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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been associated with cognitive deficits, particularly with executive functions. These findings support fronto-striatal dysfunction in OCD. However, it is not certain whether these findings are trait features of OCD. In recent years, a number of studies have investigated cognitive functions in unaffected relatives of OCD (OCDrel) but the findings of these studies are contradictory.
A systematic review in Pubmed and Scopus databases was performed until 18 March 2019, to locate the studies comparing cognitive functions of OCDrel with healthy controls and OCD patients (OCDpt). A random-effects meta-analysis was conducted.
Current meta-analysis included 16 studies including 527 OCDrel, 445 OCDpt and 639 healthy controls. Healthy controls overperformed OCDpt in all cognitive domains (d = 0.36–0.86). OCDrel underperformed healthy controls in inhibition (d = 0.58, CI = 0.29–0.86), planning (d = 0.45, CI = 0.28–0.63), decision-making (d = 0.58, CI = 0.19–0.98). OCDrel also had small-sized deficits in set-shifting (d = 0.37, CI = 0.04–0.69) and visual memory (d = 0.28, CI = 0.08–0.49). OCDpt underperformed OCDrel in visual memory (d = 0.45, CI = 0.22–0.67) and set-shifting (d = 0.23, CI = 0.04–0.42).
Current findings suggest that abnormalities in inhibition, planning/problem solving and reward-based decision-making are shared features of OCDrel and OCDpt and might be trait markers related to vulnerability for developing OCD. Visual memory and set-shifting deficits might potentially be biomarkers of incipient illness or subthreshold OCD presentation among OCDrel. Further exploration of cognitive heterogeneity in OCDrel and investigating the effects of the subtypes of OCD in probands on cognitive impairment in OCDrel are needed.
Impairments in self-recognition (i.e. recognition of own thoughts and actions) have been repeatedly shown in individuals with schizophrenia. According to classical clinical characterizations, schizophrenia is included in a continuum encompassing a large range of genetic statuses, psychotic states and symptoms. The current meta-analysis aims to determine whether self-recognition is affected by individuals within the psychosis continuum.
Three populations were considered: people with an at-risk mental state for psychosis (ARMS), hallucination-prone individuals and unaffected relatives of patients with schizophrenia. Eleven studies contrasted self-recognition between these three populations (n = 386) and healthy controls (n = 315) and four studies used correlational analysis to estimate comparable effects (n = 629). Eligible studies used experimental paradigms including source-monitoring and self-monitoring.
We observed significantly reduced self-recognition accuracy in these populations [g = −0.44 (−0.71 to −0.17), p = 0.002] compared to controls. No influence of the type of population, experimental paradigm or study design was observed.
The present analysis argues for self-recognition deficits in populations with no full-blown psychotic symptoms represented across the continuum of psychosis.
Previous work suggests that reaction time variability (RTV) in attentional tasks, as a measure of cognitive stability, is associated with degree of Val loading in COMT Val158Met genotype, and that this association may be relevant for the aetiology of schizophrenia. This study examined (i) to what degree RTV pertaining to tasks of varying cognitive complexity would be associated with increased risk for schizophrenia and (ii) to what degree this would be mediated by Val loading.
COMT genotyping was investigated in a sample of 23 patients with schizophrenia, 33 first-degree relatives, and 21 controls. All participants performed the Flanker continuous performance test.
Schizophrenia liability was associated with number of correct trials of the Flanker test, but not with RTV, and this association was not mediated by COMT Val158Met genotype. Similarly, Met loading was associated with number of correct trials and with RTV, but this was not mediated by schizophrenia liability.
Associations between COMT Val158Met genotype and RTV do not appear to reflect transmission of schizophrenia liability in families. Differential associations with Val and Met alleles across studies suggest indirect effects through gene–gene interactions or the influence of a functional polymorphism near COMT Val158Met.
In a community sample of 418 persons diagnosed with schizophrenia, subjective needs and perceived help was measured by the Camberwell Assessment of Need (CAN). The mean number of reported needs was 6.2 and the mean number of unmet needs 2.6. The prevalence of needs varied substantially between the need areas from 3.6% (‘telephone’) to 84.0% (‘psychotic symptoms’). The rate of satisfaction estimated as the percentage of persons satisfied with the help provided within an area varied between 20.0% (‘telephone’) and 80.6% (‘food’).
The need areas concerning social and interpersonal functioning demonstrated the highest proportion of unmet to total needs.
In a majority of need areas the patients received more help from services than from relatives, but in the areas of social relations the informal network provided substantial help. In general the patients reported a need for help from services clearly exceeding the actual amount of help received.
In a linear regression model symptom load (BPRS) and impaired functioning (GAF) were significant predictors of the need status, explaining 30% of the variance in total needs and 20% of the variance in unmet needs.
It is concluded that the mental health system fails to detect and alleviate needs in several areas of major importance to schizophrenic patients. Enhanced collaboration between the care system and the informal network to systematically map the need profile of the patients seems necessary to minimise the gap between perceived needs and received help.
Fifty to eighty-five percent of schizophrenic patients are impaired on ocular pursuit paradigms. However, results regarding the relatives are more discordant. The aim of this study was to investigate whether eye movement disorders could be a vulnerability marker of schizophrenia.
Twenty-one schizophrenic patients (DSM-IV), 31 first-degree relatives of those patients without schizophrenic spectrum disorders, and two groups of healthy controls matched by age and sex were included. Three oculomotor tasks (smooth pursuit, reflexive saccades and antisaccades) were used.
Patients had a lower averaged gain (P = 0.035) during smooth pursuit than controls, made less correct visually guided saccades (P < 0.001) and more antisaccades errors (P = 0.002) than controls. In contrast, none of the comparison between the relatives and their controls was significant.
Schizophrenic patients were impaired on smooth pursuit and antisaccade paradigms. None of these impairments was, however, observed in their first-degree relatives. Our results suggest that the eye movement parameters tested could not be considered as vulnerability markers for schizophrenia.
In recent years, several controlled studies could show that psychoeducational interventions have been effective for relapse prevention in bipolar disorders. We therefore established a cognitive-psychoeducational group intervention with 14 sessions providing information about the illness, early warning signs, cognitive and behavioural strategies for stress management and social rhythm. Additionally we offered a group intervention for the patients' relatives. The objective of this study was to describe the outcome associated with our psychoeducational intervention in bipolar patients and their relatives.
Sixty-two bipolar patients attended 14 sessions (à 90 min) of cognitive-psychoeducational group therapy. Patients' knowledge of bipolar disorder and their satisfaction with the treatment were assessed using self-developed questionnaires before and after the group intervention. Additionally, 49 relatives of bipolar patients received two psychoeducational workshops of 4 hours each. We assessed demographic variables, burden, high expressed emotion and depressive symptoms of the relatives before and after the two workshops and at 1-year follow-up.
Patients significantly improved their knowledge of bipolar disorder. They also have benefited from the discussions and the exchange of useful coping strategies. Burden and high expressed emotions showed no significant reductions at post-assessment, however they were significantly reduced at 1-year follow-up. Relatives also felt significantly better informed about the illness.
These findings show that psychoeducational interventions in bipolar patients and their relatives improve patients' and their relatives' knowledge of the illness and the burden of the disorder as well as high expressed emotions are reduced in relatives at 1-year follow-up.
The need for support and participation in treatment of relatives to voluntarily and compulsorily admitted patients was addressed in a study of the quality of mental health services in two Swedish county councils. The aims of the study were to investigate differences in the above aspects between subgroups of relatives, the differences between two years of investigation, 1986 and 1991, and the differences between relatives of voluntarily and compulsorily admitted patients. The relatives investigated consisted of 79 spouses, 118 parents and 31 grown-up children. The results showed that there were only minor differences between the subgroups concerning their participation in care. Grown-up children experienced significantly less need of support and received less help for this need. In 1991, relatives participated more in the care situation, were more interested in support with regard to their own life situation, and also showed more positive attitudes towards the psychiatric services than in 1986. The relatives of the voluntarily admitted patients felt more involved in the patient's treatment, whereas the relatives of those compulsorily admitted felt less involved and perceived obstacles to admission.
To determine the change in prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in victims of the March 11 attacks and their relatives, 1 and 6 months after the attacks.
Subjects and methods
Evaluation of PTSD symptoms using the Davidson Trauma Scale (DTS) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) in a sample of 56 patients admitted to an emergency room of a general hospital, and assessment of PTSD symptoms in relatives of the patients.
At Month 1, 41.1% of patients (31.3% of males and 54.2% of females) presented with PTSD. At Month 6, this figure was 40.9% (30.4% of males and 52.4% of females). There was a significant improvement in perception of health among females between Month 1 and Month 6. Relatives presented similar DTS scores at baseline and at 6 months.
We verified that rates of PTSD did not vary substantively between the two evaluations. PTSD symptoms positively correlated with psychological health involvement. This correlation points out that both PTSD symptoms and subjective general health involvement are part of the psychological response to trauma.
The prevalence of PTSD symptoms was high and remained stable between Month 1 and Month 6, while subjective perception of health improved significantly.
This study considers the question of whether relapse rates among schizophrenic patients can be reduced by means of relatives' groups. In a randomized, controlled intervention study, two therapeutic strategies (therapeutic relatives' groups, initiated relatives' self-help groups) were compared with each other and with a control group. Interventions were confined to the relatives, with the patients continuing their standard treatment. The study involved 151 relatives of 99 chronic DSMIII schizophrenics. Data were collected before and after a 1-year intervention phase and in a 2-year follow-up. No difference existed between the groups with respect to rehospitalization data. However, numerous differences recorded in the psychopathological findings and in living and working circumstances suggest that therapeutic work with relatives is of clinically significant benefit.
Cigarette smoking is more prevalent among individuals with psychiatric disorders than the general population. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may be an intriguing exception, although no recent study has investigated this hypothesis in OCD patients. Moreover, it is unknown whether reduced smoking rates are present in unaffected first-degree relatives of OCD patients.
We assessed smoking prevalence in adults with OCD and unaffected parents of youth with OCD (PYOCD). To this end, 113 adults with OCD completed online questionnaires assessing symptom severity and smoking status. Smoking status was obtained from an independent sample of 210 PYOCD assessed for psychiatric diagnoses.
Smoking prevalence rates in adults with OCD (13.3%; n = 15) and PYOCD (9.5%; n = 20) samples were significantly lower than those found in representative samples of the general population (19–24%, all P < .001) and Axis I disorders (36–64%; all P < .001). There were no smokers in the adult OCD subset without clinically significant depressive symptoms (n = 54).
Low prevalence of smoking in OCD may be familial and unique among psychiatric disorders, and might represent a possible state-independent OCD marker. Hypotheses concerning the uncharacteristically low prevalence rates are discussed with relation to OCD phenomenology and pathophysiology.
Cognitive impairment is a familial and heritable aspect of major psychoses and might be a shared vulnerability marker for schizophrenia and BP. However, it is not clear whether some aspects of cognitive deficits are uniquely associated with risk for specific diagnoses.
A novel meta-analysis of cognitive functions in first-degree relatives of probands with bipolar disorder (BP-Rel) and schizophrenia (Sch-Rel) was conducted. Current meta-analysis included 20 studies and compared cognitive functions of 1341 Sch-Rel, 939 BP-Rel and 1427 healthy controls.
Sch-Rel was associated with cognitive deficits in all domains (d = 0.20–0.58) and BP-Rel underperformed healthy controls in processing speed, verbal fluency and speed based executive function tests (d = 0.33–0.41). Sch-Rel underperformed BP-Rel in general intellectual ability, working memory, verbal memory, planning, processing speed and fluency (d = 0.24–0.42).
Inefficiency in processing information and impaired processing speed might be common vulnerability factors for major psychoses. On the other hand, low performance in accuracy based tasks and deficits in general intellectual ability, verbal learning, planning and working memory might be more specifically associated with risk for schizophrenia.
Motor abnormalities (MAs) are the primary manifestations of schizophrenia. However, the extent to which MAs are related to alterations of subcortical structures remains understudied.
We aimed to investigate the associations of MAs and basal ganglia abnormalities in first-episode psychosis (FEP) and healthy controls. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed on 48 right-handed FEP and 23 age-, gender-, handedness-, and educational attainment-matched controls, to obtain basal ganglia shape analysis, diffusion tensor imaging techniques (fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity), and relaxometry (R2*) to estimate iron load. A comprehensive motor battery was applied including the assessment of parkinsonism, catatonic signs, and neurological soft signs (NSS). A fully automated model-based segmentation algorithm on 1.5T MRI anatomical images and accurate corregistration of diffusion and T2* volumes and R2* was used.
FEP patients showed significant local atrophic changes in left globus pallidus nucleus regarding controls. Hypertrophic changes in left-side caudate were associated with higher scores in sensory integration, and in right accumbens with tremor subscale. FEP patients showed lower fractional anisotropy measures than controls but no significant differences regarding mean diffusivity and iron load of basal ganglia. However, iron load in left basal ganglia and right accumbens correlated significantly with higher extrapyramidal and motor coordination signs in FEP patients.
Taken together, iron load in left basal ganglia may have a role in the emergence of extrapyramidal signs and NSS of FEP patients and in consequence in the pathophysiology of psychosis.
Neuroimaging studies of vulnerability to Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) have identified structural and functional variations which might reflect inheritable features in alcohol-naïve relatives of AUD individuals (FH+) compared to controls having no such family history (FH-). However, prior research did not simultaneously account for childhood maltreatment, any clinically significant disorder and maternal AUD. Therefore, we mainly aimed to investigate the brain structure and reward-related neural activations (fMRI), using whole-brain analysis in FH+ young adults with no prevalent confounders.
46 FH+ and 45 FH- male and female participants had no severe childhood maltreatment exposure, neither any psychiatric disorder or AUD, nor a prenatal exposure to maternal AUD. We used a 3 T MRI coupled with a whole brain voxel-based method to compare between groups the grey matter volumes and activations in response to big versus small wins during a Monetary Incentive Delay task. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire score was used as confounding variable in the analyses to account for the remaining variance between groups.
Compared to FH- controls, FH+ participants had smaller grey matter volumes in the frontal and cingulate regions as well as in the bilateral nucleus accumbens and right insula. The FH+ participants’ fMRI datasets denoted a blunted activation in the middle cingulum with respect to FH- controls’ during the processing of reward magnitude, and a greater activation in the anterior cingulum in response to anticipation of a small win.
Family history of alcohol use disorder is linked to structural and functional variations including brain regions involved in reward processes.
Recent evidence suggests that neurocognitive impairments in remitted patients with bipolar disorder (BD) are heterogeneous. Our study aims to replicate recent findings of neurocognitive subgroups, and further explore whether these are related to impairments in affective cognition, in a large sample of remitted patients recently diagnosed with BD and their unaffected relatives compared to healthy controls (HCs).
Hierarchal cluster analysis was conducted using neurocognitive data from remitted patients with BD (n = 158). Relatives of patients with BD (n = 52) were categorised into groups consistent with their affected relative's cluster assignment. The neurocognitive clusters of patients with BD and relatives, respectively, were compared with HCs (n = 110) in neurocognition and affective cognition (i.e. emotion processing and regulation).
Three discrete neurocognitive clusters were identified in patients with BD: a globally impaired (23.4%), a selectively impaired (31.0%) and a cognitively intact cluster (45.6%). The neurocognitive subgroups differed in affective cognition, with patients categorised as globally impaired exhibited most impairments in facial expression recognition and emotion regulation in social scenarios. First-degree relatives of cognitively impaired patients displayed impaired facial expression recognition but no impairments in non-emotional cognition.
In a clinical sample of remitted patients recently diagnosed with BD 54.4% had either global or selective cognitive impairment, replicating results of previous studies in patients with longer illness duration. The results suggest that patterns of neurocognition are associated with differential impairments in affective cognition. Aberrant affective cognition in relatives of patients categorised as neurocognitively impaired indicates an inherited risk for BD.
Crop wild relatives (CWRs) play a key role in crop breeding by providing beneficial trait characteristics for improvement of related crops. CWRs are more efficiently used in breeding if the plant material is genetically characterized, but the diversity in CWR genetic resources has often poorly been assessed. Seven seed collections of Musa balbisiana, an important CWR of dessert and cooking bananas, originating from three natural populations, two feral populations and two ex situ field collections were retrieved and their genetic diversity was quantified using 18 microsatellite markers to select core subsets that conserve the maximum genetic diversity. The highest genetic diversity was observed in the seed collections from natural populations of Yunnan, a region that is part of M. balbisiana's centre of origin. The seeds from the ex situ field collections were less genetically diverse, but contained unique variation with regards to the diversity in all seed collections. Seeds from feral populations displayed low genetic diversity. Core subsets that maximized genetic distance incorporated almost no seeds from the ex situ field collections. In contrast, core subsets that maximized allelic richness contained seeds from the ex situ field collections. We recommend the conservation and additional collection of seeds from natural populations, preferentially originating from the species' region of origin, and from multiple individuals in one population. We also suggest that the number of seeds used for ex situ seed bank regeneration must be much higher for the seed collections from natural populations.
