Low cognitive ability in late adolescence has previously been shown to be associated with disability pension (DP) in young adulthood. However, most DP’s are granted later in working life, and the mechanisms of the association are not fully understood. We aimed to investigate the association between cognitive ability in late adolescence and DP at ages 40-59, and investigate the role of individual and socioeconomic factors. Information on cognitive ability, health status, personality aspects and health behaviours at age 18-20 was obtained from the 1969-70 conscription cohort, comprising 49 321 Swedish men. Data on DP’s 1991-2008 was obtained from the Longitudinal Database of Education, Income and Employment. Information on socioeconomic and work-related factors in childhood and adulthood was obtained from national sociodemographic databases. Hazard ratios for DP during follow-up were estimated by Cox proportional hazards models. We found a graded relationship between cognitive ability in late adolescence and DP in middle age. One step decrease on the nine-point stanine scale of cognitive ability was associated with a crude hazard ratio of 1.26 (95 % CI 1.24-1.27). Socioeconomic and work-related circumstances in adulthood explained much of the association, but factors measured already in late adolescence also showed importance. The findings suggest an accumulation of risks over the life course. Although attenuated, the graded relationship remained after adjusting for all factors.
Inflammation may contribute to cognitive decline and dementia. This study examined the cross-sectional relationships between markers of systemic inflammation (C-reactive protein, interleukins-1β, -6, -8, -10, -12, plasminogen activator inhibitor, serum amyloid A, tumour necrosis factor-α and vascular adhesion molecule-1) and cognitive function in 873 non-demented community-dwelling elderly participants aged 70–90 years. Regression analyses were performed to determine the relationships between cognitive domains and inflammatory markers, controlling for age, sex, education, cardiovascular risk factors, obesity and other metabolic factors, smoking, alcohol consumption, depression and presence of the apolipoprotein ε4 genotype. Regression analyses were repeated using four factors derived from a factor analysis of the cognitive tests. After Bonferroni correction for multiple testing, associations remained between raised levels of interleukin-12 and reduced performance in processing speed. Marked sex differences were noted in the abovementioned findings, with only females being significantly affected. Using the four factors derived from the factor analyses of cognitive test as dependent variables, interleukins-12 and -6 were both associated with the processing speed/executive function factor, even after controlling for relevant confounding factors. Thus, markers of systemic inflammation are related to cognitive deficits in a non-clinical community-dwelling elderly population, independent of depression, cardiovascular or metabolic risk factors, or presence of apolipoprotein ε4 genotype. Additional research is required to elucidate the pathophysiology and longitudinal development of these relationships.
Inflammation; Ageing; Cytokines; Inflammaging; Cognition; Dementia
Markers of immune activation have been associated with mania but have not been examined in combination. We studied the association between mania and an inflammation score based on four immune markers.
A total of 57 individuals with mania were assessed at up to three time points: the day of hospital admission, evaluation several days later, and six-month follow-up. Also assessed were 207 non-psychiatric controls and 330 individuals with recent onset psychosis, multi-episode schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder depression. A combined inflammation score was calculated by factor analysis of the levels of class-specific antibodies to the NR peptide of the NMDA receptor; gliadin; Mason-Pfizer monkey virus protein 24; and Toxoplasma gondii. Inflammation scores among groups were compared by multivariate analyses. The inflammation score of the mania group at evaluation was studied as a predictor of re-hospitalization in the follow-up period.
The combined inflammation score of the mania group at hospital admission and at evaluation differed significantly from that of the non-psychiatric controls (t = 3.95, 4.10, p<.001). The inflammation score was significantly decreased at six month follow-up (F = 5.85, p = 0.004). There were not any significant differences in the inflammation scores of any of the other psychiatric groups and that of the controls. Within the mania group, an elevated inflammation score at evaluation predicted re-hospitalization (Hazard ratio = 7.12, p = .005).
Hospitalization for mania is associated with immune activation. The level of this activation is predictive of subsequent re-hospitalization. Interventions for the modulation of inflammation should be evaluated for the therapy of individuals with mania.
