[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In-situ real-time monitoring of volatile organic compound (VOC) exposure and heart rate variability (HRV) were conducted for eight multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) patients using a VOC monitor, a Holter monitor, and a time-activity questionnaire for 24 h to identify the relationship between VOC exposure, biological effects, and subjective symptoms in actual life. The results revealed no significantly different parameters for averaged values such as VOC concentration, HF (high frequency), and LF (low frequency) to HF ratio compared with previous data from healthy subjects (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health
2010, 7, 4127–4138). Significant negative correlations for four subjects were observed between HF and amounts of VOC change. These results suggest that some patients show inhibition of parasympathetic activities along with VOC exposure as observed in healthy subjects. Comparing the parameters during subjective symptoms and normal condition, VOC concentration and/or VOC change were high except for one subject. HF values were low for five subjects during subjective symptoms. Examining the time-series data for VOC exposure and HF of each subject showed that the subjective symptoms, VOC exposure, and HF seemed well related in some symptoms. Based on these characteristics, prevention measures of symptoms for each subject may be proposed.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by strong fear and anxiety during social interactions. Although ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) activity in response to emotional stimuli is related to pathological anxiety, little is known about the relationship between VLPFC activity and social anxiety. This study aimed to investigate whether VLPFC activity was involved in SAD and whether VLPFC activity was related to the level of social anxiety. Twenty-four drug-naïve patients with SAD and 35 healthy controls underwent near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) scanning while performing a verbal fluency task (VFT). Results indicated that, compared to the healthy controls, the SAD patients exhibited smaller changes of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) concentrations in the VLPFC during the VFT. Furthermore, the right VLPFC activation was negatively correlated with social avoidance. In contrast to the latter, the healthy controls exhibited a positive correlation between changes of oxy-Hb concentrations in the bilateral VLPFC and social fear. Our findings provide evidence for VLPFC dysfunction in SAD, and indicate that the VLPFC dysfunction may contribute to the difference between normal and abnormal social anxiety.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Clinical neuroimaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain imaging studies of social anxiety disorder (SAD) were reviewed. Structural brain imaging studies of SAD have shown smaller gray matter volumes of amygdala and hippocampus, as well as abnormalities of white matter of uncinate fasciculus in SAD patients. Moreover, functional brain imaging studies of SAD have consistently reported hyperactivity of the amygdala during public speaking and in responses to emotional faces. Furthermore, changes in limbic system and prefrontal cortex (PFC) have been correlated with pharmacotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Additionally, the predicted outcome of CBT has been associated with pretreatment activities of visual and prefrontal regions (i.e., dosolataral PFC, ventrolateral PFC), and not with amygdala activity. Also, resting state studies have shown dysfunctional connections between amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). These studies are suggestive of structural and functional abnormalities of the limbic system (e.g., amygdala, hippocampus, anterior cingulate cortex)—prefrontal regions (e.g., ventromedial PFC), which are neural circuits modulating fear and anxiety.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experienced Qigong meditators who regularly perform the exercises "Thinking of Nothing" and "Qigong" were studied with multichannel EEG source imaging during their meditations. The intracerebral localization of brain electric activity during the two meditation conditions was compared using sLORETA functional EEG tomography. Differences between conditions were assessed using t statistics (corrected for multiple testing) on the normalized and log-transformed current density values of the sLORETA images. In the EEG alpha-2 frequency, 125 voxels differed significantly; all were more active during "Qigong" than "Thinking of Nothing," forming a single cluster in parietal Brodmann areas 5, 7, 31, and 40, all in the right hemisphere. In the EEG beta-1 frequency, 37 voxels differed significantly; all were more active during "Thinking of Nothing" than "Qigong," forming a single cluster in prefrontal Brodmann areas 6, 8, and 9, all in the left hemisphere. Compared to combined initial-final no-task resting, "Qigong" showed activation in posterior areas whereas "Thinking of Nothing" showed activation in anterior areas. The stronger activity of posterior (right) parietal areas during "Qigong" and anterior (left) prefrontal areas during "Thinking of Nothing" may reflect a predominance of self-reference, attention and input-centered processing in the "Qigong" meditation, and of control-centered processing in the "Thinking of Nothing" meditation.
No preview · Article · May 2012 · Cognitive Processing
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are known to show neurotoxic effects, the detailed mechanisms of the action of VOCs on the autonomic nervous system are not fully understood, partially because objective and quantitative measures to indicate neural abnormalities are still under development. Nevertheless, heart rate variability (HRV) has been recently proposed as an indicative measure of the autonomic effects. In this study, we used HRV as an indicative measure of the autonomic effects to relate their values to the personal concentrations of VOCs measured by a real-time VOC monitor. The measurements were conducted for 24 hours on seven healthy subjects under usual daily life conditions. The results showed HF powers were significantly decreased for six subjects when the changes of total volatile organic compound (TVOC) concentrations were large, indicating a suppression of parasympathetic nervous activity induced by the exposure to VOCs. The present study indicated these real-time monitoring was useful to characterize the trends of VOC exposures and their effects on autonomic nervous system.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was performed to examine whether patients with type 2 diabetes have cognitive deficits associated with the prefrontal cortex (PFC).
Twenty-seven middle-aged patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and 27 healthy controls underwent physical measurements and neuropsychological tasks. Response inhibition, reward prediction, and executive function were assessed by the Go/NoGo task, the reversal and extinction tasks, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). To examine the interactions of being overweight with diabetes on cognitive performance, performance data were analysed by two-way ANCOVA with diabetes and overweight as factors and age as a covariate.
Patients with type 2 diabetes showed significantly decreased response inhibition in the Go/NoGo task (discriminability index: P = 0.001). There was an interaction of being overweight with diabetes on reaction time in the Go trials of the Go/NoGo task (P = 0.009). Being overweight was related to retained responses to the presentiment of reward in the extinction task (P = 0.029). The four groups showed normal cognitive performance in the WCST.
Our results showed that middle-aged, newly diagnosed and medication-free patients with type 2 diabetes have a particular neuropsychological deficit in inhibitory control of impulsive response, which is an independent effect of diabetes apart from being overweight.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · BioPsychoSocial Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many meditation exercises aim at increased awareness of ongoing experiences through sustained attention and at detachment, i.e., non-engaging observation of these ongoing experiences by the intent not to analyze, judge or expect anything. Long-term meditation practice is believed to generalize the ability of increased awareness and greater detachment into everyday life. We hypothesized that neuroplasticity effects of meditation (correlates of increased awareness and detachment) would be detectable in a no-task resting state. EEG recorded during resting was compared between Qigong meditators and controls. Using LORETA (low resolution electromagnetic tomography) to compute the intracerebral source locations, differences in brain activations between groups were found in the inhibitory delta EEG frequency band. In the meditators, appraisal systems were inhibited, while brain areas involved in the detection and integration of internal and external sensory information showed increased activation. This suggests that neuroplasticity effects of long-term meditation practice, subjectively described as increased awareness and greater detachment, are carried over into non-meditating states.
No preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Brain Topography
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Quick Environment Exposure Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI(c)) has been used as a questionnaire to evaluate subjective symptoms of patients with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), also known as idiopathic environmental intolerance, in Japan. However, no cutoff value for Japanese subjects has yet been established. We designed this study to establish a cutoff value for Japanese subjects using QEESI(c) for screening of MCS patients.
A questionnaire using the QEESI(c) was administered to 103 MCS patients and 309 healthy control subjects matched for age and sex. QEESI(c) scores of the two groups were compared using logistic regression analysis, receiver operating characteristic analysis, and the Mann-Whitney test.
Cutoff values for Japanese subjects were determined for the Chemical Intolerance subscale (40), Symptom Severity subscale (20), and Life Impact subscale (10). The subjects whose scores exceeded the cutoff values in any two subscales accounted for 88.4% of the patients but only 14.5% of the controls.
Our results suggest that subjects meeting two out of three subscale criteria can be screened as "patients suffering from a low level of environmental chemicals such as MCS" in Japan.
Preview · Article · Aug 2009 · Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on the mental and physical health status of various cancer patients.
Ten studies (randomized-controlled trials and observational studies) were found to be eligible for meta-analysis. Individual study results were categorized into mental and physical variables and Cohen's effect size d was computed for each category.
MBSR may indeed be helpful for the mental health of cancer patients (Cohen's effect size d=0.48); however, more research is needed to show convincing evidence of the effect on physical health (Cohen's effect size d=0.18).
The results suggest that MBSR may improve cancer patients' psychosocial adjustment to their disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Panic disorder is one of the anxiety disorders, and anxiety is associated with some locomotor activity changes such as "restlessness". However, there have been few studies on locomotor activity in panic disorder using actigraphy, although many studies on other psychiatric disorders have been reported using actigraphy. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between panic disorder and locomotor activity pattern using a wrist-worn activity monitor. In addition, an ecological momentary assessment technique was used to record panic attacks in natural settings.
Sixteen patients with panic disorder were asked to wear a watch-type computer as an electronic diary for recording panic attacks for two weeks. In addition, locomotor activity was measured and recorded continuously in an accelerometer equipped in the watch-type computer. Locomotor activity data were analyzed using double cosinor analysis to calculate mesor and the amplitude and acrophase of each of the circadian rhythm and 12-hour harmonic component. Correlations between panic disorder symptoms and locomotor activity were investigated.
There were significant positive correlations between the frequency of panic attacks and mesor calculated from double cosinor analysis of locomotor activity (r = 0.55) and between HAM-A scores and mesor calculated from double cosinor analysis of locomotor activity (r = 0.62).
Panic disorder patients with more panic attacks and more anxiety have greater objectively assessed locomotor activity, which may reflect the "restlessness" of anxiety disorders.
Preview · Article · Dec 2008 · BioPsychoSocial Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A consistent association between low endogenous 5HT function and high alcohol preference has been observed, and a number of serotonergic manipulations (uptake blockers, agonists) alter alcohol consumption in animals and humans. Studies have also shown an inverse relationship between alcohol use and cerebrospinal fluid levels of serotonin metabolites, suggesting that chronic alcohol consumption produces alterations in serotonin synthesis or release.
The objective of the study was to characterize regional brain serotonin synthesis in nondepressed chronic alcoholics at treatment entry in comparison to normal nonalcoholic controls using PET and the tracer alpha-[(11)C]-methyl-L-tryptophan.
Comparisons of the alcoholics and controls by SPM found that there were significant differences in the rate of serotonin synthesis between groups. Serotonin synthesis was significantly lower among alcoholics in Brodmann Area (BA) 9, 10, and 32. However, serotonin synthesis among the alcoholics group was significantly higher than controls at BA19 in the occipital lobe and around the transverse temporal convolution in the left superior temporal gyrus (BA41). In addition, there were correlations between regional serotonin synthesis and a quantity-frequency measure of alcohol consumption. Regions showing a significant negative correlation with QF included the bilateral rectus gyri (BA11) in the orbitofrontal area, the bilateral medial frontal area (BA6), and the right amygdala.
Current alcoholism is associated with serotonergic abnormalities in brain regions that are known to be involved in planning, judgment, self-control, and emotional regulation.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2008 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), a syndrome in which multiple symptoms occur with low-level chemical exposure, has not been clarified in detail. The aim of our study was to clarify the clinical characteristics of physician-diagnosed MCS patients in Japan. We analyzed patient characteristics based on the medical records of 106 patients diagnosed with MCS according to the 1999 Consensus and the Japanese diagnostic criteria for MCS. We evaluated subjective symptoms using the Quick Environment Exposure Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and compared the QEESI scores with those of four MCS patient groups in the US reported by Miller and Prihoda [Miller, C.S., Prihoda, T.J., 1999b. A controlled comparison of symptoms and chemical intolerances reported by Gulf War veterans, implant recipients, and persons with multiple chemical sensitivity. Toxicol Ind Health 15, 386-397]. Female patients accounted for 74.0%. Most male patients were in their 30s, whereas female ages ranged widely from 10 to 65 years. Among estimated onset factors, those seen in males tended to be workplace related, while female patients showed a variety of factors. Co-morbid allergic disease was present in 84.0% of patients. A significant difference in the QEESI score between male and female patients was found in only one item out of 10 in symptom severity and life impact. However, all 10 items in chemical intolerance were significantly higher in females than in males. The mean QEESI score in the patient group in our study was lower than those in any of the four self-reported patient groups in the US.
Preview · Article · Oct 2008 · International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine in patients with mood disorders the relationship of age at onset with the location and degree of MRI-defined brain hyperintensities.
Fifty-two patients diagnosed as having mood disorders and 14 controls participated in the study. Brain MR images were analyzed according to semiquantitative ratings for the anatomical distribution and severity of T2-weighted hyperintensities. We compared these hyperintensities among the three age- and sex-matched groups of late-onset mood disorder patients (LOM), early-onset mood disorder patients (EOM), and controls. The time since the onset of disorder was significantly longer in the EOM than in the LOM group. We also conducted linear multiple regression analysis using the severity of hyperintensities as dependent variable to determine whether the clinical features correlate with vascular pathology.
As for deep white matter hyperintensity (DWMH), LOM exhibited higher ratings than EOM; as for brain areas, significant between-group differences were detected in the bilateral frontal areas and in the left parieto-occipital area. No significant difference was observed between EOM and controls. As for periventricular hyperintensity, there was no difference among the three groups. We obtained a significant regression model to predict DWMH ratings; age, number of ECTs, and LOM were selected as significant variables.
The present study suggests that the time since the onset of disorder does not affect the development of white matter lesions, but that white matter lesions are associated with late-onset mood disorders. The frontal areas and the left parieto-occipital area would be important for the development of late-onset mood disorders.
No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Journal of Psychiatric Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sociocultural factors are thought to be important in the pathogenesis of eating disorders. However, there have been few studies comparing eating behavior among various cultural populations. The aim of the present study is to compare attitudes towards bodyweight and shape, and desire for thinness in Japanese male and female subjects with those in people from other countries and of different ethnic origin.
The subjects were 411 Japanese, 130 Indian, 135 Omani, 113 Euro-American and 196 Filipino adolescents. The Eating Attitude Test-26 and the Drive for Thinness subscale of the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 were used to assess eating attitudes and fat phobia.
Subjects from India, Oman and the Philippines demonstrated eating attitudes that were similar to or worse than subjects from Western countries and Japan, although their desire for thinness was not as strong. The relationship between body mass index and eating attitudes or fat phobia in Indian, Omani and Filipino subjects differed from that in subjects from Western countries and Japan. In addition, both males and females showed disturbed eating attitudes in the Indian, Omani, and Filipino subjects.
There are differences in eating attitudes and the drive for thinness among different cultural groups.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2008 · Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the relationship between subtypes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and severity of symptoms associated with panic disorder (PD).
The study comprised 178 consecutive new PD outpatients. Sixty-four patients met the Rome-II criteria for IBS (IBS[+]; 29 diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBSD), 14 constipation-predominant IBS (IBSC), 21 other types of IBS).
IBSD patients with agoraphobia avoided a greater number of scenes owing to fear of panic attack than did PD patients without IBS (IBS[-]) and with agoraphobia. IBS[+] patients with avoidant behavior due to fear of IBS symptoms had significantly higher Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores and avoided a larger number of scenes owing to fear of panic attack than IBS[+] patients with agoraphobia and without avoidant behavior due to fear of IBS symptoms or IBS[-] patients with agoraphobia.
The results suggest that the presence of IBSD or avoidant behavior because of fear of IBS symptoms may be associated with a more severe form of agoraphobia, and the latter may also be associated with depression.
No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) report substantial symptom worsening after exercise. However, the time course over which this develops has not been explored. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the influence of exercise on subjective symptoms and on cognitive function in CFS patients in natural settings using a computerized ecological momentary assessment method, which allowed us to track the effects of exercise within and across days. Subjects were 9 female patients with CFS and 9 healthy women. A watch-type computer was used to collect real-time data on physical and psychological symptoms and cognitive function for 1week before and 2weeks after a maximal exercise test. For each variable, we investigated temporal changes after exercise using multilevel modeling. Following exercise, physical symptoms did get worse but not until a five-day delay in CFS patients. Despite this, there was no difference in the temporal pattern of changes in psychological symptoms or in cognitive function after exercise between CFS patients and controls. In conclusion, physical symptoms worsened after several days delay in patients with CFS following exercise while psychological symptoms or cognitive function did not change after exercise.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2008 · Physiology & Behavior