtained measures of cortical and WM surface areas, of local volumes along the brain and WM surfaces, and of cortical thickness.
We detected reduced local volumes in patients along corresponding locations of the brain and WM surfaces in addition to bilateral greater thickness of perisylvian cortices and thinner cortex in the superior frontal and cingulate gyri. Total cortical and WM surface areas were reduced. Patients with worse performance on the serial-position task, a measure of working memory, had a higher burden of WM abnormalities.
Reduced local volumes along the surface of the brain mirrored the locations of abnormalities along the surface of the underlying WM, rather than of abnormalities of cortical thickness. Moreover, anatomical features of white matter, but not cortical thickness, correlated with measures of working memory. We propose that reductions in WM and smaller total cortical surface area could be central anatomical abnormalities in schizophrenia, driving, at least partially, the reduced regional GM volumes often observed in this illness.
Pain without known pathology, termed “functional pain,” causes much school absenteeism, medication usage, and medical visits. Yet which adolescents are at risk is not well understood. Functional pain has been linked to childhood abuse, and sexual orientation minority youth (gay, lesbian, bisexual, “mostly heterosexual,” and heterosexual with same-sex sexual contact) are more likely to be victims of childhood abuse than heterosexuals, thus may be at greater risk of functional pain.
We examined sexual orientation differences in past-year prevalence of functional headache, pelvic, and abdominal pain and multiple sites of pain in 9,864 young adults (mean age = 23 years) from a large U.S. cohort. We examined whether childhood abuse accounted for possible increased risk of functional pain in sexual minority youth.
Sexual minority youth, except for gays and lesbians, were at higher risk of functional pelvic and abdominal pain and multiple sites of pain than heterosexuals. Gay and lesbian youth had elevated prevalence only of abdominal pain. Childhood abuse accounted for 14% to 33% of increased experience of multiple sites of pain in minority youth.
Youth who identify as “mostly heterosexual” or bisexual or who identify as heterosexual and have had same-sex partners comprised 18% of our sample. Clinicians should be aware that patients with these orientations are at elevated risk of functional pain and may be in need of treatment for sequelae of childhood abuse. Conventional categorization of sexual orientation as heterosexual or homosexual may fail to distinguish a large number of youth who do not wholly identify with either group and may be at elevated risk of health problems.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep abnormalities. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified a novel narcolepsy-related single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), which is located adjacent to the carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1B (CPT1B) gene encoding an enzyme involved in β-oxidation of long-chain fatty acids. The mRNA expression levels of CPT1B were associated with this SNP. In addition, we recently reported that acylcarnitine levels were abnormally low in narcolepsy patients. To assess the efficacy of oral l-carnitine for the treatment of narcolepsy, we performed a clinical trial administering l-carnitine (510 mg/day) to patients with the disease. The study design was a randomized, double-blind, cross-over and placebo-controlled trial. Thirty narcolepsy patients were enrolled in our study. Two patients were withdrawn and 28 patients were included in the statistical analysis (15 males and 13 females, all with HLA-DQB1*06:02). l-carnitine treatment significantly improved the total time for dozing off during the daytime, calculated from the sleep logs, compared with that of placebo-treated periods. l-carnitine efficiently increased serum acylcarnitine levels, and reduced serum triglycerides concentration. Differences in the Japanese version of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) vitality and mental health subscales did not reach statistical significance between l-carnitine and placebo. This study suggests that oral l-carnitine can be effective in reducing excessive daytime sleepiness in narcolepsy patients.
University hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN) UMIN000003760
The objective of this study was to investigate residential exposure to alcohol outlets in relation to alcohol consumption and mental health morbidity (anxiety, stress, and depression). This was a cross-sectional study of 6,837 adults obtained from a population representative sample for the period 2006–2009 in Perth, Western Australia. The number of alcohol outlets was ascertained for a 1600 m service area surrounding the residential address. Zero-inflated negative binomial and logistic regression were used to assess associations with total alcohol consumption, harmful alcohol consumption (7–10 drinks containing 10 g of alcohol for men, 5–6 drinks for women) and medically diagnosed and hospital contacts (for anxiety, stress, and depression), respectively. The rate ratio for the number of days of harmful consumption of alcohol per month and the number of standard drinks of alcohol consumed per drinking day was 1.06 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.11) and 1.01 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.03) for each additional liquor store within a 1600 m service area, respectively. The odds ratio of hospital contact for anxiety, stress, or depression was 1.56 (95% CI: 0.98, 2.49) for those with a liquor store within the service area compared to those without. We observed strong evidence for a small association between residential exposure to liquor stores and harmful consumption of alcohol, and some support for a moderate-sized effect on hospital contacts for anxiety, stress, and depression.
Stressful childhood experiences have negative long-term health consequences. The present study examines the association between adverse childhood experiences, socioeconomic position, and risk of psychotropic medication in young adulthood.
This register-based cohort study comprises the birth cohorts between 1985 and 1988 in Sweden. We followed 362 663 individuals for use of psychotropic medication from January 2006 until December 2008. Adverse childhood experiences were severe criminality among parents, parental alcohol or drug abuse, social assistance recipiency, parental separation or single household, child welfare intervention before the age of 12, mentally ill or suicidal parents, familial death, and number of changes in place of residency. Estimates of risk of psychotropic medication were calculated as odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using logistic regression analysis.
Adverse childhood experiences were associated with increased risks of psychotropic medication. The OR for more than three adverse childhood experiences and risk of psychotropic medication was for women 2.4 (95% CI 2.3–2.5) and for men 3.1 (95% CI 2.9–3.2). The risk of psychotropic medication increased with a higher rate of adverse childhood experiences, a relationship similar in all socioeconomic groups.
Accumulation of adverse childhood experiences increases the risk of psychotropic medication in young adults. Parental educational level is of less importance when adjusting for adverse childhood experiences. The higher risk for future mental health problems among children from lower socioeconomic groups, compared to peers from more advantaged backgrounds, seems to be linked to a higher rate of exposure to adverse childhood experiences.
Cognitive deficits are considered core symptoms of the schizophrenia. Cognitive function has been found to be a better predictor of functional outcome than symptom levels. Changed mismatch negativity (MMN) reflects abnormalities of early auditory processing in schizophrenia. Up to now, no studies for the effects of aripiprazole on MMN in schizophrenia have been reported.
Subjects included 26 patients with schizophrenia, and 26 controls. Psychopathology was rated in patients with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline, after 4- and 8-week treatments with aripiprazole. Auditory stimuli for ERP consisted of 100 millisecond/1000 Hz standards, intermixed with 100 millisecond/1500 Hz frequency deviants and 250 millisecond/1000 Hz duration deviants. EEG was recorded at Fz. BESA 5.1.8 was used to perform data analysis. MMN waveforms were obtained by subtracting waveforms elicited by standards from waveforms elicited by frequency- or duration-deviant stimuli. Aripiprazole decreased all PANSS. Patients showed smaller mean amplitudes of frequency and duration MMN at baseline than did controls. A repeated measure ANOVA with sessions (i.e., baseline, 4- and 8-week treatments) and MMN type (frequency vs. duration) as within-subject factors revealed no significant MMN type or MMN type × session main effect for MMN amplitudes. Session main effect was significant. LSD tests demonstrated significant differences between MMN amplitudes at 8 weeks and those at both baseline and 4 weeks. There was significant negative correlation between changes in amplitudes of frequency and duration MMN and changes in PANSS total scores at baseline and follow-up periods.
Aripiprazole improved the amplitudes of MMN. MMN offers objective evidence that treatment with the aripiprazole may ameliorate preattentive deficits in schizophrenia.
Depression is a common and highly recurrent mental disorder that is accompanied by poor functioning at home and at work. Not all depressed employees report sick and little is known about variables associated with sickness absence (SA) due to depression. Recurrent SA due to depression tends to marginalize employees from the workforce and exclude them from social participation. Therefore, this study sought group consensus on factors predicting recurrent SA due to depression.
