Dirk Lichtermann

Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Oulu, Finland

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Publications (114)735.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We studied the concurrent, predictive, and discriminate validity of psychopathology scales (e.g., schizotypal and depressive) and temperament traits for hospitalisations due to major depression. Temperament, perceptual aberration, physical and social anhedonia, Depression Subscale of Symptom Checklist (SCL-D), Hypomanic Personality Scale, Schizoidia Scale, and Bipolar II Scale were completed as part of the 31-year follow-up survey of the prospective Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort (n = 4941; 2214 males). Several of the scales were related to depression. Concurrent depression was especially related to higher perceptual aberration (effect size when compared to controls, d = 1.29), subsequent depression to high scores in SCL-D (d = 0.48). Physical anhedonia was lower in subjects with subsequent depression than those with other psychiatric disorders (d = -0.33, nonsignificant). Participants with concurrent (d = 0.70) and subsequent (d = 0.54) depression had high harm avoidance compared to controls, while differences compared to other psychiatric patients were small. Subjects with depression differed from healthy controls in most of the scales. Many of the scales were useful predictors for future hospital treatments, but were not diagnosis-specific. High harm avoidance is a potential indicator for subsequent depression.
    Depression research and treatment 08/2012; 2012:160905. DOI:10.1155/2012/160905
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic evidence implicates the DISC1 gene in the etiology of a number of mental illnesses. Previously, we have reported association between DISC1 and measures of psychosis proneness, the Revised Social Anhedonia Scale (RSAS) and Revised Physical Anhedonia Scale (RPAS), in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (NFBC66). As part of the studies of this Finnish birth cohort genome-wide association analysis has recently been performed. In the present study, we re-analyzed the genome-wide association data with regard to these two measures of psychosis proneness, conditioning on our previous DISC1 observation. From the original NFBC66 sample (N = 12 058), 4 561 individuals provided phenotype and genotype data. No markers were significant at the genome-wide level. However, several genes with biological relevance to mental illnesses were highlighted through loci displaying suggestive evidence for association (≥3 SNP with P<10E-4). These included the protein coding genes, CXCL3, KIAA1128, LCT, MED13L, TMCO7, TTN, and the micro RNA MIR620. By conditioning a previous genome-wide association study on DISC1, we have been able to identify eight genes as associating to psychosis proneness. Further, these molecules predominantly link to the DISC1 pathway, strengthening the evidence for the role of this gene network in the etiology of mental illness. The use of quantitative measures of psychosis proneness in a large population cohort will make these findings, once verified; more generalized to a broad selection of disorders related to psychoses and psychosis proneness.
    PLoS ONE 02/2012; 7(2):e30643. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0030643 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We study the predictive power and associations of several psychopathology and temperament scales with respect to schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Measures of psychopathology (Physical and Social Anhedonia Scales, Perceptual Aberration Scale, Hypomanic Personality Scale, Bipolar II Scale, and Schizoidia Scale) and the Temperament and Character Inventory were included in the 31-year follow-up of the prospective Northern Finland 1966 birth cohort (N = 4926). The Perceptual Aberration Scale was the best scale for concurrent validity in psychoses, and also the best psychopathology scale in terms of discriminant validity. Participants scoring high in hypomanic personality were at the highest risk for developing psychosis during the 11-year follow-up. Harm avoidance was a dominant temperament dimension in individuals with psychosis compared with participants without psychiatric diagnoses. These scales are useful as vulnerability markers in studying psychoses.
    The Journal of nervous and mental disease 04/2011; 199(4):230-8. DOI:10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182125d2c · 1.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present psychometric properties and normative data by gender and educational level in scales related to schizotypy and affective disorders in a large population-based adult sample. As part of the 31-year follow-up survey of the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort; Bipolar II scale (BIP2), Hypomanic Personality Scale (HPS), Physical Anhedonia Scale (PAS), Social Anhedonia Scale (SAS), Perceptual Aberration Scale (PER) and Schizoidia Scale (SCHD) were filled in by 4928 subjects. In total sample mean scores were: BIP2 10.59 (3.80), HPS 11.26 (7.03), PAS 14.99 (S.D. 7.03), SAS 9.44 (5.52), PER 2.35 (3.26) and SCHD 2.56 (1.42). Men scored higher (had more psychopathological symptoms) in PAS and SAS (P<0.001), and in BIP2 (P=0.02). Women had higher scores in SCHD, HPS and PER (P<0.001). Participants with a lower level of education scored higher in all scales; differences were largest in BIP2, PAS and SAS (ES>0.5,P<0.001). The gender and education differences were moderate or large in all the included scales. These differences should be taken into account when considering normal values in these scales. The findings indicate that commonly used student samples are likely to be biased when compared to community based samples.
    Psychiatry Research 07/2010; 178(2):408-13. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2008.07.022 · 2.68 Impact Factor
  • Schizophrenia Research 04/2010; 117(2-3):454-455. DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2010.02.847 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Earlier general population studies have shown that novelty seeking (NS) of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) of personality is lower for persons born in winter compared to those born in summer, particularly for women. Here, we investigate if this result can be replicated in another population. The Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, comprising 4968 subjects (2725 women, 2243 men), was investigated with regard to the temperament dimensions of the TCI and the season of birth. Novelty seeking and reward dependence (RD) showed significant variations according to the month of birth. We found that women born during winter have significantly lower levels of NS compared to women born during summer, with a minimum for the birth month November and maximum for May. These results are similar to those found in a previous Swedish study. Furthermore, our study showed that men born during spring had significantly lower mean scores of RD compared to men born during autumn, with a minimum for birth month March. This was in contrast to the Swedish study, where the minimum of RD was obtained for the birth month December. Women born in winter have lower NS as adults compared to women born in summer. Because NS is modulated by dopamine, this study gives further support to the studies in the literature that show that dopamine turnover for those born in winter is higher than for those born in summer.
    Comprehensive psychiatry 11/2009; 50(6):562-6. DOI:10.1016/j.comppsych.2008.11.010 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is an abundance of data from human genetic studies and animal models that implies a role for the disrupted in schizophrenia 1 gene (DISC1) in the etiology of schizophrenia and other major mental illnesses. To study the effect of previously identified risk alleles of DISC1 on quantitative intermediate phenotypes for psychosis in an unselected population. We examined 41 single-nucleotide polymorphisms within DISC1 and performed tests of association with 4 quantitative phenotypes. Academic research. Individuals from an unselected birth cohort in Finland. Originally, everyone born in the catchment area in 1966 (N = 12 058) was included in the study. Of these, 4651 (38.6%) attended the 31-year follow-up and could be included in the study. Scores on 4 psychometric instruments selected to function as proxies for positive and negative aspects of psychotic disorders, including the Perceptual Aberration Scale, Revised Social Anhedonia Scale, Revised Physical Anhedonia Scale, and Schizoidia Scale by Golden and Meehl. Carriers of the minor allele of marker rs821577 had significantly higher scores on social anhedonia (P < .001). The minor allele of marker rs821633 was strongly associated with lower scores on social anhedonia when analyzed dependent on the absence of the minor alleles of markers rs1538979 and rs821577 (P < .001). Variants in DISC1 affect the level of social anhedonia, a cardinal symptom of schizophrenia in the general population. DISC1 might be more central to human psychological functioning than previously thought, as it seems to affect the degree to which people enjoy social interactions.
    Archives of general psychiatry 02/2009; 66(2):134-41. DOI:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2008.524 · 13.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to describe the temperament dimension profiles assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) among young adults with the DSM-III-R personality disorder (PD). Our hypothesis was that PD clusters and separate PDs can be distinguished from one another by their specific temperament profiles. As a part of the 31-year follow-up survey of the prospective Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, the cohort members living in the city of Oulu at the age of 31 years (n=1609) were invited to participate in a two-phase field study. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R for PDs (SCID-II) was used as diagnostic instrument. The final study sample consisted of the 1311 subjects who had completed the Hopkins Symptom Check List-25 questionnaire for screening and had given a written informed consent. Of the 321 SCID interviewed subjects, 74 met the criteria for at least one PD and had completed the TCI. The mean TCI scores of subjects with PD and control subjects without PD (n=910) were compared. Low Novelty Seeking, high Harm Avoidance and low Reward Dependence characterized cluster A and C PDs. Subjects with a cluster B PD did not differ from controls, except for Novelty Seeking, which was high. The temperament dimensions could not distinguish different PDs very well, with the only exception of persons with obsessive-compulsive PD. PD clusters were associated with different profiles of temperament, lending some support for Cloninger's typology.
    Nordic journal of psychiatry 11/2008; 62(6):423-30. DOI:10.1080/08039480801959224 · 1.50 Impact Factor
  • Schizophrenia Research 06/2008; 102(1):154-154. DOI:10.1016/S0920-9964(08)70469-9 · 4.43 Impact Factor
  • European Psychiatry 04/2008; 23. DOI:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2008.01.842 · 3.21 Impact Factor
  • Schizophrenia Research 02/2008; 98:74-74. DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2007.12.166 · 4.43 Impact Factor
  • European Psychiatry 03/2007; 22. DOI:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2007.01.1094 · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We assessed the temperament profiles of young adult somatizers in an epidemiological setting. We hypothesized that somatizers would have a characteristic temperament profile. The sample consisted of 984 subjects at the age of 31 years. Data on somatization were gathered from a review of all public health outpatient records. Subjects with four or more somatization symptoms according to the DSM-III-R criteria were classified as somatizers. Temperament profiles were assessed using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Six males (1.3%) and 61 females (11.5%) met our criteria for somatization. Harm avoidance and reward dependence of the TCI profiles were associated with somatization symptoms in the whole sample. In logistic regression analysis, sex and psychological distress were associated with somatization but not with temperament profiles. We did not find a characteristic temperament profile for somatizers. This finding is in contrast to suggestions that somatization is associated with temperament profiles.
    Journal of Psychosomatic Research 01/2007; 61(6):841-6. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2006.06.014 · 2.84 Impact Factor
  • Archives of general psychiatry 08/2006; 63(8):939-940. DOI:10.1001/archpsyc.63.8.939-b · 13.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The brain synaptic vesicular amine transporter SLCA18A2 is a key component for the uptake of monoamines like dopamine or serotonin into vesicles. We have analyzed seven DNA polymorphisms located in the genomic region of SLC18A2 for association with alcohol- and nicotine dependence, using a family-based design. Our sample comprised 131 families with alcohol-dependent offspring and 96 families with at least one nicotine-dependent offspring. For the alcohol-dependent sample, we found statistical significant association for two single markers (rs363387, P=0.03; rs363333, P=0.0066) as well as for several haplotypes (minimal P=0.0038). When the sample with alcohol dependence was stratified according to gender, we observed increased association for the male subgroup (rs363387, P=0.0011). None of the markers showed association in the sample of families with nicotine dependence. However, analysis of a combined sample of alcohol and nicotine-dependent families resulted in single markers as well as several haplotypes showing statistical significant association with substance dependence (minimal P=0.0044). We conclude that DNA polymorphisms located in SLC18A2 might contribute to the development of substance dependence.
    Neuropsychopharmacology 01/2006; 30(12):2263-8. DOI:10.1038/sj.npp.1300809 · 7.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High-dose methadone is well known to cause testosterone deficiency and sexual dysfunction in opioid-dependent men. Buprenorphine is a new drug for the pharmacotherapy of opioid dependence. Its influence on the gonadal axis has not been investigated to date. We therefore assayed testosterone, free testosterone, estradiol, SHBG, LH, FSH, and prolactin in 17 men treated with buprenorphine. Thirty-seven men treated with high-dose methadone and 51 healthy blood donors served as controls. Sexual function and depression were assessed using a self-rating sexual function questionnaire and the Beck Depression Inventory. Patients treated with buprenorphine had a significantly higher testosterone level [5.1 +/- 1.2 ng/ml (17.7 +/- 4.2 nmol/liter) vs. 2.8 +/- 1.2 ng/ml (9.7 +/- 4.2 nmol/liter); P < 0.0001] and a significantly lower frequency of sexual dysfunction (P < 0.0001) compared with patients treated with methadone. The testosterone level of buprenorphine-treated patients did not differ from that of healthy controls. In conclusion, we demonstrated for the first time that buprenorphine, in contrast with high-dose methadone, seems not to suppress plasma testosterone in heroin-addicted men. To this effect, buprenorphine was less frequently related to sexual side effects. Buprenorphine might therefore be favored in the treatment of opioid dependence to prevent patients from the clinical consequences of methadone-induced hypogonadism.
    Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &amp Metabolism 02/2005; 90(1):203-6. DOI:10.1210/jc.2004-0929 · 6.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the effect of risk aversion on an individual's probability of being self-employed by using psychometric data from a large, population-based cohort of Finns born in 1966. We found that our measure of risk aversion, a facet of a basic temperament dimension, harm avoidance, has a significant negative effect on self-employment status. Since this measure is directly derived from a highly valid biosocial theory of normal personality variation (Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 44 (1987) 573) whose scalable dimensions manifest well before adulthood and remain stabile over lifetime, we argue that risk aversion is a psychological factor causative of the choice to become self-employed. ©2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Labour Economics 02/2005; DOI:10.1016/j.labeco.2004.02.009 · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated the psychometric properties of widely used scales for assessing temperament in a large birth cohort. We simultaneously compared the properties of the temperament dimensions of the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) and of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). As part of the 31-year follow-up survey of the prospective Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, the TPQ and TCI temperament questions were filled in by 4349 subjects (1974 males, 2375 males). Factor analysis and Cronbach's alpha were used to explore the psychometric properties of the scales. Of the three higher-order dimensions the reward dependence (RD) was the only one performing poorly in our study sample. Cronbach's alpha was higher in the TCI than in the TPQ. The results indicate good performance of the TCI and TPQ. Factor analysis support adoption of four temperament dimensions and suggest that developmental work is still needed in the RD dimension.
    Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 09/2004; 110(2):150-7. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0047.2004.00344.x · 5.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dopamine receptor-mediated pathways play critical roles in the mechanism of addiction. However, associations of the D(2) dopamine receptor gene (DRD2) with substance abuse are controversial. To determine whether susceptibility sites resided at DRD2. Haplotype-based case-control analysis of 2 distinct populations using 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with heroin dependence. Universities of Mainz and Bonn, Germany, and 3 local hospitals in southwestern China. Patients Cases and control subjects recruited from China (486 cases, 313 controls) and Germany (471 cases, 192 controls). Genotyping for 10 SNPs by 5'-exonuclease fluorescence assays. The D' value of linkage disequilibrium and haplotypes were generated by the expectation-maximization algorithm. Genotype, allele, and haplotype frequencies were compared between cases and controls by chi(2) tests constructed for each population. An additional 32 SNPs randomly distributed in the genome were genotyped for detecting population admixture in the 2 populations. A haplotype block of 25.8 kilobases (kb) was defined by 8 SNPs extending from SNP3 (TaqIB) at the 5' end to SNP10 site (TaqIA) located 10 kb distal to the 3' end of the gene. Within this block, specific haplotype cluster A (carrying TaqIB1 allele) was associated with a high risk of heroin dependence in Chinese patients (P = 1.425 x 10(-22); odds ratio, 52.80; 95% confidence interval, 7.290-382.5 for 8-SNP analysis). A putative recombination "hot spot" was found near SNP6 (intron 6 ins/del G), creating 2 new daughter haplotypes that were associated with a lower risk of heroin dependence in Germans (P = 1.94 x 10(-11) for 8-SNP analysis). There was no evidence of population stratification in either population. These results strongly support a role of DRD2 as a susceptibility gene with heroin dependence in Chinese patients and was associated with low risk of heroin dependence in Germans.
    Archives of General Psychiatry 07/2004; 61(6):597-606. DOI:10.1001/archpsyc.61.6.597 · 13.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Association studies of the serotonin transporter (SLC6A4) gene in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have generated discrepant results. Here, we genotyped the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism in 106 French OCD patients and 171 healthy controls (case control study). We also performed a family association study on 116 trios including an OCD patient (73 French and 43 German). No association was detected between the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and OCD in either the case control study or the family study.
    Neuroscience Letters 07/2004; 363(2):154-6. DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2004.03.065 · 2.06 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
735.22 Total Impact Points


  • 2011
    • Oulu University Hospital
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Oulu, Oulu, Finland
  • 2008
    • University of Oulu
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Uleoborg, Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland
  • 1997–2006
    • University of Bonn
      • • Institute of Human Genetics
      • • Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 1998–2005
    • National Public Health Institute
      Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
    • Hebrew University of Jerusalem
      Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 2003
    • University of Helsinki
      • Department of Psychology
      Helsinki, Province of Southern Finland, Finland
  • 2001
    • University of Pécs
      Fuenfkirchen, Baranya, Hungary
  • 1996
    • Stanford University
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 1990–1994
    • Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
      Mayence, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
  • 1992
    • University of Wuerzburg
      Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany