Rodrigo Nicolato

Federal University of Minas Gerais, Cidade de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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Publications (64)126.51 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies suggest that executive functions influence the performance on visuoconstructional tasks. This study aims to investigate whether the relationship between planning ability and the copy of complex figures is mediated by distinct components of executive functions (i.e., working memory, inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility). We included a 129 older adults with Alzheimer's disease (n=36, AD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI, n=67), and with no evidence of cognitive impairment (controls, n=26). We evaluated the mediation effect of planning abilities, working memory, cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control on visuoconstructional tasks using a multiple mediation models. We found a significant direct effect of planning on visuoconstructional abilities and a partial mediation effect of working memory and cognitive flexibility on visuoconstructional abilities. The present results indicate that the performance on visuoconstructional task is mediated by multiple interrelated executive functions components, in particular working memory and cognitive flexibility. (JINS, 2015, 21, 1-7).
    Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 06/2015; DOI:10.1017/S135561771500034X · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Facial emotion recognition (FER) is one of the many cognitive deficits reported in bipolar disorder (BD) patients. The aim of this study was to investigate neuroanatomical correlates of FER impairments in BD type I (BD-I). Participants comprised 21 euthymic BD-I patients without Axis I DSM IV-TR comorbidities and 21 healthy controls who were assessed using magnetic resonance imaging and the Penn Emotion Recognition Test (ER40). Preprocessing of images used DARTEL (diffeomorphic anatomical registration through exponentiated Lie algebra) for optimized voxel-based morphometry in SPM8. Compared with healthy subjects, BD-I patients performed poorly in on the ER40 and had reduced gray matter volume (GMV) in the left orbitofrontal cortex, superior portion of the temporal pole and insula. In the BD-I group, the statistical maps indicated a direct correlation between FER on the ER40 and right middle cingulate gyrus GMV. Our findings are consistent with the previous studies regarding the overlap of multiple brain networks of social cognition and BD neurobiology, particularly components of the anterior-limbic neural network. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging 05/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2015.05.009 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Postpartum depression is one of the most prevalent psychopathologies. Its prevalence is estimated to be between 10% and 15%. Despite its multifactorial etiology, it is known that genetics play an important role in the genesis of this disorder. This paper reviews epidemiological evidence supporting the role of genetics in postpartum depression (PPD). The main objectives of this review are to determine which genes and polymorphisms are associated with PPD and discuss how this association may occur. In addition, this paper explores whether these genes are somehow related to or even the same as those linked to Major Depression (MD). To identify gaps in the current knowledge that require investigation, a systematic review was conducted in the electronic databases PubMed, LILACS and SciELO using the index terms "postpartum depression" and "genetics". Literature searches for articles in peer-reviewed journals were made until April 2014. PPD was indexed 56 times with genetics. The inclusion criteria were articles in Portuguese, Spanish or English that were available by institutional means or sent by authors upon request; this search resulted in 20 papers. Genes and polymorphisms traditionally related to MD, which are those involved in the serotonin, catecholamine, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and tryptophan metabolism, have been the most studied, and some have been related to PPD. The results are conflicting and some depend on epigenetics, which makes the data incipient. Further studies are required to determine the genes that are involved in PPD and establish the nature of the relationship between these genes and PPD.
