ResearchPad - neuropsychiatric-disorders https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Psychological symptoms and quality of life after repeated exposure to earthquake: A cohort study in Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13809 In 2005, a random sample of 200 people were assessed in Camerino, Italy, eight years after an earthquake. Psychological symptom levels were low and only one person had current Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In 2016 a new earthquake occurred in Camerino. The study aims to assess the impact of the second exposure in the same cohort. A longitudinal study was conducted, 130 participants were re-interviewed between July and December 2017. Psychological symptoms were self-rated on the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and the Global Severity Index (GSI) was analysed. Post-traumatic stress symptoms were self-rated on the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Subjective quality of life (SQOL) was assessed on the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life (MANSA). Mean scores of GSI and IES-R were significantly higher than in 2005 (p<0.01 and p<0.001), whilst SQOL remained almost unchanged (p = 0.163). In 2017, 16.9% of the sample had reached the PTSD threshold whilst in 2005 only the 0.5% had reached it. Despite low symptom levels several years after an earthquake, people can show psychological distress after a new exposure, whilst average quality of life levels are not affected.

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<![CDATA[Operational method of reliability and content-validity analysis: Taking “trait-symptoms” screening of individuals at high-risk for OCD as an example]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13806 A well-designed self-reported scale is highly applicable to current clinical and research practices. However, the problems with the scale method, such as quantitative analysis of content validity and test-retest reliability analysis of state-like variables are yet to be resolved. The main purpose of this paper is to propose an operational method for solving these problems. Additionally, it aims to enhance understanding of the research paradigm for the scale method (excluding criterion-related validity). This paper used a study that involved screening of high-risk groups for OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), conducted 5 rounds of tests, and developed scales, reliability, and validity analysis (using sample sizes of 496, 610, 600, 600 and 990). The operational method we propose is practical, feasible, and can be used to develop and validate a scale.

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<![CDATA[Life within a limited radius: Investigating activity space in women with a history of child abuse using global positioning system tracking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7709 Early experiences of childhood sexual or physical abuse are often associated with functional impairments, reduced well-being and interpersonal problems in adulthood. Prior studies have addressed whether the traumatic experience itself or adult psychopathology is linked to these limitations. To approach this question, individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and healthy individuals with and without a history of child abuse were investigated. We used global positioning system (GPS) tracking to study temporal and spatial limitations in the participants’ real-life activity space over the course of one week. The sample consisted of 228 female participants: 150 women with PTSD and emotional instability with a history of child abuse, 35 mentally healthy women with a history of child abuse (healthy trauma controls, HTC) and 43 mentally healthy women without any traumatic experiences in their past (healthy controls, HC). Both traumatized groups—i.e. the PTSD and the HTC group—had smaller movement radii than the HC group on the weekends, but neither spent significantly less time away from home than HC. Some differences between PTSD and HC in movement radius seem to be related to correlates of PTSD psychopathology, like depression and physical health. Yet group differences between HTC and HC in movement radius remained even when contextual and individual health variables were included in the model, indicating specific effects of traumatic experiences on activity space. Experiences of child abuse could limit activity space later in life, regardless of whether PTSD develops.

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<![CDATA[Misophonia: Phenomenology, comorbidity and demographics in a large sample]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4224db8b-e824-4eb2-b1dc-d3c3ccfee32c

Objective

Analyze a large sample with detailed clinical data of misophonia subjects in order to determine the psychiatric, somatic and psychological nature of the condition.

Methods

This observational study of 779 subjects with suspected misophonia was conducted from January 2013 to May 2017 at the outpatient-clinic of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers, location AMC, the Netherlands. We examined DSM-IV diagnoses, results of somatic examination (general screening and hearing tests), and 17 psychological questionnaires (e.g., SCL-90-R, WHOQoL).

Results

The diagnosis of misophonia was confirmed in 575 of 779 referred subjects (74%). In the sample of misophonia subjects (mean age, 34.17 [SD = 12.22] years; 399 women [69%]), 148 (26%) subjects had comorbid traits of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, 58 (10%) mood disorders, 31 (5%) attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, and 14 (3%) autism spectrum conditions. Two percent reported tinnitus and 1% hyperacusis. In a random subgroup of 109 subjects we performed audiometry, and found unilateral hearing loss in 3 of them (3%). Clinical neurological examination and additional blood test showed no abnormalities. Psychological tests revealed perfectionism (97% CPQ>25) and neuroticism (stanine 7 NEO-PI-R). Quality of life was heavily impaired and associated with misophonia severity (rs (184) = -.34 p = < .001, p = < .001).

