Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience : JPN


Patients with anorexia nervosa exhibit higher levels of behaviours typically associated with autism-spectrum disorder (ASD), but the neural basis is unclear. We sought to determine whether elevated autistic traits in women with anorexia nervosa may be reflected in cortical morphology.

Concepts: Anorexia nervosa, Autism, Autism spectrum, Anorexia


Approximately one-third of people with schizophrenia have elevated levels of anti-gliadin antibodies of the immunoglobulin G type (AGA IgG) — a higher rate than seen in healthy controls. We performed the first double-blind clinical trial of gluten-free versus gluten-containing diets in a subset of patients with schizophrenia who were positive for AGA IgG.


Recent clinical trials suggest that 3 single biological treatments have effects that persist. Based on research showing that the muscles involved in facial expressions can feed back to influence mood, a single trial diminishing glabella frown lines with botulinum toxin demonstrated a significant antidepressant effect for 16 weeks. Based primarily on research with animal models of depression suggesting that glutamate may be involved in depression, the N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist ketamine has been tested in several trials. A single dose decreased depression for up to a week. The reported effects of the use of mushrooms containing psilocybin by a number of cultures around the world has stimulated several trials showing beneficial effects of a single dose of psilocybin for over a year in healthy people, and for up to 3 months in patients with anxiety disorders who have advanced cancer. This article discusses these studies, their rationale, their possible mechanisms of action, the future clinical research required to establish these therapies and the basic research required to optimize single treatments that have lasting effects.

Concepts: Medicine, Clinical trial, Medical statistics, Effectiveness, Clinical research, Antidepressant, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Anxiety disorder


The aim of the present study was to map the pathophysiology of resting state functional connectivity accompanying structural and functional abnormalities in children with bipolar disorder.

Concepts: Bipolar disorder, Mood stabilizer, Mania


Recent research indicates that suicide rates are elevated in those living at higher altitudes in both the United States and South Korea. A possible mechanism that was proposed is metabolic stress associated with hypoxia. This commentary discusses these results, and also the association between elevated suicide rates and other conditions associated with hypoxia (smoking, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma). Tryptophan hydroxylase may not normally be saturated with oxygen, so mild hypoxia would decrease serotonin synthesis. Low brain serotonin is known to be associated with suicide. Thus, the commentary proposes and discusses the hypothesis that decreased brain serotonin synthesis associated with hypoxia is a mechanism that may contribute to suicide in conditions causing hypoxia. Finally the commentary proposes various studies that could test aspects of this hypothesis.

Concepts: Medicine, Asthma, Lung, Pneumonia, United States, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Serotonin, Tryptophan


We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the association between serum lipid levels and suicidality, as evidence from previous studies has been inconsistent.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, The Association, Meta-analysis, Sunshine pop


Sex differences in performance and regional brain activity during mental rotation have been reported repeatedly and reflect organizational and activational effects of sex hormones. We investigated whether adolescent girls with gender dysphoria (GD), before and after 10 months of testosterone treatment, showed male-typical brain activity during a mental rotation task (MRT).

Concepts: Male, Sexual dimorphism, Gender, Testosterone, Sex, Gender identity, Puberty, Sexual differentiation


Background: Considering the pivotal role of negative emotional experiences in the development and persistence of mental disorders, interfering with the consolidation/reconsolidation of such experiences would open the door to a novel treatment approach in psychiatry. We conducted a meta-analysis on the experimental evidence regarding the capacity of the β-blocker propranolol to block the consolidation/ reconsolidation of emotional memories in healthy adults. Methods: Selected studies consisted of randomized, double-blind experiments assessing long-term memory for emotional material in healthy adults and involved at least 1 propranolol and 1 placebo condition. We searched PsycInfo, PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Central, PILOTS, Google Scholar and for eligible studies from the period 1995-2012. Ten consolidation (n = 259) and 8 reconsolidation (n = 308) experiments met the inclusion criteria. We calculated effect sizes (Hedges g) using a random effects model. Results: Compared with placebo, propranolol given before memory consolidation reduced subsequent recall for negatively valenced stories, pictures and word lists (Hedges g = 0.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.14-0.74). Propranolol before reconsolidation also reduced subsequent recall for negatively valenced emotional words and the expression of cue-elicited fear responses (Hedges g = 0.56, 95% CI 0.13-1.00). Limitations: Limitations include the moderate number of studies examining the influence of propranolol on emotional memory consolidation and reconsolidation in healthy adults and the fact that most samples consisted entirely of young adults, which may limit the ecological validity of results. Conclusion: Propranolol shows promise in reducing subsequent memory for new or recalled emotional material in healthy adults. However, future studies will need to investigate whether more powerful idiosyncratic emotional memories can also be weakened and whether this weakening can bring about long-lasting symptomatic relief in clinical populations, such as patients with posttraumatic stress or other event-related disorders.

Concepts: Amygdala, Memory, Clinical research, Meta-analysis, Episodic memory, Emotion and memory, Random effects model, Memory consolidation


Mindfulness-based treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have emerged as promising adjunctive or alternative intervention approaches. A scoping review of the literature on PTSD treatment studies, including approaches such as mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and metta mindfulness, reveals low attrition with medium to large effect sizes. We review the convergence between neurobiological models of PTSD and neuroimaging findings in the mindfulness literature, where mindfulness interventions may target emotional under- and overmodulation, both of which are critical features of PTSD symptomatology. Recent emerging work indicates that mindfulness-based treatments may also be effective in restoring connectivity between large-scale brain networks among individuals with PTSD, including connectivity between the default mode network and the central executive and salience networks. Future directions, including further identification of the neurobiological mechanisms of mindfulness interventions in patients with PTSD and direct comparison of these interventions to first-line treatments for PTSD are discussed.

Concepts: Attention, Cognitive neuroscience, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Stress, Counseling, Default network, Vietnam War


Studies of intrinsic brain activity in the resting state have become increasingly common. A productive discussion of what analysis methods are appropriate, of the importance of physiologic correction and of the potential interpretations of results has been ongoing. However, less attention has been paid to factors other than physiologic noise that may confound resting-state experiments. These range from straightforward factors, such as ensuring that participants are all instructed in the same manner, to more obscure participant-related factors, such as body weight. We provide an overview of such potentially confounding factors, along with some suggested approaches for minimizing their impact. A particular theme that emerges from the overview is the range of systematic differences between types of study groups (e.g., between patients and controls) that may influence resting-state study results.

Concepts: Experimental design, Brain, Neuroscience, Confounding, Cultural studies, Analysis, Potential