    03/2015; 5(1):103-111. DOI:10.5498/wjp.v5.i1.103
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    ABSTRACT: Antenatal depression (AD) can have devastating consequences. No existing scales are specifically designed to measure it. Common practice is to adapt scales originally developed for other circumstances. We designed this study to validate and determine the psychometric values for AD screening in Brazil. We collected clinical and socio-demographic data in the second gestational trimester. The following instruments were also administered during that period: MINI-PLUS, EPDS, BDI and HAM-D. At the time of assessment, 17.34% of the patients were depressed, and 31.98% met the diagnostic criteria for lifetime major depression. All instruments showed an area under the curve in a receiver operating characteristic analysis greater than 0.85, with the BDI achieving a 0.90 and being the best-performing screening instrument. A score ≥11 on the EPDS (81.58% sensitivity, 73.33% specificity), ≥15 on the BDI (82.00% sensitivity, 84.26% specificity) and ≥9 on the HAM-D (87.76% sensitivity, 74.60% specificity) revealed great dichotomy between depressed and non-depressed patients. Spearman׳s rank correlation coefficients (ρ) among the scales had good values (EPDS vs. BDI 0.79; BDI vs. HAM-D 0.70, and EPDS vs. HAM-D 0.67). This study was transversal, assessing only women in the second gestational trimester. Results may be applicable only to the Brazilian population since psychometric properties may vary with the population under study. Major depression can amplify somatic symptomatology, affecting depressive rating scale data. AD is highly prevalent in Brazil. To address the problem of under-recognition, physicians can use the EPDS, BDI and HAM-D to identify AD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 02/2015; 178:12-17. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2015.02.003 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Examine the association between polymorphisms in the AKT1 and AKTIP genes and late-onset depression (LOD). Major depressive disorder is one of the most prevalent neuropsychiatric diseases. LOD is a disorder that starts after 65 years old. AKT1 is a downstream enzyme that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurotransmitter-related disorders, such as depression. The identification of a novel AKT1-binding protein (AKTIP) was pointed as an important new target. AKTIP binds directly to AKT1, enhancing the phosphorylation of regulatory sites, and this modulation are affected by AKT1 activation. The association of AKT1 and AKTIP polymorphisms with depressive symptoms was not investigated in LOD. Genotype tagSNPs in the AKT1 and AKTIP in LOD patients and controls. An academic medical center. Sample composed by 190 outpatients with LOD and 77 healthy individuals. The participants were evaluated using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV criteria, MINI-PLUS and the Geriatric Depression Scale. Our findings suggested an association between the tagSNP rs3730358 homozygous A/A (p = 0.006) and LOD. A strong association of allele A and increased association for LOD was demonstrated with tagSNP rs3730358 (p-value = 0.003). Limitation include composition of our control group, where the exclusion criteria generated a kind of super-healthy older group what might have produced a hidden stratification when compared with the LOD. This study is the first one to establish the association of the AKT1/AKTIP genes and LOD, and further studies are necessary to clarify the functional role of these proteins. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 04/2014; 29(4). DOI:10.1002/gps.4018 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Sensorimotor deficits are an important phenomenological facet observed in patients with bipolar disorder (BD). However, there is little research on this topic. We hypothesize that the MPraxis test can be used to screen for motor impairments in BD aiming movements. Method: The MPraxis, which is a quick and easy-to-apply computerized test, measures sensorimotor control. During the test, the participant must move the computer mouse cursor over an ever-shrinking green box and click on it once. We predict that the MPraxis test is capable of detecting differences in sensorimotor performance between patients with BD and controls. We assessed 21 euthymic type I BD patients, without DSM-IV-TR Axis I comorbidity, and 21 healthy controls. Results and conclusions: Compared to the controls, the patients with BD presented a lower response time in their movements in all conditions. Our results showed sensorimotor deficits in BD and suggested that the MPraxis test can be used to screen for motor impairments in patients with euthymic BD.
    Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria 03/2014; DOI:10.1590/1516-4446-2013-1243 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To propose and evaluate the psychometric properties of a multidimensional measure of activities of daily living (ADLs) based on the Katz and Lawton indices for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Methods: In this study, 85 patients with MCI and 93 with AD, stratified by age (≤ 74 years, > 74 years), completed the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Geriatric Depression Scale, and their caregivers completed scales for ADLs. Construct validity (factor analysis), reliability (internal consistency), and criterion-related validity (receiver operating characteristic analysis and logistic regression) were assessed. Results: Three factors of ADL (self-care, domestic activities, and complex activities) were identified and used for item reorganization and for the creation of a new inventory, called the General Activities of Daily Living Scale (GADL). The components showed good internal consistency (> 0.800) and moderate (younger participants) or high (older participants) accuracy for the distinction between MCI and AD. An additive effect was found between the GADL complex ADLs and global ADLs with the MMSE for the correct classification of younger patients. Conclusion: The GADL showed evidence of validity and reliability for the Brazilian elderly population. It may also play an important role in the differential diagnosis of MCI and AD.
    Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria 01/2014; DOI:10.1590/1516-4446-2012-1003 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The neuropsychological exam plays a central role in the assessment of elderly patients with cognitive complaints. It is particularly relevant to differentiate patients with mild dementia from those subjects with mild cognitive impairment. Formal education is a critical factor in neuropsychological performance; however, there are few studies that evaluated the psychometric properties, especially criterion related validity, neuropsychological tests for patients with low formal education. The present study aims to investigate the validity of an unstructured neuropsychological assessment protocol for this population and develop cutoff values for clinical use. A protocol composed by the Rey-Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Frontal Assessment Battery, Category and Letter Fluency, Stick Design Test, Clock Drawing Test, Digit Span, Token Test and TN-LIN was administered to 274 older adults (96 normal aging, 85 mild cognitive impairment and 93 mild Alzheimer`s disease) with predominantly low formal education. Factor analysis showed a four factor structure related to Executive Functions, Language/Semantic Memory, Episodic Memory and Visuospatial Abilities, accounting for 65% of explained variance. Most of the tests showed a good sensitivity and specificity to differentiate the diagnostic groups. The neuropsychological protocol showed a significant ecological validity as 3 of the cognitive factors explained 31% of the variance on Instrumental Activities of Daily Living. The study presents evidence of the construct, criteria and ecological validity for this protocol. The neuropsychological tests and the proposed cutoff values might be used for the clinical assessment of older adults with low formal education.
    PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(9):e73167. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0073167 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Depressive pseudodementia (DPD) is a clinical condition characterized by depressive symptoms followed by cognitive and functional impairment characteristics of dementia. Memory complaints are one of the most related cognitive symptoms in DPD. The present study aims to assess the verbal learning profile of elderly patients with DPD. Methods Ninety-six older adults (34 DPD and 62 controls) were assessed by neuropsychological tests including the Rey auditory-verbal learning test (RAVLT). A multivariate general linear model was used to assess group differences and controlled for demographic factors. Results Moderate or large effects were found on all RAVLT components, except for short-term and recognition memory. Conclusion DPD impairs verbal memory, with large effect size on free recall and moderate effect size on the learning. Short-term storage and recognition memory are useful in clinical contexts when the differential diagnosis is required.
    Arquivos de neuro-psiquiatria 09/2013; 71(9A):596-9. DOI:10.1590/0004-282X20130102 · 1.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Planning is a component of executive functions and refers to the ability to establish the best way to achieve a specific goal, considering the hierarchy of steps necessary to achieve it. There are two types of planning. The preplanning or look-ahead occurs before the initiation of the behavior to achieve the goal, involving elaboration of a sequence of steps and their consequences. While online planning occurs when planning and execution are commingled. The Tower of London (TOL) is a classic measure of planning. Complex Figure tests, like the Taylor Complex Figure (TCF), measures spatial abilities, visioconstruction and planning skills. The objective of the present study is to investigate the influence of planning measured by TOL in the quality of the copy of a simplified version of the TCF (sTCF). Methods A heterogeneous group composed of 101 elderly with Clinical Dementia Rating ranging between 0 and 1, with a mean age of 72.67 (SD = 9.59 years) and mean education of 4.46 (SD = 3.951 years), performed the TOL , the copy of sTCF and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Bivariate correlations were used to assess which variables are related to the sTCF being significant values used in a linear regression model to evaluate the interference of these on the visioconstruction task. The total sample was divided into three groups related to the effectiveness of planning, paired by age, education and MMSE, using percentiles accumulated total score of TOL (G1 = <16, 16-85 = G2, G3 => 85) and were compared by ANOVA using the Tukey HSD correction. Results No correlation was found between sex and sTCF (p = 0.432). Age, education, MMSE and TOL were used in a stepwise regression with sTCF as a dependent variable, where TOL represented 25% of the explained variance while the addition of the other variables only 8%. There were significant differences in the performance of the three groups in the copy of sTCF (G1-G2: p <0.001; G1-G3: p <0.001; G2-G3: p = 0.032). Conclusions The results indicates that the planning ability influences the quality of the copy of sTCF independent of general cognition, age and education.
