[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite compelling evidence for major genetic contributions to the etiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), few genetic variants have been consistently associated with this debilitating illness. Molecular genetic studies in children and adolescents with OCD are of particular interest, since early onset of the disease has been observed to be associated with increased familiality. We replicate here for the first time in early-onset OCD patients, a previously reported association of OCD with the common gain-of-function LA allele at the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region known as 5-HTTLPR in a collection of parent-offspring trios. The present meta-analysis of this recently refined serotonin transporter gene variant revealed further support for the LA allele conferring increased genetic susceptibility to OCD. We conclude that the 5-HTTLPR is currently the single best supported risk variant for OCD, in regards of early-onset OCD, albeit of modest effect size and the possibility that the conferred risk might not be specific to OCD.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Neuroscience Letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Findings on face identity and facial emotion recognition in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are inconclusive. Moreover, little is known about the developmental trajectory of face processing skills in ASD. Taking a developmental perspective, the aim of this study was to extend previous findings on face processing skills in a sample of adolescents and adults with ASD. N = 38 adolescents and adults (13-49 years) with high-functioning ASD and n = 37 typically developing (TD) control subjects matched for age and IQ participated in the study. Moreover, n = 18 TD children between the ages of 8 and 12 were included to address the question whether face processing skills in ASD follow a delayed developmental pattern. Face processing skills were assessed using computerized tasks of face identity recognition (FR) and identification of facial emotions (IFE). ASD subjects showed impaired performance on several parameters of the FR and IFE task compared to TD control adolescents and adults. Whereas TD adolescents and adults outperformed TD children in both tasks, performance in ASD adolescents and adults was similar to the group of TD children. Within the groups of ASD and control adolescents and adults, no age-related changes in performance were found. Our findings corroborate and extend previous studies showing that ASD is characterised by broad impairments in the ability to process faces. These impairments seem to reflect a developmentally delayed pattern that remains stable throughout adolescence and adulthood.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In typical development, empathic abilities continue to refine during adolescence and early adulthood. Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show deficits in empathy, whereas adults with ASD may have developed compensatory strategies. We aimed at comparing developmental trajectories in the neural mechanisms underlying empathy in individuals with ASD and typically developing control subjects (TDC).Using an explicit empathizing paradigm and functional magnetic resonance imaging, 27 participants with ASD and 27 TDC aged 12-31 were investigated. Participants were asked to empathize with emotional faces and to either infer the face's emotional state (other-task) or to judge their own emotional response (self-task).Differential age-dependent changes were evident during the self-task in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), right medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), right inferior parietal cortex (IPC), right anterior insula and occipital cortex. Age-dependent decreases in neural activation in TDC were paralleled by either increasing or unchanged age-dependent activation in ASD.The data suggest ASD-associated deviations in the developmental trajectories of self-related processing during empathizing. In TDC, age-dependent modulations of brain areas may reflect the "fine-tuning" of cortical networks by reduction of task-unspecific brain activity. Increased age-related activation in individuals with ASD may indicate the development of compensatory mechanisms.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Puberty brings on many biological, mental, and social changes. In this phase of life, the prevalence of serious mental disorders is about 10%.
This review is based on a selective search for publications on the prevalence, causes, risk factors, and effects of mental disorders in adolescence.
Internalizing mental disorders are more common in girls; these include depression, social anxiety, and eating disorders. Their prevalence ranges from 12% to 23%, depending on the particular diagnostic instruments and criteria that are applied. Disruptive disorders, e.g., disorders of social behavior, are more common in boys, with a worldwide prevalence of approximately 5% to 10%. Marked differences between the sexes appear during puberty. The one-year prevalence of self-injurious behavior is about 14% in boys and 25% in girls. The consumption of legal and illegal drugs is one of the risk-seeking behaviors associated with adolescence.
In routine check-ups and medical office visits, particular attention should be paid to the possibility of a mental disorder. Special outpatient clinics for adolescents can help more young people avail themselves of the existing preventive and therapeutic measures. Early diagnosis and treatment may prevent mental disorders in adulthood and foster age-appropriate development.
