The Impact and Desirability of News of Risk for Schizophrenia.

The impact and desirability of news of risk for schizophrenia.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(4): e62904
Alder RG, Young JL, Russell EI, McHardy DR, Linscott RJ

In studies of schizotypy, investigators seldom inform participants that they are engaged in research designed to shed light on risk for schizophrenia. Such nondisclosure is justified in part by the argument that disclosure of risk status may be harmful. However, there is little evidence that this is the case. Harm arising from disclosure of risk status was examined in two experiments. In the first, participants (n?=?114 psychology undergraduates) were asked to anticipate their reactions to news of risk for schizophrenia, depression, cancer, and diabetes, and also to indicate whether they would want to know their schizophrenia risk status. Participants anticipated schizophrenia risk would have a negative impact that was significantly greater than depression or diabetes risk but similar to cancer risk. The anticipated impact of schizophrenia risk was predicted by expectations of stigmatization as well as confidence in the accuracy of biological screening. Although 81% indicated a preference for knowing their risk status, just 11% were prepared to undergo an assessment to find out. In the second, a between-subjects deception paradigm was used to inform participants (n?=?144 psychology undergraduates) they had an enzyme deficiency that placed them at increased risk for schizophrenia, cancer, or depression. Impact was assessed using prospective self-report and salivary cortisol and retrospective self-report. Impact was modeled using measures of stigmatization and health locus of control. Retrospectively, schizophrenia, cancer, and depression risk had strong negative impacts relative to a control group, but there was no effect on prospective measures. Together, the findings suggest that news of risk for schizophrenia has the potential to engender distress, although participants’ anticipations and reflections of responses are not corroborated in prospectively measured outcomes. HubMed – depression


The Dynamics of Mood and Coping in Bipolar Disorder: Longitudinal Investigations of the Inter-Relationship between Affect, Self-Esteem and Response Styles.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(4): e62514
Pavlickova H, Varese F, Smith A, Myin-Germeys I, Turnbull OH, Emsley R, Bentall RP

Previous research has suggested that the way bipolar patients respond to depressive mood impacts on the future course of the illness, with rumination prolonging depression and risk-taking possibly triggering hypomania. However, the relationship over time between variables such as mood, self-esteem, and response style to negative affect is complex and has not been directly examined in any previous study – an important limitation, which the present study seeks to address.In order to maximize ecological validity, individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder (N?=?48) reported mood, self-esteem and response styles to depression, together with contextual information, up to 60 times over a period of six days, using experience sampling diaries. Entries were cued by quasi-random bleeps from digital watches. Longitudinal multilevel models were estimated, with mood and self-esteem as predictors of subsequent response styles. Similar models were then estimated with response styles as predictors of subsequent mood and self-esteem. Cross-sectional associations of daily-life correlates with symptoms were also examined.Cross-sectionally, symptoms of depression as well as mania were significantly related to low mood and self-esteem, and their increased fluctuations. Longitudinally, low mood significantly predicted rumination, and engaging in rumination dampened mood at the subsequent time point. Furthermore, high positive mood (marginally) instigated high risk-taking, and in turn engaging in risk-taking resulted in increased positive mood. Adaptive coping (i.e. problem-solving and distraction) was found to be an effective coping style in improving mood and self-esteem.This study is the first to directly test the relevance of response style theory, originally developed to explain unipolar depression, to understand symptom changes in bipolar disorder patients. The findings show that response styles significantly impact on subsequent mood but some of these effects are modulated by current mood state. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed. HubMed – depression


The Association between Pulse Wave Velocity and Cognitive Function: The Sydney Memory and Ageing Study.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(4): e61855
Singer J, Trollor JN, Crawford J, O’Rourke MF, Baune BT, Brodaty H, Samaras K, Kochan NA, Campbell L, Sachdev PS, Smith E

Pulse wave velocity (PWV) is a measure of arterial stiffness and its increase with ageing has been associated with damage to cerebral microvessels and cognitive impairment. This study examined the relationship between carotid-femoral PWV and specific domains of cognitive function in a non-demented elderly sample.Data were drawn from the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study, a cohort study of non-demented community-dwelling individuals aged 70-90 years, assessed in successive waves two years apart. In Wave 2, PWV and cognitive function were measured in 319 participants. Linear regression was used to analyse the cross-sectional relationship between arterial stiffness and cognitive function in the whole sample, and separately for men and women. Analysis of covariance was used to assess potential differences in cognition between subjects with PWV measurements in the top and bottom tertiles of the cohort. Covariates were age, education, body mass index, pulse rate, systolic blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, alcohol, smoking, hormone replacement therapy, apolipoprotein E ?4 genotype, use of anti-hypertensive medications, history of stroke, transient ischemic attack, myocardial infarction, angina, diabetes, and also sex for the whole sample analyses.There was no association between PWV and cognition after Bonferroni correction for multiple testing. When examining this association for males and females separately, an association was found in males, with higher PWV being associated with lower global cognition and memory, however, a significant difference between PWV and cognition between males and females was not found.A higher level of PWV was not associated with lower cognitive function in the whole sample. HubMed – depression


Interaction between Oxytocin Genotypes and Early Experience Predicts Quality of Mothering and Postpartum Mood.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(4): e61443
Mileva-Seitz V, Steiner M, Atkinson L, Meaney MJ, Levitan R, Kennedy JL, Sokolowski MB, Fleming AS

Individual differences in maternal behavior are affected by both early life experiences and oxytocin, but little is known about genetic variation in oxytocin genes and its effects on mothering. We examined two polymorphisms in the oxytocin peptide gene OXT (rs2740210 and rs4813627) and one polymorphism in the oxytocin receptor gene OXTR (rs237885) in 187 Caucasian mothers at six months postpartum. For OXT, both rs2740210 and rs4813627 significantly associated with maternal vocalizing to the infant. These polymorphisms also interacted with the quality of care mothers experienced in early life, to predict variation in maternal instrumental care and postpartum depression. However, postpartum depression did not mediate the gene-environment effects of the OXT SNPs on instrumental care. In contrast, the OXTR SNP rs237885 did not associate with maternal behavior, but it did associate with pre-natal (but not post-natal) depression score. The findings illustrate the importance of variation in oxytocin genes, both alone and in interaction with early environment, as predictors of individual differences in human mothering. Furthermore, depression does not appear to have a causal role on the variation we report in instrumental care. This suggests that variation in instrumental care varies in association with a gene-early environment effect regardless of current depressive symptomatology. Finally, our findings highlight the importance of examining multiple dimensions of human maternal behavior in studies of genetic associations. HubMed – depression