Publications by authors named "Błażej Misiak"

143 Publications

Class of 2020 in Poland: Students' Mental Health during the COVID-19 Outbreak in an Academic Setting.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 03 11;18(6). Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department and Clinic of Psychiatry, Wrocław Medical University, ul. Pasteura 10, 50-367 Wrocław, Poland.

The COVID-19 pandemic had led universities to introduce lockdowns, which has led to significant shifts in students' lives. Classes were moved online, students had to leave dorms and move; they had to forgo regular meetings with their peers. Subsequently, a vital demand for examining students' mental health emerged. The data were collected at a time when universities in Poland were under lockdowns. Participants represented students of many different fields of study. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) was used. Student's subjective evaluation of online learning and their adaptation to academic life shifts were reviewed. A total of 1123 participants took part in this study. Relationship analysis included tests, such as U Mann-Whitney, appropriate for specific variables. The impact of variables connected with the pandemic on the GHQ scores was tested using multivariate regression analysis. The results were considered significant at a -value set at 0.05. Overall, 76.96% of the participants manifested psychopathological symptoms measured by the GHQ. Four demographical variables were possibly associated with the GHQ scores: female sex, living in a big city, necessity to move back home, and being in a relationship. Negative correlations between subjective evaluation of variables concerning e-learning, such as its efficiency or quality, and the GHQ scores were found. Some variables were found to be potential protective factors, whereas others could have contributed to worsened mental health. The study provides data on students' worsened mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shifts in academic life it caused. Therefore, recommendations for early psychosocial interventions among students are strongly advised.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062884DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7999098PMC
March 2021

Coping Styles, Mental Health, and the COVID-19 Quarantine: A Nationwide Survey in Poland.

Front Psychiatry 2021 11;12:625355. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 that began from March 2020 is yet to be contained. Consequences of the ongoing pandemic may have a negative impact on the mental health of affected individuals. This particularly refers to those quarantined. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is currently one of the biggest health issues worldwide, a higher demand emerges for research concentrating on the worsening of psychological well-being among the general and the quarantined population, as well as on individual coping strategies that may moderate the occurrence of psychopathologies. Data were collected within the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. Participants represented quarantine (+) and quarantine (-) groups. Quarantine (+) group, different from quarantine (-), consisted of people who experienced it themselves or someone close to them did after contacting an infected individual. To measure psychopathological symptoms a General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) was used. For measuring PTSD symptoms, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) was used. This study followed the coping strategies manifested among the participants using the MiniCope questionnaire. A total of 2,036 individuals participated in this study. Quarantine (+) individuals had significantly higher total and subscales GHQ-28 scores (anxiety, insomnia, and somatic symptoms) as well as a higher IES-R arousal score. The quarantine (+) individuals were more likely to use self-distraction as a coping strategy. This research identified positive and negative correlations between presented coping styles and manifested psychopathology. This nationwide study suggests occurrence of negative effects on mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine. It is observed on most of the measured psychopathological symptoms. The present research provides a line of action that should be followed in the future in case of another epidemic and in the event restrictions like quarantine have to be introduced again.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.625355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7991383PMC
March 2021

Coping Styles, Mental Health, and the COVID-19 Quarantine: A Nationwide Survey in Poland.

Front Psychiatry 2021 11;12:625355. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 that began from March 2020 is yet to be contained. Consequences of the ongoing pandemic may have a negative impact on the mental health of affected individuals. This particularly refers to those quarantined. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is currently one of the biggest health issues worldwide, a higher demand emerges for research concentrating on the worsening of psychological well-being among the general and the quarantined population, as well as on individual coping strategies that may moderate the occurrence of psychopathologies. Data were collected within the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. Participants represented quarantine (+) and quarantine (-) groups. Quarantine (+) group, different from quarantine (-), consisted of people who experienced it themselves or someone close to them did after contacting an infected individual. To measure psychopathological symptoms a General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) was used. For measuring PTSD symptoms, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) was used. This study followed the coping strategies manifested among the participants using the MiniCope questionnaire. A total of 2,036 individuals participated in this study. Quarantine (+) individuals had significantly higher total and subscales GHQ-28 scores (anxiety, insomnia, and somatic symptoms) as well as a higher IES-R arousal score. The quarantine (+) individuals were more likely to use self-distraction as a coping strategy. This research identified positive and negative correlations between presented coping styles and manifested psychopathology. This nationwide study suggests occurrence of negative effects on mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine. It is observed on most of the measured psychopathological symptoms. The present research provides a line of action that should be followed in the future in case of another epidemic and in the event restrictions like quarantine have to be introduced again.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.625355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7991383PMC
March 2021

Immune-inflammatory markers and psychosis risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2021 Mar 13;127:105200. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Augusta University, Augusta, GA, United States.

Subclinical inflammation has been associated with psychosis; however, it remains unknown whether this phenomenon appears also in the premorbid phase. Therefore, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies comparing peripheral blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and cytokines between individuals at risk of psychosis and controls. Moreover, we tested the hypothesis that the levels of these markers may be different in high-risk converters versus non-converters. Two independent reviewers searched electronic databases until Dec 16th, 2020. After reviewing publication records, 16 studies (548 high-risk individuals and 559 controls) were included. Random-effects meta-analyses with Hedges' g as the effect size estimate were performed. Individuals at clinical risk of psychosis had significantly higher levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) compared to controls (g = 0.33, 95%CI: 0.06-0.60, p = 0.018). Heterogeneity was not significant in this subgroup analysis. Changes in the levels of IL-6 in subjects at familial risk of psychosis were not significant (g = 0.04, 95%CI: -0.24 to 0.31, p = 0.798). The use of antidepressants was associated with significantly higher levels of IL-6 in high-risk individuals (Beta = 1.56, 95%CI: 0.60-2.53, p = 0.001). No significant differences in the levels of immune-inflammatory markers were found between high-risk converters and non-converters. Our findings suggest that individuals at clinical risk of psychosis show subclinical inflammation in terms of elevated IL-6 levels. This phenomenon might be related to the use of antidepressants. The present meta-analysis does not support the usefulness of single immune-inflammatory markers in predicting transition to psychosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105200DOI Listing
March 2021

Gut microbiota in psychiatric disorders: Better understanding or more complexity to be resolved?

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2021 Mar 10;110:110302. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Department of Human Nutrition and Metabolomics, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Broniewskiego 24 Street, 71-460 Szczecin, Poland. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2021.110302DOI Listing
March 2021

From Emotional Intelligence to Self-Injuries: A Path Analysis in Adolescents With Conduct Disorder.

Front Psychiatry 2020 8;11:556278. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.

Self-harm acts are highly prevalent among adolescents with conduct disorder. It has been shown that low level of emotional intelligence (EI) might be related to a higher risk of self-injuries. However, the exact mechanisms underlying this association are still unclear. The purpose of this study was to explore whether psychopathological symptoms and selected psychological processes mediate the association between EI and self-harm risk in adolescents with conduct disorders. Out of 162 adolescents with conduct disorder approached for participation, 136 individuals (aged 14.8 ± 1.2 years, 56.6% females) were enrolled and completed the questionnaires evaluating the level of EI, depression, anxiety, impulsiveness, empathy, venturesomeness, self-esteem, and disgust. Individuals with a lifetime history of self-injuries had significantly higher levels of depression, anxiety and impulsivity as well as significantly lower levels of EI and self-esteem. Higher levels of EI were associated with significantly higher levels of self-esteem, venturesomeness and empathy as well as significantly lower levels of depression, anxiety and impulsivity. Further analysis revealed that trait and state anxiety as well as self-esteem were complete mediators of the association between EI and self-harm risk. Our findings indicate that anxiety and self-esteem might mediate the association between EI and a risk of self-injuries in adolescents with conduct disorder. However, a cross-sectional design of this study limits conclusions on the direction of causality. Longitudinal studies are needed to test validity of our model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.556278DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7819897PMC
January 2021

The Association between Lifestyle Choices and Schizophrenia Symptoms.