23 scientists in the field of work and mental health and 23 physicians with expertise in assessing work disability were invited for a Delphi study. Sixty-seven factors retrieved from the literature were scored for their impact on the recurrence of SA due to depression, range 1 (no impact) to 10 (very high impact) in two Delphi rounds. The third Delphi round addressed the assessability and modifiability of elected predictors. Group consensus was defined as 75% agreement. In the first round (response 78%), group consensus was reached on a high impact of 13 factors on recurrent SA due to depression. The second round (response 79%) added another 8 factors with high impact on recurrent SA due to depression. The panelists were of the opinion that stressful life and work events, age at first diagnosis, duration of the last depressive episode, anxiety, lifetime number of depressive episodes, and psychological work demands were readily assessable in consultation with patients. Furthermore, work factors, particularly decision latitude, psychological job demands, and commitment to work, were recognized as modifiable.
Although results have to be validated with further quantitative research, physicians may identify employees at risk of recurrent SA due to depression and may support them to adjust their work aimed at increasing commitment to work and preventing future SA due to depression.
Alexithymia, characterized by difficulties in identifying and describing feelings, is highly indicative of a broad range of psychiatric disorders. Several studies have also discovered the response inhibition ability impairment in alexithymia. However, few studies on alexithymic individuals have specifically examined how emotional context modulates response inhibition procedure. In order to investigate emotion cognition interaction in alexithymia, we analyzed the spatiao-temporal features of such emotional response inhibition by the approaches of event-related potentials and neural source-localization.
The study participants included 15 subjects with high alexithymia scores on the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (alexithymic group) and 15 matched subjects with low alexithymia scores (control group). Subjects were instructed to perform a modified emotional Go/Nogo task while their continuous electroencephalography activities were synchronously recorded. The task includes 3 categories of emotional contexts (positive, negative and neutral) and 2 letters (“M” and “W”) centered in the screen. Participants were told to complete go and nogo actions based on the letters. We tested the influence of alexithymia in this emotional Go/Nogo task both in behavioral level and related neural activities of N2 and P3 ERP components.
We found that negatively valenced context elicited larger central P3 amplitudes of the Nogo–Go difference wave in the alexithymic group than in the control group. Furthermore, source-localization analyses implicated the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as the neural generator of the Nogo-P3.
These findings suggest that difficulties in identifying feelings, particularly in negative emotions, is a major feature of alexithymia, and the ACC plays a critical role in emotion-modulated response inhibition related to alexithymia.
The cue-related go/no-go switching task provides an experimental approach to study individual’s flexibility in changing situations. Because Internet addiction disorder (IAD) belongs to the compulsive-impulsive spectrum of disorders, it should present cognitive bias and executive functioning deficit characteristics of some of these types of disorders. Until now, no studies have been reported on cognitive bias and executive function involving mental flexibility and response inhibition in IAD.
A total of 46 subjects who met the criteria of the modified Young’s Diagnostic Questionnaire for Internet addiction (YDQ) were recruited as an Internet game addiction (IGA) group, along with 46 healthy control individuals. All participants performed the Internet game-shifting task. Using hit rate, RT, d′ and C as the dependent measures, a three-way ANOVA (group × target × condition) was performed. For hit rate, a significant effect of group, type of target and condition were found. The group–target interaction effect was significant. For RT, significant effects were revealed for group and type of target. The group–target interaction effect was significant. Comparisons of the means revealed that the slowing down of IGA relative to NIA was more pronounced when the target stimuli were neutral as opposed to Internet game-related pictures. In addition, the group–condition interaction effect was significant. For d′, significant effects of group, type of target and condition were found. The group–target interaction effect was significant. For C, the type of target produced a significant effect. There was a positive correlation between the length of the addiction (number of years) and the severity of the cognitive bias.
IGA present cognitive biases towards information related to Internet gaming. These biases, as well as poor executive functioning skills (lower mental flexibility and response inhibition), might be responsible for Internet game addiction. The assessment of cognitive biases in IGA might provide a methodology for evaluation of therapeutic effects.
The aim was to construct and validate a gender-specific job exposure matrix (JEM) for physical exposures to be used in epidemiological studies of low back pain (LBP).
Materials and Methods
We utilized two large Finnish population surveys, one to construct the JEM and another to test matrix validity. The exposure axis of the matrix included exposures relevant to LBP (heavy physical work, heavy lifting, awkward trunk posture and whole body vibration) and exposures that increase the biomechanical load on the low back (arm elevation) or those that in combination with other known risk factors could be related to LBP (kneeling or squatting). Job titles with similar work tasks and exposures were grouped. Exposure information was based on face-to-face interviews. Validity of the matrix was explored by comparing the JEM (group-based) binary measures with individual-based measures. The predictive validity of the matrix against LBP was evaluated by comparing the associations of the group-based (JEM) exposures with those of individual-based exposures.
The matrix includes 348 job titles, representing 81% of all Finnish job titles in the early 2000s. The specificity of the constructed matrix was good, especially in women. The validity measured with kappa-statistic ranged from good to poor, being fair for most exposures. In men, all group-based (JEM) exposures were statistically significantly associated with one-month prevalence of LBP. In women, four out of six group-based exposures showed an association with LBP.
The gender-specific JEM for physical exposures showed relatively high specificity without compromising sensitivity. The matrix can therefore be considered as a valid instrument for exposure assessment in large-scale epidemiological studies, when more precise but more labour-intensive methods are not feasible. Although the matrix was based on Finnish data we foresee that it could be applicable, with some modifications, in other countries with a similar level of technology.
To assess sociodemographic, clinical and treatment factors as well as depression outcome in a large representative clinical sample of psychiatric depressive outpatients and to determine if melancholic and atypical depression can be differentiated from residual non-melancholic depressive conditions.
Subjects/Materials and Method
A prospective, naturalistic, multicentre, nationwide epidemiological study of 1455 depressive outpatients was undertaken. Severity of depressive symptoms was assessed by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and the Self Rated Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS-SR30). IDS-SR30 defines melancholic and atypical depression according to DSM-IV criteria. Assessments were carried out after 6–8 weeks of antidepressant treatment and after 14–20 weeks of continuation treatment.
Melancholic patients (16.2%) were more severely depressed, had more depressive episodes and shorter episode duration than atypical (24.7%) and non-melancholic patients. Atypical depressive patients showed higher rates of co-morbid anxiety disorders and substance abuse. Melancholic patients showed lower rates of remission.
Our study supports a different clinical pattern and treatment outcome for melancholic and atypical depression subtypes.
Anxiety symptoms are common in chronic pain patients. High levels of anxiety are associated with increased pain experience and disability. Proneness to anxiety has a large interindividual variation. The aim of the study was to determine whether the anxiety-related temperament trait Harm Avoidance (HA), is associated with pain-related anxiety.
One hundred chronic pain patients in a multidisciplinary pain clinic participated in the study. The patients were assessed using the HA scale of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) of Cloninger and Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale-20 (PASS-20). Both the HA total score and the four subscales of HA were analyzed. Current pain intensity was measured using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to control for the influence of depression on the personality measurement.
The HA total score was associated with PASS-20, but the association became non-significant after controlling for depression. The HA4 Fatigability subscale was associated with the PASS scales. Depression did not influence this association. Pain intensity was not correlated with HA or the PASS scales. However, the association between HA4 Fatigability and PASS was influenced by pain intensity. Higher pain intensity was associated with stronger association between the scales.
Harm Avoidance, representing temperament and trait-related anxiety, has relevance in pain-related anxiety. Assessing personality and temperament may deepen the clinician's understanding of the pain experience and behavior in chronic pain patients.
Despite the magnitude and increase of sickness absence due to mental diagnoses, little is known regarding long-term health outcomes. The aim of this nationwide population-based, prospective cohort study was to investigate the association between sickness absence due to specific mental diagnoses and the risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality.
