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Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
Immune system activation is involved in the pathophysiology of panic disorder (PD). We investigated INF-γ+874 A/T, TNF-α-308 G/A, and IL-10-1082 G/A single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to determine their association with PD.
This study enroled 135 PD patients and 135 healthy controls. INF-γ+874 A/T (rs2430561), TNF-α-308 G/A (rs1800629), and IL-10-1082 G/A (rs1800896) were genotyped.
There were no differences in genotypes or allele frequencies between the patient and control groups, regardless of accompanying agoraphobia. However, for female patients, the G allele frequency in IL-10 SNP was higher in the control group than in the patient group. Additionally, the female control group had a higher frequency of the A/G and G/G genotype in the IL-10 SNP than the female patient group.
We suggest that the G allele in IL-10-1082 G/A might have a role in reducing the manifestations of PD in female patients. Further studies are needed to extend and confirm our findings.
Some clinical studies have reported reduced peripheral glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) level in elderly patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). We verified whether a reduction in plasma GDNF level was associated with MDD.
Plasma GDNF level was measured in 23 healthy control subjects and 23 MDD patients before and after 6 weeks of treatment.
Plasma GDNF level in MDD patients at baseline did not differ from that in healthy controls. Plasma GDNF in MDD patients did not differ significantly from baseline to the end of treatment. GDNF level was significantly lower in recurrent-episode MDD patients than in first-episode patients before and after treatment.
Our findings revealed significantly lower plasma GDNF level in recurrent-episode MDD patients, although plasma GDNF levels in MDD patients and healthy controls did not differ significantly. The discrepancy between our study and previous studies might arise from differences in the recurrence of depression or the ages of the MDD patients.
It is controversial whether Borna disease virus (BDV) infects humans and causes psychiatric disorders.
The relationship between BDV infection and schizophrenia with deficit syndrome was investigated.
Using the Schedule for the Deficit Syndrome, 62 schizophrenic in-patients were selected from three psychiatric hospitals. RNA was extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells and analyzed using nested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction with primers to detect BDV p24 and p40.
Results and conclusions:
BDV transcripts were not detected in samples from any of the 62 schizophrenic patients. These data do not support an etiologic association between BDV infection and the deficit form of schizophrenia.
Lee H-Y, Kim Y-K. Effect of TGF-β1 polymorphism on the susceptibility to schizophrenia and treatment response to atypical antipsychotic agent.
Several studies have suggested that cytokine alterations could be related to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1) is believed to be an important factor in regulation of inflammatory responses and to have anti-inflammatory effects. TGF-β1 also has trophic effects on dopaminergic neurons. We tested the hypothesis TGF-β1 is associated with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
The polymorphisms at codon 10 (T869C) and codon 25 (G915C) of TGF-β1 were analysed in 99 schizophrenia patients and 130 normal controls. At baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment, clinical symptoms were evaluated on Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
None of the subjects were polymorphic at codon 25. However, the C allele at codon 10 was more frequent in schizophrenia (p = 0.05). Although schizophrenia group showed a higher tendency of allele frequency in the subjects with C allele (p = 0.05), the allelic difference did not reach statistical significance after correction for multiple comparisons (p = 0.1).
PANSS scores showed no significant correlation with genotypes. The genotype distribution was not significantly different between responders and non-responders. However, the C allele was more frequent among responders (p = 0.03).
These results suggest that the TGF-β1 polymorphism is associated with therapeutic response to antipsychotics. However, further studies with larger numbers of subjects are needed to confirm the effect of TGF-β1 in schizophrenia.
The incidence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) is presumed to be higher among people with schizophrenia who take antipsychotic medication, most of which blocks the dopamine D2 receptor. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the G-protein β3 subunit (GNB3) C825T polymorphism is associated with antipsychotic-induced RLS in schizophrenia.
We examined 178 Korean patients with schizophrenia. All of the subjects were evaluated using the diagnostic criteria of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group and the International Restless Legs Scale. Genotyping was performed for the C825T polymorphism in the GNB3 gene.
The genotype distribution did not differ significantly between antipsychotic-induced RLS patients and patients who had no-RLS symptoms (χ2 = 4.30, p = 0.116). The genotypes of the C825T single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) were classified into two groups: C+ (CC and CT genotypes) and C– (TT genotype). The presence of the C allele (C+) was associated with an increased likelihood of RLS (χ2 = 4.14, p = 0.042; odds ratio = 2.56, 95% confidence interval = 1.02–6.47).
These results suggest that the GNB3 C825T SNP is associated with RLS in schizophrenia. However, confirming this association requires future larger scale studies in which the effects of medication are strictly controlled.
The neurobiological mechanism of auditory hallucination (AH) in schizophrenia remains elusive, but AH can be caused by the abnormality in the speech perception system based on the speech perception neural network model.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether schizophrenic patients with AH have the speech processing impairment as compared with schizophrenic patients without AH, and whether the speech perception ability could be improved after AH had subsided.
Twenty-four schizophrenic patients with AH were compared with 25 schizophrenic patients without AH. Narrative speech perception was assessed using a masked speech tracking (MST) task with three levels of superimposed phonetic noise. Sentence repetition task (SRT) and auditory continuous performance task (CPT) were used to assess grammar-dependent verbal working memory and non-language attention, respectively. These tests were measured before and after treatment in both groups.
Before treatment, schizophrenic patients with AH showed significant impairments in MST compared with those without AH. There were no significant differences in SRT and CPT correct (CPT-C) rates between both groups, but CPT incorrect (CPT-I) rate showed a significant difference. The low-score CPI-I group showed a significant difference in MST performance between the two groups, while the high-score CPI-I group did not. After treatment (after AH subsided), the hallucinating schizophrenic patients still had significant impairment in MST performance compared with non-hallucinating schizophrenic patients.
Our results support the claim that schizophrenic patients with AH are likely to have a disturbance of the speech perception system. Moreover, our data suggest that non-language attention might be a key factor influencing speech perception ability and that speech perception dysfunction might be a trait marker in schizophrenia with AH.
Borna disease virus (BDV) predominantly infects horses and sheep, causing a broad range of behavioural disorders. It is controversial whether BDV infects humans and causes psychiatric disorders.
We searched for BDV-derived nucleic acids in blood of race horses and jockeys riding the horses.
We assayed for the BDV genome in RNA extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 39 race horses and 48 jockeys. Two polymerase chain reaction protocols [one-tube reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and two-step RT-PCR] were used to assay BDV p24 and p40 transcripts.
The p24 and p40 viral nucleic acid sequences were not detected in the PBMC RNAs from any of the race horses or jockeys.
These data do not support an epidemiological association between BDV infection, race horses and humans.
Yoon H-K, Kim Y-K, Han C, Ko Y-H, Lee H-J, Kwon D-Y, Kim L. Paliperidone in the treatment of delirium: results of a prospective open-label pilot trial.
Objective: Delirium is a life-threatening neuropsychiatric syndrome characterised by disturbances in consciousness, attention, cognition and perception. Antipsychotics are considered the drugs of choice in managing the symptoms of delirium. Paliperidone is a benzisoxazole derivative and the principal active metabolite of risperidone. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of paliperidone for the treatment of delirium.
Methods: A prospective open-label study of paliperidone for delirium treatment was performed with 6-day follow-up. Fifteen patients who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders, Fourth Edition criteria for delirium and had a score of 13 on the Delirium Rating Scale were recruited. The starting dose was 3 mg once a day and the dose was adjusted depending on the status of delirium. Daily assessments of the severity of delirium were evaluated using Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale (MDAS).
Results: The mean daily maintenance dose of paliperidone was 3.75 ± 1.06. The MDAS scores before and after treatment (day 7) were 23.60 ± 6.31 and 11.33 ± 5.45 (t = 6.78, p < 0.001), respectively. The intensity of delirium showed a statistically significant reduction in MDAS scores from the first day of treatment. No serious adverse effects were observed, and none of the patients discontinued paliperidone because of adverse effects.
Conclusions: This study shows that low-dose paliperidone is effective in reducing behavioural disturbances and symptoms in delirium and is well tolerated in delirious patients. This trial is an open-label study with a small sample size, and further controlled studies will be necessary.
Although a considerable amount of evidence has shown that psychological stress alters peripheral and brain cytokines, the physiological significance of cytokine alteration in psychological stress remains to be elucidated. The aims of this review are to analyze the influence of acute and chronic psychological stresses on the cytokine network in animals and in humans, and to explore the pathophysiological implication of the cytokine changes in psychological stress. Acute psychological stress may increase proinflammatory cytokines both in animals and in humans, and increase T-helper-1 cell cytokines in humans. Investigations into the effect of chronic psychological stress on cytokine production in animals gives mixed results. However, in humans, academic exam stress or care-giver's stress appears to induce a shift in the Th1/Th2 cytokine balance toward a Th2 response and increase proinflammatory cytokines. Psychological stress-induced cytokines stimulate the activity of indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) and could induce serotonin depletion-related disorders such as depression in susceptible individuals. Psychological stress-induced production of cytokines may increase the risk for human diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and exacerbation of autoimmune diseases. Proinflammatory cytokines may also play a regulatory role in glucocorticoid resistance and may be involved in wound healing and skin barrier function alterations. Finally, psychological stress-induced production of cytokines may play a role in neurodegenerative changes in the brain.
The modified TiO2 nanoparticles were incorporated into the Bulk heterojunction system of P3HT:PCBM to improve the performance of P3HT:PCBM bulk heterojunction organic solar cells. The organically-modified TiO2 nanoparticle compounds were synthesized in aqueous media at room temperature. These TiO2 compounds in various solution concentrations were deposited on the top of the P3HT:PCBM active layer by spin coating. The performance of organic solar cells was carefully investigated in the respect of the scattering and the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) that couple strongly to the incident light. In addition to the device, P3HT:PCBM solar cells with the use of the TiO2 nanoparticles, enhanced Fill Factor (FF) due mainly to improved shunt resistance (Rsh). The TiO2 plays a critical role in improving the interface between P3HT:PCBM active layer and Al electrode.
Direct heteroarylation polymerization was employed to synthesize a novel low bandgap polymer, used as a p-type material of polymer photovoltaic cells. To achieve low bandgap of conjugated polymers, electron donor-acceptor (D-A) alternating strategy was used. The electron-donating 3-alkylthiophene and electron-withdrawing cyanothiophene were coupled to be polymerized via direct heteroarylation polymerization. The cyano moiety of the polymer backbone allowed a strong intermolecular interaction between neighboring chains and improved the structural perfection of the crystal structure on the substrate. The solar cell devices of ITO/PEDOT:PSS/P3HT:PCBM/LiF/Al were fabricated on ITO-coated glass substrate.
Applying a first-principles computational approach, we study the electronic and charge transport properties of the interfaces between metals and capped carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with various arrangements of topological defects. Observing the length scaling of resistance, we first show that capped CNTs exhibit only one CNT-body-determined low-slope scaling and the resulting very low long-length-limit resistance. The intrinsically low resistance (absence of Schottky-barrier-dominated high-slope scaling) of capped CNTs is next analyzed by the local density of states, which shows the formation of unusual propagating-type metal-induced gap states originating from the topological defect states that are well connected with CNT edge and body states.
We report the characterization of white light emitting devices fabricated using conjugated polymer blends. Blue emissive poly[9,9-bis(4′-n-octyloxyphenyl)fluorene-2,7-diyl-co-10-(2′-ethylhexyl)phenothiazine-3,7-diyl] [poly(BOPF-co-PTZ)] and red emissive poly(2-(2′-ethylhexyloxy)-5-methoxy-1,4-phenylenevinylene) (MEH-PPV) were used in the blends. The inefficient energy transfer between these blue and red light emitting polymers (previously deduced from the photoluminscence (PL) spectra of the blend films) enables the production of white light emission through control of the blend ratio. The PL and electroluminescence (EL) emission spectra of the blend systems were found to vary with the blend ratio. The EL devices were fabricated in the indium tin oxide [poly(3,4-ethylenedioxy-thiophene)-poly(styrenesulfonate)] (ITO/PEDOT-PSS)blend/LiF/Al configuration, and white light emission was obtained for one of the tested blend ratios.
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