    The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Boston; 07/2013
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    Neuropsiquiatria Clínica, 1 edited by Antônio Lúcio Teixeira, Arthur de Melo Kummer, 01/2013: pages 37-44; Rubio., ISBN: 9788564956254
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to examinethe association between polymorphism in thecatechol-O-methyltransferase(COMT) gene and Alzheimer's disease (AD) in a Brazilianpopulation. The case-control method was used to study the association between AD and geneticvariants of COMT. Six tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms(SNPs) in the COMT gene were genotyped by RT-PCR. Ourfindings showed that the 6 tag SNPs analyzed in this study were not associated with AD at the alleleand genotype levels in comparison with the control group. No statistical difference was foundbetween groups with and without behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). Ourresults do not support the hypothesis that the polymorphisms of theCOMT gene may be associated with susceptibility to AD withand without BPSD.
    Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders 08/2012; 34(2):90-5. DOI:10.1159/000341578 · 2.81 Impact Factor
  • Alzheimer's and Dementia 07/2012; 8(4):S769-S770. DOI:10.1016/j.jalz.2013.08.098 · 17.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To analyze the psychometric properties of the Token test (TT), a verbal comprehension test, and its applicability to the diagnosis of mild Alzheimer's disease (AD). One hundred and sixty participants (80 AD and 80 controls) performed the TT and a short battery of neuropsychological tests designed to evaluate general cognitive status, working memory and executive functions. Internal consistency, factor structure, correlation with other measures and group comparisons were evaluated. The test evinced good internal consistency and a bi-factorial structure (related to comprehension and attention). Differences between AD and controls were significant, however the TT presented only moderate sensitivity and specificity for the AD diagnosis. The TT showed evidence of good psychometric properties and adequacy for characterizing comprehension deficits in AD, but it was not an appropriate test for the AD detection and diagnosis.
    Arquivos de neuro-psiquiatria 06/2012; 70(6):435-40. DOI:10.1590/S0004-282X2012000600010 · 1.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is characterized by a slow deteriorating mental illness. Although the pathophysiology mechanisms are not fully understood, different studies have suggested a role for the immune system in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. To date, an altered expression or signaling of neurotransmitters receptors is observed in immune cells during psychiatric disorders. In the present study, we investigated the expression of different serotonin and dopamine receptors in T-cells of schizophrenic and control patients. We used flow cytometry to determine the pattern of expression of dopamine (D2 and D4) and serotonine receptors (SR1A, SR1C, SR2A, SR2B), as well as serotonin transporter (ST), in T-cell subsets (CD4 and CD8). Expression of serotonin receptors and ST in T-cells of schizophrenic patients were not different from controls. However, the percentages of CD4+D4+ and CD8+D4+ were increased in schizophrenic patients as compared to controls. In addition, increased percentages of CD8+D2+ cells were also observed in schizophrenic patients, albeit this population revealed lower CD4+D2+ cells in comparison to controls. Interestingly, a relationship between clinical symptoms and immunological parameters was also observed. We showed that the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) were positively related to CD8+D2+ cells, though AIMS was inversely related to CD4+D4+ cells. In conclusion, the alteration in the pattern of cell population and molecules expressed by them might serve as a promising biomarker for diagnosis of schizophrenia.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 04/2012; 46(6):738-42. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.03.004 · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Tower of London (TOL) is used for evaluating planning skills, which is a component of the executive functions. Different versions and scoring criteria were developed for this task, and some of them present with different psychometrical properties. This study aimed to evaluate two specific scoring methods of the TOL in diagnosing Mild Cognitive Impairment and probable Alzheimer's disease. The TOL total scores from 60 patients of each diagnosis were compared with the performance of 60 healthy-aged controls using receiver operating characteristics analysis and multinomial logistic regression. Krikorian method better diagnosed Alzheimer's disease, while Portellas's was better at discriminating healthy controls from Mild Cognitive Impairment, but were not efficient at comparing this last group with Alzheimer's patients. Regression analysis indicates that in addition to screening tests, TOL improves the classification of the three groups. The results suggest the two scoring methods used for this task may be useful for different diagnostic purposes.
