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To conduct international comparisons of self-reports, collateral reports, and cross-informant agreement regarding older adult psychopathology.
We compared self-ratings of problems (e.g. I cry a lot) and personal strengths (e.g. I like to help others) for 10,686 adults aged 60–102 years from 19 societies and collateral ratings for 7,065 of these adults from 12 societies.
Data were obtained via the Older Adult Self-Report (OASR) and the Older Adult Behavior Checklist (OABCL; Achenbach et al., 2004).
Cronbach’s alphas were .76 (OASR) and .80 (OABCL) averaged across societies. Across societies, 27 of the 30 problem items with the highest mean ratings and 28 of the 30 items with the lowest mean ratings were the same on the OASR and the OABCL. Q correlations between the means of the 0–1–2 ratings for the 113 problem items averaged across all pairs of societies yielded means of .77 (OASR) and .78 (OABCL). For the OASR and OABCL, respectively, analyses of variance (ANOVAs) yielded effect sizes (ESs) for society of 15% and 18% for Total Problems and 42% and 31% for Personal Strengths, respectively. For 5,584 cross-informant dyads in 12 societies, cross-informant correlations averaged across societies were .68 for Total Problems and .58 for Personal Strengths. Mixed-model ANOVAs yielded large effects for society on both Total Problems (ES = 17%) and Personal Strengths (ES = 36%).
The OASR and OABCL are efficient, low-cost, easily administered mental health assessments that can be used internationally to screen for many problems and strengths.
Schizotypy is a putative risk phenotype for psychosis liability, but the overlap of its genetic architecture with schizophrenia is poorly understood.
We tested the hypothesis that dimensions of schizotypy (assessed with the SPQ-B) are associated with a polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia in a sample of 623 psychiatrically healthy, non-clinical subjects from the FOR2107 multi-centre study and a second sample of 1133 blood donors.
We did not find correlations of schizophrenia PRS with either overall SPQ or specific dimension scores, nor with adjusted schizotypy scores derived from the SPQ (addressing inter-scale variance). Also, PRS for affective disorders (bipolar disorder and major depression) were not significantly associated with schizotypy.
This important negative finding demonstrates that despite the hypothesised continuum of schizotypy and schizophrenia, schizotypy might share less genetic risk with schizophrenia than previously assumed (and possibly less compared to psychotic-like experiences).
Concurrent three-dimensional imaging of the renal vascular and tubular systems on the whole-kidney scale with capillary level resolution is labor-intensive and technically difficult. Approaches based on vascular corrosion casting and X-ray micro computed tomography (μCT), for example, suffer from vascular filling artifacts and necessitate imaging with an additional modality to acquire tubules. In this work, we report on a new sample preparation, image acquisition, and quantification protocol for simultaneous vascular and tubular μCT imaging of whole, uncorroded mouse kidneys. The protocol consists of vascular perfusion with the water-soluble, aldehyde-fixable, polymeric X-ray contrast agent XlinCA, followed by laboratory-source μCT imaging and structural analysis using the freely available Fiji/ImageJ software. We achieved consistent filling of the entire capillary bed and staining of the tubules in the cortex and outer medulla. After imaging at isotropic voxel sizes of 3.3 and 4.4 μm, we segmented vascular and tubular systems and quantified luminal volumes, surface areas, diffusion distances, and vessel path lengths. This protocol permits the analysis of vascular and tubular parameters with higher reliability than vascular corrosion casting, less labor than serial sectioning and leaves tissue intact for subsequent histological examination with light and electron microscopy.
Pharmacogenetics in schizophrenia comprises pharmacokinetical and pharmacodynamical aspects as well as an approach to identify candidate genes associated with therapy response or side effects. Firstly focussing on classical drug targets like dopaminergic or serotonergic receptors, currently also developmental and regulatory genes presumably associated with effects of antipsychotic therapy are identified. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between therapy response in schizophrenic patients and different polymorphisms previously been identified within a genome wide array in rodents treated with MK-801 and/or haloperidol combined with some well-known schizophrenia candidate genes. We genotyped for 200 different polymorphisms in 285 schizophrenic patients, who were treated with different antipsychotics within randomized controlled trials. Psychopathology was measured weekly using the PANSS scale. Correlations between psychopathology and genotypes were calculated by using a linear model (ANCOVA).
We found significant associations between some well-known candidate genes (e.g. D2-, 5HT1A-, and α1A-receptors) and different PANSS subscales at baseline and after four weeks of antipsychotic treatment considered as therapy response. Furthermore we also identified several significant associations between some genes introduced from the animal model and psychopathology at baseline and towards therapy response. Some of them were formerly described in the literature (e.g. Homer1, Phospholipase C and Transthyretin), but most of them have not been related to schizophrenia or antipsychotic treatment by now (e.g. PLEKHA6, CLIC6 and SOSTDC1).
This indicates an involvement of genes in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia apart from yet known candidate genes and might further help in detecting differential therapy response in individuals with schizophrenia.
Accumulating evidence suggests that deficits of visual selective attention may already occur at early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) like the prodromal phase of mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Our study investigated visual selective attention in amnestic MCI and probable AD patients compared to healthy elderly controls. Groups were matched for age, gender and education. In combination with Bundesen's ‘theory of visual attention’, two mathematically independent and quantitative parameter estimates were derived from a partial report of briefly presented letter arrays: top-down control of attentional selection, representing task-related attentional weighting for prioritizing relevant visual objects, and spatial distribution of attentional weights across the left and right hemifield.
Compared to controls, MCI patients showed significantly reduced top-down controlled selection which further deteriorated in AD subjects. Moreover, attentional weighting was significantly unbalanced across hemifields in MCI and tended to be more lateralized in AD. The majority of patients was biased to the left. Across MCI and AD patients, carriers of the apolipoprotein E ɛ4 allele (ApoE4) revealed a leftward spatial bias. The leftward bias was the more pronounced the younger the ApoE4-positive patients and the earlier disease onset. ApoE4-negative subjects showed balanced attentional weighting.
These results indicate that impaired top-down control may be linked to early dysfunction of fronto-parietal cortico-cortical networks. Accompanying, an early interhemispheric asymmetry in temporo-parietal cortical interactions might cause a pathological spatial bias. As the inheritance of ApoE4 is associated with asymmetric parietal metabolism, a pathological spatial bias may function as early cognitive marker for detecting probable AD subjects.
Since the introduction of second generation antipsychotics (SGA) extrapyramidal-motor symptoms (EPS) have become a lesser problem in the treatment of schizophrenic patients. Yet, some SGAs display these adverse events and first generation antipsychotics are still widely used. Several genetic polymorphisms have been found to be associated with the occurance of EPS.
In this study we tried to identify genes related to EPS from an animal model and then replicated the findings in schizophrenic patients.
To identify new genes and show their relevance in the treatment of schizophrenic patients.
Rats were treated with haloperidol or saline and differential gene expression was assessed by using microarrays. We genotyped 285 schizophrenic patients for candidate genes and differentially expressed genes derived from the animal model. All patients were treated monotherapeutically with different antipsychotics within randomized controlled trials. EPS were assessed weekly using the ESRS and BAS. We used a linear model (ANCOVA) with PANSS total at baseline, type of medication and premedication as covariates for all investigated SNP's.
We found several SNPs to be associated with the occurance of EPS. The best results were obtained for SNPs within the genes of Phospholipase C epsilon 1 (PLCe1), Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase B3 (MSRB3), Chloride Intracellular Channel 6 (CLIC6), Prolactin Receptor (PRLR) and Dopamine Receptor D4 (DRD4). Effect sizes were between 1.7 and 4.9.
We could replicate some findings of the literature and identified four new genes possibly related to EPS. Some of these genes were recently related to schizophrenia.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an important treatment in conjunction with psychopharmacotherapy in schizophrenia. However, there is only very little research on the effects of such interventions on brain function.
Recent studies have suggested that jumping to conclusions and a specific attributional bias is a predominant cognitive style in patients which might lead to the development of delusions. In this multi-centre fMRI trial, we investigated the effect of nine months of CBT on neural correlates of “jumping to conclusions” and the “attributional style” in patients with psychosis. Eighty patients and 80 control subjects were recruited in six centres and measured with 3-Tesla functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) before and after CBT.
It could be shown that CBT ameliorates differences in brain activations between patients and controls after nine months.
These results support the feasibility of fMRI multicenter trials and sheds further light into the mechanisms relating psychotherapy to brain function in Schizophrenia.
Structural and functional deviations in schizophrenic patients with formal thought disorder (FTD) point towards a dysfunction within left sided language network.
Independent component analysis (ICA), a new approach to fMRI analysis, enables to target the question of a network dysfunction directly. Using this method in healthy controls it was possible to identify the language networks separately for the left and the right hemispheres In the present study we use ICA analysis to examine changes of the language network separate for each hemisphere in relation to the severity of FTD.
We hypothesize increasing disintegration with increasing severity of FTD only in the left sided language network while the right language network should remain unaffected.
We investigated 16 schizophrenic patients with different severity of FTD and matched healthy controls using ICA decomposition of the BOLD signal. The spatial similarity of the individual language networks was correlated to the severity of FTD.
The integrity of the left language network decrease with increasing severity of FTD (r = -0.79, p < 0.01), while the integrity of the right language network show no significant correlation to the severity of FTD.
For the first time the isolated breakdown of the left sided language network was linked specifically to schizophrenic FTD. This result unites older manly left hemispheric findings of structural and functional abnormalities in schizophrenic FTD.
Recent data support the view that the neurodegeneration underlying sporadic Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is in part related to brain insulin deficiency and brain insulin resistance. There is a higher incidence of AD in patients with diabetes mellitus type II (T2D) and both diseases show a decline in memory function. In a preceding trial intranasal insulin improved memory function in healthy volunteers so that an increase of central-nervous insulin concentration may improve cognitive function in both amnestic patient groups.
We want to analyse the effects of intranasal insulin on patients with early Alzheimers's disease (eAD) and patients with T2D in the state of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI).
Recruitment of 30 patients with eAD, 30 patients with T2D in aMCI state and 30 age-matched healthy controls. All patients undergo a run-in period of 2 weeks with 4 × daily administration of placebo. It follows a double blinded trial with daily intranasal administration of 4 × 40 I.U. insulin vs. placebo for 8 weeks and another 8 weeks of follow-up. At 4 defined time points memory function is assessed by word lists comprising 30 items of emotional, nutritional and neutral content which have to be memorized and are recalled after one week. To assess structural changes of the brain, a quantitative analysis for hippocampal N-acetyl-aspartate, choline and creatine is performed by 3 Tesla magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
Results: Since the study has not finished yet, we present experiences from the initiation and the beginning phase.
In acquired peripheral demyelinating disease only few publications point out the possibility of simultaneous involvement of the CNS. We describe two patients with chronic polyneuropathy and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) developing a progressive dementia syndrome with extensive cerebral white matter alterations.
Agomelatine is a new antidepressive drug, that is successfully applied in therapy of insomnia and depression. Until now, there has been no report on its application as add-on medication in therapy for the withdrawl ob benzodiazepine.
We are reporting a case of a forty-year-old male patient who was treated with Agomelatine in lorazepam withdrawl therapy. He showed a considerabel reduction of craving as well as of insomnia and vegetative symptoms.
Therefore there is the question if the substance has its own anti-craving component and to what extent the melatonin-receptor profile is involved.
The onset of activity of antidepressants is a clinically and theoretically important criterion of efficacy. We estimated the onset of activity by an intraindividual regression analytical approach. It is assumed that efficient treatment causes a fast shift of depression scores from a baseline level to an end level. From this assumption follows a limited number of opportunities for the onset of activity to occur. These opportunities correspond to different regression models which are estimated for each patient's depression course. The day of onset is concluded from the regression model which produces the best fit to the empirical depression curve. Results of a double-blind clinical trial comparing mianserin and amitriptyline are reported (n = 28). The methodological approach confirms that observer ratings by physicists show a significantly earlier onset of activity than self ratings by the patients. The D-S also shows a significantly earlier onset of activity of mianserin compared to amitriptyline. The discussion emphasises methodological aspects.
Major depression is associated with altered neural function in frontal and limbic areas.
The findings have been inconsistent, especially those derived from cerebral blood flow (CBF) measures.
To identify differences in regional CBF between patients and controls using arterial spin labeling (ASL) at rest.
20 patients with major depression and 20 matched healthy controls were scanned in the morning with a pCASL-sequence at a 3 T Siemens scanner. Mean Hamilton Depression Score (21 item version) was 26.2 ± 5.7 for patients, mean Beck Depression Inventory scores were 28.9 ± 8.9. Mean age did not differ between groups (39.6 vs. 44.4 years). Whole brain voxelwise T-Tests were correct for multiple comparisons using a False Discovery Rate of q < 0.05.
Mean global resting CBF was not different between groups (66.1 vs. 63.0 ml/100 mg/min, T = 0.95, p = 0.35). FDR correction at q < 0.05 led to a T-value threshold of 3.71 (p < 0.001) for group comparison. Hypoperfusion in patients was detected in left middle temporal gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, right precentral gyrus. Hyperperfusion in patients was seen in the right superior temporal gyrus.
ASL revealed frontotemporal hypoperfusion in patients with major depression. This is in line with previous work and the current concept of depression. However, we were unable to replicate hyperperfusion in limibic areas.
There is evidence that patients with persecutory delusions tend to attribute excessively hypothetical positive events to internal causes and hypothetical negative events to external causes, arrive at hasty conclusions and fail in gathering and assessing adequate feedback, particularly when emotionally salient material is involved. Research on the neural correlates of the corresponding neural correlates and even more so on the potential effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on the associated cerebral networks is almost unavailable.
The first and preliminary results of a multicentre fMRI study will be presented.
In this study eighty schizophrenia patients from the POSITIVE clinical trial and eighty healthy subjects were recruited at six German university hospitals (Bonn, Duisburg-Essen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Cologne, Tubingen). After nine months of therapy (either with CBT or Supportive Therapy) patients and controls were re-examined enabling the study correlates of cerebral reorganization processes.
We found reliable differences in brain activation relating to phenomena of decision making under uncertainty, and biased attribution (self- vs. external reference of emotional events).
The comparison of both groups revealed significant decreased activation in key areas for decision making, self-reflection, self-relevance and agency attribution of patients with schizophrenia.
The preliminary data analysis of the still blinded treatment arms shows significantly increased activations in these areas after nine months of CBT. This suggest neuroplasitic changes according to relearning strategies in psychotic patients with schizophrenia and will hopefully give rise to a more widespread application of CBT in treatment of schizophrenia.