Limitations

This was a single site study, leading to possible selection–and confirmation bias, since AMC-criteria were used.

Conclusions

This study with 575 subjects is the largest misophonia sample ever described. Based on these results we propose a set of revised criteria useful to diagnose misophonia as a psychiatric disorder.

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<![CDATA[Risk and protective factors for post-traumatic stress among New Zealand military personnel: A cross sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N88434cd0-9137-4283-905a-485946610b9a

Background

Post-traumatic stress (PTS) is prevalent among military personnel. Knowledge of the risk and protective factors associated with PTS in this population may assist with identifying personnel who would benefit from increased or targeted support.

Aims

To examine factors associated with PTS among New Zealand military personnel.

Methods

For this cross-sectional study, currently serving and retired military personnel were invited to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire included a measure of PTS (the Military Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist; PCL-M), where scores ≥30 indicate the experience of significant PTS symptoms and scores ≥45 indicate a presumptive clinical diagnosis of post-traumatic stress. Potential risk and protective factors associated with PTS were examined using logistic regression modelling.

Results

1817 military personnel completed the questionnaire. PCL-M scores were ≥30 for 549 (30%) participants and ≥45 for 179 (10%) participants. Factors associated with higher PCL-M scores were trauma exposure, older age, male sex, and Māori ethnicity. Factors associated with lower PCL-M scores were greater length of service, psychological flexibility, and better quality sleep.

Conclusions

PTS was found to be prevalent among New Zealand military personnel. The experience of trauma was strongly associated with PTS. However, factors such as psychological flexibility (the ability to adapt to changes in circumstances) and good sleep were protective, suggesting that these factors could be key targets for interventions designed to reduce PTS among military personnel in New Zealand.

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<![CDATA[Creative arts in psychotherapy for traumatized children in South Africa: An evaluation study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9f8d5eed0c48452a61d

Aim

To evaluate the feasibility and effect of a 10-session creative arts in psychotherapy group programme on posttraumatic stress symptoms, behavioural problems, and posttraumatic growth, in children who experienced a traumatic event.

Design

A multicentre non-randomized controlled trial with a treatment and a control condition conducted in South Africa (4 sites).

Methods

125 children aged 7 to 13 years were assigned either to the treatment condition receiving creative arts in psychotherapy or a control condition with a low-level supportive programme without treatment. Attrition rates were 63.4% and in total 47 children completed the programme and questionnaires assessing posttraumatic stress, posttraumatic growth and behaviour problems both at baseline and follow-up; 23 in the treatment group and 24 in the control group. Adjusted mean differences were analysed using ANCOVA with bootstrapping.

Results

Results showed that both hyperarousal symptoms (d = 0.61) and avoidance symptoms (d = 0.41) decreased more in the treatment group compared to the control group. There was no significant effect of the intervention found for reported levels of behavioural problems and posttraumatic growth.

Conclusion

In spite of severe challenges implementing and executing this pioneering study in underprivileged areas of South Africa, support was found for creative arts in psychotherapy reducing hyperarousal and avoidance symptoms, but not for other symptoms. Valuable lessons were learned on feasibility of implementing this intervention in a developing context.

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<![CDATA[Increased arterial pressure in mice with overexpression of the ADHD candidate gene calcyon in forebrain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7585d5eed0c4843cfe50