A cohort of all 4 857 943 individuals living in Sweden on 31.12.2004 (aged 16–64 years, not sickness absent, or on retirement or disability pension), was followed from 01.01.2005 through 31.12.2008 for all-cause and cause-specific mortality (suicide, cancer, circulatory disease) through linkage of individual register data. Individuals with at least one new sick-leave spell with a mental diagnosis in 2005 were compared to individuals with no sickness absence. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated by Cox regression, adjusting for age, sex, education, country of birth, family situation, area of residence, and pre-existing morbidity (diagnosis-specific hospital inpatient (2000–2005) and outpatient (2001–2005) care).
In the multivariate analyses, mental sickness absence in 2005 was associated with an increased risk for all-cause mortality: HR: 1.65, 95% CI: 1.47–1.86 in women and in men: 1.73, 1.57–1.91; for suicide, cancer (both smoking and non-smoking related) as well as mortality due to circulatory disease only in men. Estimates for cause-specific mortality ranged from 1.48 to 3.37. Associations with all-cause mortality were found for all mental sickness absence diagnostic groups studied.
Knowledge about the prognosis of patients sickness absent with specific mental diagnoses is of crucial clinical importance in health care. Sickness absence due to specific mental diagnoses may here be used as a risk indictor for subsequent mortality.
Sex and disgust are basic, evolutionary relevant functions that are often construed as paradoxical. In general the stimuli involved in sexual encounters are, at least out of context strongly perceived to hold high disgust qualities. Saliva, sweat, semen and body odours are among the strongest disgust elicitors. This results in the intriguing question of how people succeed in having pleasurable sex at all. One possible explanation could be that sexual engagement temporarily reduces the disgust eliciting properties of particular stimuli or that sexual engagement might weaken the hesitation to actually approach these stimuli.
Participants were healthy women (n = 90) randomly allocated to one of three groups: the sexual arousal, the non-sexual positive arousal, or the neutral control group. Film clips were used to elicit the relevant mood state. Participants engaged in 16 behavioural tasks, involving sex related (e.g., lubricate the vibrator) and non-sex related (e.g., take a sip of juice with a large insect in the cup) stimuli, to measure the impact of sexual arousal on feelings of disgust and actual avoidance behaviour.
The sexual arousal group rated the sex related stimuli as less disgusting compared to the other groups. A similar tendency was evident for the non-sex disgusting stimuli. For both the sex and non-sex related behavioural tasks the sexual arousal group showed less avoidance behaviour (i.e., they conducted the highest percentage of tasks compared to the other groups).
This study has investigated how sexual arousal interplays with disgust and disgust eliciting properties in women, and has demonstrated that this relationship goes beyond subjective report by affecting the actual approach to disgusting stimuli. Hence, this could explain how we still manage to engage in pleasurable sexual activity. Moreover, these findings suggest that low sexual arousal might be a key feature in the maintenance of particular sexual dysfunctions.
Ayahuasca is an Amazonian psychoactive plant beverage containing the serotonergic 5-HT2A agonist N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and monoamine oxidase-inhibiting alkaloids (harmine, harmaline and tetrahydroharmine) that render it orally active. Ayahuasca ingestion is a central feature in several Brazilian syncretic churches that have expanded their activities to urban Brazil, Europe and North America. Members of these groups typically ingest ayahuasca at least twice per month. Prior research has shown that acute ayahuasca increases blood flow in prefrontal and temporal brain regions and that it elicits intense modifications in thought processes, perception and emotion. However, regular ayahuasca use does not seem to induce the pattern of addiction-related problems that characterize drugs of abuse. To study the impact of repeated ayahuasca use on general psychological well-being, mental health and cognition, here we assessed personality, psychopathology, life attitudes and neuropsychological performance in regular ayahuasca users (n = 127) and controls (n = 115) at baseline and 1 year later. Controls were actively participating in non-ayahuasca religions. Users showed higher Reward Dependence and Self-Transcendence and lower Harm Avoidance and Self-Directedness. They scored significantly lower on all psychopathology measures, showed better performance on the Stroop test, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and the Letter-Number Sequencing task from the WAIS-III, and better scores on the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale. Analysis of life attitudes showed higher scores on the Spiritual Orientation Inventory, the Purpose in Life Test and the Psychosocial Well-Being test. Despite the lower number of participants available at follow-up, overall differences with controls were maintained one year later. In conclusion, we found no evidence of psychological maladjustment, mental health deterioration or cognitive impairment in the ayahuasca-using group.