J Clin Med 2021 Jan 5;10(1). Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University, 26 Broniewskiego Street, 71-460 Szczecin, Poland.

Due to poor eating habits, insufficient physical activity, and nicotine use, schizophrenia patients are at increased risk of lifestyle diseases. Factors contributing to unhealthy behaviors include lower socioeconomic status and level of education as well as social isolation. Schizophrenia manifestations such as amotivation, apathy, and cognitive deficits can further hinder development of proper health habits. The aim of this study was to assess the possible association between lifestyle-related choices and schizophrenia symptoms severity. This observational study enrolled 106 patients with schizophrenia (42 Males/64 Females), 18-69 years (mean: 41.89 ± 9.7 years). Mean duration of schizophrenia was 14.61 ± 9.7 years. Multiple significant correlations were found between patients' lifestyle and their biochemical laboratory parameters (lipid profile and fasting glucose). Most importantly, a significant link emerged between presented habits and schizophrenia symptom severity. There were also significant gender differences in the intake of sweets and sweet beverages. Quite unexpectedly, a behavioral shift towards more healthy lifestyle choices was observed after completion of questionnaires on lifestyle and health habits. There are clear benefits to systematic provision of educational interventions concerning physical activity and proper eating habits to schizophrenia patients. These simple preventive measures could significantly improve both mental and physical health outcomes in schizophrenia patient populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10010165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796511PMC
January 2021

Gut microbiota-derived vitamins - underrated powers of a multipotent ally in psychiatric health and disease.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2021 Apr 9;107:110240. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland.

Despite the well-established roles of B-vitamins and their deficiencies in health and disease, there is growing evidence indicating a key role of those nutrients in functions of the central nervous system and in psychopathology. Clinical data indicate the substantial role of B-vitamins in various psychiatric disorders, including major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, and dementia, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. As enzymatic cofactors, B-vitamins are involved in many physiological processes such as the metabolism of glucose, fatty acids and amino acids, metabolism of tryptophan in the kynurenine pathway, homocysteine metabolism, synthesis and metabolism of various neurotransmitters and neurohormones including serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, acetylcholine, GABA, glutamate, D-serine, glycine, histamine and melatonin. Those vitamins are highly involved in brain energetic metabolism and respiration at the cellular level. They have a broad range of anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. Furthermore, some of those vitamins are involved in the regulation of permeability of the intestinal and blood-brain barriers. Despite the fact that a substantial amount of the above vitamins is acquired from various dietary sources, deficiencies are not uncommon, and it is estimated that micronutrient deficiencies affect about two billion people worldwide. The majority of gut-resident microbes and the broad range of bacteria available in fermented food, express genetic machinery enabling the synthesis and metabolism of B-vitamins and, consequently, intestinal microbiota and fermented food rich in probiotic bacteria are essential sources of B-vitamins for humans. All in all, there is growing evidence that intestinal bacteria-derived vitamins play a significant role in physiology and that dysregulation of the "microbiota-vitamins frontier" is related to various disorders. In this review, we will discuss the role of vitamins in mental health and explore the perspectives and potential of how gut microbiota-derived vitamins could contribute to mental health and psychiatric treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110240DOI Listing
April 2021

Clinical correlates of the NR3C1 gene methylation at various stages of psychosis.

Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 2020 Dec 7. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Department of Genetics, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.

Background: Dysregulation of epigenetic processes might account for alterations of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis observed in patients with schizophrenia. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to investigate methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) gene in patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, individuals at familial high risk of schizophrenia (FHR-P) and healthy controls (HCs) with respect to clinical manifestation and a history of psychosocial stressors.

Methods: We recruited 40 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients, 45 acutely relapsed schizophrenia (SCZ-AR) patients, 39 FHR-P individuals and 56 HCs. The level of methylation at nine CpG sites of the NR3C1 gene was determined using pyrosequencing.

Results: The level of NR3C1 methylation was significantly lower in FEP patients and significantly higher in SCZ-AR patients compared to other subgroups of participants. Individuals with FHR-P and HCs had similar levels of NR3C1 methylation. A history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) was associated with significantly lower NR3C1 methylation in all subgroups of participants. Higher methylation of the NR3C1 gene was related to worse performance of attention and immediate memory as well as lower level of general functioning in patients with psychosis.

