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Author: Maria Garbusow (18)


Mar
2018

Alcohol consumption is pivotal for the subsequent development of alcohol use disorders (AUD). The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a recommended AUD screening tool for prevention and primary care settings. The objectives of this study were to test how many participants with heavy drinking are unidentified by the AUDIT, if proportions of unidentified participants vary over time, and whether this unidentified risk group (URG) was clinically relevant in terms of drinking behavior reports and AUD risk factors, as well as future adverse outcomes, such as craving, dependence symptoms, or depression.

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Jan
2018

The influence of Pavlovian conditioned stimuli on ongoing behavior may contribute to explaining how alcohol cues stimulate drug seeking and intake. Using a Pavlovian-instrumental transfer task, we investigated the effects of alcohol-related cues on approach behavior (i.e.

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Dec
2017

The premature aging hypothesis of alcohol dependence proposes that the neurobiological and behavioural deficits in individuals with alcohol dependence are analogous to those of chronological aging. However, to date no systematic neurobiological evidence for this hypothesis has been provided. To test the hypothesis, 119 alcohol-dependent subjects and 97 age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects underwent structural MRI.

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Jul
2017

Alcohol-related cues can evoke explicit and implicit motivation to drink alcohol. Concerning the links between explicit and implicit motivation, there are mixed findings. Therefore, we investigated both concepts in 51 healthy 18- to 19-year-old males, who are less affected by neuropsychological deficits in decision-making that are attributed to previous alcohol exposure than older participants.

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Dec
2017

Addiction is supposedly characterized by a shift from goal-directed to habitual decision making, thus facilitating automatic drug intake. The two-step task allows distinguishing between these mechanisms by computationally modeling goal-directed and habitual behavior as model-based and model-free control. In addicted patients, decision making may also strongly depend upon drug-associated expectations.

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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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Sep
2017

Altered connectivity of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and hippocampus during working memory is considered an intermediate phenotype for schizophrenia (SCZ), but the relevance for other mental disorders with shared genetic background remains unknown. Here we investigated its presence in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) or major depressive disorder (MDD). Furthermore, we aimed to provide an independent replication of this phenotype in first-degree relatives of SCZ patients.

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Jul
2016

Behavioral choice can be characterized along two axes. One axis distinguishes reflexive, model-free systems that slowly accumulate values through experience and a model-based system that uses knowledge to reason prospectively. The second axis distinguishes Pavlovian valuation of stimuli from instrumental valuation of actions or stimulus-action pairs.

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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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May
2016

In detoxified alcohol-dependent patients, alcohol-related stimuli can promote relapse. However, to date, the mechanisms by which contextual stimuli promote relapse have not been elucidated in detail. One hypothesis is that such contextual stimuli directly stimulate the motivation to drink via associated brain regions like the ventral striatum and thus promote alcohol seeking, intake and relapse.

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Dec
1969

Theories of decision-making and its neural substrates have long assumed the existence of two distinct and competing valuation systems, variously described as goal-directed vs. habitual, or, more recently and based on statistical arguments, as model-free vs. model-based reinforcement-learning.

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Dec
1969

Human and animal work suggests a shift from goal-directed to habitual decision-making in addiction. However, the evidence for this in human alcohol dependence is as yet inconclusive.
Twenty-six healthy controls and 26 recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients underwent behavioral testing with a 2-step task designed to disentangle goal-directed and habitual response patterns.

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Dec
1969

Pavlovian processes are thought to play an important role in the development, maintenance and relapse of alcohol dependence, possibly by influencing and usurping ongoing thought and behavior. The influence of pavlovian stimuli on ongoing behavior is paradigmatically measured by pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT) tasks. These involve multiple stages and are complex.

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Dec
1969

In alcohol and other substance dependencies, patients often suffer relapse despite better knowledge and their intention to remain abstinent. A variety of neurotransmitter systems and their respective alterations due to the chronic drug intake are involved in mechanisms that facilitate relapse. It has been postulated that these neurotransmitter systems are related to changes in motivational and learning mechanisms, and engender a shift from goal-directed to habitual behavior in dependent patients that facilitates drug-seeking behavior.

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Dec
1969

Although a heritable contribution to risk for major depressive disorder (MDD) has been established and neural alterations in patients have been identified through neuroimaging, it is unclear which brain abnormalities are related to genetic risk. Studies on brain structure of high-risk subjects - such as individuals carrying a familial liability for the development of MDD - can provide information on the potential usefulness of these measures as intermediate phenotypes of MDD.
63 healthy first-degree relatives of patients with MDD and 63 healthy controls underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging.

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Sep
2014

Variation in CACNA1C has consistently been associated with psychiatric disease in genome-wide association studies. We have previously shown that healthy carriers of the CACNA1C rs1006737 risk variant exhibit hippocampal and perigenual anterior cingulate (pgACC) dysfunction during episodic memory recall. To test whether this brain systems-level abnormality is a potential intermediate phenotype for psychiatric disorder, we studied unaffected relatives of patients with bipolar disorder, major depression, and schizophrenia.

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Apr
2014

The single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1344706 in ZNF804A is one of the best-supported risk variants for psychosis. We hypothesized that this SNP contributes to the development of schizophrenia by affecting the ability to understand other people's mental states. This skill, commonly referred to as Theory of Mind (ToM), has consistently been found to be impaired in schizophrenia.

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