The aim of the study was to characterize the maternal dimensions of anxiety, depression and prenatal attachment in women undergoing an amniocentesis.
A prospective observational study was conducted. Women were referred to early amniocentesis for increased nuchal translucency, elevated biochemical markers or advanced maternal age. All participants had 3 prenatal (16–18, 20–24, 30–34 weeks of gestation) and one postnatal (30–45 days) interviews reviewing for demographic, medical, and psychiatric information (STAI State-Trait Anxiety Inventory; EPDS: Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale; IRMAG: Interview of Maternal Representations of Attachment during pregnancy). We investigated 232 pregnant women who undergone an amniocentesis compared with 160 pregnant controls. Following the procedure, the amniocentesis group experienced transiently significantly higher levels of state-anxiety on the STAI (44.6 vs. 39.3) and depression as measured by the EPDS (9.4 vs. 6.3) than the controls. Overall in both groups, the maternal representations of attachment were well integrated and balanced, but the amniocentesis group experienced significantly more mother-directed representations.
Amniocentesis is associated with higher affective adaptive reactions that tend to normalize during the pregnancy, with overall preserved maternal fetal representations of attachment.
Investigation of the environmental influences on human behavioral phenotypes is important for our understanding of the causation of psychiatric disorders. However, there are complexities associated with the assessment of environmental influences on behavior.
We conducted a series of analyses using a prospective, longitudinal study of a nationally representative birth cohort from Finland (the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort). Participants included a total of 3,761 male and female cohort members who were living in Finland at the age of 16 years and who had complete temperament scores. Our initial analyses (Wessman et al., in press) provide evidence in support of four stable and robust temperament clusters. Using these temperament clusters, as well as independent temperament dimensions for comparison, we conducted a data-driven analysis to assess the influence of a broad set of life course measures, assessed pre-natally, in infancy, and during adolescence, on adult temperament.
Measures of early environment, neurobehavioral development, and adolescent behavior significantly predict adult temperament, classified by both cluster membership and temperament dimensions. Specifically, our results suggest that a relatively consistent set of life course measures are associated with adult temperament profiles, including maternal education, characteristics of the family’s location and residence, adolescent academic performance, and adolescent smoking.
Our finding that a consistent set of life course measures predict temperament clusters indicate that these clusters represent distinct developmental temperament trajectories and that information about a subset of life course measures has implications for adult health outcomes.
The angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) has been repeatedly discussed as susceptibility factor for major depression (MD) and the bi-directional relation between MD and cardiovascular disorders (CVD). In this context, functional polymorphisms of the ACE gene have been linked to depression, to antidepressant treatment response, to ACE serum concentrations, as well as to hypertension, myocardial infarction and CVD risk markers. The mostly investigated ACE Ins/Del polymorphism accounts for ∼40%–50% of the ACE serum concentration variance, the remaining half is probably determined by other genetic, environmental or epigenetic factors, but these are poorly understood.
Materials and Methods
The main aim of the present study was the analysis of the DNA methylation pattern in the regulatory region of the ACE gene in peripheral leukocytes of 81 MD patients and 81 healthy controls.
We detected intensive DNA methylation within a recently described, functional important region of the ACE gene promoter including hypermethylation in depressed patients (p = 0.008) and a significant inverse correlation between the ACE serum concentration and ACE promoter methylation frequency in the total sample (p = 0.02). Furthermore, a significant inverse correlation between the concentrations of the inflammatory CVD risk markers ICAM-1, E-selectin and P-selectin and the degree of ACE promoter methylation in MD patients could be demonstrated (p = 0.01 - 0.04).
The results of the present study suggest that aberrations in ACE promoter DNA methylation may be an underlying cause of MD and probably a common pathogenic factor for the bi-directional relationship between MD and cardiovascular disorders.
