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Stressful life events play an important role in the aetiology of human mood disorders and are frequently modelled by chronic social defeat (SD) in rodents. Exploratory phenotype in rats is a stable trait that is likely related to inter-individual differences in reactivity to stress. The aim of the study was to confirm that low levels of exploratory activity (LE) are, in rodents, a risk factor for passive stress coping, and to clarify the role of medium (ME) and high (HE) exploratory disposition in the sensitivity to SD.
We examined the effect of SD on male Wistar rats with LE, ME, and HE activity levels as measured in the exploration box. After SD, the rats were evaluated in social preference, elevated zero maze, and open-field tests. Brain tissue levels of monoamines were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography.
Rats submitted to SD exhibited lower weight gain, higher sucrose consumption, showed larger stress-induced hyperthermia, lower levels of homovanillic acid in the frontal cortex, and higher levels of noradrenaline in the amygdala and hippocampus. Open-field, elevated zero maze, and social preference tests revealed the interaction between stress and phenotype, as only LE-rats were further inhibited by SD. ME-rats exhibited the least reactivity to stress in terms of changes in body weight, stress-induced hyperthermia, and sucrose intake.
Both low and high novelty-related activity, especially the former, are associated with elevated sensitivity to social stress. This study shows that both tails of a behavioural dimension can produce stress-related vulnerability.
Previous morphology and diffusion-imaging studies have suggested that structural changes in white matter is an important part of the pathophysiology of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). However, different methodological approaches and the heterogeneity of patient samples question the validity of the findings.
Materials and methods
In total, 30 patients were matched for age and sex with 30 healthy controls. All participants underwent T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging and T2 fluid-attenuated inversion recovery. Voxel-based morphometry and tract-based spatial statistics were used to compare white matter volumes and diffusion tensor imaging between groups. These data were analysed correcting for the effects of multiple comparisons, age, sex, severity and duration of illness as nuisance covariates. White matter hyperintensities were manually identified.
Increase in fractional anisotropy in cerebellum was the most prominent result. A decrease in fractional anisotrophy in patients comparable with previous studies was located in forceps minor. There were no differences in the white matter morphology or in the white matter hyperintensities between patients and healthy controls.
Decrease in fractional anisotrophy in forceps minor and increase in cerebellum were found, and they were not due to neither white matter hyperintensities nor morphology of the white matter. Cerebellar hyperconnectivity could be an important part of OCD pathophysiology.
The present paper is devoted to evaluation of clinical and immunomodulatory effect of ultra-high dilutions of antibodies to human interferon γ, included in the complex therapy of patients with schizophrenia.
Materials and methods
The study was carried out at the Mental Health Research Institute, Tomsk, Russian Federation. This double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised in parallel-group study enrolled 40 patients. As a part of complex therapy, patients from the main group (n=20) received anaferon, a drug containing ultra-high dilutions of affinity-purified antibodies to human interferon γ as the active pharmaceutical ingredient; patients from the comparative group (n=20) received placebo. Duration of the therapy was 30±5 days. Assessment of severity of symptoms and changes in them were made using clinical scales: Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, Clinical Global Impression, Abnormal Involuntary Movements Scale. Spontaneous and phytohemagglutinin-induced production of interferon γ by immunocompetent cells in supernatants of 48 h whole blood culture of patients was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method.
The reduction of interferon-producing potential by immunocompetent cells in comparison with reference normal value was shown in total group of patients (n=40) before combined therapy. During the treatment, increase of spontaneous interferon γ production and favourable changes in psychopathological symptoms as compared with placebo were shown in subjects receiving anaferon. It was found that favourable changes in clinical symptoms assessed using clinical scales with a high degree of confidence correlated with high level of spontaneous interferon γ production.
Anaferon as a part of complex therapy of patients with schizophrenia contributes to enhancement of its efficacy acting via mechanism of psychoimmunomodulation.
Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are commonly present in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Disturbed sleep quality is also observed in AD patients. However, the effects of memantine on sleep architecture have not been investigated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of memantine on polysomnography (PSG) variables and BPSD.
In total, 12 patients with AD (mean age: 79.0±4.1 years old) were enrolled in this study. The following tests were performed: the Neuropsychiatric Inventory for the assessment of BPSD, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) for cognitive function, and PSG for evaluation of sleep architecture. After baseline examinations, patients were treated with memantine according to a standard prescription protocol. After being treated with 20 mg/day of memantine for 4 weeks, examinations were carried out again.
All subjects completed the trial. The mean MMSE and NPI scores were 22.6±3.4 and 13.8±12.9, respectively. Treatment with memantine significantly decreased the NPI score (5.8±4.3, p<0.01). There were significant decreases in the scores of subscales for anxiety (p=0.04) and irritability/lability (p=0.04). PSG demonstrated a longer total sleep time (TST) (p<0.01), increases in sleep efficiency (p<0.01) and time spent in stage II (% TST, p=0.02), and decreases in nocturnal awakening (p<0.01), the periodic limb movement index (p<0.01), and time spent in stage I (% TST, p=0.02).
Memantine was effective for reducing fragmented sleep and improving BPSD, and was well tolerated.
To determine the prevalence of and factors associated with depression and stress with perceived quality of life and the salivary cortisol levels in Community Health Agent (CHA).
Materials and Methods
Cross-sectional descriptive study of CHAs in Pelotas-RS, Brazil. Data collection, including sociodemographic information and factors related to work and health. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) II was used to assess depressive symptoms, Inventory of Stress Symptoms Lipp (ISSL) was used for the analysis of stress and the WHOQOL-BREF was used to investigate quality of life. Salivary cortisol was quantified via ELISA test.
The assessments showed that 71.0% are in a state of stress resistance, 30.5% were in the alert state of stress and 32.8% were in the stress state of exhaustion. Depressive episodes (BDI≥12) were observed in 28.2%. The environmental domain had the lowest score for quality of life. We observed significantly higher salivary cortisol levels in CHAs with less than 1 year of service and with the lowest quality of life scores in the environmental subsection.
A high prevalence of stress and depression was observed in this sample of CHAs. In addition, the worst levels of quality of life were identified in the environmental subsection. Cortisol levels corroborate these findings regarding quality of life within the environmental domain and began working less than a year previously.
Glutamatergic neurotransmission via the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor is integral to the pathophysiology of depression. This study was performed to examine whether amino acids related to NMDA receptor neurotransmission are altered in the serum of patients with depression.
We measured the serum levels of d-serine, l-serine, glycine, glutamate and glutamine in patients with depression (n=70), and age-matched healthy subjects (n=78).
Serum levels of d-serine and l-serine in patients with depression were significantly higher than those of healthy controls (p<0.001). In contrast, serum levels of glycine, glutamate and glutamine did not differ between the two groups. Interestingly, the ratio of l-serine to glycine in patients was significantly higher than that of healthy controls (p<0.001).
This study suggests that serine enantiomers may be peripheral biomarkers for depression, and that abnormality in the d-serine-l-serine-glycine cycle plays a role in the pathophysiology of depression.
We hypothesised that men and women who engage in extreme or high-risk sports would score higher on standardised measures of bipolarity and impulsivity compared to age and gender matched controls.
Four-hundred and eighty extreme or high-risk athletes (255 males and 225 females) and 235 age-matched control persons (107 males and 128 females) were enrolled into the web-based case-control study. The Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) and Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) were administered to screen for bipolarity and impulsive behaviours, respectively.
Results indicated that extreme or high-risk athletes had significantly higher scores of bipolarity and impulsivity, and lower scores on cognitive complexity of the BIS-11, compared to controls. Further, there were positive correlations between the MDQ and BIS-11 scores.
These results showed greater rates of bipolarity and impulsivity, in the extreme or high-risk athletes, suggesting these measures are sensitive to high-risk behaviours.