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Author: Michael A Rapp (80)


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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Sep
2017

Even though cognitive behavioral therapy has become a relatively effective treatment for major depressive disorder and cognitive behavioral therapy-related changes of dysfunctional neural activations were shown in recent studies, remission rates still remain at an insufficient level. Therefore, the implementation of effective augmentation strategies is needed. In recent meta-analyses, exercise therapy (especially endurance exercise) was reported to be an effective intervention in major depressive disorder.

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Jul
2017

The purpose of this study was to analyze the prevalence of long-term benzodiazepine use in older adults treated in general and neuropsychiatric practices in Germany.
This study included 32,182 patients over the age of 65 years who received benzodiazepine prescriptions for the first time between January 2010 and December 2014 in general and neuropsychiatric practices in Germany. Follow up lasted until July 2016.

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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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Sep
2017

Theoretical models and preceding studies have described age-related alterations in neuronal activation of frontoparietal regions in a working memory (WM) load-dependent manner. However, to date, underlying neuronal mechanisms of these WM load-dependent activation changes in aging remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate these mechanisms in terms of effective connectivity by application of dynamic causal modeling with Bayesian Model Selection.

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Dec
1969

Substance-dependent individuals often lack the ability to adjust decisions flexibly in response to the changes in reward contingencies. Prediction errors (PEs) are thought to mediate flexible decision-making by updating the reward values associated with available actions. In this study, we explored whether the neurobiological correlates of PEs are altered in alcohol dependence.

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Dec
1969

Age-related decline in executive functions and postural control due to degenerative processes in the central nervous system have been related to increased fall-risk in old age. Many studies have shown cognitive-postural dual-task interference in old adults, but research on the role of specific executive functions in this context has just begun. In this study, we addressed the question whether postural control is impaired depending on the coordination of concurrent response-selection processes related to the compatibility of input and output modality mappings as compared to impairments related to working-memory load in the comparison of cognitive dual and single tasks.

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Jun
2017

The patterns of benzodiazepine prescriptions in older adults are of general and scientific interest as they are not yet well understood. The aim of this study was to compare the prescription patterns of benzodiazepines in elderly people in Germany to determine the share or proportion treated by general practitioners (GP) and neuropsychiatrists (NP).
This study included 31,268 and 6,603 patients between the ages of 65 and 100 with at least one benzodiazepine prescription in 2014 from GP and NP, respectively.

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Feb
2017

More than half of the global population currently lives in cities, with an increasing trend for further urbanization. Living in cities is associated with increased population density, traffic noise and pollution, but also with better access to health care and other commodities.
This review is based on a selective literature search, providing an overview of the risk factors for mental illness in urban centers.

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Dec
1969

Working memory (WM) performance declines with age. However, several studies have shown that WM training may lead to performance increases not only in the trained task, but also in untrained cognitive transfer tasks. It has been suggested that transfer effects occur if training task and transfer task share specific processing components that are supposedly processed in the same brain areas.

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Dec
1969

More research needed on animal-assisted interventions in dementia.

Evid Based Nurs 2017 04 20;20(2):60. Epub 2017 Feb 20.
Michael A Rapp

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Jan
2018

Alcohol dependence is a mental disorder that has been associated with an imbalance in behavioral control favoring model-free habitual over model-based goal-directed strategies. It is as yet unknown, however, whether such an imbalance reflects a predisposing vulnerability or results as a consequence of repeated and/or excessive alcohol exposure. We, therefore, examined the association of alcohol consumption with model-based goal-directed and model-free habitual control in 188 18-year-old social drinkers in a two-step sequential decision-making task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging before prolonged alcohol misuse could have led to severe neurobiological adaptations.

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Dec
1969

Despite extensive research in the past decades, the influence of genetics on cognitive functions in schizophrenia remains unclear. Dystrobrevin-binding protein 1 (DTNBP1) is one of the most promising candidate genes in schizophrenia. An association of DTNBP1 with cognitive dysfunction, particularly memory impairment, has been reported in a number of studies.

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Sep
2016

To determine the prevalence of depression and its risk factors among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) treated in German primary care practices.
Longitudinal data from nationwide general practices in Germany (n = 1072) were analyzed. Individuals initially diagnosed with CHD (2009-2013) were identified, and 59992 patients were included and matched (1:1) to 59992 controls.

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Dec
1969

The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of depression and its risk factors in patients with late-onset rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated in German primary care practices.
Longitudinal data from general practices (n=1072) throughout Germany were analyzed. Individuals initially diagnosed with RA (2009-2013) were identified, and 7301 patients were included and matched (1:1) to 7301 controls.

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Oct
2016

To estimate the prevalence and type of antidepressant medication prescribed by German primary care physicians for patients with depression and osteoporosis.
This study was a retrospective database analysis conducted in Germany utilizing the Disease Analyzer® Database (IMS Health, Germany). The study population included 3,488 female osteoporosis patients aged between 40 and 90 years recruited from 1,179 general practitioner practices and who were initially diagnosed with depression during the index period (January 2004 to December 2013).

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Nov
2016

Given the well-established association between perceived stress and quality of life (QoL) in dementia patients and their partners, our goal was to identify whether relationship quality and dyadic coping would operate as mediators between perceived stress and QoL.
82 dyads of dementia patients and their spousal caregivers were included in a cross-sectional assessment from a prospective study. QoL was assessed with the Quality of Life in Alzheimer's Disease scale (QoL-AD) for dementia patients and the WHO Quality of Life-BREF for spousal caregivers.

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Nov
2016

The goal of this study was to estimate the prevalence of and risk factors for diagnosed depression in heart failure (HF) patients in German primary care practices.
This study was a retrospective database analysis in Germany utilizing the Disease Analyzer® Database (IMS Health, Germany). The study population included 132,994 patients between 40 and 90 years of age from 1,072 primary care practices.

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Aug
2016

To estimate the prevalence and the type of antidepressant medication prescribed by German psychiatrists to patients with depression and cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
This study was a retrospective database analysis in Germany using the Disease Analyzer Database (IMS Health, Germany). The study population included 2,288 CVD patients between 40 and 90 years of age from 175 psychiatric practices.

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Jul
2016

As indicated by previous research, aging is associated with a decline in working memory (WM) functioning, related to alterations in fronto-parietal neural activations. At the same time, previous studies showed that WM training in older adults may improve the performance in the trained task (training effect), and more importantly, also in untrained WM tasks (transfer effects). However, neural correlates of these transfer effects that would improve understanding of its underlying mechanisms, have not been shown in older participants as yet.

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May
2016

The aims of the present study are to determine what proportion of patients with dementia receives antidepressants, how long the treatment is administered, and what factors increase the risk of discontinuation.
The study was based on Disease Analyzer database and included 1,203 general practitioners (GP) and 209 neurologists/psychiatrists (NP). 12,281 patients with a diagnosis of dementia and an initial prescription of an antidepressant drug between January 2004 and December 2013 were included.

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Dec
1969

Different systems for habitual versus goal-directed control are thought to underlie human decision-making. Working memory is known to shape these decision-making systems and their interplay, and is known to support goal-directed decision making even under stress. Here, we investigated if and how decision systems are differentially influenced by breaks filled with diverse everyday life activities known to modulate working memory performance.

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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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Oct
2017

The aim was to analyze the risk of hip fracture in German primary care patients with dementia. This study included patients aged 65-90 from 1072 primary care practices who were first diagnosed with dementia between 2010 and 2013. Controls were matched (1:1) to cases for age, sex, and type of health insurance.

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Dec
2015

Demographic changes are increasing the pressure to improve therapeutic strategies against cognitive decline in Alzheimer disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Besides drug treatment, physical activity seems to be a promising intervention target as epidemiological and clinical studies suggest beneficial effects of exercise training on cognition. Using comparable inclusion and exclusion criteria, we analyzed the efficacy of drug therapy (cholinesterase inhibitors, memantine, and Ginkgo biloba) and exercise interventions for improving cognition in AD and MCI populations.

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Dec
1969

The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game "Angry Birds" before performing the n-back working memory task.

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Dec
2015

In 2011, about 1.1-1.4 million patients with dementia were living in Germany, a number expected to rise to three million by 2050.

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Nov
2015

The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. This study investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on auditory versus visual memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (a) open eyes resting, (b) listening to music, and (c) playing a video game, immediately after memorizing auditory versus visual stimuli.

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Nov
2015

Discrimination is linked to various health problems, including mental disorders like depression and also has a negative effect on the access to mental health care services. Little is known about factors mitigating the association between ethnic discrimination and mental distress.
The present study examined the extent of the relationship between perceived ethnic discrimination and psychological distress among women of Turkish origin residing in Berlin, and explored whether this association is moderated by acculturation strategies while controlling for known predictors of distress in migrant populations.

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Aug
2015

Continuous treatment is an important indicator of medication adherence in dementia. However, long-term studies in larger clinical settings are lacking, and little is known about moderating effects of patient and service characteristics.
Data from 12,910 outpatients with dementia (mean age 79.

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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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Feb
2015

Drugs of abuse elicit dopamine release in the ventral striatum, possibly biasing dopamine-driven reinforcement learning towards drug-related reward at the expense of non-drug-related reward. Indeed, in alcohol-dependent patients, reactivity in dopaminergic target areas is shifted from non-drug-related stimuli towards drug-related stimuli. Such 'hijacked' dopamine signals may impair flexible learning from non-drug-related rewards, and thus promote craving for the drug of abuse.

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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
2014

Patients with schizophrenia frequently exhibit motor deficits. However, to date, there are no studies comparing motor performance in first episode patients with schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD; e.g.

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Feb
2015

Fluid intelligence (fluid IQ), defined as the capacity for rapid problem solving and behavioral adaptation, is known to be modulated by learning and experience. Both stressful life events (SLES) and neural correlates of learning [specifically, a key mediator of adaptive learning in the brain, namely the ventral striatal representation of prediction errors (PE)] have been shown to be associated with individual differences in fluid IQ. Here, we examine the interaction between adaptive learning signals (using a well-characterized probabilistic reversal learning task in combination with fMRI) and SLES on fluid IQ measures.

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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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Oct
2014

Processing of reward is the basis of adaptive behavior of the human being. Neural correlates of reward processing seem to be influenced by developmental changes from adolescence to late adulthood. The aim of this study is to uncover these neural correlates during a slot machine gambling task across the lifespan.

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Dec
1969

Recent work suggests that a genetic variation associated with increased dopamine metabolism in the prefrontal cortex (catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met; COMT) amplifies age-related changes in working memory performance. Research on younger adults indicates that the influence of dopamine-related genetic polymorphisms on working memory performance increases when testing the cognitive limits through training. To date, this has not been studied in older adults.

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Jan
2014

In the domain of working memory (WM), a sigmoid-shaped relationship between WM load and brain activation patterns has been demonstrated in younger adults. It has been suggested that age-related alterations of this pattern are associated with changes in neural efficiency and capacity. At the same time, WM training studies have shown that some older adults are able to increase their WM performance through training.

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Apr
2014

Subjects with schizophrenia are impaired at reinforcement-driven reversal learning from as early as their first episode. The neurobiological basis of this deficit is unknown. We obtained behavioral and fMRI data in 24 unmedicated, primarily first episode, schizophrenia patients and 24 age-, IQ- and gender-matched healthy controls during a reversal learning task.

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Dec
2013

In the aging population of Germany the consequences of Dementia for the society and the health care sector are complex and solutions require a multidisciplinary approach. The aim of the two-day interdisciplinary expert conference was to consider dementia from different perspectives, to identify dementia-related problems and to discuss integrative solutions under consideration of complementary therapies. In different working groups the experts developed solutions and recommendations with regards to political need, health care and future research priorities.

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Dec
2013

In recent years, lithium has proved an effective augmentation strategy of antidepressants in both acute and treatment-resistant depression. Neuroprotective and procognitive effects of lithium have been evidenced. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been shown to play a key role in the pathophysiology of several neurological and psychiatric disorders.

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Nov
2013

To investigate the efficacy of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) on symptoms of agitation/aggression and depression in nursing home residents with dementia in a randomized controlled trial. Previous studies have indicated that AAT has beneficial effects on neuropsychiatric symptoms in various psychiatric disorders but few studies have investigated the efficacy of AAT in patients suffering from dementia.
Of 65 nursing home residents with dementia (mean [standard deviation] age: 81.

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Sep
2013

To test the effect of a complex guideline-based intervention on agitation and psychotropic prescriptions.
Cluster randomized controlled trial (VIDEANT) with blinded assessment of outcome in 18 nursing homes in Berlin, Germany, comprising 304 dementia patients.
Training, support, and activity therapy intervention, delivered at the level of each nursing home, focusing on the management of agitation in dementia.

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