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Author: Erich Seifritz (200)


May
2017

Pain-related fear plays a substantial role in chronic low back pain (LBP) by amplifying the experienced disability. Related dysfunctional emotions and cognitions may also affect sensory aspects of pain through a modulatory pathway in which the periaqueductal gray (PAG) and the amygdala play key roles.
We therefore hypothesized a differential amygdala-PAG functional connectivity (FC) in patients with chronic LBP that is modulated by the degree of pain-related fear.

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Jan
2018

Stress describes the physiological reaction to threat or pressure, which manifests as physical symptoms of exhaustion or energy loss and psychological symptoms, including irritability or tension. If untreated, chronic stress or burnout may develop, both are areas of unmet medical need. Evidence-based treatment and prevention measures are needed.

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Dec
1969

Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) is a compelling tool for investigating the structure and geometry of brain tissue based on indirect measurement of the diffusion anisotropy of water. Recent developments in global top-down tractogram optimizations enable the estimation of streamline weights, which characterize the connection between gray matter areas. In this work, the intra-axonal cross-sectional area coverage of the gray-to-white matter interface was examined by intersecting tractography streamlines with cortical regions of interest.

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Jan
2018

In major depressive disorder (MDD), the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) has been associated with clinical outcome as well as with antidepressant treatment response. Nonetheless, the association between individual differences in ACC structure and function and the response to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is still unexplored. For this aim, twenty-five unmedicated patients with MDD were scanned with structural and resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging before the beginning of CBT treatment.

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Dec
2017

Epidemiological data on the chronicity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in relation to trauma type and underlying pathways are rare. The current study explored how PTSD symptoms change over time across different trauma types and examined mediators of their persistence. A trauma-exposed community sample, whereof approximately one quarter met diagnostic criteria for PTSD, provided retrospective data on the duration of PTSD symptoms.

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Dec
1969

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is the most common anxiety disorder and has considerable negative impact on social functioning, quality of life, and career progression of those affected. Gelotophobia (the fear of being laughed at) shares many similarities and has therefore been proposed as a subtype of SAD. This hypothesis has, however, never been tested in a clinical sample.

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Dec
1969

Stimulation of serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptors by lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and related compounds such as psilocybin has previously been shown to increase primary process thinking - an ontologically and evolutionary early, implicit, associative, and automatic mode of thinking which is typically occurring during altered states of consciousness such as dreaming. However, it is still largely unknown whether LSD induces primary process thinking under placebo-controlled, standardized experimental conditions and whether these effects are related to subjective experience and 5-HT2A receptor activation. Therefore, this study aimed to test the hypotheses that LSD increases primary process thinking and that primary process thinking depends on 5-HT2A receptor activation and is related to subjective drug effects.

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Oct
2017

The empathogen 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is the prototypical prosocial club drug inducing emotional openness to others. It has recently been shown that acutely applied MDMA in fact enhances emotional empathy and prosocial behavior, while it simultaneously decreases cognitive empathy. However, the long-term effects of MDMA use on socio-cognitive functions and social interactions have not been investigated yet.

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Oct
2017

Apathy can be defined as a reduction of goal-directed behavior and is a strong predictor for poor functional outcome in schizophrenia. However, no objective measure of apathy has been identified and assessment is limited to retrospective interview-based ratings. Here we aimed to identify more precise objective readouts of apathy for translational research and clinical practice.

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Oct
2017

Increased sleep time and intensity quantified as low-frequency brain electrical activity after sleep loss demonstrate that sleep need is homeostatically regulated, yet the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. We here demonstrate that metabotropic glutamate receptors of subtype 5 (mGluR5) contribute to the molecular machinery governing sleep-wake homeostasis. Using positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and electroencephalography in humans, we find that increased mGluR5 availability after sleep loss tightly correlates with behavioral and electroencephalographic biomarkers of elevated sleep need.

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Dec
1969

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment for depression, but can have negative side effects including amnesia. The mechanisms of action underlying both the antidepressant and side effects of ECT are not well understood. An equivalent manipulation that is conducted in experimental animals is electroconvulsive seizure (ECS).

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Jan
2018

Major depressive disorder (MDD) has been proposed to represent a "disease of premature aging", which is associated with certain biomarkers of cellular ageing and numerous other age-related diseases. Over the last decade, telomere length (TL) arose as a surrogate for cellular aging. Recent data suggests that TL might be reduced in patients with MDD, however, results are still inconclusive.

