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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).
For large mammals, area expansion is a key conservation measure to prevent species’ decline and extinction. Yet, its success depends on whether animals discover and later use these areas. Here, using GPS data, we investigated how herds of elephants detected and used an area made available to them after the removal of a fence. We studied the elephants’ behaviour before and after the fence removal, accounting for seasonal changes in movement patterns. In contrast to previous studies, herds visited the newly available area within a month of the fence removal, and the maximum distance they moved into the new area was reached between 5 and 9 months after the fence removal. Yet, elephants did not preferentially visit the new area at night. By the second year, all herds had shifted their seasonal home ranges and incorporated the new area, in contrast to a previous range expansion event. Our analyses show that the regular proximity of elephants to the original fence, and the fact that the new area was generally composed of preferred habitats of the elephants, probably explained the rapid discovery and use of the area. Our study improves our understanding of animal exploration and the role of habitat quality, and thus may improve range expansion and corridor programmes.
Previous genetic association studies have failed to identify loci robustly associated with sepsis, and there have been no published genetic association studies or polygenic risk score analyses of patients with septic shock, despite evidence suggesting genetic factors may be involved. We systematically collected genotype and clinical outcome data in the context of a randomized controlled trial from patients with septic shock to enrich the presence of disease-associated genetic variants. We performed genomewide association studies of susceptibility and mortality in septic shock using 493 patients with septic shock and 2442 population controls, and polygenic risk score analysis to assess genetic overlap between septic shock risk/mortality with clinically relevant traits. One variant, rs9489328, located in AL589740.1 noncoding RNA, was significantly associated with septic shock (p = 1.05 × 10–10); however, it is likely a false-positive. We were unable to replicate variants previously reported to be associated (p < 1.00 × 10–6 in previous scans) with susceptibility to and mortality from sepsis. Polygenic risk scores for hematocrit and granulocyte count were negatively associated with 28-day mortality (p = 3.04 × 10–3; p = 2.29 × 10–3), and scores for C-reactive protein levels were positively associated with susceptibility to septic shock (p = 1.44 × 10–3). Results suggest that common variants of large effect do not influence septic shock susceptibility, mortality and resolution; however, genetic predispositions to clinically relevant traits are significantly associated with increased susceptibility and mortality in septic individuals.
Mental health disorders and their treatments produce significant costs and benefits in both healthcare and non-healthcare sectors. The latter are often referred to as intersectoral costs and benefits (ICBs). Little is known about healthcare-related ICBs in the criminal justice sector and how to include these in health economics research.
The triple aim of this study is (i) to identify healthcare-related ICBs in the criminal justice sector, (ii) to validate the list of healthcare-related ICBs in the criminal justice sector on a European level by sector-specific experts, and (iii) to classify the identified ICBs.
A scientific literature search in PubMed and an additional grey literature search, carried out in six European countries, were used to retrieve ICBs. In order to validate the international applicability of the ICBs, a survey was conducted with an international group of experts from the criminal justice sector. The list of criminal justice ICBs was categorized according to the PECUNIA conceptual framework.
The full-text analysis of forty-five peer-reviewed journal articles and eleven grey literature sources resulted in a draft list of items. Input from the expert survey resulted in a final list of fourteen unique criminal justice ICBs, categorized according to the care atom.
This study laid further foundations for the inclusion of important societal costs of mental health-related interventions within the criminal justice sector. More research is needed to facilitate the further and increased inclusion of ICBs in health economics research.
We have previously shown higher intake of cruciferous vegetables is inversely associated with carotid artery intima-media thickness. To further test the hypothesis that an increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with reduced indicators of structural vascular disease in other areas of the vascular tree, we aimed to investigate the cross-sectional association between cruciferous vegetable intake and extensive calcification in the abdominal aorta. Dietary intake was assessed, using a food frequency questionnaire, in 684 older women from the Calcium Intake Fracture Outcome Study. Cruciferous vegetables included cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. Abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) was scored using the Kauppila AAC24 scale on dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) lateral spine images, and was categorised as “not extensive” (0-5) or “extensive” (≥6). Mean age was 74.9 (SD 2.6) y, median cruciferous vegetable intake was 28.2 (IQR 15.0-44.7) g/d, and 128/684 (18.7%) women had extensive AAC scores. Those with higher intakes of cruciferous vegetables (>44.6 g/d) were associated with a 46% lower odds of having extensive AAC in comparison to those with lower intakes (<15.0 g/d) after adjustment for lifestyle, dietary and cardiovascular disease risk factors (ORQ4 vs Q1=0.54, 95%CI 0.30, 0.97, P=0.036). Total vegetable intake and each of the other vegetable types were not related to extensive AAC (P>0.05 for all). This study strengthens the hypothesis that higher intake of cruciferous vegetables may protect against vascular calcification.
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have increased susceptibility to anxiety disorders. Variation in a common ASD symptom, insistence on sameness behaviour, may predict future anxiety symptoms.
To describe the joint heterogeneous longitudinal trajectories of insistence on sameness and anxiety in children with ASD and to characterise subgroups at higher risk for anxiety.
In a longitudinal ASD cohort (n = 421), insistence on sameness behaviour was measured using the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised at approximately ages 3, 6 and 11 years. Anxiety was quantified at 8 time points between ages 3 and 11 years using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) (parent report). Clusters of participants following similar trajectories were identified using group-based and joint trajectory modelling.
Three insistence on sameness trajectories were identified: (a) ‘low-stable’ (41.7% of participants), (b) ‘moderate-increasing’ (52.0%) and (c) ‘high-peaking’ (i.e. increasing then stabilising/decreasing behaviour) (6.3%). Four anxiety trajectories were identified: (a) ‘low-increasing’ (51.0%), (b) ‘moderate-decreasing’ (16.2%), (c) ‘moderate-increasing’ (19.6%) and (d) ‘high-stable’ (13.1%). Of those assigned to the ‘high-peaking’ insistence on sameness trajectory, 95% jointly followed an anxiety trajectory that surpassed the threshold for clinical concern (T-score >65) by middle childhood (anxiety trajectories 3 or 4). Insistence on sameness and anxiety trajectories were similar in severity and direction for 64% of the sample; for 36%, incongruous patterns were seen (e.g. decreasing anxiety and increasing insistence on sameness).
The concurrent assessment of insistence on sameness behaviour and anxiety in ASD may help in understanding current symptom profiles and anticipating future trajectories. High preschool insistence on sameness in particular may be associated with elevated current or future anxiety symptoms.
Crocodilians are distributed widely through the tropics and subtropics, and several species pose a substantial threat to human life. This has important implications for human safety and crocodilian conservation. Understanding the drivers of crocodilian attacks on people could help minimize future attacks and inform conflict management. Crocodilian attacks follow a seasonal pattern in many regions, but there has been limited analysis of the relationship between attack occurrence and fine-scale contemporaneous environmental conditions. We use methods from environmental niche modelling to explore the relationships between attacks on people and abiotic predictors at a daily temporal resolution for the Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus in South Africa and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), and the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis in Florida, USA. Our results indicate that ambient daily temperature is the most important abiotic temporal predictor of attack occurrence for both species, with attack likelihood increasing markedly when mean daily temperatures exceed 18 °C and peaking at 28 °C. It is likely that this relationship is explained partially by human propensity to spend time in and around water in warmer weather but also by the effect of temperature on crocodilian hunting behaviour and physiology, especially the ability to digest food. We discuss the potential of our findings to contribute to the management of crocodilians, with benefits for both human safety and conservation, and the application of environmental niche modelling for understanding human–wildlife conflicts involving both ectotherms and endotherms.
Right cerebellar-left frontal (RC-LF) white matter integrity (WMI) has been associated with working memory. However, prior studies have employed measures of working memory that include processing speed and attention. We examined the relationships between the RC-LF WMI and processing speed, attention, and working memory to clarify the relationship of RC-LF WMI with a specific cognitive function. Right superior longitudinal fasciculus II (SLF II) WMI and visual attention were included as a negative control tract and task to demonstrate a double dissociation.
Adult survivors of childhood brain tumors [n = 29, age: M = 22 years (SD = 5), 45% female] and demographically matched controls were recruited (n = 29). Tests of auditory attention span, working memory, and visual attention served as cognitive measures. Participants completed a 3-T MRI diffusion-weighted imaging scan. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and radial diffusivity (RD) served as WMI measures. Partial correlations between WMI and cognitive scores included controlling for type of treatment.
A correlational double dissociation was found. RC-LF WMI was associated with auditory attention (FA: r = .42, p = .03; RD: r = −.50, p = .01) and was not associated with visual attention (FA: r = −.11, p = .59; RD: r = −.11, p = .57). SLF II FA WMI was associated with visual attention (FA: r = .44, p = .02; RD: r = −.17, p = .40) and was not associated with auditory attention (FA: r = .24, p = .22; RD: r = −.10, p = .62).
The results show that RC-LF WMI is associated with auditory attention span rather than working memory per se and provides evidence for a specificity based on the correlational double dissociation.
A group of schizophrenic patients perform well in known theory of mind (ToM) tasks. Still most of them have difficulties to understand social situations in real life.
We used a new test of ToM to find out if this group of patients really have the ability to understand other people´s mental states or they might use some compensatory strategies.
49 schizophrenic patients and 38 matched control inviduals were evaluated. Participants were asked to read short stories and answer simple yes/no comprehension questions. We used three experimental conditions: “false-irony” condition (FI), “control” condition (C), and “false-irony with linguistic help” condition (FIH).
P atients with schizophrenia performed sinificantly worse than control subjects in each of the three conditions (FI:p=0.01;C:p=0.04;FIH:p=0.01). Among the 49 patients 22 did well the FIH tasks (44.89%). Among these 22 patients 12 did the FI tasks well (24.48%) and the other 10 did the FIH tasks well (20.4%).
P atients with schizophrenia performed a sinificant impairment in the new ToM test. Beside a group of patients is able to understand other people´s mental states. To understand these situations some patients probably use real mentalisation strategies, some of them can use the given linguistic help as a compensatory strategy, and some patients have difficulties in representing of the mental states of others.
Irony is a form of speech used to convey feelings in an indirect way. Patients with schizophrenia demonstrated an impaired irony processing, associated with poor theory of mind.
We used fMRI to examine neural circuitry underlying deficits in understanding irony in schizophrenia.
11 right-handed patients with paranoid schizophrenia and 11 right-handed healthy subjects were studied. Participants were asked to listen short scenarios. The 15 irony condition consisted an ironic statement, and the 15 control condition was physical causality. We used an event-related design. Every scenario started with a two sentences long context, followed by a 2-4 s (jittered) inter-stimulus interval. The third, critical ironic sentence appeared next, and finally a simple yes/no comprehension question followed. Between trials an inter-trial interval of 5-7 s (jittered) were used.
The schizophrenic group performed significantly worse in the irony condition than the control group (p=0.0008). Ironic statements resulted in significant activations in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and insula, right superior and medial frontal gyrus, left postcentral gyrus, posterior division of right superior and left middle temporal gyrus, left lingual gyrus, left cuneus and right inferior parietal lobule in the schizophrenic group. The control group showed significantly greater activity in the left IFG and insula compared to the schizophrenic group.
Among schizophrenic patients we found a significant underactivation in the left IFG and insula during irony comprehension, which may contribute to the impairements of social behavior in schizophrenia.
Theory of mind (ToM) has been proved to play a crucial role in social cognition and functioning. In our study, higher order mentalization performance of euthymic bipolar I patients were compared with that of healthy controls. The impact of demographic data, course of the disorder and patients’ current functioning were also considered while interpreting mentalization data.
The mentalizing performance (computerized faux pas task and false irony task), neurocognitive functioning, and IQ of twenty-three euthymic bipolar I patients and 31 matched (IQ, age) healthy controls were examined. In the patients group, the age at onset, the occurrence of psychotic symptoms, age, education, current employment status, and global functioning were also taken into account.
Bipolar patients scored significantly lower in false irony tasks than healthy controls (p< 0,02). The deficit in irony tasks positively correlated with the number of episodes. Among the examined variables, the performance in the faux pas task predicted most closely the functional outcome in bipolar I disorder. No correlation was found between the ToM and irony deficits and the occurrence of psychotic symptoms, the length of the bipolar disorder or neurocognitive functioning.
Our results showed impaired performance in faux pas and irony tasks, which correlates with the number of previous episodes. Additionally, the impairment of ToM functions predicts a worse functional outcome.
Deficits of social cognition are a relevant predictor of functioning and outcome. Several studies have found that euthymic bipolar patients perform worse in social cognition tasks than healthy controls. Some data show a higher relapse risk in bipolar patients with concomitant mentalization deficits. However, relatively little is known about the neurobiological base of these deficits.
12 euthymic bipolar I patients and 14 age- and IQ-matched healthy controls underwent event-related functional MRI study while performing 15 irony, and 15 control tasks (auditory stimulus) in the scanner. Both within group (irony versus control task) and random effects between group analyses were performed on fMRI data.
Bipolar patients were significantly compromised in their ability to appropriately answer irony tasks. Bipolar patients showed a reduced activation in right cingulate, right anterior paracingulate cortex, right precuneus, left superior parietal lobule, left hippocampus, left insula in comparison to healthy controls. However, bipolar patients brain activation was significantly increased in the left inferior frontal gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus, and left secondary somatosensory cortex.
