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1.  Distribution of Active and Resting Periods in the Motor Activity of Patients with Depression and Schizophrenia 
Psychiatry Investigation  2015;13(1):112-120.
Alterations of activity are prominent features of the major functional psychiatric disorders. Motor activity patterns are characterized by bursts of activity separated by periods with inactivity. The purpose of the present study has been to analyze such active and inactive periods in patients with depression and schizophrenia.
Actigraph registrations for 12 days from 24 patients with schizophrenia, 23 with depression and 29 healthy controls.
Patients with schizophrenia and depression have distinctly different profiles with regard to the characterization and distribution of active and inactive periods. The mean duration of active periods is lowest in the depressed patients, and the duration of inactive periods is highest in the patients with schizophrenia. For active periods the cumulative probability distribution, using lengths from 1 to 35 min, follows a straight line on a log-log plot, suggestive of a power law function, and a similar relationship is found for inactive periods, using lengths from 1 to 20 min. For both active and inactive periods the scaling exponent is higher in the depressed compared to the schizophrenic patients.
The present findings add to previously published results, with other mathematical methods, suggesting there are important differences in control systems regulating motor behavior in these two major groups of psychiatric disorders.
PMCID: PMC4701674  PMID: 26766953
Schizophrenia; Depression; Actigraphy; Motor activity
2.  Motor Activity in Adult Patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 
Psychiatry Investigation  2014;12(4):474-482.
Hyperactivity is a core symptom of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but limited information is available on analysis of activity patterns in this disorder. The aim of the study was to analyze motor activity during daily living in adult patients with ADHD.
Patients (n=76) from the private psychiatric practice of two of the authors were recruited, and were compared to patients with other psychiatric disorders and to normal controls. Actigraphs were used to record motor activity for six days, with one minute intervals, and data were analysed using linear and non-linear mathematical methods.
For short recording periods (300 minutes) the activity levels of ADHD patients do not differ from normal controls, but the autocorrelation (lag 1) is lower and Fourier analysis shows higher power in the high frequency range, corresponding to the period from 2-8 min. During recordings for six days there are no significant differences between ADHD patients and the control groups. The combined and inattentive subgroups differ only in the six days recordings. The Fourier analyses show that the combined type has lower power in the high frequency range, corresponding to the period from 4-8 hours, and in the analysis of rhythms the intra-daily variability is lower, compared to the inattentive type.
Adult ADHD patients do not show evidence of hyperactivity, but have levels of activity similar to normal controls. However, on several measures ADHD patients display altered activity patterns, indicating that the regulation of motor activity in this disorder is different from controls.
PMCID: PMC4620304  PMID: 26508958
ADHD; Motor activity; Actigraph; Autocorrelation; Fourier analysis
4.  Genome Wide Association Study Identifies Variants in NBEA Associated with Migraine in Bipolar Disorder 
Journal of affective disorders  2014;172:453-461.
Migraine is a common comorbidity among individuals with bipolar disorder, but the underlying mechanisms for this co-occurrence are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic background of bipolar patients with and without migraine.
We performed a genome-wide association analysis contrasting 460 bipolar migraneurs with 914 bipolar patients without migraine from the Bipolar Genome Study (BiGS).
We identified one genome-wide significant association between migraine in bipolar disorder patients and rs1160720, an intronic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the NBEA gene (P= 2.97×10-8, OR: 1.82, 95% CI: 1.47-2.25), although this was not replicated in a smaller sample of 289 migraine cases.
Our study is based on self-reported migraine.
NBEA encodes neurobeachin, a scaffolding protein primarily expressed in the brain and involved in trafficking of vesicles containing neurotransmitter receptors. This locus has not previously been implicated in migraine per se. We found no evidence of association in data from the GWAS migraine meta-analysis consortium (n=118 710 participants) suggesting that the association might be specific to migraine co-morbid with bipolar disorder.
PMCID: PMC4394021  PMID: 25451450
Bipolar disorder; migraine; genetics; NBEA; neurobeachin
5.  Actigraphic Assessment of Motor Activity in Acutely Admitted Inpatients with Bipolar Disorder 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89574.
Mania is associated with increased activity, whereas psychomotor retardation is often found in bipolar depression. Actigraphy is a promising tool for monitoring phase shifts and changes following treatment in bipolar disorder. The aim of this study was to compare recordings of motor activity in mania, bipolar depression and healthy controls, using linear and nonlinear analytical methods.
