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Jenewein J.,University of Zurich | Moergeli H.,University of Zurich | Sprott H.,University of Zurich | Honegger D.,University of Zurich | And 9 more authors.
European Journal of Pain (United Kingdom) | Year: 2013

Background: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is frequently associated with psychiatric conditions, particularly anxiety. Deficits in contingency learning during fear conditioning have been hypothesized to increase anxiety and, consequently, pain sensation in susceptible individuals. The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between contingency learning and pain experience in subjects with FMS and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: Fourteen female FMS subjects, 14 age-matched female RA subjects and 14 age-matched female healthy controls (HCs) were included in a fear-conditioning experiment. The conditioned stimulus (CS) consisted of visual signs, the unconditioned stimulus (US) of thermal stimuli. CS- predicted low-temperature exposure (US), while CS+ was followed by low or high temperature. Results: In the FMS group, only 50% of the subjects were aware of the US-CS contingency, whereas 86% of the RA subjects and all of the HCs were aware of the contingency. CS+ induced more anxiety than CS- in RA subjects and HCs. As expected, low-temperature exposure was experienced as less painful after CS- than after CS+ in these subjects. FMS subjects did not show such adaptive conditioning. The effects of the type of CS on heart rate changes were significant in the HCs and the aware FMS subjects, but not in the unaware FMS subjects. Conclusions: Contingency learning deficits represent a potentially promising and specific, but largely unstudied, psychopathological factor in FMS. Deficits in contingency learning may increase anxiety and, consequently, pain sensation. These findings have the potential to contribute to the development of novel therapeutic approaches for FMS. © 2013 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters. Source

Thapar A.,University of Cardiff | Collishaw S.,University of Cardiff | Pine D.S.,NIMH Intramural Research Program | Thapar A.K.,University of Cardiff
The Lancet | Year: 2012

Unipolar depressive disorder in adolescence is common worldwide but often unrecognised. The incidence, notably in girls, rises sharply after puberty and, by the end of adolescence, the 1 year prevalence rate exceeds 4. The burden is highest in low-income and middle-income countries. Depression is associated with substantial present and future morbidity, and heightens suicide risk. The strongest risk factors for depression in adolescents are a family history of depression and exposure to psychosocial stress. Inherited risks, developmental factors, sex hormones, and psychosocial adversity interact to increase risk through hormonal factors and associated perturbed neural pathways. Although many similarities between depression in adolescence and depression in adulthood exist, in adolescents the use of antidepressants is of concern and opinions about clinical management are divided. Effective treatments are available, but choices are dependent on depression severity and available resources. Prevention strategies targeted at high-risk groups are promising. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Correia S.,Brown University | Hubbard E.,Oregon Health And Science University | Hassenstab J.,Brown University | Yip A.,Brown University | And 5 more authors.
Brain Imaging and Behavior | Year: 2010

Dysfunction in circuits linking frontal cortex and basal ganglia (BG) is strongly implicated in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). On MRI studies, neuropsychiatric disorders with known BG pathology have abnormally short T2 relaxation values (a putative biomarker of elevated iron) in this region. We asked if BG T2 values are abnormal in OCD. We measured volume and T2 and T1 relaxation rates in BG of 32 adults with OCD and 33 matched controls. There were no group differences in volume or T1 values in caudate, putamen, or globus pallidus (GP). The OCD group had lower T2 values (suggesting higher iron content) in the right GP, with a trend in the same direction for the left GP. This effect was driven by patients whose OCD symptoms began from around adolescence to early adulthood. The results suggest a possible relationship between age of OCD onset and iron deposition in the basal ganglia. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Emery A.C.,National Health Research Institute | Eiden M.V.,NIMH Intramural Research Program | Mustafa T.,National Health Research Institute | Eiden L.E.,National Health Research Institute
Science Signaling | Year: 2013

G protein (heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein)-coupled receptor (GPCR)-mediated increases in the second messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) activate the mitogenactivated protein kinase (MAPK) extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and in neuroendocrine cells, this pathway leads to cAMP-dependent neuritogenesis mediated through Rap1 and B-Raf. We found that the Rap guanine nucleotide exchange factor Rapgef2 was enriched from primary bovine neuroendocrine cells by cAMP-agarose affinity chromatography and that it was specifically eluted by cAMP. With loss-offunction experiments in the rat neuronal cell line Neuroscreen-1 (NS-1) and gain-of-function experiments in human embryonic kidney 293T cells, we demonstrated that Rapgef2 connected GPCR-dependent activation of adenylate cyclase and increased cAMP concentration with the activation of ERK in neurons and endocrine cells. Furthermore, knockdown of Rapgef2 blocked cAMP-and ERK-dependent neuritogenesis. Our data are consistent with a pathway involving the cAMP-mediated activation of Rapgef2, which then stimulates Rap1, leading to increases in B-Raf, MEK, and ERK activity. © 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved. Source

Denayer E.,Catholic University of Leuven | Stewart D.R.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Keymolen K.,University Hospital Brussels | Plasschaert E.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics | Year: 2011

Legius syndrome is a RAS-MAPK syndrome characterized by pigmentary findings similar to neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), but without tumor complications. Learning difficulties and behavioral problems have been reported to be associated with Legius syndrome, but have not been studied systematically. We investigated intelligence and behavior in 15 patients with Legius syndrome and 7 unaffected family members. We report a mean full-scale IQ of 101.57 in patients with Legius syndrome, which does not differ from the control group. We find a significantly lower Performance IQ in children with Legius syndrome compared to their unaffected family members. Few behavioral problems are present as assessed by the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) questionnaire. Our observations suggest that, akin to the milder somatic phenotype, the cognitive phenotype in Legius syndrome is less severe than that of NF1. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source

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