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Choroszcz, Poland

Hatzinger M.,Psychiatric Hospital | Brand S.,University of Basel | Herzig N.,University of Basel | Holsboer-Trachsler E.,University of Basel
Journal of Psychiatric Research | Year: 2011

Background: Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis reactivity (HPA AR) is the key indicator of the psychophysiological response to stress. The HPA AR may vary with age and gender. To investigate these factors concurrently, the aims of the present study were to observe HPA AR (plasma ACTH and plasma cortisol) in response to a pharmacological challenge (dexamethasone/corticotropin releasing hormone test: DEX/CRH-test) and as a function of age and gender. Method: 19 young (10 females and 9 males; mean age = 24.05 years) and 23 elderly (11 females and 12 males; mean age = 71.61 years) healthy volunteers took part in the study. To assess HPA AR, participants underwent the combined DEX/CRH test applied with the following DEX doses: 0.75, 1.5, and 3.0 mg, respectively. Results: A dose-dependent response was observed in young adult participants, but not in elderly participants. With increasing DEX doses, ACTH and cortisol values decreased in young adult participants, while the decrease was blunted among elderly compared to young adult participants. No differences were observed for gender. Conclusions: Results point to diminished HPA axis sensitivity as an effect of normal aging, irrespective of gender. Therefore, altered HPA regulation in old age should be taken into account for developing new therapeutic approaches acting on the HPA axis and its receptor mechanisms. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Silic A.,Psychiatric Hospital | Karlovic D.,University of Zagreb | Serretti A.,University of Bologna
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2012

Background: Recent studies suggest comorbidity between major depressive disorder (MDD) and metabolic syndrome. For both disorders, impaired serotoninergic neurotransmission and inflammatory factors have been suggested. The objective of this study was to investigate the concentration of platelet serotonin, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in MDD patients with and without metabolic syndrome. The second goal was to investigate the association of the concentrations of platelet serotonin, IL-6 and CRP with individual components of metabolic syndrome in MDD patients. Methods: A total of 145 MDD patients were included in the study (diagnosed according DSM IV TR criteria). The metabolic syndrome was defined according to the criteria of the American National Cholesterol Education Program-Treatment Panel III (ATP III). Inflammation factors (IL-6 and CRP) and platelet serotonin concentration were assessed by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: MDD patients with metabolic syndrome showed lower platelet serotonin and higher IL-6 and CRP concentrations when compared to MDD patients without metabolic syndrome. An inverse correlation was found between platelet serotonin and waist circumference and serum glucose levels. A positive correlation was found between IL-6 and glucose or triglyceride concentrations, while the correlation with HDL cholesterol was negative. Limitations: Data on dietary habits or physical activity prior to hospitalisation were not collected. Also, the study was a cross-sectional without a prospective design. Conclusion: Metabolic syndrome in patients with MDD may be associated with reduced concentrations of platelet serotonin and increased concentrations of IL-6 and CRP. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source


Oehen P.,Private Practice | Traber R.,Psychiatric Hospital | Widmer V.,Private Practice | Schnyder U.,University of Zurich
Journal of Psychopharmacology | Year: 2013

Psychiatrists and psychotherapists in the US (1970s to 1985) and Switzerland (1988-1993) used MDMA legally as a prescription drug, to enhance the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Early reports suggest that it is useful in treating trauma-related disorders. Recently, the first completed pilot study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD yielded encouraging results. Designed to test the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in patients with treatment-resistant PTSD; our randomized, double-blind, active-placebo controlled trial enrolled 12 patients for treatment with either low-dose (25 mg, plus 12.5 mg supplemental dose) or full-dose MDMA (125 mg, plus 62.5 mg supplemental dose). MDMA was administered during three experimental sessions, interspersed with weekly non-drug-based psychotherapy sessions. Outcome measures used were the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) and the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS). Patients were assessed at baseline, three weeks after the second and third MDMA session (end of treatment), and at the 2-month and 1-year follow-ups.We found that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can be safely administered in a clinical setting. No drug-related serious adverse events occurred. We did not see statistically significant reductions in CAPS scores (p = 0.066), although there was clinically and statistically significant self-reported (PDS) improvement (p = 0.014). CAPS scores improved further at the 1-year follow-up. In addition, three MDMA sessions were more effective than two (p = 0.016). © The Author(s) 2013. Source


Lietaer G.,Catholic University of Leuven | Dierick P.,Psychiatric Hospital
Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies | Year: 2015

As part of the Leuven Group Psychotherapy Process Study, a questionnaire to assess group participants’ perceptions of hindering factors in group sessions was administered to 489 members of 78 psychotherapy and experiential learning groups of client-centered/experiential, psychoanalytic, behavioral, Gestalt, drama- and body-oriented orientations. In this article we focus on the specific meaning and impact of these hindering factors. Within this inquiry the following questions are empirically investigated: To what degree do group members experience these hindering factors and to what degree do they experience them as harmful? How do these hindering factors relate to therapeutic factors and to intermediate outcome ratings? Are they experienced differently as a function of severity of group members’ problems and as a function of therapeutic orientation? The central finding of the study points to the ambiguous character of hindering factors and their potential to become converted into corrective therapeutic experiences. © 2015, © 2015 World Association for Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapy & Counseling. Source


Dammann G.,Psychiatric Hospital | Dammann G.,University of Basel | Teschler S.,Justus Liebig University | Haag T.,Justus Liebig University | And 3 more authors.
Epigenetics | Year: 2011

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a complex psychiatric disease of increasing importance. Epigenetic alterations are hallmarks for altered gene expression and could be involved in the etiology of BPD. In our study we analyzed DNA methylation patterns of 14 neuropsychiatric genes (COMT, DAT1, GABRA1, GNB3, GRIN2B, HTR1B, HTR2A, 5-HTT, MAOA, MAOB, NOS1, NR3C1, TPH1 and TH). DNA methylation was analyzed by bisulfite restriction analysis and pyrosequencing in whole blood samples of patients diagnosed with DSM-IV BPD and in controls. Aberrant methylation was not detectable using bisulfite restriction analysis, but a significantly increased methylation of HTR2A, NR3C1, MAOA, MAOB and soluble COMT (S-COMT) was revealed for BPD patients using pyrosequencing. For HTR2A the average methylation of four CpG sites was 0.8% higher in BPD patients compared with controls (p = 0.002). The average methylation of NR3C1 was 1.8% increased in BPD patients compared with controls (p = 0.0003) and was higher at 2 out of 8 CpGs (p ≤ 0.04). In females, an increased average methylation (1.5%) of MAOA was observed in BPD patients compared with controls (p = 0.046). A similar trend (1.4% higher methylation) was observed for MAOB in female BPD patients and increased methylation was significant for 1 out of 6 CpG sites. For S-COMT, a higher methylation of 2 out of 4 CpG sites was revealed in BPD patients (p ≤ 0.02). In summary, methylation signatures of several promoter regions were established and a significant increased average methylation (1.7%) occurred in blood samples of BPD patients (p < 0.0001). Our data suggest that aberrant epigenetic regulation of neuropsychiatric genes may contribute to the pathogenesis of BPD. © 2011 Landes Bioscience. Source

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