Cognitive aging processes are underpinned by multiple processes including genetic factors. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been suggested to be involved in age-related cognitive decline in otherwise healthy individuals. The gender-specific role of the BDNF gene in cognitive aging remains unclear. The identification of genetic biomarkers might be a useful approach to identify individuals at risk of cognitive decline during healthy aging processes. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between three single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the BDNF gene and domains of cognitive functioning in normal cognitive aging. The sample, comprising 369 participants (M = 72.7 years, SD = 4.45 years), completed an extensive neuropsychological test battery measuring memory, motor function, and perceptual speed. The relationships between the SNPs rs6265, rs7103411, and rs7124442 and cognitive domains were examined. While significant main effects of BDNF SNPs on cognitive function were found for the association between rs7103411 and memory performance, gender-specific analyses revealed for females significant main effects of rs7103411 for memory and of rs6265 for perceptual speed independent of the APOE*E4 status and education. The finding for the association between rs6265 and perceptual speed in females remained significant after Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. None of the analyses showed significant results for males. This study is the first to implicate that the SNPs rs6265 and rs7103411 affect cognitive function in the elderly in a gender-specific way.
BDNF; BDNF gene; Memory; Motor function; Perceptual speed; Elderly; Gender
Emotional reasoning refers to the use of subjective emotions, rather than objective evidence, to form conclusions about oneself and the world . Emotional reasoning appears to characterise anxiety disorders. We aimed to determine whether elevated levels of emotional reasoning also characterise dysphoria. In Study 1, low dysphoric (BDI-II≤4; n = 28) and high dysphoric (BDI-II ≥14; n = 42) university students were administered an emotional reasoning task relevant for dysphoria. In Study 2, a larger university sample were administered the same task, with additional self-referent ratings, and were followed up 8 weeks later. In Study 1, both the low and high dysphoric participants demonstrated emotional reasoning and there were no significant differences in scores on the emotional reasoning task between the low and high dysphoric groups. In Study 2, self-referent emotional reasoning interpretations showed small-sized positive correlations with depression symptoms. Emotional reasoning tendencies were stable across an 8-week interval although not predictive of subsequent depressive symptoms. Further, anxiety symptoms were independently associated with emotional reasoning and emotional reasoning was not associated with anxiety sensitivity, alexithymia, or deductive reasoning tendencies. The implications of these findings are discussed, including the possibility that while all individuals may engage in emotional reasoning, self-referent emotional reasoning may be associated with increased levels of depressive symptoms.
The assessment of response to lithium maintenance treatment in bipolar disorder (BD) is complicated by variable length of treatment, unpredictable clinical course, and often inconsistent compliance. Prospective and retrospective methods of assessment of lithium response have been proposed in the literature. In this study we report the key phenotypic measures of the “Retrospective Criteria of Long-Term Treatment Response in Research Subjects with Bipolar Disorder” scale currently used in the Consortium on Lithium Genetics (ConLiGen) study.
Materials and Methods
Twenty-nine ConLiGen sites took part in a two-stage case-vignette rating procedure to examine inter-rater agreement [Kappa (κ)] and reliability [intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC)] of lithium response. Annotated first-round vignettes and rating guidelines were circulated to expert research clinicians for training purposes between the two stages. Further, we analyzed the distributional properties of the treatment response scores available for 1,308 patients using mixture modeling.
Substantial and moderate agreement was shown across sites in the first and second sets of vignettes (κ = 0.66 and κ = 0.54, respectively), without significant improvement from training. However, definition of response using the A score as a quantitative trait and selecting cases with B criteria of 4 or less showed an improvement between the two stages (ICC1 = 0.71 and ICC2 = 0.75, respectively). Mixture modeling of score distribution indicated three subpopulations (full responders, partial responders, non responders).
We identified two definitions of lithium response, one dichotomous and the other continuous, with moderate to substantial inter-rater agreement and reliability. Accurate phenotypic measurement of lithium response is crucial for the ongoing ConLiGen pharmacogenomic study.
Data from clinical studies and results from animal models suggest an involvement of the neurotrophin system in the pathology of depression and antidepressant treatment response. Genetic variations within the genes coding for the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its key receptor Trkb (NTRK2) may therefore influence the response to antidepressant treatment.
We performed a single and multi-marker association study with antidepressant treatment outcome in 398 depressed Caucasian inpatients participating in the Munich Antidepressant Response Signature (MARS) project. Two Caucasian replication samples (N = 249 and N = 247) were investigated, resulting in a total number of 894 patients. 18 tagging SNPs in the BDNF gene region and 64 tagging SNPs in the NTRK2 gene region were genotyped in the discovery sample; 16 nominally associated SNPs were tested in two replication samples.
In the discovery analysis, 7 BDNF SNPs and 9 NTRK2 SNPs were nominally associated with treatment response. Three NTRK2 SNPs (rs10868223, rs1659412 and rs11140778) also showed associations in at least one replication sample and in the combined sample with the same direction of effects (Pcorr = .018, Pcorr = .015 and Pcorr = .004, respectively). We observed an across-gene BDNF-NTRK2 SNP interaction for rs4923468 and rs1387926. No robust interaction of associated SNPs was found in an analysis of BDNF serum protein levels as a predictor for treatment outcome in a subset of 93 patients.
Although not all associations in the discovery analysis could be unambiguously replicated, the findings of the present study identified single nucleotide variations in the BDNF and NTRK2 genes that might be involved in antidepressant treatment outcome and that have not been previously reported in this context. These new variants need further validation in future association studies.
A quantitative cortical model is developed, based on both computational and simulation approaches, which relates measured changes in cortical activity of gray matter with changes in the integrity of longitudinal fiber pathways. The model consists of modules of up to 5,000 neurons each, 80% excitatory and 20% inhibitory, with these having different degrees of synaptic connectiveness both within a module as well as between modules. It is shown that if the inter-modular synaptic connections are reduced to zero while maintaining the intra-modular synaptic connections constant, then activity in the modules is reduced by about 50%. This agrees with experimental observations in which cortical electrical activity in a region of interest, measured using the rate of oxidative glucose metabolism (CMRglc(ox)), is reduced by about 50% when the cortical region is isolated, either by surgical means or by transient cold block. There is also a 50% decrease in measured cortical activity following inactivation of the nucleus of Meynert and the intra-laminar nuclei of the thalamus, which arise either following appropriate lesions or in sleep. This occurs in the model if the inter-modular synaptic connections require input from these nuclei in order to function. In schizophrenia there is a 24% decrease in functional anisotropy of longitudinal fasciculi accompanied by a 7% decrease in cortical activity (CMRglc(ox)).The cortical model predicts this, namely for a 24% decrease in the functioning of the inter-modular connections, either through the complete loss of 24% of axons subserving the connections or due to such a decrease in the efficacy of all the inter-modular connections, there will be about a 7% decrease in the activity of the modules. This work suggests that deterioration of longitudinal fasciculi in schizophrenia explains the loss of activity in the gray matter.
Mental disorders may be reducible to sets of symptoms, connected through systems of causal relations. A clinical staging model predicts that in earlier stages of illness, symptom expression is both non-specific and diffuse. With illness progression, more specific syndromes emerge. This paper addressed the hypothesis that connection strength and connection variability between mental states differ in the hypothesized direction across different stages of psychopathology.
In a general population sample of female siblings (mostly twins), the Experience Sampling Method was used to collect repeated measures of three momentary mental states (positive affect, negative affect and paranoia). Staging was operationalized across four levels of increasing severity of psychopathology, based on the total score of the Symptom Check List. Multilevel random regression was used to calculate inter- and intra-mental state connection strength and connection variability over time by modelling each momentary mental state at t as a function of the three momentary states at t-1, and by examining moderation by SCL-severity.
Mental states impacted dynamically on each other over time, in interaction with SCL-severity groups. Thus, SCL-90 severity groups were characterized by progressively greater inter- and intra-mental state connection strength, and greater inter- and intra-mental state connection variability.
Diagnosis in psychiatry can be described as stages of growing dynamic causal impact of mental states over time. This system achieves a mode of psychiatric diagnosis that combines nomothetic (group-based classification across stages) and idiographic (individual-specific psychopathological profiles) components of psychopathology at the level of momentary mental states impacting on each other over time.
Low frequency oscillations are essential in cognitive function impairment in schizophrenia. While functional connectivity can reveal the synchronization between distant brain regions, the regional abnormalities in task-independent baseline brain activity are less clear, especially in specific frequency bands. Here, we used a regional homogeneity (ReHo) method combined with resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate low frequency spontaneous neural activity in the three different frequency bands (slow-5∶0.01–0.027 Hz; slow-4∶0.027–0.08 Hz; and typical band: 0.01–0.08 Hz) in 69 patients with schizophrenia and 62 healthy controls. Compared with controls, schizophrenia patients exhibited decreased ReHo in the precentral gyrus, middle occipital gyrus, and posterior insula, whereas increased ReHo in the medial prefrontal cortex and anterior insula. Significant differences in ReHo between the two bands were found in fusiform gyrus and superior frontal gyrus (slow-4> slow-5), and in basal ganglia, parahippocampus, and dorsal middle prefrontal gyrus (slow-5> slow-4). Importantly, we identified significant interaction between frequency bands and groups in the inferior occipital gyrus and caudate body. This study demonstrates that ReHo changes in schizophrenia are widespread and frequency dependent.
The increasing burden of major depressive disorder makes the search for an extended understanding of etiology, and for the development of additional treatments highly significant. Biological factors may be useful biomarkers for treatment with physical activity (PA), and neurobiological effects of PA may herald new therapeutic development in the future. This paper provides a thorough and up-to-date review of studies examining the neuroimmunomodulatory effects of PA on the brain in depression and depression-like behaviors. From a neuroimmune perspective, evidence suggests PA does enhance the beneficial and reduce the detrimental effects of the neuroimmune system. PA appears to increase the following factors: interleukin (IL)-10, IL-6 (acutely), macrophage migration inhibitory factor, central nervous system-specific autoreactive CD4+ T cells, M2 microglia, quiescent astrocytes, CX3CL1, and insulin-like growth factor-1. On the other hand, PA appears to reduce detrimental neuroimmune factors such as: Th1/Th2 balance, pro-inflammatory cytokines, C-reactive protein, M1 microglia, and reactive astrocytes. The effect of other mechanisms is unknown, such as: CD4+CD25+ T regulatory cells (T regs), CD200, chemokines, miRNA, M2-type blood-derived macrophages, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α [via receptor 2 (R2)]. The beneficial effects of PA are likely to occur centrally and peripherally (e.g., in visceral fat reduction). The investigation of the neuroimmune effects of PA on depression and depression-like behavior is a rapidly developing and important field.
physical activity; exercise; depression; psychiatry; immune; neurobiology
Emergence of suicidal ideation (TESI) during treatment with antidepressants in major depression led to a black box warning. We performed a genome-wide association study to identify genetic markers, which increase the risk for this serious side effect. TESI was evaluated in depressed in-patients (N=397) and defined by an emergence of suicidal thoughts during hospitalization without suicidal thoughts at admission using the suicide item (3) of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Genotype distribution of 405.383 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in patients with TESI (N=32/8.1%) was compared to patients without increase in suicidal ideation (N=329/82.9%) and to a subgroup never reported suicidal ideation (N=79/19.9%). Top results were analyzed in an independent sample (N=501). None variant reached genome-wide significance, the best associated SNP was rs1630535 (p-value=1.3 × 10−7). The top 79 SNPs could be analyzed in an independent sample, and 14 variants showed nominal significant association with the same risk allele in the replication sample. A discriminant analysis classifying patients using these 79 SNPs revealed a 91% probability to classify TESI vs non-TESI cases correctly in the replication sample. Although our data need to be interpreted carefully owing to the small numbers in both cohorts, they suggest that a combination of genetic markers might indeed be used to identify patients at risk for TESI.
suicidal ideation; TESI; suicide; major depression; antidepressants; genetic markers; molecular & cellular neurobiology; psychopharmacology; depression; unipolar; bipolar, pharmacogenetics; pharmacogenomics; suicidal ideation; TESI; suicide; genetic markers; GWAS
Even minor abnormalities of early child development may have dramatic long term consequences. Accurate prevalence rates for a range of developmental impairments have been difficult to establish. Since related studies have used different methodological approaches, direct comparisons of the prevalence of developmental delays are difficult. The understanding of the key factors affecting child development, especially in preschool aged children remains limited. We used data from school entry examinations in Bavaria to measure the prevalence of developmental impairments in pre-school children beginning primary school in 1997–2009.
The developmental impairments of all school beginners in the district of Dingolfing- Landau, Bavaria were assessed using modified “Bavarian School Entry Model” examination from 1997 to 2009 (N=13,182). The children were assessed for motor, cognitive, language and psychosocial impairments using a standardised medical protocol. Prevalence rates of impairments in twelve domains of development were estimated. Using uni- and multivariable logistic regression models, association between selected factors and development delays were assessed.
