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Studies involving clinically recruited samples show that genetic liability to schizophrenia overlaps with that for several psychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder, major depression and, in a population study, anxiety disorder and negative symptoms in adolescence.
We examined whether, at a population level, association between schizophrenia liability and anxiety disorders continues into adulthood, for specific anxiety disorders and as a group. We explored in an epidemiologically based cohort the nature of adult psychopathology sharing liability to schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia polygenic risk scores (PRSs) were calculated for 590 European-descent individuals from the Christchurch Health and Development Study. Logistic regression was used to examine associations between schizophrenia PRS and four anxiety disorders (social phobia, specific phobia, panic disorder and generalised anxiety disorder), schizophrenia/schizophreniform disorder, manic/hypomanic episode, alcohol dependence, major depression, and – using linear regression – total number of anxiety disorders. A novel population-level association with hypomania was tested in a UK birth cohort (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children).
Schizophrenia PRS was associated with total number of anxiety disorders and with generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder. We show a novel population-level association between schizophrenia PRS and manic/hypomanic episode.
The relationship between schizophrenia liability and anxiety disorders is not restricted to psychopathology in adolescence but is present in adulthood and specifically linked to generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder. We suggest that the association between schizophrenia liability and hypomanic/manic episodes found in clinical samples may not be due to bias.
Risk for neurodevelopmental delay in infants and children with CHD is well established, but longer-term outcomes are equivocal. A meta-analysis was conducted to establish whether cognitive deficits remain beyond childhood – into teenage and young adult years.
Methods and results
A total of 18 unique samples, involving adolescents, teenagers, and adults with CHD significant enough to require invasive intervention, and sourced through searches of Web of Science, MEDLINE, CINAHL Plus, and PsychInfo, met the inclusion criteria. These included the use of standardised neuropsychology tests across 10 domains of cognitive functioning and the reporting of effect size differences with controls. Reports of patients with chromosomal or genetic abnormalities were excluded. Pooled effect sizes suggested no significant differences between CHD samples and controls in terms of general intellectual ability and verbal reasoning. However, small–medium effects sizes were noted (0.33–0.44) and were statistically significant within the domains of non-verbal reasoning, processing speed, attention, auditory–verbal memory, psychomotor abilities, numeracy, and literacy with executive functioning also emerging as significant when one study outlier was excluded. We also included quality assurance statistics including Cochran’s Q, T, and I2 statistics, leave-one-out analyses, and assessment of publication bias. These often suggested study variability, possibly related to the heterogeneity of diagnostic groups included, and different tests used to measure the same construct.
Heterogeneity indicated that moderators affect cognitive outcomes in CHD. Nevertheless, deficits across cognitive domains were discerned, which are likely to have functional impact and which should inform practice with this clinical population.
Cardiopulmonary exercise testing helps prognosticate and guide treatment in adults with pulmonary hypertension. Concerns regarding its feasibility and safety limit its use in children with pulmonary hypertension. We aimed to assess the feasibility and safety of cardiopulmonary exercise testing in a large paediatric pulmonary hypertension cohort.
We reviewed all consecutive cardiopulmonary exercise tests performed between March, 2004 and November, 2013. The exclusion criteria were as follows: height <120 cm, World Health Organization class IV, history of exercise-induced syncope, or significant ischaemia/arrhythmias. Significant events recorded were as follows: patient-reported symptoms, arrhythmias, electrocardiogram abnormalities, and abnormal responses of arterial O2 saturation.
A total of 98 children underwent 167 cardiopulmonary exercise tests. The median age was 14 years (inter-quartile range 10–15 years). Peak oxygen uptake was 20.4±7.3 ml/kg/minute, corresponding to 51.8±18.3% of the predicted value. Peak respiratory quotient was 1.08±0.16. All the tests except two were maximal, being terminated prematurely for clinical reasons. Baseline Oxygen saturation was 93.3±8.8% and was 81.2±19.5% at peak exercise. A drop in arterial O2 saturation >20% was observed in 23.5% of the patients. Moreover, five patients (3.0%) experienced dizziness, one requiring termination of cardiopulmonary exercise testing; five children (3.0%) experienced chest pain, with early cardiopulmonary exercise test termination in one patient. No significant arrhythmias or electrocardiogram changes were observed.
