[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, lithium has proved an effective augmentation strategy of antidepressants in both acute and treatment-resistant depression. Neuroprotective and procognitive effects of lithium have been evidenced. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been shown to play a key role in the pathophysiology of several neurological and psychiatric disorders. The BDNF hypothesis of depression postulates that a loss of BDNF is directly involved in the pathophysiology of depression, and its restoration may underlie the therapeutic efficacy of antidepressant treatments. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor serum concentrations were measured in a total of 83 acutely depressed patients before and after 4 weeks of lithium augmentation. A significant BDNF increase has been found during treatment (F2,81 = 5.04, P < 0.05). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor concentrations at baseline correlated negatively with relative Hamilton Depression Scale change after treatment with lithium (n = 83; r = -0.23; P < 0.05). This is the first study showing that lithium augmentation of an antidepressant strategy can increase BDNF serum concentrations. Our study replicates previous findings showing that serum BDNF levels in patients with depressive episodes increase during effective antidepressant treatment. Further studies are needed to separate specific effects of different antidepressants on BDNF concentration and address potential BDNF downstream mechanisms.
Journal of clinical psychopharmacology 09/2013; · 5.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: In many countries diphenhydramine (DPH) is commonly available over the counter, frequently used, and generally regarded as a harmless drug. It is used as a sedative, antiallergic or antiemetic substance.Methods: We present a systematic review of literature search in Pubmed from 1972 to 2012 describing DPH addiction. The literature search in reveals that the addictive potential of DPH can be regarded as proved, based on cases series, eight case reports, a pharmacological overview, one uncontrolled, and one randomized, placebo controlled study. In addition we report a case of an abstinent alcoholic patient treated in our department for DPH-dependency.Conclusion: Especially when treating patients with a history of addiction, physicians should consider and check the possibility of a DPH dependency.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness, characterized by frequent recurrences and major comorbidities. Its consequences can include suicide.
An S3 guideline for the treatment of bipolar disorder was developed on the basis of a systematic literature search, evaluation of the retrieved publications, and a formal consensus-finding procedure. Several thousand publications were screened, and 611 were included in the analysis, including 145 randomized controlled trials (RCT).
Bipolar disorder should be diagnosed as early as possible. The most extensive evidence is available for pharmacological monotherapy; there is little evidence for combination therapy, which is nonetheless commonly given. The appropriate treatment may include long-term maintenance treatment, if indicated. The treatment of mania should begin with one of the recommended mood stabilizers or antipsychotic drugs; the number needed to treat (NNT) is 3 to 13 for three weeks of treatment with lithium or atypical antipsychotic drugs. The treatment of bipolar depression should begin with quetiapine (NNT = 5 to 7 for eight weeks of treatment), unless the patient is already under mood-stabilizing treatment that can be optimized. Further options in the treatment of bipolar depression are the recommended mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotic drugs, and antidepressants. For maintenance treatment, lithium should be used preferentially (NNT = 14 for 12 months of treatment and 3 for 24 months of treatment), although other mood stabilizers or atypical antipsychotic drugs can be given as well. Psychotherapy (in addition to any pharmacological treatment) is recommended with the main goals of long-term stabilization, prevention of new episodes, and management of suicidality. In view of the current mental health care situation in Germany and the findings of studies from other countries, it is clear that there is a need for prompt access to need-based, complex and multimodal care structures. Patients and their families need to be adequately informed and should participate in psychiatric decision-making.
Better patient care is needed to improve the course of the disease, resulting in better psychosocial function. There is a need for further high-quality clinical trials on topics relevant to routine clinical practice.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies of the 1970s and 1980s showed lithium monotherapy to be an effective treatment of acute unipolar major depressive disorder (MDD) and hence as a potential alternative to monoaminergic antidepressants.The objective was to conduct the first comparison of a lithium monotherapy with a modern antidepressant in the acute treatment of MDD. Results were compared with citalopram's efficacy as shown in a different but methodologically identical study (including same researchers, same time, and same place).Thirty patients with an acute MDD (Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition [DSM IV] I) were treated with lithium monotherapy (study 1) or with citalopram monotherapy (study 2, N = 32) for 4 weeks.Response rates (decrease in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score >50%) were 50% for lithium and 72% for citalopram (P = 0.12). Citalopram-treated subjects showed a greater decrease in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores (significant at 2 weeks). In the lithium study, only patients with a recurrent episode (DSM-IV: 296.3) responded (15/22), as opposed to none of 8 patients with a first/single episode (DSM-IV: 296.2) (P = 0.002). Patients with a single episode responded significantly more often to citalopram than to lithium (P = 0.007). Both drugs were well tolerated. Only one patient (citalopram) terminated the study prematurely owing to adverse effects.Our results do not support the use of lithium as an alternative to SSRI in the treatment of acute MDD. The finding of a better response to lithium in patients with a recurrent depression has not been reported before and warrants replication. The comparison is limited by the lack of a randomized double-blind design.
Journal of clinical psychopharmacology 12/2012; · 5.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) system is one of the best replicated pathophysiological findings in depression. However, studies on the influence of treatment on the HPA system have partly yielded inconsistent results.
To assess the effects of citalopram monotherapy on the HPA system of mainly drug naïve patients with major depression by means of the combined DEX/CRH test.
The DEX/CRH test was conducted twice in 30 patients (25 drug naïve for the index episode) with major depression (single episode or unipolar recurrent; SCID I- and II-confirmed): directly before the start of a citalopram monotherapy (day 0) and four weeks thereafter (day 28).
Twenty-three patients responded (≥50% reduction in the HDRS(21)-score), and 17 of them also reached criteria of remission (HDRS ≤ 7). Baseline (dexamethasone-suppressed) and CRH-stimulated ACTH concentrations significantly decreased from day 0 to day 28. CRH-stimulated cortisol concentrations also fell, although not significantly, but baseline cortisol concentrations exhibited a significant increase from day 0 to day 28.
The blunting of the ACTH response in the DEX/CRH test under citalopram is in line with what has been observed in most studies with antidepressants. However, the partial rise in cortisol concentrations indicates an increase in the sensitivity of the adrenal cortex to ACTH. State-dependent alterations in the volume and the ACTH responsiveness of the adrenal gland have repeatedly been reported in depressed subjects, which indicates the possibility that SSRIs such as citalopram might exhibit a direct or indirect effect on the adrenal cortex.
Journal of psychiatric research 01/2012; 46(1):111-7. · 3.72 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Alcoholism ultimately leads to impairment of memory and other cognitive functions. This can interfere with treatment, if cognitively impaired alcohol-dependent individuals have difficulties recalling and implementing skills acquired during therapy. We investigate if alcohol-dependent individuals without clinically apparent withdrawal symptoms may still be impaired in higher-order cognitive functions. Methods: Thirty-four alcohol-dependent patients and 20 matched healthy controls were tested with the Verbal Learning and Memory Test which includes seven measurement points. The test comprises free recall, free recall after distraction and after 30 minute delay, and a word recognition task. Testing was performed between day seven and day 10 after the beginning of abstinence, when clinical withdrawal symptoms had ceased. Results: Compared to healthy controls, alcohol-dependent patients performed worse in free recall after delay, but not in word recognition. Healthy controls showed a more linear progression of improvement in verbal memory performance. Overall, alcohol-dependent individuals showed reduced verbal learning efficiency. The extent of impaired recall after distraction was positively associated (one-tailed test) with history of delirium (r = 0.34, p = 0.04), seizures (r = 0.46, p = 0.01), and years since diagnosis for alcohol dependency (r = 0.39, p = 0.01). Conclusions: Our results provide evidence that unmedicated alcohol-dependent patients without obvious withdrawal symptoms had impaired verbal recall, but normal recognition performance, at seven to 10 days after onset of abstinence. This deficit may deteriorate treatment outcomes due to poorer implementation of skills newly-learned during this time period. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)
Irish journal of psychological medicine 01/2012; 29(2):96-101.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective Augmentation of antidepressants with atypical antipsychotics is used in depressive patients with non-response to antidepressants. We investigated the utility of this strategy.Methods Systematic computer-based search in the online library Pubmed for randomized placebo-controlled double-blind trials (RCT) from the years 1990 to 2011.Results We found 14 RCT about augmentation of antidepressants with atypical antipsychotics in depressive patients with non-response to antidepressants. Trials examined olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine and aripiprazole.Conclusions Augmentation of antidepressants with atypical antipsychotics is an alternative to the augmentation with lithium in unipolar depressive patients with non-response to antidepressants. But treatment with atypical antipsychotics as opposed to placebo increases the risk of non-compliance due to side-effects of medication. Augmentation of antidepressants with atypical antipsychotics in unipolar depression is an off-label therapy in Germany except for the augmentation with extended-release quetiapine. Knowledge about treatment strategies regarding augmentation of antidepressants with atypical antipsychotics can increase the chance of a successful treatment, but interactions and side-effects should be considered.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the long-term effects of supraphysiological, TSH suppressive doses of levothyroxine (TSDL) on bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with affective disorders during an average treatment duration of 69 months.