The highest prevalence existed for impairments of pronunciation (13.8%) followed by fine motor impairments (12.2%), and impairments of memory and concentration (11.3%) and the lowest for impairments of rhythm of speech (3.1%). Younger children displayed more developmental delays. Male gender was strongly associated with all developmental impairments (highest risk for fine motor impairments = OR 3.22, 95% confidence interval 2.86-3.63). Preschool children with siblings (vs. children without any siblings) were at higher risk of having impairments in pronunciation (OR 1.31, 1.14-1.50). The influence of the non-German nationality was strong, with a maximum risk increase for the subareas of grammar and psychosocial development. Although children with non-German nationality had a reduced risk of disorders for the rhythm of speech and pronunciation, in all other 10 subareas their risk was increased.
In preschool children, most common were delays of pronunciation, memory and concentration. Age effects suggest that delays can spontaneously resolve, but providing support at school entry might be helpful. Boys and migrant children appear at high risk of developmental problems, which may warrant tailored intervention strategies.
Adults with bipolar disorder (BD) have cognitive impairments that affect face processing and social cognition. However, it remains unknown whether these deficits in euthymic BD have impaired brain markers of emotional processing.
We recruited twenty six participants, 13 controls subjects with an equal number of euthymic BD participants. We used an event-related potential (ERP) assessment of a dual valence task (DVT), in which faces (angry and happy), words (pleasant and unpleasant), and face-word simultaneous combinations are presented to test the effects of the stimulus type (face vs word) and valence (positive vs. negative). All participants received clinical, neuropsychological and social cognition evaluations. ERP analysis revealed that both groups showed N170 modulation of stimulus type effects (face > word). BD patients exhibited reduced and enhanced N170 to facial and semantic valence, respectively. The neural source estimation of N170 was a posterior section of the fusiform gyrus (FG), including the face fusiform area (FFA). Neural generators of N170 for faces (FG and FFA) were reduced in BD. In these patients, N170 modulation was associated with social cognition (theory of mind).
This is the first report of euthymic BD exhibiting abnormal N170 emotional discrimination associated with theory of mind impairments.
To examine whether a simple Visual Analogue Mood Scale (VAMS) is able to predict time to relapse over 5.5-years.
187 remitted recurrently depressed out-patients were interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I) and the 17-item Hamilton Depression rating scale (HAM-D) to verify remission status (HAM-D <10). All patients rated their current mood with the help of a Visual Analogue Mood Scale (VAMS) at baseline and at a follow-up assessment three months later. Relapse over 5.5-years was assessed by the SCID-I. Cox regression revealed that both the VAMS at baseline and three months later significantly predicted time to relapse over 5.5-years. Baseline VAMS even predicted time to relapse when the number of previous depressive episodes and HAM-D scores were controlled for. The baseline VAMS explained 6.3% of variance in time to relapse, comparable to the HAM-D interview.
Sad mood after remission appears to play a pivotal role in the course of depression. Since a simple VAMS predicted time to relapse, the VAMS might be an easy and time-effective way to monitor mood and risk of early relapse, and offers possibilities for daily monitoring using e-mail and SMS.
International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Register Identifier: ISRCTN68246470.
Recently, several genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on bipolar disorder (BPD) suggested novel risk genes. However, only few of them were followed up and further, the specificity of these genes is even more elusive. To address these issues, we genotyped SNPs in ANK3, CACNA1C, CMTM8, DGKH, EGFR, and NPAS3, which were significantly associated with BPD in previous GWAS, in a sample of 380 BPD patients. Replicated SNPs were then followed up in patients suffering from unipolar depression (UPD; n=387) or adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (aADHD; n=535). While we could not confirm an association of ANK3, CACNA1C, and EGFR with BPD, 10 SNPs in DGKH, CMTM8, and NPAS3 were nominally associated with disease, with two DGKH markers surviving correction for multiple testing. When these were followed up in UPD and aADHD, seven DGKH SNPs were also associated with UPD, while one SNP each in NPAS3 and CMTM8 and four in DGKH were linked to aADHD. Furthermore, a DGKH haplotype consisting of rs994856/rs9525580/rs9525584 GAT was associated with all disorders tested, while the complementary AGC haplotype was protective. The corresponding haploblock spans a 27-kb region covering exons coding for amino acids 65–243, and thus might include functional variants yet to be identified. We demonstrate an association of DGKH with BPD, UPD, and aADHD by applying a two-stage design. These disorders share the feature of mood instability, so that this phenotype might be associated with genetic variation in DGKH.
association; bipolar disorder; depression; adult ADHD; NPAS3; CMTM8; depression; unipolar/bipolar; neurogenetics; signal transduction; biological psychiatry; association; adult ADHD; NPAS3; CMTM8; EGFR
Cytokines such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) have been implicated in dual functions in neuropsychiatric disorders. Little is known about the genetic predisposition to neurodegenerative and neuroproliferative properties of cytokine genes. In this study the potential dual role of several IL-6 polymorphisms in brain morphology is investigated.
In a large sample of healthy individuals (N = 303), associations between genetic variants of IL-6 (rs1800795; rs1800796, rs2069833, rs2069840) and brain volume (gray matter volume) were analyzed using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Selection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) followed a tagging SNP approach (e.g., Stampa algorigthm), yielding a capture 97.08% of the variation in the IL-6 gene using four tagging SNPs.
In a whole-brain analysis, the polymorphism rs1800795 (−174 C/G) showed a strong main effect of genotype (43 CC vs. 150 CG vs. 100 GG; x = 24, y = −10, z = −15; F(2,286) = 8.54, puncorrected = 0.0002; pAlphaSim-corrected = 0.002; cluster size k = 577) within the right hippocampus head. Homozygous carriers of the G-allele had significantly larger hippocampus gray matter volumes compared to heterozygous subjects. None of the other investigated SNPs showed a significant association with grey matter volume in whole-brain analyses.
These findings suggest a possible neuroprotective role of the G-allele of the SNP rs1800795 on hippocampal volumes. Studies on the role of this SNP in psychiatric populations and especially in those with an affected hippocampus (e.g., by maltreatment, stress) are warranted.
Genetics; Inflammation; Interleukin 6; Neuroprotection; Voxel-based morphometry
General psychiatric and forensic psychiatric beds, supported housing and the prison population have been suggested as indicators of institutionalized mental health care. According to the Penrose hypothesis, decreasing psychiatric bed numbers may lead to increasing prison populations. The study aimed to assess indicators of institutionalized mental health care in post-communist countries during the two decades following the political change, and to explore whether the data are consistent with the Penrose hypothesis in that historical context.
General psychiatric and forensic psychiatric bed numbers, supported housing capacities and the prison population rates were collected in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, East Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia and Slovenia. Percentage change of indicators over the decades 1989–1999, 1999–2009 and the whole period of 1989–2009 and correlations between changes of different indicators were calculated. Between 1989 and 2009, the number of general psychiatric beds was reduced in all countries. The decrease ranged from −11% in Croatia to −51% in East Germany. In 2009, the bed numbers per 100,000 population ranged from 44.7 in Azerbaijan to 134.4 in Latvia. Forensic psychiatric bed numbers and supported housing capacities increased in most countries. From 1989–2009, trends in the prison population ranged from a decrease of −58% in East Germany to an increase of 43% in Belarus and Poland. Trends in different indicators of institutionalised care did not show statistically significant associations.
After the political changes in 1989, post-communist countries experienced a substantial reduction in general psychiatric hospital beds, which in some countries may have partly been compensated by an increase in supported housing capacities and more forensic psychiatric beds. Changes in the prison population are inconsistent. The findings do not support the Penrose hypothesis in that historical context as a general rule for most of the countries.
This study aimed to investigate the association of biomarkers among circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines with all-cause mortality in elderly community dwellings of the MEMO study, Germany. All-cause mortality (cancer, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and other causes of death) was assessed in a general population sample (N = 385) of the elderly (age 65–83 years) 9 years after baseline assessment in 1998. As markers of inflammation, a variety of cytokines (IL-1beta, IL-4sR, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, TNF-alpha) were assessed in serum. Cox proportional Hazard model was used to estimate the association of cytokines with all-cause mortality over 9 years. In total, 110 deaths had occurred during follow-up (cancer N = 36; CVD N = 56; other = 18). Deaths were more frequent in male (N = 76, 37.4%) as compared to females (N = 40, 21.9%; p = 0.001). Among individual cytokines, IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TNF-alpha were associated with all-cause mortality, of which IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10 remained significant after adjusting for confounders. When the upper tertiles of these cytokines were compared to the lower tertiles, only IL-6 was consistently related to all-cause mortality independently of the level of adjustment and showing a dose–response relationship between IL-6 tertiles and risk of death. This effect originated in the male population. The study shows that IL-6 is a powerful predictor of all-cause mortality in male elderly community dwellings. Higher levels of IL-6 may reflect a chronic low-level systemic inflammation prospectively increasing the risk of death in the elderly.
Aging; Inflammation; Mortality; Gender
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have shown efficacy in the treatment of bipolar disorder, however their specific role in treating the illness is unclear. Serum PUFA and dietary intakes of PUFA associate with suicidal behavior in epidemiological studies. The objective of this study was to assess serum n-3 and n-6 PUFA levels in bipolar subjects and determine possible associations with suicidal risk, including suicidal history and relevant personality factors that have been associated with suicidality. We studied 27 bipolar subjects using the NEO-PI to assess the big five personality factors, structured interviews to verify diagnosis and assess suicidal history, and lipomics to quantify n-3 and n-6 PUFA in serum. We found positive associations between personality factors and ratios of n-3 PUFA, suggesting that conversion of short chain to long chain n-3s and the activity of enzymes in this pathway may associate with measures of personality. Thus, ratios of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and the activity of fatty acid desaturase 2 (FADS2) involved in the conversion of ALA to DHA were positively associated with openness factor scores. Ratios of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) to ALA and ratios of EPA to DHA were positively associated with agreeableness factor scores. Finally, serum concentrations of the n-6, arachidonic acid (AA), were significantly lower in subjects with a history of suicide attempt compared to non-attempters. The data suggest that specific lipid profiles, which are controlled by an interaction between diet and genetics, correlate with suicidal history and personality factors related to suicidal risk. This study provides preliminary data for future studies to determine whether manipulation of PUFA profiles (through diet or supplementation) can affect personality measures and disease outcome in bipolar subjects and supports the need for further investigations into individualized specific modulations of lipid profiles to add adjunctive value to treatment paradigms.
Previous research has been concerned with the relationship between social anxiety and the recognition of face expression but the question of whether there is a relationship between social anxiety and the recognition of face identity has been neglected. Here, we report the first evidence that social anxiety is associated with recognition of face identity, across the population range of individual differences in recognition abilities. Results showed poorer face identity recognition (on the Cambridge Face Memory Test) was correlated with a small but significant increase in social anxiety (Social Interaction Anxiety Scale) but not general anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). The correlation was also independent of general visual memory (Cambridge Car Memory Test) and IQ. Theoretically, the correlation could arise because correct identification of people, typically achieved via faces, is important for successful social interactions, extending evidence that individuals with clinical-level deficits in face identity recognition (prosopagnosia) often report social stress due to their inability to recognise others. Equally, the relationship could arise if social anxiety causes reduced exposure or attention to people's faces, and thus to poor development of face recognition mechanisms.
Recent studies as well as theoretical models of error processing assign fundamental importance to the brain's dopaminergic system. Research about how the electrophysiological correlates of error processing—the error-related negativity (ERN) and the error positivity (Pe)—are influenced by variations of common dopaminergic genes, however, is still relatively scarce. In the present study, we therefore investigated whether polymorphisms in the DAT1 gene and in the DRD4 gene, respectively, lead to interindividual differences in these error processing correlates. One hundred sixty participants completed a version of the Eriksen Flanker Task while a 26-channel EEG was recorded. The task was slightly modified in order to increase error rates. During data analysis, participants were split into two groups depending on their DAT1 and their DRD4 genotypes, respectively. ERN and Pe amplitudes after correct responses and after errors as well as difference amplitudes between errors and correct responses were analyzed. We found a differential effect of DAT1 genotype on the Pe difference amplitude but not on the ERN difference amplitude, while the reverse was true for DRD4 genotype. These findings are in line with predictions from theoretical models of dopaminergic transmission in the brain. They furthermore tie results from clinical investigations of disorders impacting on the dopamine system to genetic variations known to be at-risk genotypes.
Distorted activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) system is one of the most robustly documented biological abnormalities in major depression. Lithium is central to the treatment of affective disorders, but little is known about its effects on the HPA system of depressed subjects.
To assess the effects of lithium monotherapy on the HPA system of patients with major depression by means of the combined DEX/CRH test.
Thirty drug-naive outpatients with major depression (single episode or unipolar recurrent; SCID I- and II-confirmed) were treated with lithium monotherapy for four weeks. The DEX/CRH test was conducted directly before intake of the first lithium tablet and four weeks thereafter. Weekly ratings with the HDRS21 were used to determine response (≥50% symptom reduction) and remission (HDRS ≤7).
Lithium levels within the therapeutic range were achieved rapidly. Tolerability was good; no patient terminated the treatment prematurely. Response and remission rates were 50% and 33% respectively. Compared to the DEX/CRH test before the start of the treatment, a considerable and significant increase in all CRH-stimulated ACTH and cortisol parameters could be detected in the second DEX/CRH test. When analysed with particular regard to responders and non-responders, that significant increase was only present in the responders.
We were able to demonstrate that lithium leads to a significant activation of the HPA system. This is possibly connected to stimulation of hypothalamic arginine vasoporessin (AVP), to direct intracellular effects of lithium on pituitary cells and to an induction of gene expression.
Impaired social cognition is a cardinal feature of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Schizophrenia (SZ). However, the functional neuroanatomy of social cognition in either disorder remains unclear due to variability in primary literature. Additionally, it is not known whether deficits in ASD and SZ arise from similar or disease-specific disruption of the social cognition network.
To identify regions most robustly implicated in social cognition processing in SZ and ASD.
Systematic review of English language articles using MEDLINE (1995–2010) and reference lists.
Studies were required to use fMRI to compare ASD or SZ subjects to a matched healthy control group, provide coordinates in standard stereotactic space, and employ standardized facial emotion recognition (FER) or theory of mind (TOM) paradigms.
Activation foci from studies meeting inclusion criteria (n = 33) were subjected to a quantitative voxel-based meta-analysis using activation likelihood estimation, and encompassed 146 subjects with ASD, 336 SZ patients and 492 healthy controls.
Both SZ and ASD showed medial prefrontal hypoactivation, which was more pronounced in ASD, while ventrolateral prefrontal dysfunction was associated mostly with SZ. Amygdala hypoactivation was observed in SZ patients during FER and in ASD during more complex ToM tasks. Both disorders were associated with hypoactivation within the Superior Temporal Sulcus (STS) during ToM tasks, but activation in these regions was increased in ASD during affect processing. Disease-specific differences were noted in somatosensory engagement, which was increased in SZ and decreased in ASD. Reduced thalamic activation was uniquely seen in SZ.
Reduced frontolimbic and STS engagement emerged as a shared feature of social cognition deficits in SZ and ASD. However, there were disease- and stimulus-specific differences. These findings may aid future studies on SZ and ASD and facilitate the formulation of new hypotheses regarding their pathophysiology.
While people with severe mental illness have been found to be more overweight and obese in Western nations, it is unknown to what extent this occurs in Middle Eastern nations and which eating behaviours contribute to obesity in Middle Eastern nations.
A total of 665 responses were obtained from patients with serious mental illness attending out-patient clinics in Western developed countries (Germany, UK and Australia; n = 518) and Palestine (n = 147). Patients were evaluated by ICD-10 clinical diagnosis, anthropometric measurements and completed a self-report measure of frequencies of consuming different food items and reasons for eating. Nutritional habits were compared against a Western normative group.
More participants from Palestine were overweight or obese (62%) compared to Western countries (47%). In the Western sample, obese patients reported consuming more low-fat products (OR 2.54, 95% CI 1.02-6.33) but also greater eating due to negative emotions (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.31-2.60) than patients with a healthy body-mass index. In contrast, obese patients from Palestine reported increased consumption of unhealthy snacks (OR 3.73 95% CI 1.16-12.00).
Patients with mental illness have poorer nutritional habits than the general population, particularly in Western nations. Separate interventions to improve nutritional habits and reduce obesity are warranted between Western nations and Palestine.