Publications by authors named "Andrej Ilankovic"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Deciphering reward-based decision-making in schizophrenia: A meta-analysis and behavioral modeling of the Iowa Gambling Task.

Schizophr Res 2019 02 25;204:7-15. Epub 2018 Sep 25.

Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich, Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Patients with schizophrenia (SZP) have been reported to exhibit impairments in reward-based decision-making, but results are heterogeneous with multiple potential confounds such as age, intelligence level, clinical symptoms or medication, making it difficult to evaluate the robustness of these impairments.

Methods: We conducted a meta-analysis of studies comparing the performance of SZP and healthy controls (HC) in the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) as well as comprehensive analyses based on subject-level data (n = 303 SZP, n = 188 HC) to investigate reward-based decision-making in SZP. To quantify differences in the influence of individual deck features (immediate gain, gain frequency, net loss) between SZP and HC, we additionally employed a least-squares model.

Results: SZP showed statistically significant suboptimal decisions as indicated by disadvantageous deck choices (d from 0.51 to −0.62) and lower net scores (d from −0.35 to −1.03) in a meta-analysis of k = 29 samples (n = 1127 SZP, n = 1149 HC) and these results were confirmed in a complementary subject-level analysis. Moreover, decision-making in SZP was characterized by a relative overweighting of immediate gain and net losses and an underweighting of gain frequency. Moderator analyses revealed that in part, decision-making in the IGT was moderated by intelligence level, medication and general symptom scores.

Conclusion: Our results indicate robust impairments in reward-based decision-making in SZP and suggest that decreased cognitive resources, such as working memory, may contribute to these alterations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2018.09.009DOI Listing
February 2019

Effects of sedative drug use on the dopamine system: a systematic review and meta-analysis of in vivo neuroimaging studies.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2019 03 27;44(4):660-667. Epub 2018 Aug 27.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany.

Use of alcohol, cannabis and opioids is highly prevalent and is associated with global disease burden and high economic costs. The exact pathophysiology of abuse or addiction associated with these sedative substances is not completely understood, but previous research implicates the important role of the striatal dopamine system in the addiction process. Multiple studies investigated changes in the striatal dopamine systems of users of sedative substances, but currently these results are very heterogeneous. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis of in vivo neuroimaging studies investigating dopaminergic alterations in the striatum of users of alcohol, opioids or cannabis. Analyses for each substance were conducted separately for the availability of D2/D3 dopamine receptors, dopamine transporters and dopamine synthesis capacity. In total, 723 substance users and 752 healthy controls were included. The results indicated a significant lower striatal D2/D3 receptor availability in alcohol users compared to controls (g = 0.46) but no difference in dopamine transporter availability or dopamine synthesis capacity. Our analysis indicated that changes of dopamine receptors and transporters are moderated by the duration of abstinence. Comparing opioid users with controls revealed a significant lower D2/D3 receptor availability (g = 1.17) and a significantly lower transporter availability (g = 1.55) in opioid users. For cannabis users, there was no significant difference in receptor availability compared to controls and too few studies provided information on dopamine transporter availability or synthesis capacity. Our analysis provides strong evidence for a central role of the striatal dopamine system in use of alcohol or opioids. Further studies are needed to clarify the impact of the dopamine system in cannabis users.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41386-018-0191-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6372711PMC
March 2019

Does facial attractiveness influence perception of epilepsy diagnosis? An insight into stigma in epilepsy.

Epilepsy Behav 2017 12 21;77:1-7. Epub 2017 Oct 21.

Center for Epilepsy and Sleep Disorders, Neurology Clinic, Medical School, University of Belgrade, Serbia.

Background: Using a group of young healthy individuals and patients with multiple sclerosis (pMS), we aimed to investigate whether the physical attractiveness judgment affects perception of epilepsy. We tested hypothesis that subjects, in the absence of relevant clues, would catch upon the facial attractiveness when asked to speculate which person suffers epilepsy and select less attractive choices.

Method: Two photo-arrays (7 photos for each gender) selected from the Chicago Face Database (180 neutral faces of Caucasian volunteers with unknown medical status) were shown to study participants. Photos were evenly distributed along a continuum of attractiveness that was estimated by independent raters in prestudy stage. In each photo-array, three photos had rating 1-3 (unattractive), one photo had rating 4 (neutral), and three photos had rating 5-7 (attractive). High-quality printed photo-arrays were presented to test subjects, and they were asked to select one person from each photo-array "who has epilepsy". Finally, all subjects were asked to complete questionnaire of self-esteem and 19-item Scale of stereotypes toward people with epilepsy.

Results: In total, 71 students of psychology, anthropology, or andragogy (mean age: 21.6±1.7years; female: 85.9%) and 70 pMS (mean age: 37.9±8years; female: 71.4%) were tested. Majority of students or pMS had no previous personal experience with individuals with epilepsy (63.4%; 47.1%, p=0.052). Male photo was selected as epileptic in the following proportions: students - 84.5% unattractive, 8.5% neutral, and 7% attractive; pMS - 62.9% unattractive, 8.6% neutral, and 28.6% attractive (p=0.003). Female photo was selected as epileptic in the following proportions: students - 38% unattractive, 52.1% neutral, and 9.9% attractive; pMS - 32.9% unattractive, 34.3% neutral, and 32.9% attractive (0.003). Both groups showed very low potential for stigmatization: significantly lower in pMS in 10 items. Patients with multiple sclerosis showed significantly higher self-esteem than students (p=0.007).