In 22 patients, BMD of the spine (lumbar vertebrae L1-4) and femur (femoral neck) was measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Forty (40) measurements from the prior study and 48 new follow-up measurements were included. BMD was expressed as Z-scores as a population standard reference. We used a linear mixed model to investigate the duration of TSDL as an explanatory factor for change in BMD compared to an age and gender matched reference population.
We found no significant differences in bone loss between the study and the reference population. The estimated non-significant decrease in Z-score compared to the reference population found was: a) lumbar spine (L1-4): -0.00069/month (p=0.9759) b) neck region of femur: -0.01405/month (p=0.4436). We did not find the factors age, thyroxine-dose or postmenopausal state as predictors for a decline in BMD.
Small sample size, no bone density assessment prior to treatment with TSDL, no patient control group with mood disorders who did not receive TSDL, variable bone density follow-up intervals.
This study did not demonstrate evidence that long-term treatment of affectively ill patients with TSDL accelerates loss of BMD compared to an age- and gender-matched reference population.
Journal of affective disorders 07/2011; 136(1-2):e89-94. · 3.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Distorted activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) system is one of the most robustly documented biological abnormalities in major depression. Lithium is central to the treatment of affective disorders, but little is known about its effects on the HPA system of depressed subjects.
To assess the effects of lithium monotherapy on the HPA system of patients with major depression by means of the combined DEX/CRH test.
Thirty drug-naive outpatients with major depression (single episode or unipolar recurrent; SCID I- and II-confirmed) were treated with lithium monotherapy for four weeks. The DEX/CRH test was conducted directly before intake of the first lithium tablet and four weeks thereafter. Weekly ratings with the HDRS(21) were used to determine response (≥50% symptom reduction) and remission (HDRS ≤7).
Lithium levels within the therapeutic range were achieved rapidly. Tolerability was good; no patient terminated the treatment prematurely. Response and remission rates were 50% and 33% respectively. Compared to the DEX/CRH test before the start of the treatment, a considerable and significant increase in all CRH-stimulated ACTH and cortisol parameters could be detected in the second DEX/CRH test. When analysed with particular regard to responders and non-responders, that significant increase was only present in the responders.
We were able to demonstrate that lithium leads to a significant activation of the HPA system. This is possibly connected to stimulation of hypothalamic arginine vasoporessin (AVP), to direct intracellular effects of lithium on pituitary cells and to an induction of gene expression.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(11):e27613. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The late onset of therapeutic response and a relatively large proportion of nonresponders to antidepressants remain major concerns in clinical practice. Therefore, there is a critical need for effective medication strategies that augment treatment with antidepressants.
To review the available evidence on the use of lithium as an augmentation strategy to treat depressive episodes.
More than 30 open-label studies and 10 placebo-controlled double-blind trials have demonstrated substantial efficacy of lithium augmentation in the acute treatment of depressive episodes. Most of these studies were performed in unipolar depression and included all major classes of antidepressants, however mostly tricyclics. A meta-analysis including 10 randomized placebo-controlled trials has provided evidence that lithium augmentation has a statistically significant effect on the response rate compared to placebo with an odds ratio of 3.11, which corresponds to a number-needed-to-treat of 5. The meta-analysis revealed a mean response rate of 41.2% in the lithium group and 14.4% in the placebo group. One placebo-controlled trial in the continuation treatment phase showed that responders to acute-phase lithium augmentation should be maintained on the lithium-antidepressant combination for at least 12 months to prevent early relapses. Preliminary studies to assess genetic influences on response probability to lithium augmentation have suggested a predictive role of the -50T/C single nucleotide polymorphism of the GSK3beta gene.
Augmentation of antidepressants with lithium is currently the best-evidenced augmentation therapy in the treatment of depressed patients who do not respond to antidepressants.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Therapy-resistant depression is not untreatable. Numerous treatment methods with substantiated effectiveness exist. However, none of them are able to ensure remission. Thus, what matters when treating therapy-resistant depression is the strict, step-by-step deployment of existing therapeutic options at the right tempo and with a regular systematic evaluation of patient response. Remission should always be the aim, not just some abatement in symptoms (response). The following should be avoided: too small dosages of medication; changing the therapeutic strategy too frequently or too quickly; thoughtlessly sticking to an ineffective treatment over too long a period of time; or unsystematic poly-pharmacy. If these are all avoided than therapy-resistant depressive patients will have a good chance of recovery.
Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 01/2010; 10(1):77-86. · 2.96 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Alcohol-dependent patients in early abstinence show an impairment of cognitive functions which can be seen in poor implementation of newly learned skills for avoiding relapse. Executive dysfunction may persist during abstinence in alcohol-dependent persons, thus mitigating long-term abstinence. This study assessed visual memory function and choice of organizational strategies in alcoholics, as these are major factors necessary to implement ongoing behavior changes which are required for maintaining abstinence.Methods: We investigated 25 severely alcohol-dependent male patients between days 7 to 10 of abstinence, immediately after clinical withdrawal symptoms have ceased, compared to 15 healthy age, sex, and education matched controls. Pharmacological therapy had been terminated at least four half-lifes before inclusion into the study. Visual perceptual learning and organizational strategies were assessed with the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (R-OCF).Results: There were no group differences in copying or recalling the figure, but time differences occurred. Alcoholics and healthy controls performed worse in recalling than in copying. But, alcoholics used less effective organizational strategies.Conclusions: There was a deficit in choice of organizational strategy in newly abstinent and unmedicated alcohol-dependent patients. Due to the imperfect organizational strategies, alcoholics might need auxiliary therapeutic care to strengthen their cognitive ability.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lithium augmentation is a first-line strategy for depressed patients resistant to antidepressive therapy, but little is known about patients' subsequent long-term course or outcome predictors. We investigated long-term outcomes of unipolar depressed patients who had participated in a study on the effects of lithium augmentation on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical system using the combined dexamethasone/corticotrophin-releasing hormone (DEX/CRH) test.
Twelve to 28 months (mean 18.6 +/- 4.6 months) after lithium augmentation, 23 patients were assessed with a standardized interview, of which 18 patients had complete DEX/CRH test results. Relapse was diagnosed by DSM-IV criteria (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV; SCID I).
Only 11 patients (48%) had a favorable follow-up, defined as absence of major depressive episodes during the observation period. Patients with a favorable and an unfavorable course did not differ in clinical or sociodemographic parameters, endocrinological results or continuation of lithium. However, fewer previous depressive episodes tended to correlate (p = 0.09) with a favorable course.
Results from studies using the DEX/CRH test to predict relapse in depressed patients treated with antidepressants were not replicated for lithium augmentation. Our finding could reflect the elevation of DEX/CRH results by lithium, independent of clinical course. Limitations of the study are its small sample size, the heterogeneous clinical baseline conditions and the lack of lithium serum levels. The fact that lithium continuation did not predict the course might be related to the difference between the efficacy of lithium in controlled studies and its effectiveness in naturalistic settings.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Poor response to long-term lithium treatment has been reported to be associated with atypical features of bipolar disorder. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of atypical symptoms on the effectiveness and stability of long-term lithium treatment in a prospective, multicenter cohort of bipolar patients in a naturalistic setting.