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Dec
1969

A feature of human culture is that we can learn to consume chemical compounds, derived from natural plants or synthetic fabrication, for their psychoactive effects. These drugs change the mental state and/or the behavioral performance of an individual and can be instrumentalized for various purposes. After the emergence of a novel psychoactive substance (NPS) and a period of experimental consumption, personal and medical benefits and harm potential of the NPS can be estimated on evidence base.

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Dec
1969

Chronic use of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") has repeatedly been associated with deficits in working memory, declarative memory, and executive functions. However, previous findings regarding working memory and executive function are inconclusive yet, as in most studies concomitant stimulant use, which is known to affect these functions, was not adequately controlled for. Therefore, we compared the cognitive performance of 26 stimulant-free and largely pure (primary) MDMA users, 25 stimulant-using polydrug MDMA users, and 56 MDMA/stimulant-naïve controls by applying a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery.

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Dec
2017

According to recent recommendations the Mini-ICF Rating for Limitations of Activities and Participation in Psychological Disorders (Mini-ICF-APP) should be used in the assessment of incapacity to work. However evidence from empirical research in the field is missing.
The application of the Mini-ICF-APP in the psychiatric assessment of 121 cases was analysed.

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Oct
2017

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a GHB-/GABA-B receptor agonist inducing a broad spectrum of subjective effects including euphoria, disinhibition, and enhanced vitality. It is used as treatment for neuropsychiatric disorders including narcolepsy and alcohol withdrawal, but is also a drug of abuse. Non-medical users report enhancement of body and emotion awareness during intoxication.

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Jul
2017

Recurrent seizures that define epilepsy are often accompanied by psychosocial problems and cognitive deficits with incompletely understood aetiology. We therefore used the pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) kindling model of epilepsy in mice to examine potential seizure-associated neuropathologies, focusing on motivation, memory and novel-environment-induced activation of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. In addition to recurrent seizures, we found that PTZ kindling led to a strong suppression of novelty-driven exploration while largely sparing fear-driven exploration.

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Sep
2017

The alterations of functional connectivity brain networks in major depressive disorder (MDD) have been subject of a large number of studies. Using different methodologies and focusing on diverse aspects of the disease, research shows heterogeneous results lacking integration. Disrupted network connectivity has been found in core MDD networks like the default mode network (DMN), the central executive network (CEN), and the salience network, but also in cerebellar and thalamic circuitries.

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Jul
2017

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a putative neurotransmitter, a drug of abuse, an anesthetic agent, and a treatment for neuropsychiatric disorders. In previous electroencephalography (EEG) studies, GHB was shown to induce an electrophysiological pattern of "paradoxical EEG-behavioral dissociation" characterized by increased delta and theta oscillations usually associated with sleep during awake states. However, no detailed source localization of these alterations and no connectivity analyses have been performed yet.

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Apr
2017

Traumatic memories such as intrusions and flashbacks play a major role in the development and maintenance of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A thorough understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying traumatic memories is indispensable for precise diagnosis, for personalized treatment and prevention. In particular, the identification of early neural predictor variables for intrusion development shortly after trauma exposure requires detailed investigation.

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Dec
1969

Methodological shortcomings of gambling studies relying on self-report or on data sets derived from gambling operators tend to result in biased conclusions. The aim of this study was to analyze online gambling behavior using a novel network database approach.
From October 13 to October 26, 2014, telecommunications network data from a major telecommunications provider in Switzerland were analyzed.

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Jul
2017

Accumulating evidence indicates that the mixed serotonin and dopamine receptor agonist lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) induces an altered state of consciousness that resembles dreaming.
This study aimed to test the hypotheses that LSD produces dreamlike waking imagery and that this imagery depends on 5-HT2A receptor activation and is related to subjective drug effects.
Twenty-five healthy subjects performed an audiorecorded guided mental imagery task 7 h after drug administration during three drug conditions: placebo, LSD (100 mcg orally) and LSD together with the 5-HT2A receptor antagonist ketanserin (40 mg orally).