The link between blood pressure (BP) and cerebral function is well established. However, it is not clear whether a common mechanism could underlie the relationship between elevated BP and cognitive deficits. The expression of calcyon, a gene abundant in catecholaminergic and hypothalamic nuclei along with other forebrain regions, is increased in the brain of the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) which is a widely accepted animal model of essential hypertension and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Previous studies demonstrated that mice with up-regulation of calcyon in forebrain (CalOE) exhibit deficits in working memory. To date, there is no evidence directly connecting calcyon to BP regulation. Here, we investigated whether forebrain up-regulation of calcyon alters BP using radiotelemetry. We found that CalOE mice exhibited higher mean arterial pressure (MAP) compared to tTA controls. Plasma norepinephrine levels were significantly higher in CalOE mice compared to tTA controls. Silencing the transgene with doxycycline normalized BP in CalOE mice, whereas challenging the mice with 4% high salt diet for 12 days exacerbated the MAP differences between CalOE and tTA mice. High salt diet challenge also increased proteinuria and urinary thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARs) in tTA and CalOE; and the increases were more prominent in CalOE mice. Taken together, our data suggest that upregulation of calcyon in forebrain could increase BP via alterations in noradrenergic transmission and increased oxidative stress during high salt challenge. Overall, this study reveals that calcyon could be a novel neural regulator of BP raising the possibility that it could play a role in the development of vascular abnormalities.

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<![CDATA[Depression and anxiety in patients with different rare chronic diseases: A cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe74d5eed0c484e5bab4

Objective

Empirical evidence on depression and anxiety in patients with rare diseases is scarce but can help improve comprehensive treatment. The objectives of this study were to investigate the frequency of depression and anxiety in this heterogeneous population and to examine aspects associated with increased psychopathology.

Methods

N = 300 patients with 79 different rare diseases (female:80%, age:M = 44.3(12.8), range:16–74 years) participated in a cross-sectional online study. We determined the percentages of patients reporting elevated depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-7) scores. We calculated two linear regressions with depression and anxiety as outcomes. Predictor variables were diagnosis-related aspects (diagnosis assigned to ICD-10 chapter, visibility of symptoms, time since diagnosis, comorbid diseases), perceived somatic-symptom-severity (PHQ-15), illness-perceptions (consequences, control, identity, concern, understanding and treatment control; B-IPQ-R), coping mechanisms (constructive attitudes, active engagement in life) and social support (heiQ). We controlled for gender, age and depression or anxiety depending on the outcome.

Results

42% of the patients (95%CI [36.41%,47.59%]) reported depression scores indicating moderately or severely elevated symptom levels. Regarding anxiety, this applies to 23% (95%CI [18.54%,28.06%]). Variables significantly associated with depression were higher perceived somatic-symptom-severity (B = 0.41,p < .001), less control (B = .17,p < .05), lower levels of concern (B = -0.32,p < .01) and less constructive attitudes (B = -1.40,p < .001). No diagnosis-related variables were associated with depression. Variables significantly associated with anxiety were diseases of the circulatory system compared to congenital malformations (B = 1.88,p < .05), less consequences (B = -0.32,p < .05) and more concern (B = -0.32,p < .01).

Conclusion

The data reveal first insights into depression and anxiety in patients with different rare diseases. High percentages of patients showed clinically relevant symptom burden. No diagnosis-related differences were found in depression while anxiety seems to be particularly frequent in patients with rare diseases of the circulatory system. Besides perceived somatic symptom severity, cognitive appraisal seems to be linked to depression. Supporting patients in coping with their disease may help reduce psychopathology and therefore improve overall health.

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<![CDATA[Disrupted reinforcement learning during post-error slowing in ADHD]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe43d5eed0c484e5b7bb

ADHD is associated with altered dopamine regulated reinforcement learning on prediction errors. Despite evidence of categorically altered error processing in ADHD, neuroimaging advances have largely investigated models of normal reinforcement learning in greater detail. Further, although reinforcement leaning critically relies on ventral striatum exerting error magnitude related thresholding influences on substantia nigra (SN) and dorsal striatum, these thresholding influences have never been identified with neuroimaging. To identify such thresholding influences, we propose that error magnitude related activities must first be separated from opposite activities in overlapping neural regions during error detection. Here we separate error detection from magnitude related adjustment (post-error slowing) during inhibition errors in the stop signal task in typically developing (TD) and ADHD adolescents using fMRI. In TD, we predicted that: 1) deactivation of dorsal striatum on error detection interrupts ongoing processing, and should be proportional to right frontoparietal response phase activity that has been observed in the SST; 2) deactivation of ventral striatum on post-error slowing exerts thresholding influences on, and should be proportional to activity in dorsal striatum. In ADHD, we predicted that ventral striatum would instead correlate with heightened amygdala responses to errors. We found deactivation of dorsal striatum on error detection correlated with response-phase activity in both groups. In TD, post-error slowing deactivation of ventral striatum correlated with activation of dorsal striatum. In ADHD, ventral striatum correlated with heightened amygdala activity. Further, heightened activities in locus coeruleus (norepinephrine), raphe nucleus (serotonin) and medial septal nuclei (acetylcholine), which all compete for control of DA, and are altered in ADHD, exhibited altered correlations with SN. All correlations in TD were replicated in healthy adults. Results in TD are consistent with dopamine regulated reinforcement learning on post-error slowing. In ADHD, results are consistent with heightened activities in the amygdala and non-dopaminergic neurotransmitter nuclei preventing reinforcement learning.

