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Author: Kristina Otto (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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Aug
2017

Previous research suggests a role of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) in metacognitive representation of social information, while the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) has been linked to social perception. This study targeted these functional roles in the context of spontaneous mentalizing. An animated shapes task was presented to 46 subjects during functional magnetic resonance imaging.

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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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Nov
2016

Schizophrenia is increasingly recognized as a disorder of distributed neural dynamics, but the molecular and genetic contributions are poorly understood. Recent work highlights a role for altered N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor signaling and related impairments in the excitation-inhibitory balance and synchrony of large-scale neural networks. Here, we combined a pharmacological intervention with novel techniques from dynamic network neuroscience applied to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify alterations in the dynamic reconfiguration of brain networks related to schizophrenia genetic risk and NMDA receptor hypofunction.

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Dec
1969

The debilitating effects of social dysfunction in many psychiatric disorders prompt the need for systems-level biomarkers of social abilities that can be applied in clinical populations and longitudinal studies. A promising neuroimaging approach is the animated shapes paradigm based on so-called Frith-Happé animations (FHAs) which trigger spontaneous mentalizing with minimal cognitive demands. Here, we presented FHAs during functional magnetic resonance imaging to 46 subjects and examined the specificity and sensitivity of the elicited social brain responses.

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Jun
2016

Although deficits in emotional processing are prominent in schizophrenia, it has been difficult to identify neural mechanisms related to the genetic risk for this highly heritable illness. Prior studies have not found consistent regional activation or connectivity alterations in first-degree relatives compared with healthy controls, suggesting that a more comprehensive search for connectomic biomarkers is warranted.
To identify a potential systems-level intermediate phenotype linked to emotion processing in schizophrenia and to examine the psychological association, task specificity, test-retest reliability, and clinical validity of the identified phenotype.

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Mar
2003

Helicobacter pylori, a chronic gastric pathogen of human beings, can be divided into seven populations and subpopulations with distinct geographical distributions. These modern populations derive their gene pools from ancestral populations that arose in Africa, Central Asia, and East Asia. Subsequent spread can be attributed to human migratory fluxes such as the prehistoric colonization of Polynesia and the Americas, the neolithic introduction of farming to Europe, the Bantu expansion within Africa, and the slave trade.

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