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Aug
2017

The concept of twin concordance involves quantifying the resemblance between co-twins in an "objective" and reproducible way. Yet, quantifying resemblance in the case of complex psychiatric traits like schizophrenic disorders leads to methodological problems, as the yes-no dichotomy of diagnostic schemata does not allow one to assess between-subject differences in psychopathology patterns sufficiently accurately. Therefore, we relied on a multidimensional, quantitative concordance measure that provided a high resolution and differentiation when assessing the resemblance of psychopathology patterns.

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May
2017

Functional connectivity (FC) derived from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) allows for the integrative study of neuronal processes at a macroscopic level. The majority of studies to date have assumed stationary interactions between brain regions, without considering the dynamic aspects of network organization. Only recently has the latter received increased attention, predominantly in human studies.

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Dec
1969

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a GHB-/GABA-receptor agonist currently used as treatment for narcolepsy but also as a drug of abuse. Non-medical GHB users have repeatedly reported prosexual effects including libido-enhancement and lowering of attractiveness standards for partner selection. Here, we examined the putative prosexual effects of oral GHB in healthy males in two experiments both employing randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, balanced, and cross-over study designs.

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Jun
2017

This is a study of the cost-benefit advantage of the model project acute day hospital (ATK) compared to inpatient care.
The study was performed retrospectively and examined the direct costs and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) in a matched sample.
The day clinic treatment compared to inpatient therapy showed at a cost benefit of 2.

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Apr
2017

Although the beneficial effects of opioid substitution for the reduction of heroin use are well established, its effect on other substance use is unclear. We aimed to evaluate short-term and long-term changes in substance use in opioid-dependent patients on opioid substitution therapy. We focused on frequent use of heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines, and alcohol under naturalistic conditions (ie, with non-selected patients and clinical practice as usual) over 17 years.

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Feb
2017

A core aspect of the human self is the attribution of personal relevance to everyday stimuli enabling us to experience our environment as meaningful [1]. However, abnormalities in the attribution of personal relevance to sensory experiences are also critical features of many psychiatric disorders [2, 3]. Despite their clinical relevance, the neurochemical and anatomical substrates enabling meaningful experiences are largely unknown.

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Dec
1969

Diffusion MRI tractography enables to investigate white matter pathways noninvasively by reconstructing estimated fiber pathways. However, such tractograms remain biased and nonquantitative. Several techniques have been proposed to reestablish the link between tractography and tissue microstructure by modeling the diffusion signal or fiber orientation distribution (FOD) with the given tractogram and optimizing each fiber or compartment contribution according to the diffusion signal or FOD.

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Dec
2016

To examine the associations between mental disorders and infectious, atopic, inflammatory diseases while adjusting for other risk factors.
We used data from PsyCoLaus, a large Swiss Population Cohort Study (= 3720; age range 35-66). Lifetime diagnoses of mental disorders were grouped into the following categories: Neurodevelopmental, anxiety (early and late onset), mood and substance disorders.

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Jan
2017

Negative symptoms in schizophrenia have been linked to selective reinforcement learning deficits in the context of gains combined with intact loss-avoidance learning. Fundamental mechanisms of reinforcement learning and choice are prediction error signaling and the precise representation of reward value for future decisions. It is unclear which of these mechanisms contribute to the impairments in learning from positive outcomes observed in schizophrenia.

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Dec
2016

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is considered to preferentially reprocess emotionally arousing memories. We tested this hypothesis by cueing emotional vs. neutral memories during REM and NREM sleep and wakefulness by presenting associated verbal memory cues after learning.

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Jan
2017

Major depressive disorder (MDD) has been associated with alterations in several functional brain networks. Previous studies investigating brain networks in MDD during the performance of a task have yielded inconsistent results with the function of the brain at rest. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging at rest and during a goal-directed task to investigate dynamics of functional connectivity in 19 unmedicated patients with MDD and 19 healthy controls across both experimental paradigms.

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Dec
1969

Computerized speech analysis (CSA) is a powerful method that allows one to assess stress-induced mood disturbances and affective disorders through repeated measurements of speaking behavior and voice sound characteristics. Over the past decades CSA has been successfully used in the clinical context to monitor the transition from 'affectively disturbed' to 'normal' among psychiatric patients under treatment. This project, by contrast, aimed to extend the CSA method in such a way that the transition from 'normal' to 'affected' can be detected among subjects of the general population through 10-20 self-assessments.

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Jan
2018

Striatal abnormalities play a crucial role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Growing evidence suggests an association between aberrant striatal activity during reward anticipation and symptom dimensions in schizophrenia. However, it is not clear whether this holds across the psychosis continuum.

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Dec
1969

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that is characterized not only by symptomatic severity but also by high levels of functional impairment. An evaluation of clinical outcome in treatment of schizophrenia should therefore target not only assessing symptom change but also alterations in functioning. This study aimed to investigate whether there is an agreement between functional- and symptom-based outcomes in a clinical sample of admissions with chronic forms of schizophrenia.

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Dec
1969

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and is implicated in the pathophysiology of a number of neuropsychiatric disorders. The GABAreceptors are G-protein coupled receptors consisting of principle subunits and auxiliary potassium channel tetramerization domain (KCTD) subunits. The KCTD subunits 8, 12, 12b and 16 are cytosolic proteins that determine the kinetics of the GABAreceptor response.

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Dec
1969

Amotivation is a major symptom of several psychiatric disorders. However, which specific motivations are most affected in various illnesses is not well understood. In major depressive disorder (MDD), anecdotal evidence suggests the motivation to explore may be especially affected, but direct evidence from either patients or animal models is lacking.

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Dec
1969

Patients with schizophrenia show deficits in cognitive functioning, and studies on cerebral hemodynamics have revealed aberrant patterns of mean cerebral blood flow velocity (MFV), an equivalent of cerebral blood flow (CBF). Therefore, we carried out a controlled study that assessed MFV in schizophrenia during a well-known neuropsychological task, the Trail Making Test (TMT). We measured MFV in the middle cerebral arteries using functional transcranial Doppler sonography in 15 schizophrenia patients and 15 healthy subjects.

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Dec
1969

To investigate sleep's effect in the immediate aftermath of experiencing an analog trauma in the laboratory on reducing intrusive emotional memory formation.
Sixty-five healthy women were exposed to an experimental laboratory trauma. They viewed a neutral and a trauma film in the laboratory and were randomly allocated to either a group that slept following film viewing or a group that remained awake.

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Jan
2017

Functional activation as evidenced by blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional MRI changes or event-related EEG is known to closely follow patterns of stimulation or self-paced action. Any lags are compatible with axonal conduction velocities and neural integration times. The important analysis of resting state networks is generally based on the assumption that these principles also hold for spontaneous fluctuations in brain activity.

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Dec
1969

Newborns and infants communicate their needs and physiological states through crying and emotional facial expressions. Little is known about individual differences in responding to infant crying. Several theories suggest that people vary in their environmental sensitivity with some responding generally more and some generally less to environmental stimuli.

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Nov
2016

Human depression, for which chronic psychosocial stress is a major risk factor, is characterized by consistent alterations in neurocircuitry. For example, there is increased functional connectivity (FC) within and between regions comprising the default mode network (DMN) including prefrontal cortex and cingulate cortex. Alterations in network FC are associated with specific aspects of psychopathology.

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Dec
1969

The goal was to investigate the quality in terms of formal and content-based comprehensiveness of the forms for involuntary admission before and after the introduction of the new law (KESR, "Kindes- und Erwachsenenschutzrecht") for the regulation of involuntary admission. Moreover, the study aimed at assessing if the quality of the admission forms was associated with the professional qualifications of the professionals ordering them. Finally, the patients were characterized.

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Nov
2016

Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) is increased in depression and clinical-trial evidence indicates that blocking peripheral TNF has some antidepressant efficacy. In rodents, peripheral or intracerebroventricular TNF results in sickness e.g.

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Dec
1969

Fear of movement (FOM) can be acquired by a direct aversive experience such as pain or by social learning through observation and instruction. Excessive FOM results in heightened disability and is an obstacle for recovery from acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain (cLBP). FOM has further been identified as a significant explanatory factor in the Fear Avoidance (FA) model of cLBP that describes how individuals experiencing acute back pain may become trapped into a vicious circle of chronic disability and suffering.

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Dec
1969

Theoretical principles of information processing and empirical findings suggest that to efficiently represent all possible rewards in the natural environment, reward-sensitive neurons have to adapt their coding range dynamically to the current reward context. Adaptation ensures that the reward system is most sensitive for the most likely rewards, enabling the system to efficiently represent a potentially infinite range of reward information. A deficit in neural adaptation would prevent precise representation of rewards and could have detrimental effects for an organism's ability to optimally engage with its environment.

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