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Although shyness is a ubiquitous phenomenon with early developmental origins, little research has examined the influence of prenatal exposures on the developmental trajectory of shyness. Here, we examined trajectories of shyness from childhood to adulthood in three groups (N = 254), with varying degrees of prenatal adversity as indicated by the number of stressful exposures: extremely low birth weight (ELBW; <1000 g) survivors prenatally exposed to exogenous corticosteroids (ELBW+S, n = 56); ELBW survivors not prenatally exposed to exogenous corticosteroids (ELBW+NS, n = 56); and normal birth weight (NBW, n = 142) controls. Multilevel modeling revealed that the ELBW+S individuals exhibited the highest levels of childhood shyness, which remained stable into adulthood. The ELBW+NS and NBW controls had comparably low levels of childhood shyness; however, the ELBW+NS individuals experienced patterns of increasing shyness, while NBW controls displayed decreases in shyness into adulthood. We speculate that individuals exposed to multiple prenatal stressors (i.e., ELBW+S) may be developmentally programmed to be more sensitive to detecting social threat, with one manifestation being early developing, stable shyness, while increasing shyness among ELBW+NS individuals may reflect a later developing shyness influenced by postnatal context. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding the developmental origins and developmental course of human shyness from childhood through adulthood.
The interaction between positive, negative and depressive symptoms experienced by people with schizophrenia is complex. We used longitudinal data to test the hypothesis that depressive symptoms mediate the links between positive and negative symptoms.
We analyzed data from the European Schizophrenia Cohort, randomly sampled from outpatient services in France, Germany and the UK (N = 1208). Initial measures were repeated after 6 and 12 months. Depressive symptoms were identified using the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS), while positive and negative symptoms were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Latent variable structural equation modelling was used to investigate the mediating role of depression assessed at 6 months in relation to the longitudinal association between positive symptoms at baseline and negative symptoms at 12 months.
We found longitudinal associations between positive symptoms at baseline and negative symptoms at 12 months, as well as between both of these and CDSS levels at 6 months. However depression did not mediate the longitudinal association between PANSS scores; all the effect was direct.
Our findings are incompatible with a mediating function for depression on the pathway from positive to negative symptoms, at least on this timescale. The role of depression in schizophrenic disorders remains a challenge for categorical and hierarchical diagnostic systems alike. Future research should analyze specific domains of both depressive and negative symptoms (e.g. motivational and hedonic impairments). The clinical management of negative symptoms using antidepressant treatments may need to be reconsidered.
Objectives: To adequately monitor the course of cognitive functioning in persons with moderate to severe dementia, relevant cognitive tests for the advanced dementia stages are needed. We examined the ability of a test developed for the advanced dementia stages, the Severe Impairment Battery Short version (SIB-S), to measure cognitive change over time. Second, we examined type of memory impairment measured with the SIB-S in different dementia stages. Methods: Participants were institutionalized persons with moderate to severe dementia (N = 217). The SIB-S was administered at 6-month intervals during a 2-year period. Dementia severity at baseline was classified according to Global Deterioration Scale criteria. We used mixed models to evaluate the course of SIB-S total and domain scores, and whether dementia stage at baseline affected these courses. Results: SIB-S total scores declined significantly over time, and the course of decline differed significantly between dementia stages at baseline. Persons with moderately severe dementia declined faster in mean SIB-S total scores than persons with moderate or severe dementia. Between persons with moderate and moderately severe dementia, there was only a difference in the rate of decline of semantic items, but not episodic and non-semantic items. Conclusions: Although modest floor and slight ceiling effects were noted in severe and milder cases, respectively, the SIB-S proved to be one of few available adequate measures of cognitive change in institutionalized persons with moderate to severe dementia. (JINS, 2019, 25, 204–214)
Objective: The assessment of individuals from families affected by familial frontotemporal dementia (FTD) allows the evaluation of preclinical or pre-diagnosis disease markers. The current work aims to investigate the existence of a cognitive phase in GRN mutation carriers before overt clinical symptoms begin. Methods: We performed a longitudinal neuropsychological analysis (three assessments in 4 years) in a group of presymptomatic c.709-1G>A progranulin (GRN) (n=15) mutation carriers and non-carrier relatives (n=25) from seven FTD families. Results:GRN mutation carriers showed subtle decline over the longitudinal follow-up in several different domains (namely, attention, facial affect recognition, decision-making, language, and memory). The differences between groups were most marked in the facial affect recognition test, with improvement in the non-carrier group and decline in the GRN mutation carrier group, with very large effect sizes. Conclusions: Facial affect recognition may decline before clinical diagnosis and makes the adapted version of the Picture of Facial Affect a potential candidate for early detection of GRN-associated FTD. (JINS, 2019, 25, 39–47)