Conclusions: Patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders show altered levels of NR3C1 methylation that is significantly lower in FEP patients and significantly higher in SCZ-AR patients. Higher methylation of the NR3C1 gene might be related to cognitive impairment observed in this clinical population. The association between a history of ACEs and lower NR3C1 methylation is not specific to patients with psychosis. Longitudinal studies are needed to establish causal mechanisms underlying these observations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ijnp/pyaa094DOI Listing
December 2020

Metabolic Dysregulation and Psychosocial Stress in Patients with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: A Case-Control Study.

J Clin Med 2020 Nov 26;9(12). Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University, Broniewskiego 26, 71-460 Wroclaw, Poland.

Patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders have a reduced life expectancy, which is largely the consequence of a high co-occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. To date, several intrinsic and environmental factors underlying this phenomenon have been found. However, the association with psychosocial stress has not been extensively addressed. In this study, we tested the relationship between a history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), lifetime stressors, perceived stress and metabolic parameters in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and in healthy controls. The participants included 85 inpatients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and 56 healthy controls. Serum levels of glucose, insulin, low- and high-density lipoproteins (LDL and HDL), triglycerides, total cholesterol and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were determined. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, patients had significantly higher levels of glucose (F = 4.856, = 0.030), triglycerides (F = 4.720, = 0.032) and hsCRP (F = 7.499, = 0.007) as well as significantly lower levels of HDL (F = 5.300, = 0.023) compared to healthy controls. There were also significant effects of interactions between diagnosis and a history of ACEs on the levels of insulin (F = 4.497, = 0.036) and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (F = 3.987, = 0.048). More specifically, the levels of insulin and HOMA-IR were significantly higher in the subgroup of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and a positive history of ACEs compared to other subgroups of participants. No significant associations between lifetime stressors and perceived stress with metabolic parameters were found. Our findings indicate that a history of ACEs might be associated with insulin resistance in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Therapeutic strategies targeting early-life stress should be considered with early interventions that aim to manage cardiometabolic comorbidity in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9123822DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7760156PMC
November 2020

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Methylation of the Gene in Patients with Psychotic Disorders.

J Clin Med 2020 Nov 24;9(12). Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Pasteura 10 Street, 50-367 Wroclaw, Poland.

Altered methylation of the gene has been observed in various mental disorders and attributed to the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). However, the level of methylation has not been investigated in patients with psychotic disorders. Therefore, in this study we aimed to determine the methylation in patients with psychosis and controls, taking into account the effects of ACEs. Participants were 85 patients with psychotic disorders, including first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and acutely relapsed schizophrenia (SCZ-AR) patients, as well as 56 controls. The level of four CpG sites at the gene was determined in the peripheral blood leukocytes using pyrosequencing. After controlling for potential confounding factors, the level of methylation at one out of four tested CpG sites was significantly lower in FEP patients compared to other groups of participants. Significant main effects of parental antipathy and sexual abuse on the level of methylation were observed at the differentially methylated CpG site. Participants reporting this category of ACEs had significantly lower levels of methylation at this CpG site. Lower levels of methylation were associated with better cognitive performance and higher functional capacity in patients with psychosis. In controls, lower methylation of was related to worse performance of immediate memory and language skills. Our findings suggest that hypomethylation of the appears at early stages of psychosis and might be associated with a history of ACEs as well as less severe clinical manifestation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9123792DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7759816PMC
November 2020

The impact of whole-body cryotherapy on lipid profile: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Complement Ther Med 2020 Dec 3;55:102568. Epub 2020 Oct 3.

Department of Genetics, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland.

Purpose: Whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) is an already proven method of supportive therapy in somatic medicine. Emerging evidence suggests that WBC might exert beneficial effects on lipid profile; however, studies in this field have provided mixed findings.

Objective: We aimed to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies investigating the impact of WBC on lipid profile.

