Maladaptive Social Self-Beliefs in Alcohol-Dependence: A Specific Bias Towards Excessive High Standards.

Maladaptive Social Self-Beliefs in Alcohol-Dependence: A Specific Bias towards Excessive High Standards.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e58928
Maurage P, de Timary P, Moulds ML, Wong QJ, Collignon M, Philippot P, Heeren A

BACKGROUND: Emotional and interpersonal impairments associated with alcohol-dependence have been recently explored, but the distorted cognitive representations underlying these deficits remain poorly understood. The present study aims at exploring the presence of maladaptive social self-beliefs among alcohol-dependent individuals, as these biased self-beliefs have been recently shown to play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of other psychopathological states (social anxiety and depression). METHODOLOGYPRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Twenty-five recently detoxified alcohol-dependent participants and 25 matched controls filled in self-report questionnaires evaluating maladaptive social self-beliefs, interpersonal problems and several comorbid states (anxiety, social anxiety, depression). As compared to controls, alcohol-dependent individuals showed higher scores than controls for the three subcategories of maladaptive social self-beliefs (high standards, conditional beliefs and unconditional beliefs). Our key finding was that when comorbidities were controlled for, alcohol-dependence was associated with a specific bias towards exaggerated high standards in social contexts. Moreover, these high standards beliefs were strongly correlated with interpersonal problems. CONCLUSIONSSIGNIFICANCE: These results provide the first insights into the influence of cognitive biases on interpersonal problems in addictive states, and suggest that maladaptive self-beliefs could have a central influence on the development and maintenance of alcohol-dependence. HubMed – depression


Harnessing Clinical Psychiatric Data with an Electronic Assessment Tool (OPCRIT+): The Utility of Symptom Dimensions.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e58790
Brittain PJ, Lobo SE, Rucker J, Amarasinghe M, Anilkumar AP, Baggaley M, Banerjee P, Bearn J, Broadbent M, Butler M, Campbell CD, Cleare AJ, Dratcu L, Frangou S, Gaughran F, Goldin M, Henke A, Kern N, Krayem A, Mufti F, McIvor R, Needham-Bennett H, Newman S, Olajide D, O’Flynn D, Rao R, Rehman IU, Seneviratne G, Stahl D, Suleman S, Treasure J, Tully J, Veale D, Stewart R, McGuffin P, Lovestone S, Hotopf M, Schumann G

Progress in personalised psychiatry is dependent on researchers having access to systematic and accurately acquired symptom data across clinical diagnoses. We have developed a structured psychiatric assessment tool, OPCRIT+, that is being introduced into the electronic medical records system of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust which can help to achieve this. In this report we examine the utility of the symptom data being collected with the tool. Cross-sectional mental state data from a mixed-diagnostic cohort of 876 inpatients was subjected to a principal components analysis (PCA). Six components, explaining 46% of the variance in recorded symptoms, were extracted. The components represented dimensions of mania, depression, positive symptoms, anxiety, negative symptoms and disorganization. As indicated by component scores, different clinical diagnoses demonstrated distinct symptom profiles characterized by wide-ranging levels of severity. When comparing the predictive value of symptoms against diagnosis for a variety of clinical outcome measures (e.g. ‘Overactive, aggressive behaviour’), symptoms proved superior in five instances (R(2) range: 0.06-0.28) whereas diagnosis was best just once (R(2)?0.25). This report demonstrates that symptom data being routinely gathered in an NHS trust, when documented on the appropriate tool, have considerable potential for onward use in a variety of clinical and research applications via representation as dimensions of psychopathology. HubMed – depression


Prolonged restraint stress increases IL-6, reduces IL-10, and causes persistent depressive-like behavior that is reversed by recombinant IL-10.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e58488
Voorhees JL, Tarr AJ, Wohleb ES, Godbout JP, Mo X, Sheridan JF, Eubank TD, Marsh CB

Altered inflammatory cytokine profiles are often observed in individuals suffering from major depression. Recent clinical work reports on elevated IL-6 and decreased IL-10 in depression. Elevated IL-6 has served as a consistent biomarker of depression and IL-10 is proposed to influence depressive behavior through its ability to counterbalance pro-inflammatory cytokine expression. Clinical and animal studies suggest a role for IL-10 in modifying depressive behavior. Murine restraint stress (RST) is regularly employed in the study of behavioral and biological symptoms associated with depressive disorders. While responses to acute RST exposure have been widely characterized, few studies have examined the ongoing and longitudinal effects of extended RST and fewer still have examined the lasting impact during the post-stress period. Consistent with clinical data, we report that a protocol of prolonged murine RST produced altered cytokine profiles similar to those observed in major depressive disorder. Parallel to these changes in circulating cytokines, IL-10 mRNA expression was diminished in the cortex and hippocampus throughout the stress period and following cessation of RST. Moreover, chronic RST promoted depressive-like behavior throughout the 28-day stress period and these depressive-like complications were maintained weeks after cessation of RST. Because of the correlation between IL-10 suppression and depressive behavior and because many successful antidepressant therapies yield increases in IL-10, we examined the effects of IL-10 treatment on RST-induced behavioral changes. Behavioral deficits induced by RST were reversed by exogenous administration of recombinant IL-10. This work provides one of the first reports describing the biological and behavioral impact following prolonged RST and, taken together, this study provides details on the correlation between responses to chronic RST and those seen in depressive disorders. HubMed – depression


Contextual social cognition impairments in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e57664
Baez S, Herrera E, Villarin L, Theil D, Gonzalez-Gadea ML, Gomez P, Mosquera M, Huepe D, Strejilevich S, Vigliecca NS, Matthäus F, Decety J, Manes F, Ibañez AM

BACKGROUND: The ability to integrate contextual information with social cues to generate social meaning is a key aspect of social cognition. It is widely accepted that patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders have deficits in social cognition; however, previous studies on these disorders did not use tasks that replicate everyday situations. METHODOLOGYPRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This study evaluates the performance of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders on social cognition tasks (emotional processing, empathy, and social norms knowledge) that incorporate different levels of contextual dependence and involvement of real-life scenarios. Furthermore, we explored the association between social cognition measures, clinical symptoms and executive functions. Using a logistic regression analysis, we explored whether the involvement of more basic skills in emotional processing predicted performance on empathy tasks. The results showed that both patient groups exhibited deficits in social cognition tasks with greater context sensitivity and involvement of real-life scenarios. These deficits were more severe in schizophrenic than in bipolar patients. Patients did not differ from controls in tasks involving explicit knowledge. Moreover, schizophrenic patients’ depression levels were negatively correlated with performance on empathy tasks. CONCLUSIONSSIGNIFICANCE: Overall performance on emotion recognition predicted performance on intentionality attribution during the more ambiguous situations of the empathy task. These results suggest that social cognition deficits could be related to a general impairment in the capacity to implicitly integrate contextual cues. Important implications for the assessment and treatment of individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, as well as for neurocognitive models of these pathologies are discussed. HubMed – depression