Exercise testing in non-severely symptomatic children with pulmonary hypertension is safe and practical, and can be performed in a large number of children with pulmonary hypertension in a controlled environment with an experienced team. Side-effects were not serious and were resolved promptly with test termination.
CHDs form a complex and heterogeneous group of clinical entities, with high morbidity and mortality. With the advancement of surgical and invasive techniques and clinical treatment, the survival of these patients has increased significantly, and there are reports of a high prevalence of ocular abnormalities in this group. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of ocular findings in children and adolescents diagnosed with CHD.
A systematic search was conducted in the following databases: MEDLINE (via PubMed), EMBASE, and Cochrane CENTRAL, in addition to a manual search on studies published on the patient, from inception until August, 2014. Observational studies assessing the prevalence of ocular abnormalities in children and adolescents with CHDs were included.
Of the 2413 articles identified, eight were included, comprising a total of 1061 patients. Among them, the lowest and highest prevalences observed were 6.3 and 65%, respectively. The weighted average prevalence of ocular abnormalities was 32.5% (CI95% 19.3–49.3). Strabismus, cataracts, and retinopathy were the most frequently observed alterations.
The prevalence of ocular abnormalities in children and adolescents with CHDs was 32.5%, demonstrating that ocular consequences are not uncommon in this population and may have relevant clinical impact. These results reinforce the need for ophthalmological evaluation of patients with CHDs.
To evaluate the family psycho-social outcomes of children with Down syndrome and atrioventricular septal defect, and examine the impact of these variables on the child’s neurodevelopmental outcome.
This was a cross-sectional study that consisted of 57 children with Down syndrome – 20 cases and 37 controls – of ~12–14 months of age. In both groups, we assessed the development of the child, the quality of the child’s home environment, and parenting stress.
Compared with the Down syndrome without CHD group, the atrioventricular septal defect group revealed lower scores in all developmental domains, less optimal home environments, and higher parental stress. Significant differences in development were seen in the areas of cognition (p=0.04), expressive language (p=0.05), and gross motor (p<0.01). The Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment revealed significant differences in emotional and verbal responsiveness of the mother between the two groups. The Parenting Stress Index revealed that the Down syndrome with atrioventricular septal defect group had a significantly higher child demandingness subdomain scores compared with the Down syndrome without CHD group.
The diagnosis of a CHD in addition to the diagnosis of Down syndrome may provide additional stress to the child and parents, elevating parental concern and disrupting family dynamics, resulting in further neurodevelopmental deficits. Finding that parental stress and home environment may play a role in the neurodevelopmental outcomes may prompt new family-directed interventions and anticipatory guidance for the families of children with Down syndrome who have a CHD.
The GDF3 gene plays a fundamental role in embryonic morphogenesis. Recent studies have indicated that GDF3 plays a previously unrecognised role in cardiovascular system development. Non-syndromic CHDs might be a clinically isolated manifestation of GDF3 mutations. The purpose of the present study was to identify potential pathological mutations in the GDF3 gene in Chinese children with non-syndromic CHDs, and to gain insight into the aetiology of non-syndromic CHDs.
A total of 200 non-syndromic CHDs patients and 202 normal control patients were sampled. There were two exons of the human GDF3 gene amplified using polymerase chain reaction. The polymerase chain reaction products were purified and directly sequenced.
One missense mutation (c.C635T, p.Ser212 Leu, phenotype: isolated muscular ventricular septal defect) was found that has not been reported previously.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the role of the GDF3 gene in non-syndromic CHDs. Our results expand the spectrum of mutations associated with CHDs and first suggest the potentially disease-related GDF3 gene variant in the pathogenesis of CHDs.
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