Visual event-related potentials as markers of hyperarousal in Gulf War illness: Evidence against a stress-related etiology
ABSTRACT An exaggerated response to emotional stimuli is among the many symptoms widely reported by veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. These symptomologies have been attributed to damage and dysfunction associated with deployment-related exposures. We collected event-related potential data from 22 veterans meeting Haley criteria for Gulf War (GW) Syndromes 1-3 and from 8 matched GW veteran controls, who were deployed but not symptomatic, while they performed a visual three-condition oddball task where images authenticated to be associated with the 1991 Persian Gulf War were the distractor stimuli. Hyperarousal reported by ill veterans was significantly greater than that by control veterans, but this was not paralleled by higher amplitude P3a in their ERP responses to GW-related distractor stimuli. Whereas previous studies of PTSD patients have shown higher amplitude P3b responses to target stimuli that are placed amid trauma-related nontarget stimuli, ill veterans in this study showed P3b amplitudes to target stimuli - placed amid GW-related nontarget stimuli - that were significantly lower than those of the control group. Hyperarousal scores reliably predicted P3b, but not P3a, amplitudes. Although many factors may contribute to P3b amplitude differences - most notably depression and poor sleep quality, symptoms that are prevalent in the GW syndrome groups - our findings in context of previous studies on this population are consistent with the contention that dysfunction in cholinergic and dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems, and in white matter and basal ganglia may be contributing to impairments in GW veterans.
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ABSTRACT: Objective: There are various attempts to confirm variables that could predict postpartum depression in advance. This study determined antenatal risk factors for postpartum depression in women at risk of developing this disorder. Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted with 2279 eligible women who attended at Mazandaran province’ primary health centers from 32-42 weeks of pregnancy to eighth postpartum weeks. The women were screened for symptoms of depression using the Iranian version of Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. An Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale score of > 12 indicated possible postpartum depression. Univariate and multiple logistic regression models were used for data analysis. Results: A total of 2083women during 32-42 weeks of gestation participated in this study and were followed up to 8-week postpartum. Four hundred and three (19.4%) mothers yielded scores above the threshold of 12. Depression and general health state in pregnancy based on Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (OR = 1.35, CI = 1.3-1.4) and General Health Questionnaire-28 (OR = 1.03, CI = 1.01-1.04), respectively were significant independent antenatal risk factors of depression symptoms at 8-week postpartum. Mothers who lived in nuclear families (OR = 1.38, CI = 1.04-1.84), whose husbands had lower educational status (OR = 0.95, CI = 0.91-0.99), and with delayed prenatal care (OR = 1.01, CI = 1.001-1.03) were more susceptible to postpartum depression. Conclusion: A comprehensive antenatal assessment focused on psychiatric problems, environmental and obstetric factors would benefit pregnant women in the prevention of postpartum depression.Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 05/2014; 8(2):11-21.
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ABSTRACT: Mental disorders are more common among the chemically injured veterans rather the than the normal population. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of mustard gas (MG) on mental health and quality-of-life (QOL) in the people exposed to it based on reviewing valid published articles. We searched English databases including Medline, ISI and Scopus as well as Farsi databases including Iranmedex and Irandoc and reviewed them. The used keywords were in two English and Farsi languages. Forty related full texts out of more than 300 articles were assessed and for their qualification, only the publications in accredited journals were considered sufficient. The average mental health score of victims using the general health questionnaire (GHQ) was 48.92. The frequency of anxiety was (18-65%), insomnia (13.63%), social performance disturbances (10.73%), severe depression (6-46%), low concentration (54%), emotional problems (98%), behavioral abnormalities (80%), thought processing disturbances (14%), memory impairment (80%), personality disorders (31%), seizures (6%), psychosis (3%). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most common and important disorders with lifetime PTSD (8-59%), current PTSD (2-33%) and the QOL in chemical warfare victims decreased. Exposure to chemical weapons may lead to physical, mental, social, and economic damages and consequently decrease the victims' (QOL. Therefore, they should be taken into more care.Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 07/2014; 8(3):11-21.