Wiesloch, Germany
Wiesloch, Germany

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PubMed | University of Cologne, University Hospital Frankfurt am Main, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry and 28 more.
Type: | Journal: Translational psychiatry | Year: 2015

Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe and highly heritable neuropsychiatric disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 1%. Molecular genetic studies have identified the first BD susceptibility genes. However, the disease pathways remain largely unknown. Accumulating evidence suggests that microRNAs, a class of small noncoding RNAs, contribute to basic mechanisms underlying brain development and plasticity, suggesting their possible involvement in the pathogenesis of several psychiatric disorders, including BD. In the present study, gene-based analyses were performed for all known autosomal microRNAs using the largest genome-wide association data set of BD to date (9747 patients and 14278 controls). Associated and brain-expressed microRNAs were then investigated in target gene and pathway analyses. Functional analyses of miR-499 and miR-708 were performed in rat hippocampal neurons. Ninety-eight of the six hundred nine investigated microRNAs showed nominally significant P-values, suggesting that BD-associated microRNAs might be enriched within known microRNA loci. After correction for multiple testing, nine microRNAs showed a significant association with BD. The most promising were miR-499, miR-708 and miR-1908. Target gene and pathway analyses revealed 18 significant canonical pathways, including brain development and neuron projection. For miR-499, four Bonferroni-corrected significant target genes were identified, including the genome-wide risk gene for psychiatric disorder CACNB2. First results of functional analyses in rat hippocampal neurons neither revealed nor excluded a major contribution of miR-499 or miR-708 to dendritic spine morphogenesis. The present results suggest that research is warranted to elucidate the precise involvement of microRNAs and their downstream pathways in BD.


Faller A.,University of Heidelberg | Richter B.,Psychiatric Center Nordbaden | Kluge M.,Psychiatric Center Nordbaden | Koenig P.,Salem Medical Center | And 6 more authors.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2011

Phosphatidylethanol (PEth), which is formed extrahepatically by the action of phospholipase D on phosphatidylcholine in the presence of ethanol, has been suggested as a promising marker of alcohol misuse. Analysis of dried blood spots (DBS) is particularly advantageous for the determination of delicate analytes such as PEth. Therefore, measurement of PEth species (18:1/18:1, 16:0/18:1) in DBS versus whole blood was performed to ascertain whether respective results are directly comparable. Samples were obtained from subjects (n∈=∈40) undergoing alcohol detoxification treatment. Analysis involved liquid-liquid extraction from both, DBS and whole blood (100 μL, respectively), with phosphatidylpropanol as the internal standard. Extracts were subjected to LC gradient separation using multiple reaction monitoring of deprotonated molecules. Results from measurements of corresponding DBS and whole blood specimens were compared by estimating the respective mean values and by a Bland and Altman analysis. Concentrations of PEth 18:1/18:1 ranged from 46.1 to 3,360 ng/mL in whole blood (mean, 461.7 ng/mL) and from 35.8 to 3,360 ng/mL in DBS (mean, 457.6 ng/mL); for PEth 16:0/18:1, concentrations were from 900 to 213,000 ng/mL (mean, 23,375 ng/mL) and 922-213,000 ng/mL (mean, 23,470 ng/mL) in blood and DBS, respectively. Estimated mean differences were -4.3 ng/mL for PEth 18:1/18:1 and 95.8 ng/mL for PEth 16:0/18:1. The Bland-Altman plot of both PEth species showed that the variation around the mean difference was similar all through the range of measured values and that all differences except one were within the limits of agreement. It could be shown that the determination of PEth species in DBS is as reliable as in whole blood samples. This assay may facilitate monitoring of alcohol misuse. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Faller A.,University of Heidelberg | Richter B.,Psychiatric Center Nordbaden | Kluge M.,Psychiatric Center Nordbaden | Koenig P.,Salem Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) is currently under investigation as a highly sensitive and specific marker of alcohol misuse. As its stability in blood samples has not systematically been investigated, a study was performed to determine the stability of major PEth species in spiked and authentic whole blood and also in matching dried blood spots (DBS) at different conditions. Methods: To PEth-free blood from teetotalers, low and high concentrations of two major PEth (18:1/18:1 and 16:0/18:1) species were added chosen on the basis of concentrations determined from authentic samples which were collected from the subjects undergoing alcohol detoxification treatment. Effects of sampling (EDTA or heparinized tubes), temperature, and time (≤30 days) were investigated. Processed samples (two at each condition, respectively) were subjected to LC gradient separation using multiple reaction monitoring. Stability was assessed using the critical difference or a periodic analysis result that was within 15 % of the initial concentration. Reaction kinetics of degradation was investigated with rate constants being checked for an Arrhenius relationship. Results: PEth was stable in dried blood spot (DBS) stored either at room temperature or frozen, whereas it was not stable in whole blood except in samples stored at -80 C. Activation energies increased in the following order: spiked heparinized blood < spiked EDTA blood < authentic EDTA blood. Conclusions: PEth is a labile analyte which is predominantly degraded by hydrolysis. Only at -80 C, stability in whole blood can be ascertained, and analysis should be performed within 30 days. EDTA should be preferred over heparin as an additive. DBS is able to stabilize PEth thus partly resolving pre-analytical difficulties of PEth measurement. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Kordy H.,University of Heidelberg | Wolf M.,University of Heidelberg | Aulich K.,University of Greifswald | Burgy M.,Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy | And 6 more authors.
Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics | Year: 2016

