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Structural and functional deviations in schizophrenic patients with formal thought disorder (FTD) point towards a dysfunction within left sided language network.
Independent component analysis (ICA), a new approach to fMRI analysis, enables to target the question of a network dysfunction directly. Using this method in healthy controls it was possible to identify the language networks separately for the left and the right hemispheres In the present study we use ICA analysis to examine changes of the language network separate for each hemisphere in relation to the severity of FTD.
We hypothesize increasing disintegration with increasing severity of FTD only in the left sided language network while the right language network should remain unaffected.
We investigated 16 schizophrenic patients with different severity of FTD and matched healthy controls using ICA decomposition of the BOLD signal. The spatial similarity of the individual language networks was correlated to the severity of FTD.
The integrity of the left language network decrease with increasing severity of FTD (r = -0.79, p < 0.01), while the integrity of the right language network show no significant correlation to the severity of FTD.
For the first time the isolated breakdown of the left sided language network was linked specifically to schizophrenic FTD. This result unites older manly left hemispheric findings of structural and functional abnormalities in schizophrenic FTD.
VIH+ status: indication or contra-indication for liver transplantation
Background and aims:
Since 1996 antiretroviral treatment drastically diminished morbidity and mortality of VIH infected patients. This fact allowed it to include patients with hepatic failure caused by Virus B or C in liver transplantation procedures. We intended to identify psychological factors interfering in the post-transplantation period with the further aim to define criteria for psychological assessment at the pre-transplantation period.
From 2001 to 2006 we made a psychological investigation with 34 VIH+ patients during their usual pre-transplantation assessment. ICD-10 diagnoses were given after clinical non-structured interviews. Patients' psychosocial situations were also assessed in a non-structured way as well as drug and alcohol consumption was monitored. Patients were followed up during the whole time period.
We found an elevated prevalence of psychopathology among this group of VIH+ transplantation candidates, specially personality disorders, socio-familiar problems and substance abuse.
It is important to include in-depth social and psychological assessment into the routine pre-transplantation procedure in order to preview and to minimize risk situations during the post-transplantation period.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a risk factor for drug. Prevalence rates between 15 and 30% had been previously found in this population.
To identify the real the prevalence of ADHD in alcoholics and to find/test/ evaluate? a new type of screening (ASRS) for the initial diagnosis of ADHD in alcoholics.
312 patients from an outpatient clinic for alcoholism were recruited during 1 year. All patients completed the ASRS: Adult Self-Report Scale. DSM IV criteria were used for other psychiatric diagnoses.
• 312 patients (66.3% (207) men) filled out the ASRS of which 13.5% (42) were positive.
• Alcohol consumption: 69% for more than 1 month, 17% less than a month and 14% with active consumption.
• 27.6% (86) had another psychiatric diagnosis from which 69% were ASRS positive. ASRS positive patients present a major risk of having another mental disorder. OR = 8.3 (4,1 - 17,1, c2 = 0,77, p = 0,001).
• Other drugs: 70.5% consume other drugs. 76% of them are ASRS positive. 27.6% consumed illegal substances, 47.6% of them being ASRS positive (c2 = 9.77, p = 0,002). ASRS positive patient have more average substance abuse (including tobacco): 1.02 DT: 0.87 versus 0.72, 7 DT: 0.04 (z -2.21, p.027).
• ASRS detected 13.5% of ADHD diagnosis in alcoholics.
• Patients with positive screening present more substance abuse and more risk of psychiatric comorbidity.
Face processing is crucial for social interaction, but impaired in schizophrenia in terms of delays and misperceptions of identity and affective content. One important functional region for early stages of human face processing is the right fusiform face area. Thus, this region might be affected in schizophrenia. Aim of the study was to investigate whether face processing deficits are related to dysfunctions of the right fusiform face area in schizophrenics compared to controls.
In a rapid event-related fMRI design encoding of new faces as well as the recognition of newly learned, famous, and unknown faces was investigated in 13 schizophrenics and 21 healthy controls. Region of interest analysis was applied to each individual's right fusiform face area and tested for group differences.
Controls displayed more BOLD activation during the memorization of faces that were later successfully recognized. In schizophrenics this effect was not present. During the recognition task schizophrenics had lower BOLD responses, less accuracy, as well as longer reaction times to famous and unknown faces.
Our results support the hypothesis that impaired face processing in schizophrenia is related to early stage deficits during the encoding and immediate recognition of faces.
We present a new low-cost, high-throughput method for converting many types of organic carbon samples into graphite for radiocarbon (14C) measurements by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The method combines sample combustion and reduction to graphite into a single procedure. In the Single Step method, solid samples are placed directly into Pyrex containing zinc, titanium hydride and iron catalyst. The tube is evacuated, flame sealed, and placed in a muffle furnace for 7 hr. A variety of organic samples have been tested including oxalic acid, sucrose, wood, peat, collagen, humic acid, and contamination swipe samples. The method significantly reduces the time required to produce a graphite sample for 14C measurement, with analytical precision and accuracy approaching that of traditional two-step combustion and hydrogen reduction methods. The details and applicability of the method are presented.
Postprandial inflammation is an important factor for human health since chronic low-grade inflammation is associated with chronic diseases. Dairy products have a weak but significant anti-inflammatory effect on postprandial inflammation. The objective of the present study was to compare the effect of a high-fat dairy meal (HFD meal), a high-fat non-dairy meal supplemented with milk (HFM meal) and a high-fat non-dairy control meal (HFC meal) on postprandial inflammatory and metabolic responses in healthy men. A cross-over study was conducted in nineteen male subjects. Blood samples were collected before and 1, 2, 4 and 6 h after consumption of the test meals. Plasma concentrations of insulin, glucose, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, TAG and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured at each time point. IL-6, TNF-α and endotoxin concentrations were assessed at baseline and endpoint (6 h). Time-dependent curves of these metabolic parameters were plotted, and the net incremental AUC were found to be significantly higher for TAG and lower for CRP after consumption of the HFM meal compared with the HFD meal; however, the HFM and HFD meals were not different from the HFC meal. Alterations in IL-6, TNF-α and endotoxin concentrations were not significantly different between the test meals. The results suggest that full-fat milk and dairy products (cheese and butter) have no significant impact on the inflammatory response to a high-fat meal.
Converging evidence indicates that a considerable amount of variance in self-estimated emotional competency can be directly attributed to genetic factors. The current study examined the associations between the polymorphisms of the Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT Met158Val) and the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) and specific measures of the self-estimated effectiveness of an individual’s emotion perception and regulation. Emotional competence was measured in a large sample of 289 healthy women by using the Self-report Emotional Ability Scale (SEAS), which includes two subscales for the assessment of emotion perception and regulation in the intra-personal domain and two subscales for the assessment of emotion perception and regulation in the inter-personal domain. Participants’ reports of effective emotion regulation in everyday life were associated with the COMT Met-allele, with women homozygous for the Val-allele scoring lowest on this scale. Self-estimated effectiveness of emotion perception of the individual’s own emotions was related to the 5-HTTLPR. Both homozygous groups (s/s and l/l) rated their intra-personal emotion perception less effective than participants in the heterozygous s/l group. Taken together, the results indicate that genetic variants of the COMT and 5HTTLPR genes are differentially associated with specific measures of the self-estimated effectiveness of an individual’s emotion perception and regulation in the intra-personal domain. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–9)
Fetal growth restriction in singletons has been shown to enhance fetal lung maturation and reduce the risk of respiratory distress syndrome due to increased endogenous steroid production. However, data on lung maturation in growth-discordant monochorionic (thus, identical) twins are lacking. Our objective was to compare the risk of severe neonatal morbidity between the larger and the smaller twin in monochorionic twins with birth weight discordance (BWD). We included in the study all consecutive monochorionic diamniotic pregnancies with severe BWD (≥25%) and two live-born twins delivered at our center (n = 47 twin pairs). We compared the incidence of neonatal morbidity, particularly respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), and cerebral lesions between the larger and the smaller co-twin. The incidence of severe neonatal morbidity in the larger and smaller twin was 38% (18/47) and 19% (9/47), respectively (odds ratio (OR) 2.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.94–7.44) and was due primarily to the higher incidence of RDS, 32% (15/47) and 6% (3/47), respectively (OR 6.88, 95% CI 1.66–32.83). In conclusion, this study shows that the larger twin in monochorionic twin pairs with BWD is at increased risk of severe neonatal morbidity, particularly RDS, compared to the smaller twin.