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<![CDATA[Seeking certainty about Intolerance of Uncertainty: Addressing old and new issues through the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b269bd5eed0c484289d6b

Intolerance of Uncertainty is a trans-diagnostic process that spans a range of emotional disorders and it is usually measured through the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-12. The current study aims at investigating some issues in the assessment of Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) through the Italian Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised, a measure adapted from the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-12 to assess IU across the lifespan. In particular we address the factor structure among a large community sample, measurement invariance across gender, age, and over time, together with reliability and validity of the overall scale and its subscales. The questionnaire was administered to community (N = 761; mean age = 35.86 ± 14.01 years) and undergraduate (N = 163; mean age = 21.16 ± 2.64 years) participants, together with other self-report measures assessing constructs theoretically related to IU. The application of a bifactor model shows that the Italian Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised possesses a robust general factor, thus supporting the use of the unit-weighted total score of the questionnaire as a measure of the construct. Furthermore, measurement invariance across gender, age, and over time is supported. Finally, the Italian Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised appears to possess adequate reliability and validity. These findings support the unidimensionality of the measure, a conceptually reasonable result in line with the trans-diagnostic nature of Intolerance of Uncertainty. In addition, this study and comparison with published factor structures of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-12 and of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised identify some issues for the internal structure of the measure. In particular, concern is expressed for the Prospective IU subscale. In light of the promising psychometric properties, the use of the Italian Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised as a univocal measure is encouraged in both research and clinical practice.

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<![CDATA[Consideration of substance use in compensation and pension examinations of veterans filing PTSD claims]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ce9d5eed0c484c81a8d

Veterans filing claims that service-induced PTSD impairs them worry that claims examiners may attribute their difficulties to conditions other than PTSD, such as substance use. Substance use commonly co-occurs with PTSD and complicates establishing a PTSD diagnosis because symptoms may be explained by PTSD alone, PTSD-induced substance use, or by a substance use condition independent of PTSD. These alternative explanations of symptoms lead to different conclusions about whether a PTSD diagnosis can be made. How substance use impacts an examiner’s diagnosis of PTSD in a Veteran’s service-connection claim has not been previously studied. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that mention of risky substance use in the Compensation & Pension (C&P) examination would result in a lower likelihood of service-connection award, presumably because substance use reflected an alternative explanation for symptoms. Data were analyzed from 208 Veterans’ C&P examinations, medical records, and confidentially-collected research assessments. In this sample, 165/208 (79%) Veterans’ claims were approved for a mental health condition; 70/83 (84%) with risky substance use mentioned and 95/125 (76%) without risky use mentioned (p = .02). Contrary to the a priori hypothesis, Veterans with risky substance use were more likely to get a service-connection award, even after controlling for baseline PTSD severity and other potential confounds. They had almost twice the odds of receiving any mental health award and 2.4 times greater odds of receiving an award for PTSD specifically. These data contradict assertions of bias against Veterans with risky substance use when their claims are reviewed. The data are more consistent with substance use often being judged as a symptom of PTSD. The more liberal granting of awards is consistent with literature concerning comorbid PTSD and substance use, and with claims procedures that make it more likely that substance use will be attributed to trauma exposure than to other causes.

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<![CDATA[Patterns of multimorbidity and polypharmacy in young and adult population: Systematic associations among chronic diseases and drugs using factor analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d0cd5eed0c484c81e2d

Objectives

The objective was to identify the systematic associations among chronic diseases and drugs in the form of patterns and to describe and clinically interpret the constituted patterns with a focus on exploring the existence of potential drug-drug and drug-disease interactions and prescribing cascades.

Methods

This observational, cross-sectional study used the demographic and clinical information from electronic medical databases and the pharmacy billing records of all users of the public health system of the Spanish region of Aragon in 2015. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted based on the tetra-choric correlations among the diagnoses of chronic diseases and the dispensed drugs in 887,572 patients aged ≤65 years. The analysis was stratified by age and sex. To name the constituted patterns, assess their clinical nature, and identify potential interactions among diseases and drugs, the associations found in each pattern were independently reviewed by two pharmacists and two doctors and tested against the literature and the information reported in the technical medicinal forms.

Results

Six multimorbidity-polypharmacy patterns were found in this large-scale population study, named as respiratory, mental health, cardiometabolic, endocrinological, osteometabolic, and mechanical-pain. The nature of the patterns in terms of diseases and drugs differed by sex and age and became more complex as age advanced.

Conclusions

The six clinically sound multimorbidity-polypharmacy patterns described in this non-elderly population confirmed the existence of systematic associations among chronic diseases and medications, and revealed some unexpected associations suggesting the prescribing cascade phenomenon as a potential underlying factor. These findings may help to broaden the focus and orient the early identification of potential interactions when caring for multimorbid patients at high risk of adverse health outcomes due to polypharmacy.

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<![CDATA[Habituation of the electrodermal response – A biological correlate of resilience?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e673d5eed0c484ef3263

Current approaches to quantifying resilience make extensive use of self-reported data. Problematically, this type of scales is plagued by response distortions–both deliberate and unintentional, particularly in occupational populations. The aim of the current study was to develop an objective index of resilience. The study was conducted in 30 young healthy adults. Following completion of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) and Depression/Anxiety/Stress Scale (DASS), they were subjected to a series of 15 acoustic startle stimuli (95 dB, 50 ms) presented at random intervals, with respiration, skin conductance and ECG recorded. As expected, resilience (CD-RISC) significantly and negatively correlated with all three DASS subscales–Depression (r = -0.66, p<0.0001), Anxiety (r = -0.50, p<0.005) and Stress (r = -0.48, p<0.005). Acoustic stimuli consistently provoked transient skin conductance (SC) responses, with SC slopes indexing response habituation. This slope significantly and positively correlated with DASS-Depression (r = 0.59, p<0.005), DASS-Anxiety (r = 0.35, p<0.05) and DASS-Total (r = 0.50, p<0.005) scores, and negatively with resilience score (r = -0.47; p = 0.006), indicating that high-resilience individuals are characterized by steeper habituation slopes compared to low-resilience individuals. Our key finding of the connection between habituation of the skin conductance responses to repeated acoustic startle stimulus and resilience-related psychometric constructs suggests that response habituation paradigm has the potential to characterize important attributes of cognitive fitness and well-being–such as depression, anxiety and resilience. With steep negative slopes reflecting faster habituation, lower depression/anxiety and higher resilience, and slower or no habituation characterizing less resilient individuals, this protocol may offer a distortion-free method for objective assessment and monitoring of psychological resilience.

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<![CDATA[Disgust assessment: Factorial structure and psychometric properties of the French version of the Disgust Propension and Sensibility Scale Revised-12]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d629d5eed0c4840317c3

The present study examined the internal and external validity of the French version of the 12-item Disgust Propensity and Sensitivity Scale-Revised (DPSS-12) in a nonclinical sample from the general population. Two hundred and eighty-two participants completed the DPSSf-12 questionnaire as well as the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI), Anxiety Trait (STAI B), Obsessional Belief Questionnaire 44 items (OBQ 44), Obsessive Compulsive Inventory-Revised (OCI-R) and Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Confirmatory Factor Analysis supported a 2-factor structure after two sensitivity items were removed. The 10-item scale showed good internal consistency, construct validity and test-retest reliability. These adequate psychometric properties make the DPSSf-10 appropriate for use by researchers and practitioners.

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<![CDATA[Thinking about negative life events as a mediator between depression and fading affect bias]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e66cd5eed0c484ef3118

The current research examined the links between depressive symptomology and anxiety on the fading of affect associated with positive and negative autobiographical memories. Participants (N = 296) recalled and rated positive and negative events in terms of how pleasant or unpleasant they were at the time they occurred and at the time of event recollection. Multilevel mediation analyses identified evidence that higher levels of depressive symptoms were directly associated with lower affect fade for both negative and positive memories. Tests of indirect effects indicated that depressive symptoms were indirectly related to lower affect fade for negative (but not positive) autobiographical memories via the heightened tendency to think about negative (but not positive) memories. Anxiety was unrelated to affect fade both directly and indirectly. These results suggest that people higher in depressive symptoms retain more negative affect due to an increased likelihood of thinking about negative autobiographical events.

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<![CDATA[Psychological burden and resilience factors in patients with Alveolar Echinococcosis – A cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d00edd5eed0c484036c02

Background

Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is a parasitic zoonosis resembling malignancy due to its clinically silent infiltrative growth, predominately in the liver. The comorbid psychological burden and fear of disease progression in AE patients have hardly been examined to date. The aim of this study was to evaluate depression, anxiety, quality of life, and fear of disease progression in AE patients.

Methodology/Principal findings

In a cross-sectional study, n = 57 AE patients were invited to report on depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), somatic symptom load (SSS 8), trauma symptoms (PTSS-10), quality of life (SF-12) and on fear of disease progression (FoP-Q-SF) using validated psychometric instruments. Furthermore, attachment style was assessed (RQ-2). N = 47 patients completed the questionnaires (response rate 82.5%). Depression, anxiety, and somatic symptom load were above norm sample means, while physical quality of life was below norm sample means. Existing traumatic symptoms were comparable to those in cancer patients, while fear of disease progression even exceeded cancer patient scores. Patients with a secure attachment style showed less pronounced psychological burden than patients with other attachment styles. Adequate, guideline-based depression and anxiety treatment was very rarely installed.

Conclusion/Significance

The present study revealed remarkable levels of psychological burden in AE patients. In our study sample, we discovered high depression and anxiety levels, a significant reduction of physical quality of life, and fear of disease progression. These results show how important it is for AE patients to be thoroughly assessed with regard to psychological symptoms and mental disorders so that those in need can receive sufficient psychosocial support and treatment according to official guidelines.

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<![CDATA[Comprehensive cross-disorder analyses of CNTNAP2 suggest it is unlikely to be a primary risk gene for psychiatric disorders]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4cc21ed5eed0c484b9fdbe

The contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2) gene is a member of the neurexin superfamily. CNTNAP2 was first implicated in the cortical dysplasia-focal epilepsy (CDFE) syndrome, a recessive disease characterized by intellectual disability, epilepsy, language impairments and autistic features. Associated SNPs and heterozygous deletions in CNTNAP2 were subsequently reported in autism, schizophrenia and other psychiatric or neurological disorders. We aimed to comprehensively examine evidence for the role of CNTNAP2 in susceptibility to psychiatric disorders, by the analysis of multiple classes of genetic variation in large genomic datasets. In this study we used: i) summary statistics from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) GWAS for seven psychiatric disorders; ii) examined all reported CNTNAP2 structural variants in patients and controls; iii) performed cross-disorder analysis of functional or previously associated SNPs; and iv) conducted burden tests for pathogenic rare variants using sequencing data (4,483 ASD and 6,135 schizophrenia cases, and 13,042 controls). The distribution of CNVs across CNTNAP2 in psychiatric cases from previous reports was no different from controls of the database of genomic variants. Gene-based association testing did not implicate common variants in autism, schizophrenia or other psychiatric phenotypes. The association of proposed functional SNPs rs7794745 and rs2710102, reported to influence brain connectivity, was not replicated; nor did predicted functional SNPs yield significant results in meta-analysis across psychiatric disorders at either SNP-level or gene-level. Disrupting CNTNAP2 rare variant burden was not higher in autism or schizophrenia compared to controls. Finally, in a CNV mircroarray study of an extended bipolar disorder family with 5 affected relatives we previously identified a 131kb deletion in CNTNAP2 intron 1, removing a FOXP2 transcription factor binding site. Quantitative-PCR validation and segregation analysis of this CNV revealed imperfect segregation with BD.

This large comprehensive study indicates that CNTNAP2 may not be a robust risk gene for psychiatric phenotypes.

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<![CDATA[Altered reward processing following an acute social stressor in adolescents]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bd4d5eed0c48491e907

Altered reward processing is a transdiagnostic factor implicated in a wide range of psychiatric disorders. While prior animal and adult research has shown that stress contributes to reward dysfunction, less is known about how stress impacts reward processing in youth. Towards addressing this gap, the present study probed neural activation associated with reward processing following an acute stressor. Healthy adolescents (n = 40) completed a clinical assessment, and fMRI data were acquired while participants completed a monetary guessing task under a no-stress condition and then under a stress condition. Based on prior literature, analyses focused on a priori defined regions-of-interest, specifically the striatum (win trials) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex [dACC] and insula (loss trials). Two main findings emerged. First, reward-related neural activation (i.e., striatum) was blunted in the stress relative to the no-stress condition. Second, the stress condition also contributed to blunted neural response following reward in loss-related regions (i.e., dACC, anterior insula); however, there were no changes in loss sensitivity. These results highlight the importance of conceptualizing neural vulnerability within the presence of stress, as this may clarify risk for mental disorders during a critical period of development.

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<![CDATA[Trajectories of patients with severe mental illness in two-year contact with Flexible Assertive Community Treatment teams using Routine Outcome Monitoring data: An observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5d8d5eed0c484ca9435

Objective

Using outcome data collected routinely over a continuous two-year treatment period, we wished to distinguish homogeneous subgroups of patients with a severe mental illness whose psychosocial problems followed a similar pattern over time. By identifying the effectiveness of health services for different patient groups, this approach allowed us to identify patients at risk of deterioration and those recovering from their symptoms.

Methods

In total we included 2,660 patients who were in two-year continuous contact with a Flexible Assertive Community Treatment team (FACT). We collected outcome data on psychosocial functioning, needs for care and quality of life. We performed a latent class growth analysis (LCGA).

Results

The LCGA identified six homogenous patient subgroups using trajectories of HoNOS scores. On the basis of the patterns of patients’ psychosocial problems over time, we labelled these as follows: 1) stable at a low problem-severity level (N = 709; 27%); 2) stable at a low medium problem-severity level (N = 1,208; 45%); 3) stable at a high medium problem-severity level (N = 528; 20%); 4) stable at a high problem-severity level (N = 116; 4%); 5) amelioration of problems (N = 42; 2%); and 6) deterioration of problems (N = 57; 2%). Patients with stable and a high severity of psychosocial problems had more practical and somatic unmet needs than those in other subgroups, and also had the fewest decrease in the number of unmet needs.

Discussion

After linking patient subgroups with clinical features such as the need for care, we found that, over two years, most patients remained relatively stable in terms of psychosocial functioning, but that their unmet needs decreased over time. However, in terms of needs for treatment during two years of contact with a FACT team, patients in the subgroup with a stable and high problem-severity level tended to derive little or no benefit.

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<![CDATA[Associations between organised sport participation and classroom behaviour outcomes among primary school-aged children]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c36679ed5eed0c4841a5dd3

Introduction

Physical activity is positively associated with children’s classroom behaviour. However, less is known about how different types of physical activity contribute to these outcomes. This study examines associations between sport participation and classroom behaviour among primary school-aged children.

Methods

Parents of 568 children aged 9–11 years reported child sport participation and classroom behaviour outcomes (school functioning, inattention, classroom behaviour (fidgetiness), acting without thinking and poor concentration). Sport participation included: duration (hours/week) and type (individual; team; team and individual). Regression analyses assessed associations between sport participation and classroom behaviour outcomes. Analyses adjusted for maternal education, and objectively-measured overall physical activity, and accounted for clustering by recruitment centre. Sex differences in associations were explored as a secondary aim.

Results

In comparison to children who did not participate in sport, children who participated in sport displayed less inattention/hyperactivity (individual sport: B = -1.00;95%CI:-1.90, -0.00; team sport:-0.88;95%CI:-1.73, -0.03) and less acting without thinking (individual sport: OR = 0.35;95%CI:0.13,0.98), after adjusting for overall physical activity. There were no sex differences in associations.

Conclusions

Findings indicated sport participation, one form of physical activity, was associated with less inattention/hyperactivity and acting without thinking, over and above the influence of overall physical activity levels. Parents may consider sport as one way to contribute to their child’s overall physical activity levels, although the impact of organised sport on classroom behaviour is modest at best.

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