Growing research has documented distinct developmental sequelae in insecure and secure parent–child relationships, supporting a model of early attachment as moderating future developmental processes rather than, or in addition to, a source of direct effects. We explored maladaptive developmental implications of infants’ anger proneness in 102 community families. Anger was assessed in infancy through observations in the Car Seat episode and parents’ ratings. Children's security with parents was assessed in the Strange Situation paradigm at 15 months. At preschool age, child negativity (defiance and negative affect) was observed in interactions with the parent, and at early school age, oppositionality was rated by parents and teachers. Security was unrelated to infant anger; however, it moderated associations between infant anger and future maladaptive outcomes, such that highly angry infants embarked on a negative trajectory in insecure, but not in secure, parent–child dyads. For insecure, but not secure, mother–child dyads, infants’ mother-rated anger predicted negativity at preschool age. For insecure, but not secure, father–child dyads, infants’ anger in the Car Seat predicted father- and teacher-rated oppositional behavior at early school age. Results highlight the developmentally complex nature of the impact of attachment, depending on the relationship with mother versus father, type of measure, and timing of effects.
In this comparative study focusing on the population aged 50 and over in three European countries, we investigate the association between household debt and depressive symptoms, and possible country differences in this association, using data from Waves 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 of the Surveys of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) for Belgium, France and Germany. Multi-level regression models with random intercepts for individuals were used to analyse the association between household debt status and number of depressive symptoms (EURO-D score). Country differences in the household debt–depression nexus were tested using country interaction models. After controlling for other measures of socio-economic position and physical health, low or substantial financial debt was associated with a higher number of depressive symptoms in all countries. Housing debt was strongly linked to depressive symptoms for women while the association was weaker for men. The only country difference was that for both sexes substantial financial debt (more than €5,000) was strongly associated with depressive symptoms in Belgium and Germany, but the association was weak or non-significant in France. Associations between financial debt and depression were also evident in analyses of within-individual changes in depressive symptoms for a longitudinal sub-group, and in analyses using a dichotomised, rather than a continuous, measure of depression. The findings indicate that measures of household indebtedness should be taken into consideration in investigations of social inequalities in depression and suggest a need for mental health services targeted at indebted older people.
Objectives: A substantial body of research has documented age-related declines in cognitive abilities among adults over 60, yet there is much less known about changes in cognitive abilities during midlife. The goal was to examine longitudinal changes in multiple cognitive domains from early midlife through old age in a large national sample, the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study. Methods: The Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT) was administered on two occasions (MIDUS 2, MIDUS 3), an average of 9 years apart. At MIDUS 3, those with the cognitive assessment (N=2518) ranged in age from 42 to 92 years (M=64.30; SD=11.20) and had a mean education of 14.68 years (SD=2.63). The BTACT includes assessment of key aging-sensitive cognitive domains: immediate and delayed free recall, number series, category fluency, backward digit span, processing speed, and reaction time for attention switching and inhibitory control, which comprise two factors: episodic memory and executive functioning. Results: As predicted, all cognitive subtests and factors showed very small but significant declines over 9 years, with differences in the timing and extent of change. Processing speed showed the earliest and steepest decrements. Those with higher educational attainment scored better on all tests except reaction time. Men had better executive functioning and women performed better on episodic memory. Conclusions: Examining cognitive changes in midlife provides opportunities for early detection of cognitive impairments and possibilities for preventative interventions. (JINS, 2018, 24, 805–820)
This prospective study involved a longitudinal analysis of the progression of hearing thresholds in patients with osteogenesis imperfecta.