Conclusion: Facial attractiveness influences the perception of diagnosis of epilepsy. Both students and pMS were less willing to attribute epilepsy to attractive person of both genders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.09.015DOI Listing
December 2017

The association of arachnoid cysts and focal epilepsy: Hospital based case control study.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2017 Aug 12;159:39-41. Epub 2017 May 12.

Center for Epilepsy and Sleep Disorders, Neurology Clinic, Clinical Center of Serbia, Medical School, University of Belgrade, Serbia.

Objective: Arachnoid cysts (ACs) are common findings in brain MRI. Our aim was to examine frequency and distribution of ACs in patients with focal epilepsy, compared to healthy control subjects, and to investigate the association of AC and electro-clinical features of focal epilepsy.

Patients And Methods: We performed a retrospective case-control study, using data from 180 patients that underwent video-EEG monitoring between 2009 and 2012, and of 114 healthy controlled subjects. Analysis of electro-clinical data and structural MRI images was conducted.

Results: A significantly higher proportion of ACs in the focal epilepsy group (19/180; 10.5%) compared to healthy control subjects (3/114; 2.6%) (p=0.012) was identified. Significant congruence of semiological features or interictal and ictal EEG with AC localization was identified in only one MRI nonlesional patient with temporal cyst localization.

Conclusion: ACs are seen more often in patients with focal epilepsy. Explicit association between focal epilepsy and AC is possible but exceptional. More likely, focal epilepsy and AC share a common etiological ancestor but represent distant and distinct entities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2017.05.014DOI Listing
August 2017

Burnout of Formal Caregivers of Children with Cerebral Palsy.

Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci 2016 ;53(2):10-15

Clinic of Psychiatry, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.

Background: Burnout syndrome is under-researched within caregivers (CGs) of children with cerebral palsy. The primary aim was to determine the burnout level of formal CGs of children with cerebral palsy (G1) and to compare it with a control group (G2) of professional pediatric nurses, and second, to correlate the level of depression and anxiety with the burnout level.

Method: In a total sample of 60 CGs, the Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS), consisting of three structural units - emotional exhaustion (MBIEE) subscale, depersonalization (MBI-DP) subscale and personal accomplishment (MBI-PA) subscale - was used to measure burnout. The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) was used for the assessment of anxiety, and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) for depression.

Results: A significant difference was shown on the MBI-EE subscale and on the BDI test (p<0.05), in both cases higher scores were obtained by G1. High burnout was observed in all subscales, on the MBI-EE subscale registered 50% of CGs in G1, and 17% in control G2. Correlation of the MBI-EE subscale with BDI and BAI tests was highly significant (p<0.01).

Conclusions: These findings indicate the need for future research aimed at formulating preventive strategies for caregivers' mental health. Better care for caregivers would provide them with better professional satisfaction, and consequently would lead to better care for patients.
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May 2017

Glucocorticoid levels after exposure to predator odor and chronic psychosocial stress with dexamethasone application in rats.

Kaohsiung J Med Sci 2016 May 21;32(5):235-40. Epub 2016 May 21.

Institute of Anatomy, Medical Faculty, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.

This study was conducted to explore the effects of specific psychosocial paradigm on predator animal posttraumatic stress model and to test the hypothesis that psychosocially stressed rats would exibit abnormal levels of cortisol and a larger suppression of cortisol levels after the application of dexamethasone. Animals were divided in two groups: experimental and control groups. The experimental group was exposed to two types of stressors: acute immobilization stress, and combined predator stress and daily social stress with application of dexamethasone. Blood sampling was performed at three different times. We found statistically significant results after analyzing the differences between cortisol levels in different times of blood sampling in the group of animals exposed to stress with dexamethasone application. Statistical significance was found when we compared the experimental group with the control group in terms of elevated cortisol levels during blood sampling after stress paradigm exposition. Many significant disruptions in the functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis were observed, such as decrease in basal cortisol levels and enhanced dexamethasone-induced inhibition of cortisol levels. These findings are important because their impact can translate to human individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder, which is the most important role of every animal model in research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kjms.2016.04.011DOI Listing
May 2016

"Polysomnographic" and "sleep" patterns: synonims or two distinct terms - a reply.

Psychiatr Danub 2015 Mar;27(1):74

Center of Clinical Neurophysiology & Sleep Research, University Psychiatric Clinic, Pasterova 2, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia,

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March 2015

Volumetric analysis of amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex in therapy-naive PTSD participants.

Biomed Res Int 2014 13;2014:968495. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

Institute of Anatomy "NikoMiljanić", Medical Faculty, Dr Subotića 4, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.