Background: Strategies to improve the life of patients suffering from recurrent major depression have a high relevance. This study examined the efficacy of 2 Internet-delivered augmentation strategies that aim to prolong symptom-free intervals. Methods: Efficacy was tested in a 3-arm, multicenter, open-label, evaluator-blind, randomized controlled trial. Upon discharge from inpatient mental health care, 232 adults with 3 or more major depressive episodes were randomized to 1 of 2 intervention groups (SUMMIT or SUMMIT-PERSON) or to treatment as usual (TAU) alone. Over 12 months, participants in both intervention arms received, in addition to TAU, intense monitoring via e-mail or a smartphone, including signaling of upcoming crises, assistance with personal crisis management, and facilitation of early intervention. SUMMIT-PERSON additionally offered regular expert chats. The primary outcome was 'well weeks', i.e. weeks with at most mild symptoms assessed by the Longitudinal Interval Follow-Up Evaluation, during 24 months after the index treatment. Results: SUMMIT compared to TAU reduced the time with an unwell status (OR 0.48; 95% CI 0.23-0.98) through faster transitions from unwell to well (OR 1.44; 95% CI 0.83-2.50) and slower transitions from well to unwell (OR 0.69; 95% CI 0.44-1.09). Contrary to the hypothesis, SUMMIT-PERSON was not superior to either SUMMIT (OR 0.77; 95% CI 0.38-1.56) or TAU (OR 0.62; 95% CI 0.31-1.24). The efficacy of SUMMIT was strongest 8 months after the intervention. Conclusions: The fully automated Internet-delivered augmentation strategy SUMMIT has the potential to improve TAU by reducing the lifelong burden of patients with recurrent depression. The fact that the effects wear off suggests a time-unlimited extension. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel. All rights reserved.


Kordy H.,University of Heidelberg | Backenstrass M.,University of Heidelberg | Husing J.,University of Heidelberg | Wolf M.,University of Heidelberg | And 5 more authors.
Contemporary Clinical Trials | Year: 2013

Major depression is a highly prevalent, disabling disorder associated with loss of quality of life and large economic burden for the society. Depressive disorders often follow a chronic or recurrent course. The risk of relapses increases with each additional episode. The internet-deliverable intervention strategy SUMMIT (SUpportive Monitoring and Disease Management over the InTernet) for patients with recurrent depression has been developed with the main objectives to prolong symptom-free phases and to shorten symptom-loaden phases. This paper describes the study design of a six-sites, three-arm, randomized clinical trial intended to evaluate the efficacy of this novel strategy compared to treatment as usual (TAU). Two hundred thirty six patients who had been treated for their (at least) third depressive episode in one of the six participating psychiatric centers were randomized into one of three groups: 1) TAU plus a twelve-month SUMMIT program participation with personal support or 2) TAU plus a twelve-month SUMMIT program participation without personal support, or 3) TAU alone. Primary outcome of this study is defined as the number of "well weeks" over 24. months after index treatment assessed by blind evaluators based on the Longitudinal Interval Follow-Up Evaluation. If efficacious, the low monetary and nonmonetary expenditures of this automated, yet individualized intervention may open new avenues for providing an acceptable, convenient, and affordable long-term disease management strategy to people with a chronic mental condition such as recurrent depression. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Kronmuller K.-T.,University of Heidelberg | Von Bock A.,University of Heidelberg | Grupe S.,University of Heidelberg | Buche L.,University of Heidelberg | And 7 more authors.
Comprehensive Psychiatry | Year: 2011

Background: The aims of this study were to examine the psychometric properties of a German version of the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales (PSYRATS) in a sample of patients with schizophrenic spectrum disorders and affective disorders with delusions and to validate subscales of the PSYRATS with other ratings of psychotic symptoms. Sampling and methods: Two hundred patients with schizophrenic spectrum disorder and affective disorders with delusions were examined. Psychometric properties of the PSYRATS items and scales were determined, and the scores of the PSYRATS scales and subscales were compared to the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and other ratings of psychotic symptoms. Results: The PSYRATS items and scales were found to have excellent interrater reliability. Two factors for the delusions scale (DS) and 4 factors of the auditory hallucinations scale were found. Subscales of the DS and auditory hallucinations scale were replicated by factor analysis, and the validity of the subscales was supported. Conclusions: The German version of the PSYRATS is a reliable and valid assessment tool for delusions and hallucinations. The findings support the validity of the PSYRATS subscales. The DS is also applicable for patients with affective disorders. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Ruckl S.,University of Heidelberg | Gentner N.C.,University of Heidelberg | Buche L.,University of Heidelberg | Backenstrass M.,University of Heidelberg | And 5 more authors.
Psychopathology | Year: 2015

Background: Self-generated coping strategies and the enhancement of coping strategies are effective in the treatment of psychotic symptoms. Evaluating these strategies can be of clinical interest to develop better coping enhancement therapies. Cognitive models consider delusions as multidimensional phenomena. Using a psychometric approach, the relationship between coping and the dimensions of delusion were examined. Methods: Thirty schizophrenia spectrum patients with delusions and 29 patients with affective disorder with psychotic symptoms were interviewed using the Heidelberg Coping Scales for Delusions and the Heidelberg Profile of Delusional Experience. Analyses of variance were conducted to investigate differences between the groups, and Spearman's rank-based correlations were used to examine the correlations between coping factors and the dimensions of delusion. Results: Schizophrenia spectrum patients used more medical care and symptomatic coping, whereas patients with affective disorder engaged in more depressive coping. In the schizophrenia spectrum sample, the action-oriented, the cognitive, and the emotional dimensions of delusion were related to coping factors. In patients with affective disorder, only the action-oriented dimension was related to coping factors. Conclusion: Patients with schizophrenia and affective disorder cope differently with delusions. The dimensions of delusion are related to coping and should be regarded when using cognitive therapy approaches to enhance coping strategies. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Kranaster L.,University of Heidelberg | Kammerer-Ciernioch J.,Psychiatric Center Nordbaden | Hoyer C.,University of Heidelberg | Sartorius A.,University of Heidelberg
European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience | Year: 2011

In a retrospective chart review, we examined the effects of ketamine, an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) anaesthetic in patients suffering from therapy-resistant depression. We included 42 patients who received ECT treatment with either ketamine (n = 16) or the barbiturate thiopental (n = 26). We analysed the number of sessions until completion of ECT treatment (used as a surrogate parameter for outcome), psychopathology as assessed by pre- and post-ECT Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) scores as well as ECT and seizure parameters (stimulation dose, seizure duration and concordance, urapidil dosage for post-seizure blood pressure management). The ketamine group needed significantly fewer ECT sessions and had significantly lower HAM-D and higher MMSE scores afterwards. As expected, the ketamine group needed more urapidil for blood pressure control. Taking into account the limits inherent in a retrospective study design and the rather small sample size, our results nonetheless point towards synergistic effects of ECT and ketamine anaesthesia, less cognitive side effects and good tolerability of ketamine. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


PubMed | Psychiatric Center Nordbaden and University of Heidelberg
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996) | Year: 2016

Traumatic experiences have severe impact on the autonomous nervous system. Heart rate variability (HRV) is a reliable psychophysiological marker for the autonomous nervous system functioning. Reduced vagally mediated HRV has been found in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, in some studies, in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). In this study, we compared HRV parameters of patients with PTSD, current BPD, and BPD in remission with healthy volunteers in a 5min resting-state electrocardiogram recording. 91 unmedicated female participants took part in the study (18 with PTSD, 27 with the current BPD, 23 with BPD in remission, and 23 healthy volunteers). We found significant group differences in both time-domain and frequency-domain (total power, low-frequency and high-frequency power) HRV parameters. Root mean square of the successive differences (RMSSD) was lowest in patients with PTSD (M=48.6ms, SD=23.5ms) followed by patients with BPD in remission (M=57.7ms, SD=31.5ms) and patients with the current BPD (M=71.1ms, SD=44.5ms), while the highest RMSSD was found in healthy volunteers (M=84.1ms, SD=41.7ms). Variance of HRV was higher in patients with BPD than in patients with PTSD. In addition, RMSSD was significantly negatively correlated with self-reported early life maltreatment assessed with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Our findings point out a complex interaction between traumatic experiences, the functioning of the autonomic nervous system, and psychopathology. Alterations in HRV might be related to early life maltreatment or associated psychological factors rather than diagnostic entities.


PubMed | Central Institute of Mental Health, Ruhr University Bochum, Psychiatric Center Nordbaden and University of Heidelberg
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Addiction biology | Year: 2016

Recent models of the development of addiction propose a transition from a pleasure-driven to a heavily automatized behaviour, marked by a loss of cognitive control. This study investigated the deficits in different components of cognitive functions including behavioural inhibition in response to alcohol-related stimuli in alcohol-dependent patients (ADP) and healthy controls (HC). The aims of the study were to identify which particular cognitive functions are impaired in ADP. Furthermore, we analysed the association between cognitive deficits and relapse rates and the reversibility of cognitive deficits under abstinence in a 6-month follow-up period. Ninety-four recently detoxified ADP and 71 HC completed the cognitive tasks as well as questionnaire measures assessing drinking behaviour and personality traits. Compared with HC, ADP showed poorer performance in response initiation, response inhibition, complex-sustained attention and executive functions. Impairment in response inhibition was a significant predictor for relapse, yet the strongest predictor was the interaction between the number of previous detoxifications and response-inhibition deficits. The results of a moderation analysis showed that patients with many previous detoxifications and large deficits in response inhibition showed the highest relapse risk. These findings indicate that interventions should take into account inhibitory deficits especially in ADP with a high number of previous detoxifications.

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