The findings of this neuroimaging study suggest that euthymic bipolar patients are restricted in their ability to mentalize fully. They show less activation in brain regions involved in mental imaginery, emotional processing and self-representation. Therefore, bipolar patients have difficulties in understanding others’ intentions and emotions, which impacts on interpersonal relationships and the functional outcome.
The present study addresses the empirical basis for alerting health professionals to potential risk factors for excessive gambling. On the basis of international and Swiss literature on gambling, an explanatory model for the development of gambling problems is developed.
This work is based on the hypothesis that the prediction rule for excessive gambling, based on a sample of the general population and for different types of frequent gambling preferences, differs from the prediction rule for disordered gambling in patients, seeking psychiatric treatment. The goal of this study is, therefore, to contribute to an early identification of disordered gambling behaviour in the general population, as well as in the target group of patients seeking psychiatric treatment.
Various sources of information were analysed separately, in order to develop and test a prediction rule for excessive gambling, namely the 2002 Swiss Health Survey, which is a survey of the general population, involving 19'706 participants, as well as the data of psychiatric patients of Lausanne/Geneva, recruited consecutively from 1996 to 2004 at the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Lausanne. This patient population comprised a total of 886 patients. Further data from the Centre for Excessive Gambling are presented, covering 105 patients.
Results show that indicators of depressive behaviour as well as smoking are good candidates for the early identification of gambling problems. On the basis of these data it is safe to assume that signs of depressive behaviour should encourage health professionals to enquire about gambling problems.
The objective of the present study was to examine the association of insight into the illness with demographic variables and symptomatology in a sample of 1213 patients with schizophrenia.
Data were collected with the Psychosis Evaluation tool for Common use by Caregivers (PECC), a semi-structured interview evaluating five symptom domains of schizophrenia and the insight items ‘awareness of having a mental disorder’ and ‘attributing symptoms to a mental disorder’.
Insight was positively associated with educational level and inversely with overall symptom severity, and the positive, negative, excitatory and cognitive symptom domains. At symptom level, the items ‘delusions’, ‘grandiosity’, ‘poor rapport’, ‘social withdrawal’ and ‘guilt feelings’ showed the strongest associations with both insight items. Overall, correlations between insight and symptomatology were modest, explaining less than 30% of the variance in insight.
Lack of insight in schizophrenia is partially explained by clinical symptoms and demographic measures.
Gambling was included in DSM III since 1980 as a psychiatric disorder. Compared to other forms of (compulsive) behavior for example substance abuse), the gambling problems have hardly solicited public and scientific concern. In particular a new generation of young adults raised in an environment of video and internet games has been neglected by researchers. Our knowledge of this population segment with respect to gambling disorders is wanting.
The present study aims to obtain a clearer description of gambling behavior in this segment of the Swiss population. The present project should allow us to gain a better understanding of problem burden and will help to identify the different forms of games that are used by young adults age 18 to 25 in Switzerland.
In a first step we have been planning an explorational and descriptive pilot study. 120 men age 18 to 25 are recruited from Universities, Technical Colleges, Professional Training Schools, Occupational Centers, and newspaper ads as well as via the Internet.
Participants will be evaluated in terms of the following instruments: socio-demographic questionnaire, structured interviews and tools to identify types and characteristics of gambling behavior and concomitant problems, namely SOGS (South Oaks Gambling Survey), Internet Dependence (YOUNG), the Fagerström scale (tobacco), AUDIT (alcohol), Impulsive Behavior Scale (UPPS), BDI II (Beck), the Hamilton Scale for anxiety assessment.
The present study serves as the basis for a large scale population based study.
The WHO Collaborative Study on Psychological Problems in General Health Care examined the frequency, form, course and outcome of psychological problems in general health care settings. A total of 25,916 general health care attenders at 15 sites in 14 countries were screened using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Of those screened, 5,438 were assessed in detail using a Primary Health Care version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI-PHC) in conjunction with the Brief Disability Questionnaire, the Social Disability Schedules, a self rated overall health status form and the 28-item General Health Questionnaire. The analysis has shown that sleep problems were common at all sites with: 26.8% of all patients having some form of sleep problem and 15% of the patients examined had trouble falling or staying asleep. Of those with sleep problems, 51.5% had a well-defined International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD-10) mental disorder (such as depression, anxiety, somatoform disorders or alcohol problems) and 48.5% of those with sleep problems for at least two weeks or more did not fulfil the criteria for any well defined ICD-10 diagnosis. Persons with sleep problems reported a degree of disability in the performance of their daily activities and social roles even when they had no symptoms of psychological disorders. When such symptoms were present the disability was significantly increased.