Objective: In our study we have hypothesized that volume changes of amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex are more pronounced in male posttraumatic stress disorder participants.

Material And Methods: We have conducted a study of 79 male participants who underwent MRI brain scanning. PTSD diagnosis was confirmed in 49 participants. After MRI was taken all scans were software based volume computed and statistically processed.

Results: We found that left amygdala is the most significant parameter for distinction between PTSD participants and participants without PTSD. There were no significant differences in volumes of hippocampi and prefrontal cortices. Roc curve method outlined left amygdala AUC = 0.898 (95% CI = 0.830-0.967) and right amygdala AUC = 0.882 (95% CI = 0.810-0.954) in the group of PTSD participants which makes both variables highly statistically significant.

Conclusion: The present investigation revealed significant volume decrease of left amygdala in PTSD patients. Concerning important functions of the amygdala and her neuroanatomical connections with other brain structures, we need to increase number of participants to clarify the correlation between impared amygdala and possible other different brain structures in participants with PTSD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/968495DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3972941PMC
December 2014

Polysomnographic sleep patterns in depressive, schizophrenic and healthy subjects.

Psychiatr Danub 2014 Mar;26(1):20-6

Center of Clinical Neurophysiology & Sleep Research, University Psychiatric Clinic, Pasterova 2, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia,

Background: Sleep disorders are frequent symptoms described in psychiatric patients with major depression and schizophrenia. These patients also exhibit changes in sleep architecture measured by polysomnography (PSG) during sleep. The aim of the present study was to identify potential biomarkers to facilitate diagnosis based on PSG measurements.

Subjects And Methods: Thirty (30) patients with schizophrenia, 30 patients with major depression and 30 healthy control subjects were investigated in the present study. All subjects underwent PSG measurements for a minimum time of 8 hours according to the criteria of Rechtscahffen & Kales (1968). We tested the potential of multiple sleep variables to predict diagnosis in different groups by using linear discriminant analysis (LDA).

Results: There were significant differences in PSG variables between healthy control subjects and psychiatric patients (total sleep time, sleep latency, number of awakenings, time of awakening after sleep onset, REM 1 latency, REM 1 and index of endogenous periodicity). Importantly, LDA was able to predict the correct diagnosis in 88% of all cases.

Conclusions: The presented analysis showed commonalities and differences in PSG changes in patients with major depressive disorder and in patients with schizophrenia. Our results underline the potential of PSG measurements to facilitate diagnostic processes.
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March 2014

[Forensic evaluation of persons with destructive behavior in the postwar Bosnia and Hertzegovina].

Vojnosanit Pregl 2007 Mar;64(3):183-8

Univerzitet Istocno Sarajevo, Medicinski fakultet Foca, Bosna i Hercegovina.

Background/aim: Different persons show forensic differences related to aggressive behavior in criminal and violation acts. The aim of this study was to forensicly analyze the influence of socio-dynamic conditions and stress in testing the forensic hypothesis of hetero-destruction, and analysis of persons with destructive behavior in Bosnia and Hertzegovina (B&H) in the period from 1996-2005.

Methods: The experimental group consisted of 125 persons who had committed a crime according to the Criminal Law of B&H and, thus were under security measures or treatment The control group consisted of 125 persons who had committed a violation. The following psychometric tests/questionnaires were used in the study: Eysenek Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Profile Index of Emotions (PIE).

Results: There were a significant difference between the respondents' groups related to gender (p < 0.01), while broken family, migration, and family comorbidity showed insignificant differences. EPQ test showed statistically significant differences between the groups for all four variables, and Beck test found significant differences only for some ones. PIE test proved the relations of the basic emotions confirmed by discriminative function.

Conclusion: High level of hetero-destruction in crime was proven in the study. Criminal acts and violations were committed by the persons without psychopathology, as well as by the persons with mental diseases, which rendered a forensic responsibility and analysis of such an influence on behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2298/vsp0703183nDOI Listing
March 2007

Chiari I malformation in adults: epileptiform events and schizophrenia-like psychosis.

Psychiatr Danub 2006 Jun;18(1-2):92-6

Institute of Psychiatry, Dep. of Neuropsychiatry, University Clinical Center, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro.

We would like to report on a very interesting clinical case of recurrent psychotic events caused with Chiari I malformation in adults. The mediosagital reconstruction of MR image of the brain and cranio-cervical region is the most important diagnostic approach in finding the cause of epileptiform events, neurological signs and psychotic illness caused by Chiari malformation.
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June 2006

Dementia paralytica (neurosyphilis): a clinical case study.

World J Biol Psychiatry 2003 Jul;4(3):135-8

Institute of Psychiatry, University Clinical Centre, 11000 Belgrade, Pasterova 2, Yugoslavia.

This study reminds clinicians that syphilis presents in many guises. Wars, migration and sexual promiscuity prepare the ground for its return as an important cause of neurological and psychiatric syndromes. Our patient's diagnosis was not suspected at earlier admission. Stage III spirochaetosis was improved by high dose penicillin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15622970310029908DOI Listing
July 2003
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