Patients were initially selected according to International Classification of Diseases, 8th Revision, criteria for bipolar disorder and required long-term treatment. Their diagnoses were reconfirmed according to DSM-IV upon its publication. They were prospectively followed for an approximately 20-year period ending in 2004 in 5 centers participating in the International Group for the Study of Lithium-Treated Patients. Examinations included a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation, an assessment of typical and atypical features on an 8-item scale, and an evaluation of clinical course using the morbidity index. Unbalanced repeated-measures regression models with structured covariance matrices were used to assess the extent to which the morbidity index was influenced by atypical symptoms, duration of treatment, and pretreatment features.
A total of 242 patients were followed for a mean period of 10 years. In 142 patients, the number of typical features was greater than the number of atypical features, whereas in 100 patients the number of atypical features was greater than or equal to the number of typical features. The mean morbidity index remained stable over a period of 20 years in both groups of patients and was not significantly associated with the presence of atypical features, the duration of lithium treatment, the number or frequency of episodes, or latency from the onset of bipolar disorder to the start of lithium treatment.
Our study suggests that long-term response to lithium maintenance treatment is stable both in patients with typical and in patients with atypical features. The predominance of either typical or atypical features did not result in different responses to long-term lithium treatment in this sample of bipolar patients.
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 12/2008; 69(12):1860-8. · 5.81 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A confusing variety of options are available for the treatment of depressive disorders.
Selective literature review under consideration of current guidelines.
The treatment of depression can be divided into acute, maintenance and prophylactic phases. The basic forms of treatment are pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and supportive strategies. The approximately 30 antidepressants currently on the market differ mainly with respect to their side effect profiles. Of the specific types of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and psychoanalysis are funded by the statutory health insurance providers in Germany. All treatment strategies (except for sleep deprivation) show a latency of onset of several weeks and a nonresponse rate of about 30% to 50%. In clinical practice it is essential to follow a stepwise procedure and to perform a standardized evaluation of response after the latency period. In the event of nonresponse, the next step of treatment should be initiated.
Depressive disorders have a good prognosis provided one takes best advantage of the available treatment options. Preconditions are continuation of treatment for an appropriate length of time (for antidepressants ca. 4 to 6 weeks, for psychotherapy ca. 4 to 12 weeks) and standardized evaluation of response thereafter.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Impairment of executive functions and attention has been found in patients with acute depressive episodes but has rarely been investigated in manic patients to date. At the same time, executive functions decline with age. Thus, it is currently a matter of debate how to best measure decreased executive performance in elderly patients with affective disorders. In our study, we examined 30 depressed patients, 28 manic patients, and 30 healthy subjects of all age groups, using the Trail Making Test (TMT). Both depressed and manic patients needed twice as long as healthy subjects to perform the TMT Part A. In addition to this reduced performance due to affective disorders, we were also able to detect a decline in performance due to age. One could thus postulate that age and affective disorders each influence a different neuropsychological function, age affecting executive performance and affective disorders affecting attention, as measured in both cases by the TMT.
The International journal of neuroscience 10/2008; 118(9):1347-56. · 0.86 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With the widespread recognition of the value of active patient participation in their care, ChronoRecord software was developed to automate daily self-reporting by patients with bipolar disorder. A prior study demonstrated concurrent validity between self-ratings on ChronoRecord and clinician ratings on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD), but validity with the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) could not be shown due to a lack of data when the outpatients were manic (Bauer et al., Bipolar Disorders 6, 67-74, 2004). This study expanded upon the prior validation study to include inpatients with mania. Self-reported mood ratings on ChronoRecord and clinician ratings on the YMRS were obtained on the same day from 27 inpatients (57 ratings); these data were also combined with the ratings from the 80 outpatients (total 107 patients, 340 ratings). Using Pearson correlation, the self-reported ratings on ChronoRecord were significantly correlated with the YMRS. The accuracy of ChronoRecord to discriminate hypomania and mania was high, as described by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. Post-hoc analysis of the level of agreement between ChronoRecord and YMRS ratings was excellent or good in all cases using the kappa statistic. These data demonstrate concurrent validity between ChronoRecord and YMRS.
Psychiatry Research 07/2008; 159(3):359-66. · 2.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with affective disorders have often been reported to experience subjective changes in how they perceive the flow of time. Time reproduction tasks provide information about the memory component of time perception and are thought to remain unaffected by pulse rate disturbances in the pacemaker of the internal clock. In our study, 30 patients with acute depression, 30 patients with acute mania, and 30 healthy subjects of all age groups were presented with a time reproduction task. Participants were asked to observe a stimulus presented on a computer screen for a certain length of time and, subsequently, to reproduce the stimulus for a similar length of time by pressing the space bar on the computer keyboard. Stimuli were presented to each subject for 1, 6, and 37s. On average, the time intervals reproduced by manic patients were shorter than those reproduced by depressed patients. Manic patients reproduced the short time interval (6s) correctly, but under-reproduced the long time interval (37s, P<0.001). Depressed patients correctly reproduced the long time interval, but over-reproduced the short time interval (P<0.001). Remembering time intervals as having been longer than they actually were may lead to a slowed experience of time, as has been described in depressed patients; precisely the converse seems to apply to manic patients.
European Psychiatry 05/2008; 23(6):430-3. · 3.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine thyroid gland volume and the prevalence of goiter in patients receiving long-term lithium treatment for affective disorders.
In this cross-sectional study, we performed ultrasonographic examinations in 96 patients on long-term lithium treatment, including those with bipolar, major depressive, and schizoaffective disease. Patients with documented continuous and adequate serum lithium levels for more than or equal to 6 months were recruited consecutively from the Berlin Lithium Clinic. Ultrasonographic examinations were also performed in 96 gender- and age-matched control subjects. Patients and controls were 18 years of age or older and were residents of Berlin, Germany and surrounding areas.
Total thyroid volume was significantly greater in the lithium-treated group than among controls (23.7 ml vs. 13.6 ml). Ultrasonography detected that significantly more lithium-treated subjects had goiter than did control subjects (N=53 vs. N=19). Clinical inspection and palpation only detected goiter in 24 of the lithium-treated patients and in 12 control subjects. In a patient subgroup taking levothyroxine, the prevalence of goiter was still 37%. Patients who were not taking levothyroxine had significantly higher TSH basal levels than normal controls (2.1 mU/L vs. 1.3 mU/L).
Cross-sectional study; no control for other factors related to thyroid enlargement and goiter such as dietary issues, smoking, or iodine intake; affectively ill subjects were treated with additional psychotropic medications.
Thyroid enlargement was found in a significant number of lithium-treated patients. Ultrasonography proved superior to palpatory inspection in detecting goiter. Regular use of ultrasonography for early detection of thyroid enlargement in patients on long-term lithium treatment is therefore recommended.
Journal of Affective Disorders 01/2008; 104(1-3):45-51. · 3.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Time perception can be divided into two processes: time experience and time judgement. Although there have been frequent reports of changes in these two processes with increasing age, none of these changes has been demonstrated using objective measures.
We evaluated time judgement by employing time estimation, time production, and time reproduction tasks in 33 healthy subjects of all age groups. In addition, we used the Trail-Making Test to measure attentional performance.
For both time estimation and time reproduction, we found positive correlations between length of time interval and age (overestimation). After we calculated partial correlations controlling for the results of the Trail-Making Test, the age-related changes we initially observed in the time estimation task disappeared, but the age-related changes seen in the time reproduction task remained significant.
Considering the Scalar Timing Theory and the Attentional Gate Theory, our findings indicated that age-related effects on time estimation may be due to attentional factors. In contrast, the age-related changes seen in the time reproduction task may be due to disturbances in working memory function.