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Author: Carolin Wackerhagen (7)


Sep
2017

The rs1625579 variant near the microRNA-137 (MIR137) gene is one of the best-supported schizophrenia variants in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and microRNA-137 functionally regulates other GWAS identified schizophrenia risk variants. Schizophrenia patients with the MIR137 rs1625579 risk genotype (homozygous for the schizophrenia risk variant) also have aberrant brain structure. It is unclear if the effect of MIR137 among schizophrenia patients is due to potential epistasis with genetic risk for schizophrenia or other factors of the disorder.

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Jul
2017

Imbalances in cortico-limbic activity and functional connectivity (FC) supposedly underlie biased emotional processing and present putative intermediate phenotypes (IPs) for major depressive disorder (MDD). To prove the validity of these IPs, we assessed them in familial risk. In 70 healthy first-degree relatives of MDD patients and 70 controls, brain activity and seed-based amygdala FC were assessed during an implicit emotional processing task for fMRI containing angry and fearful faces.

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Apr
2017

According to legal requirements coercive treatment must be limited to acts necessary for the protection of patients and cannot be used for institutional interests. Here, we aimed to test the hypothesis that opening psychiatric wards can reduce the number of aggressive assaults and of coercive treatment without increasing absconding rates.Numbers of absconding, coercive medication, fixation and special security actions were collected retrospectively and compared between phases of closed (N total = 409; N legally committed = 64) and 90 % of daytime opened (N total = 571; N legally committed = 99) doors in an acute psychiatric ward.

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Aug
2016

It has been questioned that the more than 300 mental disorders currently listed in international disease classification systems all have a distinct neurobiological correlate. Here, we support the idea that basic dimensions of mental dysfunctions, such as alterations in reinforcement learning, can be identified, which interact with individual vulnerability and psychosocial stress factors and, thus, contribute to syndromes of distress across traditional nosological boundaries. We further suggest that computational modeling of learning behavior can help to identify specific alterations in reinforcement-based decision-making and their associated neurobiological correlates.

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Dec
2015

Behavioral deficits in the Theory of Mind (ToM) have been robustly demonstrated in bipolar disorder. These deficits may represent an intermediate phenotype of the disease. The aim of this study was: (i) to investigate alterations in neural ToM processing in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder, and (ii) to examine whether similar effects are present in unaffected relatives of patients with bipolar disorder suggesting that ToM functional activation may be, in part, due to genetic risk for the disease.

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Feb
2016

As evidenced by a multitude of studies, abnormalities in Theory of Mind (ToM) and its neural processing might constitute an intermediate phenotype of schizophrenia. If so, neural alterations during ToM should be observable in unaffected relatives of patients as well, since they share a considerable amount of genetic risk. While behaviorally, impaired ToM function is confirmed meta-analytically in relatives, evidence on aberrant function of the neural ToM network is sparse and inconclusive.

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Oct
2015

The application of global signal regression (GSR) to resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data and its usefulness is a widely discussed topic. In this article, we report an observation of segregated distribution of amygdala resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) within the fusiform gyrus (FFG) as an effect of GSR in a multi-center-sample of 276 healthy subjects. Specifically, we observed that amygdala rs-FC was distributed within the FFG as distinct anterior versus posterior clusters delineated by positive versus negative rs-FC polarity when GSR was performed.

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