Monoamines, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, play a crucial role in the regulation of emotion processing and mood. In this study, we investigated how polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) influence emotion recognition abilities. We recruited 88 female undergraduate students and assessed 5-HTT genotype and the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. The subjects completed two computerized tasks: The Penn Emotion Recognition Test (ER40) and the Penn Emotion Acuity Test (PEAT). For the ER40, we found that s-allele carriers performed significantly worse in the recognition of happy faces, but did better in the recognition of fearful faces, compared with homozygous l-carriers of the 5-HTT gene. Neither 5-HTT nor COMT genotypes influenced the ability to discriminate between different intensities of sadness or happiness on the PEAT. Moreover, there was no significant interaction between the two polymorphisms in their effect on performance on the ER40 or the PEAT. (JINS, 2011, 17, 1014–1020)
The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met
polymorphism modulates executive functions and working memory and recent
neuroimaging studies implicate an association with emotional processing.
We examined the relationship between the COMT Val158Met
polymorphism and facial emotion recognition and differentiation in 100
healthy individuals. Compared to Met homozygosity, Val homozygosity was
associated with better and faster recognition of negative facial
expressions such as anger and sad. Our study provides evidence for a
possible influence of the COMT polymorphism on emotion recognition
abilities in healthy subjects. Additional research is needed to further
define the neurocognitive phenotypes associated with COMT polymorphisms.
(JINS, 2007, 13, 881–887.)
Formation of polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) thin films on inexpensive glass substrates is of great interest for large area electronic devices. Large grain sizes are desirable to reduce grain boundary effects. In the aluminum-induced layer exchange process Al/a-Si bi-layers exchange their positions with a concurrent crystallization of the amorphous Si (a-Si) in a simple annealing step. The process is characterized by the self regulated suppression of nucleation by existing grains resulting in large grain sizes above 10 μm. This paper elucidates the process within the Al Si phase diagram. The change in Si concentration within the Al is shown to cause the nucleation suppression.
Granular materials are now recognized as a distinct state of matter, and studies of their behavior form a fascinating interdisciplinary branch of science. The intrinsic dissipative nature of the interactions between the constituent macroscopic particles gives rise to several basic properties specific to granular substances, setting granular matter apart from the conventional gaseous, liquid, or solid states.
Thin layers of granular materials subjected to vertical vibration exhibit a diversity of patterns. The particular pattern is determined by the interplay between driving frequency f and the acceleration amplitude Γ. Interfaces in vibrated granular layers, existing for large enough amplitude of vibration, separate large domains of flat layers oscillating with opposite phase. These two phases are related to the period-doubling character of the flat layer motion at large plate acceleration. Interfaces are either smooth or “decorated” by periodic undulations depending on parameters of vibration. An additional subharmonic driving results in a controlled displacement of the interface with respect to the center of the experimental cell. The speed and the direction of the interface motion are sensitive to the phase and amplitude of the subharmonic driving.
The image sequence above shows interface nucleation and propagation towards the center of the cell, with dimensionless time tf labeled in each image. The interface forms at the right side wall of the cell due to small-amplitude phase-shifted subharmonic driving. After the additional driving stops, the interface moves towards the center, creating small-scale localized structures in the process.
We present spectroscopic data of 3 isolated Vega-type systems which exhibit the 3.3 μm‘PAH’ feature ascribed to stretching of the C-H bonds in aromatic hydrocarbons. These are part of a sample of mainly hot stars. We discuss the implications of Vega-type stars having an organic component to their surroundings and compare them with the unique star, HD135344 (SAO 206462).
Further observations of the submillimetre CO lines in 3 Vega-type stars are reported and interpreted for the gas temperatures they imply. Very low gas temperatures (∽15K) are deduced for all three stars, consolidating the suggestion that, if the gas and dust are remnants of the molecular cloud from which the star system formed, then much of the CO in these systems may be locked up in ices on the surfaces of dust grains.