    Psychological Reports 04/2012; 110(2):477-88. DOI:10.2466/03.10.13.PR0.110.2.477-488 · 0.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Tower of London (TOL) is a task used for assessing planning skills, a component of the executive functions. The present study aimed to investigate the contribution of TOL for the assessment of planning skills of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) patients. We also aimed to evaluate two specific scoring methods of the TOL’s correction (Krikorian’s x Portela’s score method). Ninety six participants were included in this study (53 females; mean age 75.18 + / -7.31 years) - 35 healthy controls, 30 amnestic MCI and 35 multiple domain amnestic MCI. Our results show that only multiple domains amnestic MCI performed worse than the control group. Furthermore, adding the TOL (considering both Krikorian and Portela’s method) to the Mini-Mental State Exam the correct classification of subjects according to its diagnostics improves significantly. Our finding suggests that both Krikorian’s and Portella’s score method for TOL have good psychometric properties considering the assessment of executive impairment in elderly subjects.
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) is widely used for the assessment of episodic memory. However, there are few studies in Brazil assessing its psychometric properties. Objectives: To search for evidence of reliability and construct validity of the RAVLT, and to assess the influence of age, schooling, gender, and depressive symptoms on test performance. Methods: One hundred twenty-six healthy older adults (aged 60 and over) performed the RAVLT, Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), Clock Drawing Test (CDT) and the Geriatric Depression Scale. Reliability was assessed by analysis of internal consistency, and construct validity by factor analysis and correlations with the MMSE and CDT. The influence of age, schooling and depressive symptoms was estimated by conducting linear regression analysis, and the role of gender by comparing the performance of males and females. Results: The RAVLT showed a high internal consistency, weak correlations with the MMSE and CDT, and a bifactorial structure, which is related to the processes of learning and episodic memory retrieval. Only age and gender affected test performance. Discussion: Our results provide evidence of reliability and construct validity in the tested RAVLT version, attesting its potential for clinical and research purposes for the Brazilian elderly population.
    Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica 01/2012; 39(1-0101-6083):19-23. · 0.89 Impact Factor
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    Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica 01/2012; 39(1-39):19-23. DOI:10.1590/S0101-60832012000100004 · 0.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent finding suggests that in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) executive functions deficits may be a frequent clinical finding. Automatic and Controlled attentional processes are related to the allo-cation of cognitive resources in different stimuli, being important to executive functioning. The present study aims at assessing the hypothesis of executive dysfunction deficits in MCI patients. Method: forty five MCI patients and forty five normal aging controls (NC) were assessed with the Five Digits Test (5D), a Mini-Verbal test version of the Stroop Test. Group comparisons were performed by t tests and the non-parametric Mann-Whitney test. Results: comparisons indicates significant differences between NC and MCI in efficiency measures of controlled attentional processes, with moderate effect sizes, but not in automatic attentional processes or processing speed. Conclusion: the present work shows a selective pat-tern of impairment in MCI, indicating specific deficits in executive functioning with spared processing speed.
    Psychology 01/2012; 3(5-2152-7180):379-383. DOI:10.4236/psych.2012.35053

Publication Stats

262 Citations
126.51 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2001–2015
    • Federal University of Minas Gerais
      • • Faculty of Medicine
      • • Departamento de Farmacologia
      • • Institute of Biological Sciences
      Cidade de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • 2008–2009
    • Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto
      Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil
    • Instituto de Previdência dos Servidores do Estado de Minas Gerais
      Cidade de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • 2007–2009
    • Fundação Hospitalar do Estado de Minas Gerais
      Cidade de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • 2005
    • Universidade José do Rosário Vellano – UNIFENAS
      Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil