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Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) are co-morbid and associated with similar neural disruptions during emotion regulation. In contrast, the lack of optimism examined here may be specific to GAD and could prove an important biomarker for that disorder.
Unmedicated individuals with GAD (n = 18) and age-, intelligence quotient- and gender-matched SAD (n = 18) and healthy (n = 18) comparison individuals were scanned while contemplating likelihoods of high- and low-impact negative (e.g. heart attack; heartburn) or positive (e.g. winning lottery; hug) events occurring to themselves in the future.
As expected, healthy subjects showed significant optimistic bias (OB); they considered themselves significantly less likely to experience future negative but significantly more likely to experience future positive events relative to others (p < 0.001). This was also seen in SAD, albeit at trend level for positive events (p < 0.001 and p < 0.10, respectively). However, GAD patients showed no OB for positive events (t17 = 0.82, n.s.) and showed significantly reduced neural modulation relative to the two other groups of regions including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and caudate to these events (p < 0.001 for all). The GAD group further differed from the other groups by showing increased neural responses to low-impact events in regions including the rostral mPFC (p < 0.05 for both).
The neural dysfunction identified here may represent a unique feature associated with reduced optimism and increased worry about everyday events in GAD. Consistent with this possibility, patients with SAD did not show such dysfunction. Future studies should consider if this dysfunction represents a biomarker for GAD.
Laboratory tasks to delineate anxiety disorder features are used to refine classification and inform our understanding of etiological mechanisms. The present study examines laboratory measures of response inhibition, specifically the inhibition of a pre-potent motor response, in clinical anxiety. Data on associations between anxiety and response inhibition remain inconsistent, perhaps because of dissociable effects of clinical anxiety and experimentally manipulated state anxiety. Few studies directly assess the independent and interacting effects of these two anxiety types (state v. disorder) on response inhibition. The current study accomplished this goal, by manipulating state anxiety in healthy and clinically anxious individuals while they complete a response inhibition task.
The study employs the threat-of-shock paradigm, one of the best-established manipulations for robustly increasing state anxiety. Participants included 82 adults (41 healthy; 41 patients with an anxiety disorder). A go/nogo task with highly frequent go trials was administered during alternating periods of safety and shock threat. Signal detection theory was used to quantify response bias and signal-detection sensitivity.
There were independent effects of anxiety and clinical anxiety on response inhibition. In both groups, heightened anxiety facilitated response inhibition, leading to reduced nogo commission errors. Compared with the healthy group, clinical anxiety was associated with excessive response inhibition and increased go omission errors in both the safe and threat conditions.
Response inhibition and its impact on go omission errors appear to be a promising behavioral marker of clinical anxiety. These results have implications for a dimensional view of clinical anxiety.
Social anxiety disorder involves fear of social objects or situations. Social referencing may play an important role in the acquisition of this fear and could be a key determinant in future biomarkers and treatment pathways. However, the neural underpinnings mediating such learning in social anxiety are unknown. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined social reference learning in social anxiety disorder. Specifically, would patients with the disorder show increased amygdala activity during social reference learning, and further, following social reference learning, show particularly increased response to objects associated with other people's negative reactions?
A total of 32 unmedicated patients with social anxiety disorder and 22 age-, intelligence quotient- and gender-matched healthy individuals responded to objects that had become associated with others’ fearful, angry, happy or neutral reactions.
During the social reference learning phase, a significant group × social context interaction revealed that, relative to the comparison group, the social anxiety group showed a significantly greater response in the amygdala, as well as rostral, dorsomedial and lateral frontal and parietal cortices during the social, relative to non-social, referencing trials. In addition, during the object test phase, relative to the comparison group, the social anxiety group showed increased bilateral amygdala activation to objects associated with others’ fearful reactions, and a trend towards decreased amygdala activation to objects associated with others’ happy and neutral reactions.
These results suggest perturbed observational learning in social anxiety disorder. In addition, they further implicate the amygdala and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in the disorder, and underscore their importance in future biomarker developments.
Major questions remain regarding the dysfunctional neural circuitry underlying the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BD) in both youths and adults. In both age groups, studies implicate abnormal intrinsic functional connectivity among prefrontal, limbic and striatal areas.
We collected resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from youths and adults (ages 10–50 years) with BD (n = 39) and healthy volunteers (HV; n = 78). We identified brain regions with aberrant intrinsic functional connectivity in BD by first comparing voxel-wise mean global connectivity and then conducting correlation analyses. We used k-means clustering and multidimensional scaling to organize all detected regions into networks.
Across the brain, we detected areas of dysconnectivity in both youths and adults with BD relative to HV. There were no significant age-group × diagnosis interactions. When organized by interregional connectivity, the areas of dysconnectivity in patients with BD comprised two networks: one of temporal and parietal areas involved in late stages of visual processing, and one of corticostriatal areas involved in attention, cognitive control and response generation.
These data suggest that two networks show abnormal intrinsic functional connectivity in BD. Regions in these networks have been implicated previously in BD. We observed similar dysconnectivity in youths and adults with BD. These findings provide guidance for refining models of network-based dysfunction in BD.
Depression is a highly prevalent disorder, causing a large burden of
disease and substantial economic costs. Web-based self-help interventions
seem promising in promoting mental health.
To compare the efficacy of a guided web-based intervention based on
acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) with an active control
(expressive writing) and a waiting-list control condition (Netherlands
Trial Register NTR1296).
Adults with depressive symptoms from the general population were
randomised to ACT (n = 82), expressive writing
(n = 67) or waiting-list control (n
= 87). The main outcome was reduction in depressive symptoms assessed
with the Center for Epidemiological Studies – Depression scale.
Significant reductions in depressive symptoms were found following the
ACT intervention, compared with the control group (Cohen's
d = 0.56) and the expressive writing intervention
(d = 0.36). The effects were sustained at 6-month and
Acceptance and commitment therapy as a web-based public mental health
intervention for adults with depressive symptoms can be effective and
We investigate the crystallization of amorphous Ni–P with near-eutectic composition, fabricated by electroless plating as a 10 µm thick continuous layer. Aiming to understand phase transformations that occur upon heating and, in particular, the microscopic mechanism of crystallization, we combine a variety of complimentary characterization techniques. DSC (differential scanning calorimetry) during isothermal heating reveals the crystallization kinetics. Conventional-, high-resolution-, and analytical TEM (transmission electron microscopy) and TEM-based electron diffraction provide high-spatial-resolution information on phase nucleation and spatial distribution of atom species, particularly the crystallography of the nucleating crystalline phases (Ni3P and Ni) and the spatial distribution of phosphorus in the partially and completely crystallized alloy. Our results indicate that crystallization proceeds by homogeneous nucleation of Ni3P grains. Internally, these exhibit a microstructure of radially oriented subgrains containing Ni nano-platelets in a specific crystallographic OR (orientation relationship) with Ni3P. However, the preferred Ni–Ni3P OR differs from those reported in the literature for similar material. Combining our observation on the structure and microstructure of partially and completely crystallized Ni–P with the observed crystallization kinetics provides a deeper understanding of the microscopic mechanism of crystallization.
Behavioral inhibition, a temperament identifiable in infancy, is associated with heightened withdrawal from social encounters. Prior studies raise particular interest in the striatum, which responds uniquely to monetary gains in behaviorally inhibited children followed into adolescence. Although behavioral manifestations of inhibition are expressed primarily in the social domain, it remains unclear whether observed striatal alterations to monetary incentives also extend to social contexts. In the current study, imaging data were acquired from 39 participants (17 males, 22 females; ages 16–18 years) characterized since infancy on measures of behavioral inhibition. A social evaluation task was used to assess neural response to anticipation and receipt of positive and negative feedback from novel peers, classified by participants as being of high or low interest. As with monetary rewards, striatal response patterns differed during both anticipation and receipt of social reward between behaviorally inhibited and noninhibited adolescents. The current results, when combined with prior findings, suggest that early-life temperament predicts altered striatal response in both social and nonsocial contexts and provide support for continuity between temperament measured in early childhood and neural response to social signals measured in late adolescence and early adulthood.
Objectif : comparer la dose délivrée aux patients et la qualité d’image
en routine clinique lors de la réalisation d’un scanner abdominal ne disposant pas des
techniques de reconstructions itératives (RI) par rapport à un examen réalisé sur un
scanner disposant des RI. Matériels et méthodes : il s’agit d’une étude
rétrospective incluant 30 patients ayant eu deux examens abdominaux sur un scanner 40
coupes (TDM40) et sur un scanner 256 coupes avec RI (TDM256). Les patients, suivis pour
une pathologie abdominale chronique, ont eu un examen de même indication sur chaque
scanner avec un protocole comprenant une phase abdomino-pelvienne au temps portal. La
longueur d’acquisition, la dose efficace et le Produit Dose Longueur (PDL) ainsi que des
évaluations quantitatives et qualitatives de l’image ont été comparés. Résultats
: la dose efficace moyenne pour un examen était de 17,3 mSv avec le TDM40 (PDL :
1019 mGy.cm) contre 11,1 mSv avec le TDM256 (PDL : 654 mGy.cm) soit une réduction de 35,8 % (p < 0,001). Les longueurs d’acquisitions et l’évaluation quantitative étaient comparables dans les deux groupes. L’évaluation qualitative était
légèrement supérieure sur le TDM40 mais aucun examen n’a été considéré comme sous-optimal.
Conclusion : l’utilisation d’un scanner équipé de RI permet une
réduction significative de la dose efficace tout en préservant une bonne qualité d’image.
As physical activity may modify the effect of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele on the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia, we tested for such a gene–environment interaction in a sample of general practice patients aged ⩾75 years.
Data were derived from follow-up waves I–IV of the longitudinal German study on Ageing, Cognition and Dementia in Primary Care Patients (AgeCoDe). The Kaplan–Meier survival method was used to estimate dementia- and AD-free survival times. Multivariable Cox regression was used to assess individual associations of APOE ε4 and physical activity with risk for dementia and AD, controlling for covariates. We tested for gene–environment interaction by calculating three indices of additive interaction.
Among the randomly selected sample of 6619 patients, 3327 (50.3%) individuals participated in the study at baseline and 2810 (42.5%) at follow-up I. Of the 2492 patients without dementia included at follow-up I, 278 developed dementia (184 AD) over the subsequent follow-up interval of 4.5 years. The presence of the APOE ε4 allele significantly increased and higher physical activity significantly decreased risk for dementia and AD. The co-presence of APOE ε4 with low physical activity was associated with higher risk for dementia and AD and shorter dementia- and AD-free survival time than the presence of APOE ε4 or low physical activity alone. Indices of interaction indicated no significant interaction between low physical activity and the APOE ε4 allele for general dementia risk, but a possible additive interaction for AD risk.
Physical activity even in late life may be effective in reducing conversion to dementia and AD or in delaying the onset of clinical manifestations. APOE ε4 carriers may particularly benefit from increasing physical activity with regard to their risk for AD.
Previous reports have indicated that a proportion of pigs, homozygous normal for the skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor gene (RYR1), was halothane sensitive, and this was associated with poor meat quality when pigs were handled aggressively. This study was conducted to evaluate halothane sensitivity in RYR1-normal pigs, managed under simulated commercial conditions, to ascertain the association of halothane sensitivity with growth rate and meat quality. A total of 363 pigs across four farrowing groups, from seven Landrace sires and 38 Yorkshire–Landrace F1 dams, were tested at 8 weeks of age for halothane sensitivity using a closed system that delivered 5% halothane at 2 l/min for 3 (group 1) or 2 (groups 2 to 4) min. After 1 min, limb rigidity, limb tremors and abdominal discoloration were evaluated on a binomial scale with 0 indicating no reaction and 1 indicating reaction. Testing was repeated 2 days later. At 10 weeks of age, pigs were moved to finishing pens and not moved again until marketing. Within farrowing group, pigs were harvested in one of two groups, and at marketing were moved a distance of 91 m, weighed, tattooed, loaded and transported a distance of 550 km to a commercial harvest plant. After overnight rest, pigs were harvested and the pH of the loin muscle was measured at 45 min (pH45) after stunning. After an 18-h chill, loin muscle pH (pHu), International Commission on Illumination (CIE) L*, a*, b*, color (1 to 6) and marbling (1 to 10) scores and fluid loss percent were collected. Generalized linear mixed models were used to estimate repeatabilities for response to halothane challenge. Repeatabilities for limb rigidity for the front right and left legs were 0.24 and 0.31, respectively, whereas rear right and left leg repeatabilities were 0.19 and 0.17, respectively. Repeatabilities for front right and left leg tremors were 0.16 and 0.20, respectively. Growth rate was not influenced by any measure of halothane sensitivity. Carcasses from pigs exhibiting limb rigidity tended to have lower pH45 (5.88 v. 5.97; P = 0.06), similar pHu (5.47 v. 5.49; P = 0.32), less pH decline from 45 min to 18 h (−0.40 v. −0.50; P = 0.04) and a tendency for greater fluid loss percent (5.01 v. 4.55; P = 0.08) than carcasses from pigs that did not exhibit limb rigidity during halothane challenge. A proportion of pigs normal for RYR1 did exhibit limb rigidity during halothane gas challenge, and subsequently tended to have lower 45 min pH and greater longissimus muscle fluid loss post harvest.
There is increasing interest in the gene-regulatory activities of isothiocyanates and flavonoids in human skin. Nrf2 agonists, such as isothiocyanate sulforaphane (SFN), have been shown to promote chemopreventive effects in skin both in vitro and in vivo. Recent data indicate that different secondary plant compounds may either antagonise or enhance SFN-induced Nrf2 activation. We therefore studied the interactions of a flavonoid, cyanidin and the potent Nrf2 inductor SFN in cultured human keratinocytes (HaCaT cells). We observed that cyanidin does not induce the activation of Nrf2 and its target genes, γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase (γGCS), NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 and haem oxygenase-1 in HaCaT cells. Furthermore, SFN-mediated Nrf2 activation and its target gene expression were not further enhanced by the co-application of SFN with cyanidin.