Triticum boeoticum is a valuable gene source for tolerance to drought stress. In order to study the effect of drought stress on this plant, and to understand its adaptive mechanisms at the molecular level, 10 accessions of T. boeoticum were evaluated under non- and drought stress conditions. Evaluation of 31 different phenological, morpho-physiological and root-related traits showed that there were significant differences between accessions. Using the bi-plot resulting from the PCA, the studied traits and accessions were separated in different groups. The most tolerant (B5) and susceptible (B6) accessions to drought stress were identified, so these accessions were used for assessment of changes in the TaNAC2 and TaNAC69-1 transcription factors (TFs) expression. The results showed that in the most tolerant and susceptible accessions, TaNAC2 and TaNAC69-1 expression levels increased between non-stress and stress conditions significantly, but the increased level of these two genes expression in the most tolerant accession was much higher than the most susceptible accession. According to the obtained results, T. boeoticum can be a suitable and promising gene source for improving modern wheat. In addition, the results of TFs expression could improve our understanding about the complex mechanisms associated with drought tolerance in wheat, especially wild wheat.
This paper addresses the controversy between Koeneman & Zeijlstra (K&Z) (2014) and Heycock & Sundquist (2017) concerning the viability of K&Z’s strong version of the Rich Agreement Hypothesis in the light of apparent counterexamples from the diachrony of Danish. It makes the general point that establishing whether or not cases of putative V-to-I movement in subordinate clauses can be reanalyzed as V-to-C, i.e. as embedded Verb Second (EV2), depends on the EV2-type of a language. The empirical discussion concerns appositive relatives and conditional protases, with V-to-C in the former being in principle compatible with ‘narrow’ nEV2 as displayed by Modern Mainland Scandinavian languages, and V-to-C in the latter with Old Norse-style ‘broad’ bEV2. It is concluded that the critical stages of Danish need to be scrutinized more closely before the above dispute can be settled.
The article is based on a study of how social media and other types of online representations of nursing homes are described by staff. The study proceeds from a qualitative thematic analysis of 14 interviews with nursing-home representatives. The article addresses a key finding that was apparent in the interviews: the online representations’ form and content were adjusted to fit the demands of residents’ relatives. Given the peripheral role attributed to relatives in official Swedish eldercare policies, the motives for the online representations are systematically examined. Two motives are found to be central: marketing and assurance. Residents’ relatives, specified as adult children, were perceived pre-admission as customers in charge of the process of choice and placement; post-admission, relatives requested proof that social activities were provided for their parents. The article discusses how online representations strategically construct a version of ‘reality’ by adjusting to relatives’ unrealistic expectations, only showing residents as involved in social activities. Finally, the need to examine the actual role of relatives in Swedish eldercare is discussed.
Dongxiang common wild rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff., DXWR) is an important genetic resource for the improvement of cultivated rice. For the past three decades, great achievements have been made in the field of molecular marker development. Although structural variations (SVs) had been studied between DXWR and Nipponbare (Oryza sativa L. ssp. japonica), the development and application of SV markers in DXWR has not been reported. In this study, based on the genome-wide SV loci, we developed and synthesized a total of 195 SV markers that were evenly distributed across the 12 rice chromosomes. Then, these markers were tested for their stabilities and polymorphisms. Of these 195 markers, 147 (75.4%) were successfully amplified and displayed abundant polymorphisms between DXWR and Nipponbare. Meanwhile, through the genotyping of 20 rice varieties from 13 countries and areas, we concluded that these SV markers have a wide application prospect in the analysis of cultivated rice. Therefore, these molecular markers greatly enrich the number of markers available for DXWR, which will facilitate genomic research and molecular breeding for this important and endangered germplasm resource.
This article investigates the varied uses of wh-words in Chuj, an understudied Mayan language of Guatemala. Cross-linguistically, wh-words are commonly used not only for question formation but also in a range of other constructions, including wh-quantification, indefinites, and the formation of relative clauses. In Chuj, we will show that wh-words are used to form indefinites (in certain limited environments), universal quantifiers, free choice items, and two kinds of free relatives: definite free relatives, but also the typologically rarer indefinite free relatives. We sketch an analysis of each construction, and discuss generalizations concerning their distribution. The varied uses of wh-words in Chuj support the view that wh-words are used in two capacities: to generate alternatives, and to create a movement/binding relation.