Despite large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS), the underlying genes for schizophrenia are largely unknown. Additional approaches are therefore required to identify the genetic background of this disorder. Here we report findings from a large gene expression study in peripheral blood of schizophrenia patients and controls. We applied a systems biology approach to genome-wide expression data from whole blood of 92 medicated and 29 antipsychotic-free schizophrenia patients and 118 healthy controls. We show that gene expression profiling in whole blood can identify twelve large gene co-expression modules associated with schizophrenia. Several of these disease related modules are likely to reflect expression changes due to antipsychotic medication. However, two of the disease modules could be replicated in an independent second data set involving antipsychotic-free patients and controls. One of these robustly defined disease modules is significantly enriched with brain-expressed genes and with genetic variants that were implicated in a GWAS study, which could imply a causal role in schizophrenia etiology. The most highly connected intramodular hub gene in this module (ABCF1), is located in, and regulated by the major histocompatibility (MHC) complex, which is intriguing in light of the fact that common allelic variants from the MHC region have been implicated in schizophrenia. This suggests that the MHC increases schizophrenia susceptibility via altered gene expression of regulatory genes in this network.
This study addressed the temporal properties of personality disorders and their treatment by schema-centered group psychotherapy. It investigated the change mechanisms of psychotherapy using a novel method by which psychotherapy can be modeled explicitly in the temporal domain.
Methodology and Findings
69 patients were assigned to a specific schema-centered behavioral group psychotherapy, 26 to social skills training as a control condition. The largest diagnostic subgroups were narcissistic and borderline personality disorder. Both treatments offered 30 group sessions of 100 min duration each, at a frequency of two sessions per week. Therapy process was described by components resulting from principal component analysis of patients' session-reports that were obtained after each session. These patient-assessed components were Clarification, Bond, Rejection, and Emotional Activation. The statistical approach focused on time-lagged associations of components using time-series panel analysis. This method provided a detailed quantitative representation of therapy process. It was found that Clarification played a core role in schema-centered psychotherapy, reducing rejection and regulating the emotion of patients. This was also a change mechanism linked to therapy outcome.
The introduced process-oriented methodology allowed to highlight the mechanisms by which psychotherapeutic treatment became effective. Additionally, process models depicted the actual patterns that differentiated specific diagnostic subgroups. Time-series analysis explores Granger causality, a non-experimental approximation of causality based on temporal sequences. This methodology, resting upon naturalistic data, can explicate mechanisms of action in psychotherapy research and illustrate the temporal patterns underlying personality disorders.
Evidence on the association between fish consumption and depression is inconsistent and virtually non-existent from low- and middle-income countries. Using a standard protocol, we aim to assess the association of fish consumption and late-life depression in seven low- and middle-income countries.
We used cross-sectional data from the 10/66 cohort study and applied two diagnostic criteria for late-life depression to assess the association between categories of weekly fish consumption and depression according to ICD-10 and the EURO-D depression symptoms scale scores, adjusting for relevant confounders. All-catchment area surveys were carried out in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, China, and India, and over 15,000 community-dwelling older adults (65+) were sampled. Using Poisson models the adjusted association between categories of fish consumption and ICD-10 depression was positive in India (p for trend = 0.001), inverse in Peru (p = 0.025), and not significant in all other countries. We found a linear inverse association between fish consumption categories and EURO-D scores only in Cuba (p for trend = 0.039) and China (p<0.001); associations were not significant in all other countries. Between-country heterogeneity was marked for both ICD-10 (I2>61%) and EURO-D criteria (I2>66%).
The associations of fish consumption with depression in large samples of older adults varied markedly across countries and by depression diagnosis and were explained by socio-demographic and lifestyle variables. Experimental studies in these settings are needed to confirm our findings.
Psychiatric disorders are known to be a risk factor for the development of different oral health problems especially for dental caries and periodontal diseases. In spite of this fact, no study has been conducted to reveal its magnitude in Ethiopia. Hence, this study was conducted to determine the oral health status of psychiatric patients at Jimma University Specialized Hospital (JUSH), Psychiatric Clinic.