Materials and Methods
Recordings from 18 acutely hospitalized inpatients with mania were compared to 12 recordings from bipolar depression inpatients and 28 healthy controls. 24-hour actigraphy recordings and 64-minute periods of continuous motor activity in the morning and evening were analyzed. Mean activity and several measures of variability and complexity were calculated.
Patients with depression had a lower mean activity level compared to controls, but higher variability shown by increased standard deviation (SD) and root mean square successive difference (RMSSD) over 24 hours and in the active morning period. The patients with mania had lower first lag autocorrelation compared to controls, and Fourier analysis showed higher variance in the high frequency part of the spectrum corresponding to the period from 2–8 minutes. Both patient groups had a higher RMSSD/SD ratio compared to controls. In patients with mania we found an increased complexity of time series in the active morning period, compared to patients with depression. The findings in the patients with mania are similar to previous findings in patients with schizophrenia and healthy individuals treated with a glutamatergic antagonist.
We have found distinctly different activity patterns in hospitalized patients with bipolar disorder in episodes of mania and depression, assessed by actigraphy and analyzed with linear and nonlinear mathematical methods, as well as clear differences between the patients and healthy comparison subjects.
PMCID: PMC3930750  PMID: 24586883
6.  Does changing from a first generation antipsychotic (perphenazin) to a second generation antipsychotic (risperidone) alter brain activation and motor activity? A case report 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:182.
In patients with schizophrenia, altered brain activation and motor activity levels are central features, reflecting cognitive impairments and negative symptoms, respectively. Newer studies using nonlinear methods have addressed the severe disturbances in neurocognitive functioning that is regarded as one of the core features of schizophrenia. Our aim was to compare brain activation and motor activity in a patient during pharmacological treatment that was switched from a first- to a second-generation antipsychotic drug. We hypothesised that this change of medication would increase level of responding in both measures.
Case presentation
We present the case of a 53-year-old male with onset of severe mental illness in adolescence, ICD-10 diagnosed as schizophrenia of paranoid type, chronic form. We compared brain activation and motor activity in this patient during pharmacological treatment with a first-generation (perphenazin), and later switched to a second-generation (risperidone) antipsychotic drug. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activation and wrist worn actigraphy to measure motor activity.
Our study showed that brain activation decreased in areas critical for cognitive functioning in this patient, when changing from a first to a second generation antipsychotic drug. However the mean motor activity level was unchanged, although risperidone reduced variability, particularly short-term variability from minute to minute. Compared to the results from previous studies, the present findings indicate that changing to a second-generation antipsychotic alters variability measures towards that seen in a control group, but with reduced brain activation, which was an unexpected finding.
PMCID: PMC3726322  PMID: 23648137
Schizophrenia; Antipsychotic; Brain activation; fMRI; Neurocognitive; Motor activity
7.  Co-prescription of medication for bipolar disorder and diabetes mellitus: a nationwide population-based study with focus on gender differences 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:148.
Studies have shown a correlation between bipolar disorder and diabetes mellitus. It is unclear if this correlation is a part of common pathophysiological pathways, or if medication for bipolar disorder has negative effects on blood sugar regulation.
The Norwegian prescription database was analyzed. Prescriptions for lithium, lamotrigine, carbamazepine and valproate were used as proxies for bipolar disorder. Prescriptions for insulin and oral anti-diabetic agents were used as proxies for diabetes mellitus. We explored the association between medication for bipolar disorder and diabetes medication by logistic regression
We found a strong association between concomitant use of medication to treat diabetes mellitus and mood stabilizers for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Females had a 30% higher risk compared to men of being treated for both disorders. Persons using oral anti-diabetic agents had higher odds of receiving valproate than either lithium or lamotrigine. Use of insulin as monotherapy seemed to have lower odds than oral anti-diabetic agents of co-prescription of mood stabilizers, compared to the general population.
This study showed a strong association between the use of mood stabilizers and anti-diabetic agents. The association was stronger among women than men.
PMCID: PMC3534576  PMID: 23186328
8.  Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is associated with asthma 
BMC Psychiatry  2011;11:128.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is increasingly recognized as a common disorder not only in children, but also in the adult population. Similarly, asthma also has a substantial prevalence among adults. Previous studies concerning a potential relationship between ADHD and asthma have not presented consistent results.
A cross-sectional study of 594 adult patients diagnosed with ADHD, compared with 719 persons from the general population. Information was collected between 1997 and 2005 using auto-questionnaires rating past and present symptoms of ADHD, co-morbid conditions, including asthma, and work status.
The prevalence of asthma was significantly higher in the ADHD patient group compared to the controls, 24.4% vs. 11.3% respectively (OR = 2.54, 95% CI 1.89-3.44), and controls with asthma scored higher on ratings of both past and present symptoms of ADHD. Female ADHD patients had a significantly higher prevalence of asthma compared to male ADHD patients (30.9% vs. 18.2%, OR = 2.01, CI 1.36-2.95), but in controls a slight female preponderance was not statistically significant. In both ADHD patients and controls, having asthma was associated with an increased prevalence of symptoms of mood- and anxiety disorders.
The present findings point to a co-morbidity of ADHD and asthma, and these patients may represent a clinical and biological subgroup of adult patients with ADHD.
PMCID: PMC3163523  PMID: 21819624
9.  Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is associated with migraine headaches 
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is now recognized as a common disorder both in child and adult psychiatry. Adult patients with a diagnosis of ADHD (n = 572) and community controls (n = 675) responded to auto-questionnaires rating past and present symptoms of ADHD, co-morbid conditions, including migraine, treatment history and work status. The prevalence of migraine was significantly higher in the patient group compared to the controls (28.3% vs. 19.2%, P < 0.001, OR = 1.67, CI 1.28–2.17). The difference from controls was particularly marked for men (22.5% vs. 10.7%, P < 0.001, OR = 2.43, CI 1.51–3.90) but was also significant for women (34.4% vs. 24.9%, P = 0.008, OR = 1.58, CI 1.13–2.21). In both patients and controls, migraine was associated with symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders. These findings point to a co-morbidity of migraine with ADHD, and it is possible that these patients represent a clinical and biological subgroup of adult patients with ADHD.
PMCID: PMC3225610  PMID: 21394551
Migraine; ADHD; Adults; Co-morbidity
10.  Nonlinear Analysis of Motor Activity Shows Differences between Schizophrenia and Depression: A Study Using Fourier Analysis and Sample Entropy 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e16291.
The purpose of this study has been to describe motor activity data obtained by using wrist-worn actigraphs in patients with schizophrenia and major depression by the use of linear and non-linear methods of analysis. Different time frames were investigated, i.e., activity counts measured every minute for up to five hours and activity counts made hourly for up to two weeks. The results show that motor activity was lower in the schizophrenic patients and in patients with major depression, compared to controls. Using one minute intervals the depressed patients had a higher standard deviation (SD) compared to both the schizophrenic patients and the controls. The ratio between the root mean square successive differences (RMSSD) and SD was higher in the schizophrenic patients compared to controls. The Fourier analysis of the activity counts measured every minute showed that the relation between variance in the low and the high frequency range was lower in the schizophrenic patients compared to the controls. The sample entropy was higher in the schizophrenic patients compared to controls in the time series from the activity counts made every minute. The main conclusions of the study are that schizophrenic and depressive patients have distinctly different profiles of motor activity and that the results differ according to period length analysed.
PMCID: PMC3030566  PMID: 21297977
11.  Curriculum factors influencing knowledge of communication skills among medical students 
Communication training builds on the assumption that understanding of the concepts related to professional communication facilitates the training. We know little about whether students' knowledge of clinical communication skills is affected by their attendance of communication training courses, or to what degree other elements of the clinical training or curriculum design also play a role. The aim of this study was to determine which elements of the curriculum influence acquisition of knowledge regarding clinical communication skills by medical students.
The study design was a cross-sectional survey performed in the four Norwegian medical schools with different curricula, spring 2003. A self-administered questionnaire regarding knowledge of communication skills (an abridged version of van Dalen's paper-and-pencil test) was sent to all students attending the four medical schools. A total of 1801 (59%) students responded with complete questionnaires.
At the end of the 1st year of study, the score on the knowledge test was higher in students at the two schools running communication courses and providing early patient contact (mean 81%) than in the other two medical schools (mean 69–75%, P ≤ 0.001), with students studying a traditional curriculum scoring the lowest. Their scores increased sharply towards the end of the 3rd year, during which they had been subjected to extensive patient contact and had participated in an intensive communication course (77% vs. 72% the previous year, P ≤ 0.01). All students scored generally lower in academic years in which there was no communication training. However, at the end of the final year the difference between the schools was only 5% (81% vs. 86%, P ≤ 0.001).
The acquisition of knowledge regarding communication skills by medical students may be optimised when the training is given together with extensive supervised patient contact, especially if this teaching takes place in the initial years of the curriculum.
PMCID: PMC2089059  PMID: 17925041

Results 1-11 (11)