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Sex-related differences in psychopathology are known phenomena, with externalizing and internalizing symptoms typically more common in boys and girls, respectively. However, the neural correlates of these sex-by-psychopathology interactions are underinvestigated, particularly in adolescence.
Participants were 14 years of age and part of the IMAGEN study, a large (N = 1526) community-based sample. To test for sex-by-psychopathology interactions in structural grey matter volume (GMV), we used whole-brain, voxel-wise neuroimaging analyses based on robust non-parametric methods. Psychopathological symptom data were derived from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).
We found a sex-by-hyperactivity/inattention interaction in four brain clusters: right temporoparietal-opercular region (p < 0.01, Cohen's d = −0.24), bilateral anterior and mid-cingulum (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = −0.18), right cerebellum and fusiform (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = −0.20) and left frontal superior and middle gyri (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = −0.26). Higher symptoms of hyperactivity/inattention were associated with lower GMV in all four brain clusters in boys, and with higher GMV in the temporoparietal-opercular and cerebellar-fusiform clusters in girls.
Using a large, sex-balanced and community-based sample, our study lends support to the idea that externalizing symptoms of hyperactivity/inattention may be associated with different neural structures in male and female adolescents. The brain regions we report have been associated with a myriad of important cognitive functions, in particular, attention, cognitive and motor control, and timing, that are potentially relevant to understand the behavioural manifestations of hyperactive and inattentive symptoms. This study highlights the importance of considering sex in our efforts to uncover mechanisms underlying psychopathology during adolescence.
Although hallucinations have been studied in terms of prevalence and its associations with psychopathology and functional impairment, very little is known about sensory modalities other than auditory (i.e. haptic, visual and olfactory), as well the incidence of hallucinations, factors predicting incidence and subsequent course.
We examined the incidence, course and risk factors of hallucinatory experiences across different modalities in two unique prospective general population cohorts in the same country using similar methodology and with three interview waves, one over the period 1996–1999 (NEMESIS) and one over the period 2007–2015 (NEMESIS-2).
In NEMESIS-2, the yearly incidence of self-reported visual hallucinations was highest (0.33%), followed by haptic hallucinations (0.31%), auditory hallucinations (0.26%) and olfactory hallucinations (0.23%). Rates in NEMESIS-1 were similar (respectively: 0.35%, 0.26%, 0.23%, 0.22%). The incidence of clinician-confirmed hallucinations was approximately 60% of the self-reported rate. The persistence rate of incident hallucinations was around 20–30%, increasing to 40–50% for prevalent hallucinations. Incident hallucinations in one modality were very strongly associated with occurrence in another modality (median OR = 59) and all modalities were strongly associated with delusional ideation (median OR = 21). Modalities were approximately equally strongly associated with the presence of any mental disorder (median OR = 4), functioning, indicators of help-seeking and established environmental risk factors for psychotic disorder.
Hallucinations across different modalities are a clinically relevant feature of non-psychotic disorders and need to be studied in relation to each other and in relation to delusional ideation, as all appear to have a common underlying mechanism.
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