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Author: Michael Rapp (143)


Mar
2018

To provide pilot data for the safety and efficacy of EGb 761 in the oldest-old patients (aged 80 or older).
In a retrospective analysis, we compared treatment outcomes with EGb 761 or donepezil over 12 months in 189 patients aged 80 years or older suffering from Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Over 12 months, there was no significant difference in cognitive decline, measured with the mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score, between donepezil and EGb 761 (p = 0.

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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
1969

To test whether the negative relationship between perceived stress and quality of life (Hypothesis 1) can be buffered by perceived social support in patients with dementia as well as in caregivers individually (Hypothesis 2: actor effects) and across partners (Hypothesis 3: partner effects and actor-partner effects).
A total of 108 couples (N = 216 individuals) comprised of one individual with early-stage dementia and one caregiving partner were assessed at baseline and one month apart. Moderation effects were investigated by applying linear mixed models and actor-partner interdependence models.

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Nov
2017

Arrays with polymer-coated acoustic sensors, such as surface acoustic wave (SAW) and surface transverse wave (STW) sensors, have successfully been applied for a variety of gas sensing applications. However, the stability of the sensors' polymer coatings over a longer period of use has hardly been investigated. We used an array of eight STW resonator sensors coated with different polymers.

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Feb
2018

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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Jan
2018

The aim of the present study was to investigate the psychometric characteristics of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) in a sample of dementia patients and their spousal caregivers.
We investigated the reliability and validity of the 14-item PSS in a sample of 80 couples, each including one spouse who had been diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia (mean age 75.55, SD = 5.

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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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Dec
1969

Advances in neurocomputational modeling suggest that valuation systems for goal-directed (deliberative) on one side, and habitual (automatic) decision-making on the other side may rely on distinct computational strategies for reinforcement learning, namely model-free vs. model-based learning. As a key theoretical difference, the model-based system strongly demands cognitive functions to plan actions prospectively based on an internal cognitive model of the environment, whereas valuation in the model-free system relies on rather simple learning rules from operant conditioning to retrospectively associate actions with their outcomes and is thus cognitively less demanding.

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Jun
2017

In patients with early-stage dementia and their caregiving partners, reciprocal dyadic coping (DC) is crucial for preventing or reducing depressive symptoms in both partners. This study examines the relationships between 'own DC' and 'perceived partner DC' with depressive symptoms in couples coping with dementia on individual (actor effects) and cross-person (partner effects) levels.
164 individuals (82 patients with early-stage dementia and their 82 caregiving partners; N= 82 dyads) participated in this prospective study with measures (DC, depressive symptoms, and dementia severity) taken at baseline and at six months.

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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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Nov
2016

To analyze the duration of treatment with antipsychotics in German dementia patients.
This study included patients aged 60 years and over with dementia who received a first-time antipsychotic prescription by psychiatrists between 2009 and 2013. The main outcome measure was the treatment rate for more than 6 months following the index date.

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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 (= 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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Dec
1969

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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Jul
2016

Mussel foot proteins (Mfps) exhibit remarkably adaptive adhesion and bridging between polar surfaces in aqueous solution despite the strong hydration barriers at the solid-liquid interface. Recently, catechols and amines-two functionalities that account for >50 mol % of the amino acid side chains in surface-priming Mfps-were shown to cooperatively displace the interfacial hydration and mediate robust adhesion between mineral surfaces. Here we demonstrate that (1) synergy between catecholic and guanidinium side chains similarly promotes adhesion, (2) increasing the ratio of cationic amines to catechols in a molecule reduces adhesion, and (3) the catechol-cation synergy is greatest when both functionalities are present within the same molecule.

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Dec
1969

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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Apr
2016

Translating sticky biological molecules-such as mussel foot proteins (MFPs)-into synthetic, cost-effective underwater adhesives with adjustable nano- and macroscale characteristics requires an intimate understanding of the glue's molecular interactions. To help facilitate the next generation of aqueous adhesives, we performed a combination of surface forces apparatus (SFA) measurements and replica-exchange molecular dynamics (REMD) simulations on a synthetic, easy to prepare, Dopa-containing peptide (MFP-3s peptide), which adheres to organic surfaces just as effectively as its wild-type protein analog. Experiments and simulations both show significant differences in peptide adsorption on CH3-terminated (hydrophobic) and OH-terminated (hydrophilic) self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), where adsorption is strongest on hydrophobic SAMs because of orientationally specific interactions with Dopa.

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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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Dec
1969

Dementia is a psychiatric condition the development of which is associated with numerous aspects of life. Our aim was to estimate dementia risk factors in German primary care patients.
The case-control study included primary care patients (70-90 years) with first diagnosis of dementia (all-cause) during the index period (01/2010-12/2014) (Disease Analyzer, Germany), and controls without dementia matched (1:1) to cases on the basis of age, sex, type of health insurance, and physician.

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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

In physiological fluids and seawater, adhesion of synthetic polymers to solid surfaces is severely limited by high salt, pH, and hydration, yet these conditions have not deterred the evolution of effective adhesion by mussels. Mussel foot proteins provide insights about adhesive adaptations: Notably, the abundance and proximity of catecholic Dopa (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) and lysine residues hint at a synergistic interplay in adhesion. Certain siderophores—bacterial iron chelators—consist of paired catechol and lysine functionalities, thereby providing a convenient experimental platform to explore molecular synergies in bioadhesion.

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Jul
2015

We have measured and characterized how three classes of surface-active molecules self-assemble at, and modulate the interfacial forces between, a negatively charged mica surface and a hydrophobic end-grafted polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer surface in solution. We provide a broad overview of how chemical and structural properties of surfactant molecules result in different self-assembled structures at polymer and mineral surfaces, by studying three characteristic surfactants: (1) an anionic aliphatic surfactant, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), (2) a cationic aliphatic surfactant, myristyltrimethylammonium bromide (MTAB), and (3) a silicone polyelectrolyte with a long-chain PDMS midblock and multiple cationic end groups. Through surface forces apparatus measurements, we show that the separate addition of three surfactants can result in interaction energies ranging from fully attractive to fully repulsive.

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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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Jun
2015

We present a combined socio- and psychotherapeutic intervention in couples affected by incipient dementia. We show that the consideration of both social and psychological resources play an important role in the therapy process. 2 additional case reports suggest that those principles of both socio- and psychotherapy can be successfully applied in early dementia.

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Apr
2015

Recent advancements in microfluidic technology have allowed for the generation and control of complex chemical gradients; however, few general techniques can measure these spatio-temporal concentration profiles without fluorescent labeling. Here we describe a Fabry-Perot interferometric technique, capable of measuring concentration profiles in situ, without any chemical label, by tracking Fringes of Equal Chromatic Order (FECO). The technique has a sensitivity of 10(-5) RIU, which can be used to track local solute changes of ~0.

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Jun
2015

The use of polymer coated surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor arrays is a very promising technique for highly sensitive and selective detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We present new developments to achieve a low cost sensor setup with a sampling method enabling the highly reproducible detection of volatiles even in the ppb range. Since the VOCs of coffee are well known by gas chromatography (GC) research studies, the new sensor array was tested for an easy assessable objective: coffee ageing during storage.

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