No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Deutsches Ärzteblatt International
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often fail to attach context to their memories and are specifically impaired in processing social aspects of contextual information. The aim of the present study was to investigate the modulatory influence of social vs. non-social context on neural mechanisms during encoding in ASD. Using event-related fMRI, 13 boys with ASD and 13 typically developing boys comparable for age and IQ were investigated during encoding of neutral objects presented either with a social (faces) or a non-social (houses) context. A memory paradigm was then applied to identify brain activation patterns associated with encoding of subsequently recollected versus non-recollected objects.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The available study findings on the course and outcome of schizophrenia beginning in childhood or adolescence can be summarized as follows. (1) Schizophrenic psychoses that arise before the age of 13 have a very poor prognosis. The disease usually continues to progress in adolescence and adulthood. It can be diagnosed with the same criteria that are used for adults. (2) Patients whose disease is of acute onset, with productive schizophrenic manifestations such as hallucinations and delusions (positive manifestations), have a better prognosis than those whose disease begins insidiously and takes an unfavorable course, with depressive states and continually worsening impairment of cognitive function. (3) The patient's premorbid personality plays a major role. Patients who were described as socially active, intelligent, and integrated children and adolescents before they became ill have a better prognosis than those who were intellectually impaired, timid, introverted and uncommunicative before they became ill. (4) The prognosis seems to be better for patients who have no family history of schizophrenia, those whose families cooperate well, and those whose condition improves rapidly during inpatient treatment. (5) The few available studies on the course and outcome of schizophrenia beginning in childhood and early adolescence confirm that they are much worse than in adult-onset schizophrenia. (6) A 42-year longitudinal study of patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia revealed their suicide rate to be higher than that of patients with adult-onset schizophrenia. No further longitudinal studies are available to confirm this finding.
No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Neuropsychobiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dyslexia affects 5-10% of school-aged children and is therefore one of the most common learning disorders. Research on auditory event related potentials (AERP), particularly the mismatch negativity (MMN) component, has revealed anomalies in individuals with dyslexia to speech stimuli. Furthermore, candidate genes for this disorder were found through molecular genetic studies. A current challenge for dyslexia research is to understand the interaction between molecular genetics and brain function, and to promote the identification of relevant endophenotypes for dyslexia. The present study examines MMN, a neurophysiological correlate of speech perception, and its potential as an endophenotype for dyslexia in three groups of children. The first group of children was clinically diagnosed with dyslexia, whereas the second group of children was comprised of their siblings who had average reading and spelling skills and were therefore "unaffected" despite having a genetic risk for dyslexia. The third group consisted of control children who were not related to the other groups and were also unaffected. In total, 225 children were included in the study. All children showed clear MMN activity to/da/-/ba/contrasts that could be separated into three distinct MMN components. Whilst the first two MMN components did not differentiate the groups, the late MMN component (300-700 ms) revealed significant group differences. The mean area of the late MMN was attenuated in both the dyslexic children and their unaffected siblings in comparison to the control children. This finding is indicative of analogous alterations of neurophysiological processes in children with dyslexia and those with a genetic risk for dyslexia, without a manifestation of the disorder. The present results therefore further suggest that the late MMN might be a potential endophenotype for dyslexia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sleep deprivation (SD) in healthy humans is known to worsen individual mood and psychosocial performance. However, the timing of these impairments with respect to their physiological - in particular serotoninergic - underpinnings has remained unclear so far. We therefore investigated measures of subjective well-being and psychosocial functioning in 10 healthymale adults before and after SD as well as after recovery sleep. The serotoninergic response pattern to SD in this group was characterized by assessing platelet 5-HT(2A) receptor function and MAO-B activity. Taken together, SD induced a deterioration of both mood and ability to work, which was most prominent in the evening after SD, while the maximal increase of serotoninergic activity was observed twelve hours earlier, i.e., already in the morning following SD. Our findings support the hypothesis, that the deterioration of mood and psychosocial functioning after SD in healthy humans can be related to a preceding upregulation of the serotoninergic system as measured by the platelet 5-HT(2A) receptor function.
No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Somnologie - Schlafforschung und Schlafmedizin
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In dem Artikel werden die Ergebnisse einer Untersuchung an N =1 969 Schulkindern im Alter von 6-17 Jahren referiert Ziel war die Bestimmung der Prävalenz psychischer Auffälligkeiten und die Untersuchung der Wirksamkeit selektiver Faktoren bei der Inanspruchnahme kinderpsychiatrischer Einrichtungen. Zur Anwendung kam eine deutschsprachige Version der Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach u. Edelbrock 1983) Die Falldefinition basierte auf den von den Eltern angegebenen Symptomen und Verhaltensauffälligkeiten, die nach Maßgabe eines Expertenratings als beratungs- bzw. behandlungsbedürftig anzusehen waren. Aufgrund eines statistischen Vergleichs mit einer Patientenstichprobe wurde das Kriterium bei mindestens zwei dieser kritischen Items angesetzt 12,7% der Schulkinder erfüllten diese Bedingung. Von ihnen hatte die Mehrzahl (87,6%) keine Fachdienste beansprucht Die Rate psychotherapiebedürftiger Kinder und Jugendlicher wurde niedriger eingeschätzt (unter 10%) Die Vorstellungsbereitschaft psychisch auffälliger Kinder wird vom Alter und der sozialen Schicht beeinflußt, nicht hingegen vom Geschlecht und dem Ausländerstatus. (DIPF/Orig.) The article reports the results of an investigation of N= 1 969 school children (aged 6 to 17) of three rural communities, who had been assessed by a german version of the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach u Edelbrock 1983). It was intended to determine the prevalence of clinical maladjustment and to investigate the effectiveness of selective factors in referring to child psychiatric facilities. The case definition was based on those items (behavior disorders), which were rated as in need for counseling or treatment by experts. After a Statistical comparison with a sample of referred children the criterion was set up at two or more of such critical items. 12,7% of the school children fullfilled this condition, but most of them (87,6%) had not used institutional services. The rate of children and adolescents, who need psychotherapy was estimated lower (less than 10%). The readiness to refer clinical maladjusted children to child psychiatric facilities was influenced by age and socio economic status, but not by sex and foreign nationality. (DIPF/Orig.)
Preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Praxis der Kinderpsychologie und Kinderpsychiatrie
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hensikt: Instrument for kartlegging av livskvalitet
Alder: 6-18 år
Brukergruppe: Lege, psykolog, andre med relevant høyskoleutdanning som har fått opplæring i livskvalitetskartlegging og ILC.
Tidsåtgång: 5-15 min
Språk: Norsk versjon
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A previous study showed that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), -1438G/A (rs6311), found in the transcriptional control region of the gene that encodes the serotonin-receptor 2A (HTR2A) was associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in a sample of children and adolescents. In this study, we reanalyzed the association of this SNP with OCD in an enlarged population of 136 cases (55 previous + 81 new cases) and compared them to 106 newly recruited, healthy, age-matched controls. We also investigated whether this SNP or its copy number variations (CNV) was associated with OCD severity and age of onset. The CNV was analyzed in a DNA region located near rs6311. The results confirmed the association between the A-allele and early onset OCD in children and adolescents, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.69 [95% CI (1.17, 2.46); p = 0.005]. Strikingly, we found that carriers of one copy (deletion) of the CNV were associated with a very early onset OCD (2.5 years earlier than the typical onset), and they had increased CY-BOCS scores (8.7 points higher compared to "normal" CNV and duplications); which is related to increased severity of OCD symptoms (p = 0.031; p = 0.004, respectively). Compared to the normal CNV and duplications, the association between the deletion and OCD showed an OR of 7.56 [95% CI (1.32, 142.84); p = 0.020]. These results pointed to the functional importance of this promoter region of HTR2A; it influenced the occurrence, the onset, and the severity of OCD.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Journal of Neural Transmission
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) is a semi-structured, standardized assessment designed for use in diagnostic evaluation of individuals with suspected autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The ADOS has been effective in categorizing children who definitely have autism or not, but has lower specificity and sometimes sensitivity for distinguishing children with milder ASDs. Revised ADOS algorithms have been recently developed. The goals of this study were to analyze the predictive validity of different ADOS algorithms for module 3, in particular for high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. The participants were 252 children and adolescents aged between four and 16 years, with a full-scale IQ above 70 (126 with a diagnosis of ASD, 126 with a heterogeneous non-spectrum diagnosis). As a main finding, sensitivity was substantially higher for the newly developed 'revised algorithm', both for autism versus non-spectrum, as well as for the broader ASD versus non-spectrum, using the higher cut-off. The strength of the original algorithm lies in its positive predictive power, while the revised algorithm shows weaknesses in specificity for non-autism ASD. As the ADOS is valid and reliable even for higher functioning ASD, the findings of the present study have been used to make recommendations regarding the best use of ADOS algorithms in a high-functioning sample.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Time-trend studies are required to learn about children's mental health status in changing societies. Some international studies have already analyzed secular trends over periods of 10 to 25 years, but the results are inconsistent. Our study aims to detect German time trends of psychopathology in children aged 8-11, from the first large Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL)-based study in Marburg/Germany 1987 until the present day (2008).
Parents filled in the CBCL to report psychopathological symptoms in their children. The school-based samples from the years 1987 and 2008 were matched for sex, age, and socioeconomic status. The matched samples each consists of 212 girls and boys (girls: 50.5 %, boys: 49.5 %). MANCOVAs and ANCOVAs were used to test differences in mean CBCL scale scores.
Somatic symptoms showed a significant increase from 1987 to 2008. Similar trends were found for other internalizing symptoms, but did not reach significance. Externalizing symptoms showed no significant increase. Boys showed more aggressive or delinquent behavior and attention problems than girls. The children with the lowest socioeconomic status showed the highest symptom levels in both assessment years.
The increase in somatic problems might be an effect of changes in expected school performance and economic aspects. The overall high rate of psychopathology in children highlights the necessity of effective prevention and intervention programs, particularly regarding families with lower socioeconomic status.
No preview · Article · May 2011 · Zeitschrift für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie