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1.  Association of childhood trauma with cognitive function in healthy adults: a pilot study 
BMC Neurology  2010;10:61.
Background
Animal and human studies suggest that stress experienced early in life has detrimental consequences on brain development, including brain regions involved in cognitive function. Cognitive changes are cardinal features of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Early-life trauma is a major risk factor for these disorders. Only few studies have measured the long-term consequences of childhood trauma on cognitive function in healthy adults.
Methods
In this pilot study, we investigated the relationship between childhood trauma exposure and cognitive function in 47 healthy adults, who were identified as part of a larger study from the general population in Wichita, KS. We used the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and the Wide-Range-Achievement-Test (WRAT-3) to examine cognitive function and individual achievement. Type and severity of childhood trauma was assessed by the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression on CANTAB measures with primary predictors (CTQ scales) and potential confounders (age, sex, education, income).
Results
Specific CTQ scales were significantly associated with measures of cognitive function. Emotional abuse was associated with impaired spatial working memory performance. Physical neglect correlated with impaired spatial working memory and pattern recognition memory. Sexual abuse and physical neglect were negatively associated with WRAT-3 scores. However, the association did not reach the significance level of p < 0.01.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that physical neglect and emotional abuse might be associated with memory deficits in adulthood, which in turn might pose a risk factor for the development of psychopathology.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-10-61
PMCID: PMC2910667  PMID: 20630071
2.  Perception versus polysomnographic assessment of sleep in CFS and non-fatigued control subjects: results from a population-based study 
BMC Neurology  2007;7:40.
Background
Complaints of unrefreshing sleep are a prominent component of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); yet, polysomnographic studies have not consistently documented sleep abnormalities in CFS patients. We conducted this study to determine whether alterations in objective sleep characteristics are associated with subjective measures of poor sleep quality in persons with CFS.
Methods
We examined the relationship between perceived sleep quality and polysomnographic measures of nighttime and daytime sleep in 35 people with CFS and 40 non-fatigued control subjects, identified from the general population of Wichita, Kansas and defined by empiric criteria. Perceived sleep quality and daytime sleepiness were assessed using clinical sleep questionnaires. Objective sleep characteristics were assessed by nocturnal polysomnography and daytime multiple sleep latency testing.
Results
Participants with CFS reported unrefreshing sleep and problems sleeping during the preceding month significantly more often than did non-fatigued controls. Participants with CFS also rated their quality of sleep during the overnight sleep study as significantly worse than did control subjects. Control subjects reported significantly longer sleep onset latency than latency to fall asleep as measured by PSG and MSLT. There were no significant differences in sleep pathology or architecture between subjects with CFS and control subjects.
Conclusion
People with CFS reported sleep problems significantly more often than control subjects. Yet, when measured these parameters and sleep architecture did not differ between the two subject groups. A unique finding requiring further study is that control, but not CFS subjects, significantly over reported sleep latency suggesting CFS subjects may have an increased appreciation of sleep behaviour that may contribute to their perception of sleep problems.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-7-40
PMCID: PMC2231384  PMID: 18053240
3.  Sleep characteristics of persons with chronic fatigue syndrome and non-fatigued controls: results from a population-based study 
BMC Neurology  2006;6:41.
Background
The etiology and pathophysiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) remain inchoate. Attempts to elucidate the pathophysiology must consider sleep physiology, as unrefreshing sleep is the most commonly reported of the 8 case-defining symptoms of CFS. Although published studies have consistently reported inefficient sleep and documented a variable occurrence of previously undiagnosed primary sleep disorders, they have not identified characteristic disturbances in sleep architecture or a distinctive pattern of polysomnographic abnormalities associated with CFS.
Methods
This study recruited CFS cases and non-fatigued controls from a population based study of CFS in Wichita, Kansas. Participants spent two nights in the research unit of a local hospital and underwent overnight polysomnographic and daytime multiple sleep latency testing in order to characterize sleep architecture.
Results
Approximately 18% of persons with CFS and 7% of asymptomatic controls were diagnosed with severe primary sleep disorders and were excluded from further analysis. These rates were not significantly different. Persons with CFS had a significantly higher mean frequency of obstructive apnea per hour (p = .003); however, the difference was not clinically meaningful. Other characteristics of sleep architecture did not differ between persons with CFS and controls.
Conclusion
Although disordered breathing during sleep may be associated with CFS, this study generally did not provide evidence that altered sleep architecture is a critical factor in CFS. Future studies should further scrutinize the relationship between subjective sleep quality relative to objective polysomnographic measures.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-6-41
PMCID: PMC1660569  PMID: 17109739
4.  Sleep assessment in a population-based study of chronic fatigue syndrome 
BMC Neurology  2004;4:6.
Background
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disabling condition that affects approximately 800,000 adult Americans. The pathophysiology remains unknown and there are no diagnostic markers or characteristic physical signs or laboratory abnormalities. Most CFS patients complain of unrefreshing sleep and many of the postulated etiologies of CFS affect sleep. Conversely, many sleep disorders present similarly to CFS. Few studies characterizing sleep in unselected CFS subjects have been published and none have been performed in cases identified from population-based studies.
Methods
The study included 339 subjects (mean age 45.8 years, 77% female, 94.1% white) identified through telephone screen in a previously described population-based study of CFS in Wichita, Kansas. They completed questionnaires to assess fatigue and wellness and 2 self-administered sleep questionnaires. Scores for five of the six sleep factors (insomnia/hypersomnia, non-restorative sleep, excessive daytime somnolence, sleep apnea, and restlessness) in the Centre for Sleep and Chronobiology's Sleep Assessment Questionnaire© (SAQ©) were dichotomized based on threshold. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale score was used as a continuous variable.
Results
81.4% of subjects had an abnormality in at least one SAQ© sleep factor. Subjects with sleep factor abnormalities had significantly lower wellness scores but statistically unchanged fatigue severity scores compared to those without SAQ© abnormality. CFS subjects had significantly increased risk of abnormal scores in the non-restorative (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 28.1; 95% confidence interval [CI]= 7.4–107.0) and restlessness (OR = 16.0; 95% CI = 4.2–61.6) SAQ© factors compared to non-fatigued, but not for factors of sleep apnea or excessive daytime somnolence. This is consistent with studies finding that, while fatigued, CFS subjects are not sleepy. A strong correlation (0.78) of Epworth score was found only for the excessive daytime somnolence factor.
Conclusions
SAQ© factors describe sleep abnormalities associated with CFS and provide more information than the Epworth score. Validation of these promising results will require formal polysomnographic sleep studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-4-6
PMCID: PMC419502  PMID: 15096280

Results 1-4 (4)