Audiometric results from 36 osteogenesis imperfecta patients (age range, 6–79 years) were compared between two test times with an average interval of 4 years. Audiometric evaluation included acoustic admittance measurements, acoustic stapedial reflex measurements, pure tone audiometry and otoacoustic emissions testing.
Air conduction pure tone average, corrected for sex and age, and bone conduction pure tone average increased significantly in the study population (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively). In 14.3 per cent of the evaluated ears, an alteration in type and/or severity of hearing loss was observed.
After an average time interval of four years, significant changes in hearing status occurred in a population of osteogenesis imperfecta patients. These findings highlight the importance of regular audiological follow up in osteogenesis imperfecta patients, including audiometry, and measurements of acoustic admittance, acoustic stapedial reflexes and otoacoustic emissions.
To investigate the predictive ability of the previously established global cerebrovascular disease (CeVD) burden scale on long-term clinical outcomes in a longitudinal study of Asian elderly participants across the spectrum of cognitive impairment.
A case-control study was conducted over a 2-year period involving participants with no cognitive impairment, cognitive impairment-no dementia (CIND), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Annually, cognitive function was assessed with a comprehensive neuropsychological battery and the clinical dementia rating (CDR) scale was used to stage disease severity.
Of 314 participants, 102 had none/very mild CeVD, 31 mild CeVD, 94 moderate CeVD, and 87 severe CeVD at baseline. There was a 1.14 and 1.42 units decline per year on global cognitive z-scores in moderate and severe CeVD groups, respectively, compared to none/very mild CeVD. Moderate-severe CeVD predicted significant functional deterioration at year 2 (HR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.2–3.4), and conversion to AD (HR = 6.3, 95% CI = 1.7–22.5), independent of medial temporal atrophy.
The global CeVD burden scale predicts poor long-term clinical outcome independent of neurodegenerative markers. Furthermore, CeVD severity affects the rate of cognitive and functional deterioration. Hence, cerebrovascular burden, which is potentially preventable, is a strong prognostic indicator, both at preclinical and clinical stages of AD, independent of neurodegenerative processes.
In clinical practice, efficient and valid functional markers are needed to detect subtle cognitive and functional decline in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This prospective study explored whether changes in perceived challenge of certain everyday technologies (ETs) can be used to detect signs of functional change in MCI.
Baseline and five-year data from 37 older adults (mean age 67.5 years) with MCI regarding their perceived ability to use ET were used to generate Rasch-based ET item measures reflecting the relative challenge of 46 ETs. Actual differential item functioning in relation to time was analyzed based on these item measures. Data collection took place in 2008–2014.
Seven (15%) of the ETs included were perceived to be significantly more challenging to use at year five compared to at baseline, while 39 ETs (85%) were perceived to be equally challenging to use, despite the fact that the participants’ perceived ability to use ET had decreased. Common characteristics among the ETs that became more challenging to use could not be identified. The dropout rate was 43%, which limits the power of the study.
Changes in the perceived challenge of ETs seem to capture functional change in persons with cognitive decline. Both easier and more challenging ETs typically used at home and in society need to be addressed to capture this functional change because significant changes occurred among ETs of all challenge levels and within all types of ETs.
Personality has been associated with alcohol use, but less is known about how alcohol use may influence long-term personality trait change.
The present study examines associations between alcohol use and change in the five major personality traits across two measurement occasions (mean follow-up of 5.6 years). A total of 39 722 participants (54% women) were pooled from six cohort studies for an individual-participant meta-analysis. Alcohol use was measured as (1) average alcohol consumption, (2) frequency of binge drinking, (3) symptoms of alcohol use disorder, and (4) a global indicator of risky alcohol use. Changes in the five major personality traits (extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience) were used as outcomes.
Risky alcohol use was associated with increasing extraversion [0.25 T-scores over the mean follow-up of 5.6 years; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.07–0.44] and decreasing emotional stability (−0.28; 95% CI −0.48 to −0.08), agreeableness (−0.67; 95% CI −0.87 to −0.36), and conscientiousness (−0.58; 95% CI −0.79 to −0.38). Except the association between alcohol use and extraversion, these associations were consistent across cohort studies and across different measures of alcohol use.
These findings suggest that alcohol use is associated with personality trait changes in adulthood.
Studies have consistently shown that subthreshold depression is associated with an increased risk of developing major depression. However, no study has yet calculated a pooled estimate that quantifies the magnitude of this risk across multiple studies.
We conducted a systematic review to identify longitudinal cohort studies containing data on the association between subthreshold depression and future major depression. A baseline meta-analysis was conducted using the inverse variance heterogeneity method to calculate the incidence rate ratio (IRR) of major depression among people with subthreshold depression relative to non-depressed controls. Subgroup analyses were conducted to investigate whether IRR estimates differed between studies categorised by age group or sample type. Sensitivity analyses were also conducted to test the robustness of baseline results to several sources of study heterogeneity, such as the case definition for subthreshold depression.
Data from 16 studies (n = 67 318) revealed that people with subthreshold depression had an increased risk of developing major depression (IRR = 1.95, 95% confidence interval 1.28–2.97). Subgroup analyses estimated similar IRRs for different age groups (youth, adults and the elderly) and sample types (community-based and primary care). Sensitivity analyses demonstrated that baseline results were robust to different sources of study heterogeneity.
The results of this study support the scaling up of effective indicated prevention interventions for people with subthreshold depression, regardless of age group or setting.
The objectives of the study were to examine the trajectory of spirituality among older adults, to investigate the roles of gender and religion on the developmental trajectory of spirituality, and to explore whether the linear growth of spirituality accelerated or decelerated at time points at which the participants reported high scores of social support and flexibility.
A five-year longitudinal study.
The research used data from a longitudinal study, which follows a non-institutionalized older adults cohort of residents from France. The data used in this paper were collected at three time points (T1: 2007; T2: 2009; T3: 2012).
A total of 567 participants were included in the analysis (59.44% female; Mage = 75.90, SD = 5.12).
Multilevel growth curve analysis was used measuring spirituality, satisfaction with social support, and flexibility.
The results indicated the following: (1) stability of spirituality over time, (2) older women reported higher levels of spirituality than older men, and those who had a religion reported higher scores of spirituality than their counterparts who had no religion (these effects were strong and clinically meaningful), (3) older adults who reported higher levels of social support and flexibility also reported higher levels of spirituality, and (4) the slope of spirituality seemed to accelerate at time points at which participants also had higher levels of social support and flexibility (these effects were rather small but of theoretical interest).
The results of the present study help to improve the understanding of the potential benefit of encouraging the spiritual aspects of life.
A recently published study suggests that Gamma-Glutamyltransferase (GGT) in midlife is related to an increased risk of dementia. In the present longitudinal study, we explore the effects of serum GGT on cognitive decline and dementia also in more advanced ages.
We analyzed GGT in a sample of 452 individuals, aged 80 years and older at baseline, with the purpose to explore subsequent effects on cognitive performance. We specifically modeled GGT to cognitive change, time to death, and dementia.
Our main finding is that a higher level of GGT is associated with cognitive decline prior to death and vascular dementia in late life. These findings were evident across cognitive domains.
This is the first longitudinal study to report on significant associations in late life between GGT, cognitive performance and dementia. Further research is needed to examine the underlying mechanisms of GGT as a marker of age-related cognitive decline.
Objectives: Fatigue is a common and persisting symptom after childhood brain injury. This study examined whether child characteristics and symptomatology preinjury or 6 months postinjury (pain, sleep, and mood, inattention) predicted fatigue at 12months postinjury. Methods: Parents of 79 children (0–18 years) rated fatigue at 12 months after injury on a multidimensional scale (general, sleep/rest, and cognitive). Demographic and clinical data were collected at injury. Parents rated child sleep, pain, physical/motor function, mood, and inattention at injury (preinjury description), and 6 months postinjury. Children were divided into two traumatic brain injury severity groups: mild TBI (n=57) and moderate/severe TBI (n=27). Hierarchical regression models were used to examine (i) preinjury factors and (ii) symptoms 6 months postinjury predictive of fatigue (general, sleep/rest, and cognitive) at 12 months postinjury. Results: Sleep/rest fatigue was predicted by preinjury fatigue (7% of variance) and psychological symptoms preinjury (10% of variance). General fatigue was predicted by physical/motor symptoms (27%), sleep (10%) and mood symptoms (9%) 6 months postinjury. Sleep/rest fatigue was predicted by physical/motor symptoms (10%), sleep symptoms (13%) and mood symptoms (9%) 6 months postinjury. Cognitive fatigue was predicted by physical/motor symptoms (17%) 6 months postinjury. Conclusions: Preinjury fatigue and psychological functioning identified those at greatest risk of fatigue 12 months post-TBI. Predictors of specific fatigue domains at 12 months differed across each of the domains, although consistently included physical/motor function as well as sleep and mood symptoms postinjury. (JINS, 2018, 24, 224–236)
Emerging evidence suggests that diet and renal function are related. Little is known, however, about the association of consumption of whole grains, fruit and vegetables with urinary albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR) and changes in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). We investigated this in a population-based cohort aged 26–65 years. Data were from 3787 participants from the Doetinchem cohort study, who were examined ≥3 times, 5 years apart. Consumption of food groups was assessed at each round with a validated FFQ. GFR was estimated at each round from routinely measured cystatin C and creatinine using the Chronic Kidney Disease-Epidemiology (CKD-EPI) equation. ACR was measured at the last round. Generalised estimated equation models were performed to examine associations with changes in eGFR. Linear regression was used to examine associations with ACR. Adjustments were made for covariates related to lifestyle, biological factors and diet. Mean baseline eGFR was 104·5 (sd 13·7) and mean annual decline was −0·95 (sd 0·67) ml/min per 1·73 m2 over a 15-year follow-up. A trend was observed towards slightly less annual decline in eGFR among those with higher consumption of whole grains (P=0·06). This association, however, was attenuated and no longer significant in multivariate models (P=0·29). Consumption of fruit and vegetables was not associated with changes in eGFR and urinary ACR. In conclusion, consumption of whole grains, fruit and vegetables is not associated with changes in eGFR and mean ACR. As this was the first longitudinal study into this association in the general population, and as results are only partially in line with related studies, further research is recommended.
Objectives: The aim of this work was to study the change in different cognitive domains after stroke during a 2-year follow-up. Method: We evaluated both neuropsychologically and neurologically a consecutive cohort of working-age patients with a first-ever stroke at baseline (within the first weeks), 6 months, and 2 years after stroke-onset. A total of 153 patients participated in all examinations and were compared to 50 healthy controls. Results: Forty-nine percent of the patients were cognitively impaired at baseline, 41% at 6 months, and 39% at 2-year follow-up. We analyzed seven cognitive domains (impairment rates at baseline and 2-year follow-up): psychomotor speed (34%; 23%), executive functions (27%; 17%), visual memory (21%; 4%), visuospatial function (20%; 14%), verbal memory (18%; 12%), basic language processing (baseline 11%; 6 months 5%), and reasoning (2 years 14%). The patients who were cognitively impaired at baseline improved more within 6 months, than either the controls or cognitively intact patients in all cognitive domains (all p<.05). Later on, between 6 months and 2 years, the domain-specific change scores did not differ between patients who were cognitively intact and impaired at 6 months. Also, the cognitive status (intact or impaired) remained the same in 90% of patients between 6-month and 2-year follow-ups. At 2 years, half of the patients, who were categorized cognitively impaired, were rated as well-recovered according to neurological evaluation. Conclusions: Most of the cognitive improvement took place within 6 months. Long-lasting cognitive impairment was common even after good neurological recovery. An early neuropsychological examination is essential in evaluating cognitive dysfunction and need for rehabilitation. (JINS, 2018, 24, 117–127)
This study examined internal changes in the personal social networks of older people and the relationship between these changes and mental health over time. It focused on two key aspects: emotional closeness and contact frequency with lost and newly added confidants.
The study was based on data from the fourth (2011) and sixth (2015) waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The study sample consisted of respondents aged 65 years and older who participated in both waves (n = 14,101). We performed OLS regressions in which the scores on two mental health indicators over time – depressive symptoms (Euro-D) and perceived quality of life (CASP-12) – were regressed on the relationship with lost and newly added confidants, controlling for baseline social networks, socio-demographic, and health variables.
The nature of the relationship with the lost and newly added confidants was associated with mental health, beyond the number of these confidants. Emotional closeness with newly added confidants was related to improved mental health in both indicators (B = −0.09, CI = −0.14 to −0.04 for depression; B =1.13, CI = 0.67–1.60 for quality of life). Losing frequently contacted confidants was associated with higher depressive symptoms (B = 0.09, CI = 0.02–0.15).
The results show the positive mental health implications of adding emotionally close confidants to older adults’ social milieus, and the negative effects of losing frequently contacted confidants. Practitioners are advised to pay attention to the quality of such changing relationships, due to their mental health consequences.
The main focus is on the assessment of the effects of early institutional care and compares three longitudinal studies from Romania, Greece and Hong Kong/China. The findings have been strikingly contrasting. The review asks if the risks are dependent on whether or not the institutional rearing is accompanied by gross pervasive deprivation (as it was in Romania) and investigates the methodological issues to explore the causal influence of the outcomes. Evidence is considered on changing institutional practices and the benefits of doing so. Comparison is made between institutions with major deprivation and those without global deprivation. A small number of studies are discussed that look at direct comparisons between institutional and community care. The empirical and conceptual implications of the findings are discussed.
Studies have investigated the potential protective effects that diet may have on late-life depression incidence. This disorder can, however, affect the person’s food intake, widely known as the reverse causality hypothesis of depression. To test this hypothesis, we compared mean nutrient intakes from three 24-h recalls during the year depression was detected (Geriatric Depression Scale ≥11 or antidepressant medication) with intakes from 1 year earlier among community-dwelling older adults (67–83 years) followed up annually in the 4-year Québec Longitudinal Study on Nutrition and Aging, who were free of depression and cognitive impairment at baseline. Participants (n 158, 64·4 % female) who became depressed and had data available for all follow-up years were matched by age group and sex with non-depressed participants. General linear mixed models were adjusted for percentage changes in physical activity, functional autonomy and stressful life events reported at the time of positive screening. A significant group effect for the dietary intake of all three B-vitamins was observed, as depression cases had consistently lower dietary intakes than controls (P<0·01). Over time, intakes of dietary vitamin B12 declined within depressed participants in bivariate analysis, but there was no time×group effect for any nutrient tested in the multivariate analyses. Intakes of energy, protein, saturated fat and total dietary fibre did not change in cases v. controls. Among community-dwelling older adults, declines in dietary vitamins B6, B12 and folate may precede depression incidence. To help preventative efforts by programmes and practitioners, longitudinal cohorts of longer duration should investigate the extent of the decline in dietary intakes relative to the time of depression.