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Author: Felix Bermpohl (88)


Feb
2018

Both, maternal borderline personality disorder (BPD) and maternal major depressive disorder (MDD) are often associated with adverse consequences for children, including increased risk for child behavior problems. Reduced maternal emotional availability might play a critical role in transmitting maternal psychopathology on the child. Our aim was to investigate the association between emotional availability and maternal BPD and MDD in remission (rMDD), and if this interrelatedness mediates the association between maternal mental disorders and child behavior problems.

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Feb
2018


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Feb
2018

The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA) and its end product, the glucocorticoid cortisol, has been shown to be associated with psychopathology. Determining cortisol concentrations in hair (HCC) allows the investigation of long-term HPAA-activity. There is a significant scarcity of studies investigating the link between HCC and psychopathology and quality of life in child and adolescent samples.

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Dec
2017

The specific impact of weather factors on psychiatric disorders has been investigated only in few studies with inconsistent results. We hypothesized that meteorological conditions influence the number of cases presenting in a psychiatric emergency room as a measure of mental health conditions. We analyzed the number of patients consulting the emergency room (ER) of a psychiatric hospital in Berlin, Germany, between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2014.

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Nov
2017

Individuals suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD) experience difficulties with mindfulness. How mindfulness influences BPD symptoms, however, is still unknown. We hypothesized that the relationship between mindfulness and BPD symptoms would be mediated by self-compassion.

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Oct
2017

The number of homeless people in Germany is increasing. Studies from multiple countries have shown that most homeless people suffer from mental illnesses that require treatment. Accurate figures on the prevalence of mental illness among the homeless in Germany can help improve care structures for this vulnerable group.

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Oct
2017

To examine the impact of coercive interventions (CI) on patients' evaluations of psychiatric hospitals as adversaries versus allies.
Self-constructed interviews were conducted relating to quantitative and subjective aspects of coercion and the attitude towards psychiatry of 79 patients with psychotic and bipolar disorders. The Coercion Experience Scale (CES) and the Admission Experience Survey (AES) were used to establish the subjective impact of CI.

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Jan
2018

There is a well-established link between maternal depression and child mental health. Similar effects have been found for maternal history of early life maltreatment (ELM). However, studies investigating the relationship of children's quality of life and maternal depression are scarce and none have been conducted for the association with maternal ELM.

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Dec
1969

Maternal sensitive behavior depends on recognizing one's own child's affective states. The present study investigated distinct and overlapping neural responses of mothers to sad and happy facial expressions of their own child (in comparison to facial expressions of an unfamiliar child).
We used functional MRI to measure dissociable and overlapping activation patterns in 27 healthy mothers in response to happy, neutral and sad facial expressions of their own school-aged child and a gender- and age-matched unfamiliar child.

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Aug
2017

Early life maltreatment (ELM) poses a risk for the development of insecure attachment and depression over the life span, depending on the type of maltreatment (physical, sexual, emotional, neglect) and its severity. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of ELM and lifetime depression on adult insecure attachment in a female sample (N = 188), consisting of n = 81 women with ELM and n = 107 without ELM. Women with ELM reported significantly higher scores on insecure attachment than women without ELM.

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Sep
2017

Patients with bipolar disorder in mania exhibit symptoms pointing towards altered self-referential processing, such as decreased self-focus, flight of ideas and high distractibility. In depression, the opposite pattern of symptoms has been connected to increased activation of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during self-referential processing. In this study, we hypothesized that (1) patients with mania will exhibit decreased activation in the mPFC during self-referential processing and (2) will be more alexithymic and that levels of alexithymia will correlate negatively with mPFC activation.

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Apr
2017

Aggressive, violent behaviour is a major burden and challenge for society. It has been linked to deficits in social understanding, but the evidence is inconsistent and the specifics of such deficits are unclear. Here, we investigated affective (empathy) and cognitive (Theory of Mind) routes to understanding other people in aggressive individuals.

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Sep
2017

Metacognition, the capacity 'to think about thinking' and thus to reflect and to master interpersonal problems on a mentalistic basis, is often impaired among patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and has been suggested as a potential treatment target. However, little is known about the reliability of its measurement and links with related phenomena. The aim of this study was to validate a German translation of the Metacognition Assessment Scale (MAS-A) as a measure to assess metacognition from free narratives of patients' personally relevant episodes and relationships.

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Mar
2017

Focused attention meditations have been shown to improve psychological health and wellbeing and are nowadays an integral part of many psychotherapies. While research on the neural correlates of focused attention meditation is increasing, findings vary on whether meditations are associated with high or low activity in the default mode network (DMN). To clarify the relationship between focused attention meditation and the activity in DMN regions, it may be helpful to distinguish internal and external attention as well as different phases within one meditation: During focused attention meditation, the practitioner switches between mindful attention, mind-wandering and refocusing.

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Dec
2016

Bipolar disorder is a severe and heterogeneous mental disorder. Despite great advances in neuroscience over the past decades, the precise causative mechanisms at the transmitter, cellular or network level have so far not been unraveled. As a result, individual treatment decisions cannot be tailor-made and the uncertain prognosis is based on clinical characteristics alone.

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Dec
1969

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) with harmful drinking patterns is on the one hand characterized by impulsive behavior and is on the other hand known to involve structural brain alterations with lower gray matter volume (GMV), especially in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). So far it is unclear whether frontal brain volumes are associated to harmful alcohol drinking and impulsivity, while controlling simultaneously for a wide array of important confounding factors, which are related to alcohol consumption. We used voxel-based morphometry in 99 adults ranging within a continuum of normal to harmful drinking behavior and alcohol dependence, measured by the 'Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test', to examine whether the severity of harmful drinking is correlated with structural markers, in particular in the PFC and whether such markers are linked to self-reported impulsivity.

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Sep
2017

This study explores patients' preferences and measures of prevention of coercive methods in psychiatric treatment.Structured interviews of 90 patients with psychotic disorders were undertaken, most of whom had previously experienced coercive methods.Participants saw preventive potential in a wider availability of individual non-pharmacological therapy, improvement of staff professional competence and communication skills, high staff-to-patient ratios and retreat facilities.

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Dec
1969

Studying psychiatric disorders across nosological boundaries aims at a better understanding of mental disorders by identifying comprehensive signatures of core symptoms. Here, we studied neurobiological correlates of emotion processing in several major psychiatric disorders. We assessed differences between diagnostic groups, and investigated whether there is a psychopathological correlate of emotion processing that transcends disorder categories.

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Jul
2016

Major depressive disorder (MDD) has been associated with empathy deficits. The exact nature of these deficits and their relation to concurrent alexithymia remain unknown. Here we tested under which conditions MDD patients with high and low alexithymia show deficient empathy, particularly investigating empathic abilities when inhibition of self-related emotional states is needed and when it is not.

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Dec
1969

Self-generated thoughts (SGTs), such as during mind wandering, occupy much of our waking life. Individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are less in the "here and now" and prone to rumination. Few studies have looked at SGTs in depression using experience sampling methods and no study has so far investigated the specific contents of depressive SGTs and how they vary from one time point to another.

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Apr
2016

The maintenance of harmful alcohol use can be considered a reiterated decision in favour of alcohol in concrete drinking occasions. These decisions are often made despite an intention to quit or reduce alcohol consumption. We tested if a hyperactive reward system and/or an impaired cognitive control system contribute to such unfavourable decision-making.

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Feb
2016

This study aimed to investigate the development of opioid tolerance in patients receiving long-term methadone maintenance treatment (MMT).
A region-wide cross-sectional study was performed focusing on dosage and duration of treatment. Differences between racemic methadone and levomethadone were examined.

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Dec
1969

The association between maternal depression and adverse outcomes in children is well established. Similar links have been found for maternal childhood abuse. One proposed pathway of risk transmission is reduced maternal emotional availability.

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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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Jul
2016

Epidemiological and neurobiological research suggests an association between stress and the development of depression. In this context, the question arises whether certain working conditions do act as depressogenic stressors.
We systematically reviewed cross-sectional and prospective studies (published since 2005) investigating the association between working conditions and the occurrence of depression.

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Jan
2016

The association between maternal depression and adverse emotional and behavioral outcomes in children is well established. One associated factor might be altered affect recognition which may be transmitted transgenerationally. Individuals with history of depression show biased recognition of sadness.

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Dec
1969

Self-referential processing is a complex cognitive function, involving a set of implicit and explicit processes, complicating investigation of its distinct neural signature. The present study explores the functional overlap and dissociability of self-referential and social stimulus processing. We combined an established paradigm for explicit self-referential processing with an implicit social stimulus processing paradigm in one fMRI experiment to determine the neural effects of self-relatedness and social processing within one study.

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Feb
2016

The present study aimed to assess (1) the amount of inpatient and day clinic DBT treatment places for patients with borderline personality disorder and (2) the relationship between supply and demand in a given study region. Survey of inpatient and day clinic facilities in the German DBT network. 42 inpatient units and day clinics responded, representing 75 % of the DBT network members contacted.

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Aug
2015

Impairment in inhibitory control has been proposed to contribute to habitual alcohol use, abuse and eventually dependence. Moreover, alcohol-dependent (AD) patients have shown a loss of gray matter volume (GMV) in the brain, specifically in prefrontal regions associated with executive functions, including response inhibition. To date, no study has evaluated whether this prefrontal GMV reduction is related to response inhibition in alcohol dependence.

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Jun
2015

In the present study, we explored possible alterations in the default mode network (DMN) and its functional connectivity in 41 schizophrenia patients and 42 age-matched healthy controls. Schizophrenia patients displayed reduced activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, left superior temporal gyrus including auditory cortex and temporal pole. Psychophysiological interaction analysis revealed reduced connectivity between left superior temporal gyrus including auditory cortex and the left temporal pole in schizophrenia patients compared to healthy subjects.

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Sep
2015

Alcohol-dependent patients have been shown to faster approach than avoid alcohol stimuli on the Approach Avoidance Task (AAT). This so-called alcohol approach bias has been associated with increased brain activation in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. Cognitive bias modification (CBM) has been used to retrain the approach bias with the clinically relevant effect of decreasing relapse rates one year later.

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Apr
2015

In alcohol-dependent patients, alcohol cues evoke increased activation in mesolimbic brain areas, such as the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala. Moreover, patients show an alcohol approach bias, a tendency to more quickly approach than avoid alcohol cues. Cognitive bias modification training, which aims to retrain approach biases, has been shown to reduce alcohol craving and relapse rates.

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Jan
2015

Patients with mania show alterations of social behaviour. Neuropsychological studies in euthymic bipolar disorder (BD) have revealed deficits in cognitive, but not emotional aspects of social cognition (SC). Here, we studied the neural signature of social stimulus processing in mania.

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Jun
2015

The observation of movements increases primary motor cortex (M1) excitability. This exploratory study examined the effects of movement observation on pressure pain threshold (PPT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-indexed corticospinal excitability bilaterally.
Thirty healthy right-handed subjects were randomized to a left hand-movement observation task or a control task.

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Aug
2014

The authors report the development of psychosis in a young woman coinciding with excessive use of the online communication system Twitter and the results of an experimental account to argue that Twitter may have a high potential to induce psychosis in predisposed users.

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Jan
2015

A dimensional approach in psychiatry aims to identify core mechanisms of mental disorders across nosological boundaries.
We compared anticipation of reward between major psychiatric disorders, and investigated whether reward anticipation is impaired in several mental disorders and whether there is a common psychopathological correlate (negative mood) of such an impairment.
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a monetary incentive delay (MID) task to study the functional correlates of reward anticipation across major psychiatric disorders in 184 subjects, with the diagnoses of alcohol dependence (n = 26), schizophrenia (n = 44), major depressive disorder (MDD, n = 24), bipolar disorder (acute manic episode, n = 13), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, n = 23), and healthy controls (n = 54).

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Sep
2014

Coordinated triadic interactions, involving oneself, another person, and an external object, are considered a uniquely human skill. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the ability to engage in such social interactions remain hitherto unknown. We used functional neuroimaging to investigate the neural signature of triadic interactions.

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Apr
2014

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) affects 2.7% of adults. About 78% of adults with BPD also develop a substance-related disorder or addiction at some time in their lives.

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May
2014

Opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) successfully improves social functioning and leads to an increase of survival rates, by reducing drug-related mortality and infections. A region-wide anonymous survey was performed to evaluate subjective factors that could potentially contribute to growing numbers of patients in OMT in the city of Berlin, Germany. In the survey, performed in 2011, 46 staff members and 986 patients participated.

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Mar
2014

The aim of our survey was to assess the dosage and the frequency of side effects in patients with opioid dependency receiving opioid maintenance therapy (OMT).
A region-wide anonymous survey was carried out in the city of Berlin. The dosage, the frequency of side effects, data on the dependence disorder and type of OMT was assessed.

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Oct
2013

This study focused on the question whether patients with conventional opioid maintenance treatment (COMT) would prefer a switch to heroin maintenance treatment (HMT).
We performed a region-wide anonymous survey of patients in the opioid maintenance program in Berlin, Germany. All 20 psychiatric hospitals and all 110 physicians' practices in Berlin licensed to offer COMT were approached to reach patients under COMT and also fulfilling the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) criteria of opiate dependence.

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Feb
2014

Behavioral studies have shown an alcohol-approach bias in alcohol-dependent patients: the automatic tendency to faster approach than avoid alcohol compared with neutral cues, which has been associated with craving and relapse. Although this is a well-studied psychological phenomenon, little is known about the brain processes underlying automatic action tendencies in addiction. We examined 20 alcohol-dependent patients and 17 healthy controls with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), while performing an implicit approach-avoidance task.

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Nov
2013

The purpose of this study was to investigate subjective mood and the effect of a psychosocial stress challenge on cortisol response in patients remitted from depression in comparison to healthy controls. Only few studies on small samples have been conducted on the influence of psychosocial stress on HPA system responsivity in this group. Results regarding patients who have achieved clinical remission from depression remain inconclusive so far.

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Jun
2013

Opiate-dependent patients can be given several days' worth of maintenance medication to take home. We studied whether the patients chosen to receive take home maintenance medication met the criteria that were published in the guidelines of the German Medical Association. These include, among other things: abstinence from additional consumption of heath-endangering substances, psychosocial reintegration, completion of the switch from illegal narcotics to the substitute maintenance medication, and clinical stabilization.

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Sep
2013

Drug-addicted individuals show automatic approach tendencies towards drug-related cues, i.e., an approach bias (ApB).

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Apr
2013

Patients with depression show an enhanced preoccupation with negative expectations and are often unable to look forward to positive events. Here we studied anticipatory emotional processes in unmedicated depressed patients using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Consistent with a negative processing bias, we hypothesized enhanced responses to negative and attenuated responses to positive expectancy cues in brain areas associated with emotional expectancy.

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Dec
1969

While hemispheric specialization of language processing is well established, lateralization of emotion processing is still under debate. Several conflicting hypotheses have been proposed, including right hemisphere hypothesis, valence asymmetry hypothesis and region-specific lateralization hypothesis. However, experimental evidence for these hypotheses remains inconclusive, partly because direct comparisons between hemispheres are scarce.

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