A hospital based cross- sectional study was used from January to May 2011. A total of 240 participants were included in the study. Dental examination was done to measure indices of oral health: decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index and community periodontal index (CPI). Oral examination was performed using mirror, probe and explorer by experienced dental doctors. A simple random sampling technique was implemented to collect data. ANOVA test, binary logistic and multinomial logistic regression analyses were done using SPSS 16.0 statistical software.
The mean DMFT score among the psychiatric patients was 1.94±2.12 (mean±SD) with 1.28±1.69, 0.51±1.19 and 0.14±0.48 (mean±SD) for decayed, missed and filled teeth respectively. Only about 24% of the psychiatric patients had a healthy CPI score. Incorrect tooth brushing technique was significantly associated with a DMFT score greater than 2 (AOR = 3.58; 95% CI: 1.65, 7.79). The habit of sweet intake was also associated with dental caries (AOR = 2.91; 95% CI: 1.43, 5.95). Similarly, patients with a smoking habit also demonstrated statistically significant association with dental caries (AOR = 18.98; 95% CI: 5.06, 71.24).
The oral health status of the psychiatric patients was poor. Thus, health education about oral hygiene should be given for psychiatric patients so they can avoid the frequent intake of sweets, smoking and learn correct tooth brushing technique.
Research on psychosocial influences such as relationship characteristics has received increased attention in the clinical as well as social-psychological field. Several studies demonstrated that the quality of relationships, in particular with respect to the perceived support within intimate relationships, profoundly affects individuals' mental and physical health. There is, however, a limited choice of valid and internationally known assessments of relationship quality in Germany. We report the validation of the German version of the Quality of Relationships Inventory (QRI). First, we evaluated its factor structure in a representative German sample of 1.494 participants by means of confirmatory factor analysis. Our findings support the previously proposed three-factor structure. Second, importance and satisfaction with different relationship domains (family/children and relationship/sexuality) were linked with the QRI scales, demonstrating high construct validity. Finally, we report sex and age differences regarding the perceived relationship support, conflict and depth in our German sample. In conclusion, the QRI is a reliable and valid measurement to assess social support in romantic relationships in the German population.
Occupational back pain is a disorder that commonly affects the working population, resulting in disability, health-care utilization, and a heavy socioeconomic burden. Although the etiology of occupational pain remains largely unsolved, anecdotal evidence exists for the contribution of personality and posture to long-term pain management, pointing to a direct contribution of the mind-body axis. In the current study, we have conducted an extensive evaluation into the relationships between posture and personality.
We have sampled a random population of 100 subjects (50 men and 50 women) in the age range of 13–82 years based on their personality and biomechanical profiles. All subjects were French-Canadian, living in Canada between the Québec and Sorel-Tracy areas. The Biotonix analyses and report were used on the subjects being tested in order to distinguish postural deviations. Personality was determined by using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator questionnaire.
We establish a correlation between ideal and kyphosis-lordosis postures and extraverted personalities. Conversely, our studies establish a correlative relationship between flat back and sway-back postures with introverted personalities.
Overall, our studies establish a novel correlative relationship between personality, posture and pain.
To examine the efficacy of ziprasidone vs. placebo for the depressive mixed state in patients with bipolar disorder type II or major depressive disorder (MDD).
73 patients were randomized in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study to ziprasidone (40-160 mg/d) or placebo for 6 weeks. They met DSM-IV criteria for a major depressive episode (MDE), while also meeting 2 or 3 (but not more nor less) DSM-IV manic criteria. They did not meet DSM-IV criteria for a mixed or manic episode. Baseline psychotropic drugs were continued unchanged. The primary endpoint measured was Montgomery- Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores over time. The mean dose of ziprasidone was 129.7±45.3 mg/day and 126.1±47.1 mg/day for placebo.
The primary outcome analysis indicated efficacy of ziprasidone versus placebo (p = 0.0038). Efficacy was more pronounced in type II bipolar disorder than in MDD (p = 0.036). Overall ziprasidone was well tolerated, without notable worsening of weight or extrapyramidal symptoms.
There was a statistically significant benefit with ziprasidone versus placebo in this first RCT of any medication for the provisional diagnostic concept of the depressive mixed state.