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Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
Two prominent risk factors for major depressive disorder (MDD) are childhood maltreatment (CM) and familial risk for MDD. Despite having these risk factors, there are individuals who maintain mental health, i.e. are resilient, whereas others develop MDD. It is unclear which brain morphological alterations are associated with this kind of resilience. Interaction analyses of risk and diagnosis status are needed that can account for complex adaptation processes, to identify neural correlates of resilience.
We analyzed brain structural data (3T magnetic resonance imaging) by means of voxel-based morphometry (CAT12 toolbox), using a 2 × 2 design, comparing four groups (N = 804) that differed in diagnosis (healthy v. MDD) and risk profiles (low-risk, i.e. absence of CM and familial risk v. high-risk, i.e. presence of both CM and familial risk). Using regions of interest (ROIs) from the literature, we conducted an interaction analysis of risk and diagnosis status.
Volume in the left middle frontal gyrus (MFG), part of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), was significantly higher in healthy high-risk individuals. There were no significant results for the bilateral superior frontal gyri, frontal poles, pars orbitalis of the inferior frontal gyri, and the right MFG.
The healthy high-risk group had significantly higher volumes in the left DLPFC compared to all other groups. The DLPFC is implicated in cognitive and emotional processes, and higher volume in this area might aid high-risk individuals in adaptive coping in order to maintain mental health. This increased volume might therefore constitute a neural correlate of resilience to MDD in high risk.
MRI-derived cortical folding measures are an indicator of largely genetically driven early developmental processes. However, the effects of genetic risk for major mental disorders on early brain development are not well understood.
We extracted cortical complexity values from structural MRI data of 580 healthy participants using the CAT12 toolbox. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and cross-disorder (incorporating cumulative genetic risk for depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) were computed and used in separate general linear models with cortical complexity as the regressand. In brain regions that showed a significant association between polygenic risk for mental disorders and cortical complexity, volume of interest (VOI)/region of interest (ROI) analyses were conducted to investigate additional changes in their volume and cortical thickness.
The PRS for depression was associated with cortical complexity in the right orbitofrontal cortex (right hemisphere: p = 0.006). A subsequent VOI/ROI analysis showed no association between polygenic risk for depression and either grey matter volume or cortical thickness. We found no associations between cortical complexity and polygenic risk for either schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or psychiatric cross-disorder when correcting for multiple testing.
Changes in cortical complexity associated with polygenic risk for depression might facilitate well-established volume changes in orbitofrontal cortices in depression. Despite the absence of psychopathology, changed cortical complexity that parallels polygenic risk for depression might also change reward systems, which are also structurally affected in patients with depressive syndrome.
Eighty percent of all patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) relapse at least once in their lifetime. Thus, understanding the neurobiological underpinnings of the course of MDD is of utmost importance. A detrimental course of illness in MDD was most consistently associated with superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) fiber integrity. As similar associations were, however, found between SLF fiber integrity and acute symptomatology, this study attempts to disentangle associations attributed to current depression from long-term course of illness.
A total of 531 patients suffering from acute (N = 250) or remitted (N = 281) MDD from the FOR2107-cohort were analyzed in this cross-sectional study using tract-based spatial statistics for diffusion tensor imaging. First, the effects of disease state (acute v. remitted), current symptom severity (BDI-score) and course of illness (number of hospitalizations) on fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity were analyzed separately. Second, disease state and BDI-scores were analyzed in conjunction with the number of hospitalizations to disentangle their effects.
Disease state (pFWE < 0.042) and number of hospitalizations (pFWE< 0.032) were associated with decreased FA and increased MD and RD in the bilateral SLF. A trend was found for the BDI-score (pFWE > 0.067). When analyzed simultaneously only the effect of course of illness remained significant (pFWE < 0.040) mapping to the right SLF.
Decreased FA and increased MD and RD values in the SLF are associated with more hospitalizations when controlling for current psychopathology. SLF fiber integrity could reflect cumulative illness burden at a neurobiological level and should be targeted in future longitudinal analyses.
Autoimmune encephalitis (AE) is an important consideration during the diagnostic work-up of secondary mental disorders. Indeed, isolated psychiatric syndromes have been described in case reports of patients with underlying AE. Therefore, the authors performed a systematic literature review of published cases with AE that have predominant psychiatric/neurocognitive manifestations. The aim of this paper is to present the clinical characteristics of these patients.
The authors conducted a systematic Medline search via Ovid, looking for case reports/series of AEs with antineuronal autoantibodies (Abs) against cell surface/intracellular antigens combined with predominant psychiatric/neurocognitive syndromes. The same was done for patients with Hashimoto encephalopathy/SREAT. Only patients with signs of immunological brain involvement or tumors in their diagnostic investigations or improvement under immunomodulatory drugs were included.
We identified 145 patients with AE mimicking predominant psychiatric/neurocognitive syndromes. Of these cases, 64% were female, and the mean age among all patients was 43.9 (±22.1) years. Most of the patients had Abs against neuronal cell surface antigens (55%), most frequently against the NMDA-receptor (N = 46). Amnestic/dementia-like (39%) and schizophreniform (34%) syndromes were the most frequently reported. Cerebrospinal fluid changes were found in 78%, electroencephalography abnormalities in 61%, and magnetic resonance imaging pathologies in 51% of the patients. Immunomodulatory treatment was performed in 87% of the cases, and 94% of the patients responded to treatment.
Our findings indicate that AEs can mimic predominant psychiatric and neurocognitive disorders, such as schizophreniform psychoses or neurodegenerative dementia, and that affected patients can be treated successfully with immunomodulatory drugs.
While taxonomy segregates anxiety symptoms into diagnoses, patients typically present with multiple diagnoses; this poses major challenges, particularly for youth, where mixed presentation is particularly common. Anxiety comorbidity could reflect multivariate, cross-domain interactions insufficiently emphasized in current taxonomy. We utilize network analytic approaches that model these interactions by characterizing pediatric anxiety as involving distinct, inter-connected, symptom domains. Quantifying this network structure could inform views of pediatric anxiety that shape clinical practice and research.
Participants were 4964 youths (ages 5–17 years) from seven international sites. Participants completed standard symptom inventory assessing severity along distinct domains that follow pediatric anxiety diagnostic categories. We first applied network analytic tools to quantify the anxiety domain network structure. We then examined whether variation in the network structure related to age (3-year longitudinal assessments) and sex, key moderators of pediatric anxiety expression.
The anxiety network featured a highly inter-connected structure; all domains correlated positively but to varying degrees. Anxiety patients and healthy youth differed in severity but demonstrated a comparable network structure. We noted specific sex differences in the network structure; longitudinal data indicated additional structural changes during childhood. Generalized-anxiety and panic symptoms consistently emerged as central domains.
Pediatric anxiety manifests along multiple, inter-connected symptom domains. By quantifying cross-domain associations and related moderation effects, the current study might shape views on the diagnosis, treatment, and study of pediatric anxiety.
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).
Subclinical psychotic-like experiences (PLE), resembling key symptoms of psychotic disorders, are common throughout the general population and possibly associated with psychosis risk. There is evidence that such symptoms are also associated with structural brain changes.
In 672 healthy individuals, we assessed PLE and associated distress with the symptom-checklist-90R (SCL-90R) scales ‘schizotypal signs’ (STS) and ‘schizophrenia nuclear symptoms’ (SNS) and analysed associations with voxel- and surfaced-based brain structural parameters derived from structural magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T with CAT12.
For SNS, we found a positive correlation with the volume in the left superior parietal lobule and the precuneus, and a negative correlation with the volume in the right inferior temporal gyrus [p < 0.05 cluster-level Family Wise Error (FWE-corrected]. For STS, we found a negative correlation with the volume of the left and right precentral gyrus (p < 0.05 cluster-level FWE-corrected). Surface-based analyses did not detect any significant clusters with the chosen statistical threshold of p < 0.05. However, in exploratory analyses (p < 0.001, uncorrected), we found a positive correlation of SNS with gyrification in the left insula and rostral middle frontal gyrus and of STS with the left precuneus and insula, as well as a negative correlation of STS with gyrification in the left temporal pole.
Our results show that brain structures in areas implicated in schizophrenia are also related to PLE and its associated distress in healthy individuals. This pattern supports a dimensional model of the neural correlates of symptoms of the psychotic spectrum.
Few studies have followed up patients with a clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis for more than 2–3 years. We aimed to investigate the rates and baseline predictors for remission from CHR and transition to psychosis over a follow-up period of up to 16 years. Additionally, we examined the clinical and functional long-term outcome of CHR patients who did not transition.
We analyzed the long-term course of CHR patients that had been included in the longitudinal studies “Früherkennung von Psychosen” (FePsy) or “Bruderholz” (BHS). Those patients who had not transitioned to psychosis during the initial follow-up periods (2/5 years), were invited for additional follow-ups.
Originally, 255 CHR patients had been included. Of these, 47 had transitioned to psychosis during the initial follow-ups. Thus, 208 were contacted for the long-term follow-up, of which 72 (34.6%) participated. From the original sample of 255, 26%, 31%, 35%, and 38% were estimated to have transitioned after 3, 5, 10, and 16 years, respectively, and 51% had remitted from their high risk status at the latest follow-up. Better psychosocial functioning at baseline was associated with a higher rate of remission. Of the 72 CHR patients re-assessed at long-term follow-up, 60 had not transitioned, but only 28% of those were fully recovered clinically and functionally.
Our study shows the need for follow-ups and clinical attention longer than the usual 2–3 years as there are several CHR patients with later transitions and only a minority of CHR those without transition fully recovers.
At the dawn of the European refugee crisis, and in the middle of the ongoing sociopolitical and financial crisis in Greece, Greek choreographers started creating dance works that engaged immigrants and refugees. In most such initiatives, improvisation became the tool for bridging the disparity between the professional dancers and the “untrained” participants, who were often the vulnerable populations of refugees and asylum seekers. In this essay, I question the ethics and aesthetics of these methodological approaches utilized for staging encounters between natives and migrants through dance. In particular, I consider the significance of improvisation as potentially perpetuating hierarchical inequalities in the framework of Western concert dance, while I also highlight the ways that such artistic endeavors end up presenting immigrants and refugees as “Others.”
This article analyzes ways in which dance as labor and artist as a specific subjectivity relate to the material conditions of their production within contexts shaped by neoliberal notions of freedom, ideologies of liberal democracy, and the logic of global capitalism. The discussion focuses on contemporary dance practices that embody some of these values by striving to be more egalitarian, thus giving performers more agency in how they participate in creative processes that lead to a collectively created performance work. This analysis emphasizes the tension between these collaborative practices and modes of producing and distributing financial and symbolic, as well as cultural forms of capital in ways that resist and/or reproduce exploitative aspects of capitalism. Examining some works by Yvonne Rainer, Xavier Le Roy, and Tino Sehgal enables the theorization of the entrepreneurial artistic archive as well as practices of crediting creative labor in relation to notions of capital, ownership, collaboration, and consequently who dance-art makers and performers become as politically progressive artists.
This article analyzes three artistic acts of the subversion of precariousness in the contemporary dance community in Buenos Aires. It explores the participation of dancers in political groups that demand improvement of their working conditions. It examines how Marina Sarmiento's investigation of dance history stages a precarious body as an archive that deals with aesthetic colonialism. And lastly, it discusses the emergence of an aesthetics of precariousness in Fabian Gandini's work, which brings artistic ethics to the fore. The argument proposed in this article asserts that working conditions, history, and aesthetics represent three dimensions of contemporary dance practice that operate simultaneously and determine the precariousness in the Argentinian dance community.
Identity, difference, and translation are important theoretical concepts in the field of translation studies and postcolonial studies. It is a basic assumption of this text that aesthetic and cultural translation is exposed to the paradox of identity and difference and that this paradox is particularly evident in artistic performance practices such as dance and choreography. Focusing on the artistic work of choreographer and dancer Germaine Acogny (Senegal), the text addresses artistic translation practices under postcolonial conditions in the global art market of so-called “contemporary dance.” The aim is to illustrate how contradictory, hybrid, and fragmented the cultural and aesthetic translation process is, how the global art market shapes the artistic strategies of translation, and how aesthetic productivity lies in the impossibility of translating cultural experience artistically.
This essay investigates dance's “conditions of possibility” to argue that while dance and dancing is, in some ways unique, it many other ways it is similar to other types of labor. These types of labor function not simply as a job, or even career, but also as a “calling,” in the sense that they provide a core part of an individual's identity in the world and organize their life practices. Key dimensions of dance's labor which influence its precarity include the status of the arts in a particular social formation, the role of the state, the functioning of an informal economy, and the tension between art's marginalization and its simultaneous valuation as “priceless” cultural commodity.
Personal Performance Practice (PPP) refers to a regular activity—differentiated from training and production—popular among contemporary dance artists. Against the backdrop of contemporary neoliberal working conditions, this article analyzes PPP by applying the ambivalent notion of “support” in order to show how PPP makes the daily work of dance visible, encouraging a discussion on the sustaining systems of dance. Framing this argument is the notion that in the long run, practice brings about shifts in style and in the aesthetics of dancing. The article thus calls for an acknowledgment of dance artists’ everyday work.