Methods: Electronic databases (the MEDLINE, the ERIC, the CINAHL Complete, the International Pharmaceutical Abstracts as well as the Academic Search Ultimate and the Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition) were searched from their inception until 25th April 2020. Meta-analysis was performed using random-effects models and Hedges g' was calculated as the effect size estimate.

Results: We identified seven eligible studies. Pooled data analysis revealed significantly lower levels of triglycerides after WBC. Sensitivity analysis also demonstrated significantly lower levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) after removing single studies. Meta-regression analysis showed that lower baseline body mass index (BMI) was significantly associated with greater changes in the levels of total cholesterol and LDL during WBC.

Conclusions: Our findings imply that WBC may exert beneficial effects on the lipid profile in terms of lowering the levels of total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides. Lower BMI may predict a greater improvement of lipid profile during WBC. However, caution should be taken as to the way our results are being interpreted due to low number of studies and considerable methodological heterogeneity of studies included in our meta-analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102568DOI Listing
December 2020

Effects of interactions between variation in dopaminergic genes, traumatic life events, and anomalous self-experiences on psychosis proneness: Results from a cross-sectional study in a nonclinical sample.

Eur Psychiatry 2020 11 20;63(1):e104. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Department of Genetics, Wroclaw Medical University, 50-368Wroclaw, Poland.

Background: There is a growing number of studies showing interactions between genetic polymorphisms associated with dopaminergic neurotransmission and traumatic life events (TLEs) on a risk of psychotic-like experiences (PLEs). Anomalous self-experiences (ASEs) have been associated both with TLEs as well as with PLEs. However, it remains unknown what is the role of ASEs in the complexity of gene-environment interactions on the emergence of PLEs.

Patients And Methods: We included 445 young adults-university students from three big cities in Poland. We used the Traumatic Events Checklist to assess TLEs, the Inventory of Psychotic-Like anomalous self-experiences in order to measure ASEs, and the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ16) to record the level of PLEs. The following gene polymorphisms, related to dopaminergic neurotransmission, were determined: the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) rs4680 polymorphism, the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) rs6277 polymorphism, and the dopamine transporter 1 (DAT1) rs28363170 polymorphism.

Results: There was a significant effect of the interaction between the DAT1 polymorphism, a severity of ASEs, and a history of TLEs on the level of PLEs. Among the DAT1 10R/10R homozygotes with low level of ASEs, a severity of PLEs was significantly higher in individuals with a history of any TLEs. Higher scores of the PQ16 were associated with a greater severity of ASEs both in the DAT1 9R allele carriers and the DAT1 10R/10R homozygotes.

Conclusion: Our findings imply that genetic liability related to aberrant dopamine transport might impact the association between TLEs and PLEs in subjects with high levels of ASEs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1192/j.eurpsy.2020.103DOI Listing
November 2020

Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging in psychiatry: a narrative review of its potential role in diagnosis.

Pharmacol Rep 2021 Feb 30;73(1):43-56. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University, 26 Broniewski, 71-457, Szczecin, Poland.

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is an imaging technique that uses magnetic resonance. It measures the diffusion of water molecules in tissues, which can occur either without restriction (i.e., in an isotropic manner) or limited by some obstacles, such as cell membranes (i.e., in an anisotropic manner). Diffusion is most often measured in terms of, inter alia, fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity (AD). DTI allows us to reconstruct, visualize, and evaluate certain qualities of white matter. To date, many studies have sought to associate various changes in the distribution of diffusion within the brain with mental diseases and disorders. A better understanding of white matter integrity disorders can help us recognize the causes of diseases, as well as help create objective methods of psychiatric diagnosis, identify biomarkers of mental illness, and improve pharmacotherapy. The aim of this work is to present the characteristics of DTI as well as current research on its use in schizophrenia, affective disorders, and other mental disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43440-020-00177-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7862529PMC
February 2021

The kynurenine pathway in bipolar disorder: a meta-analysis on the peripheral blood levels of tryptophan and related metabolites.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 Oct 19. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano Bicocca, Monza, Italy.

Growing evidence suggests that a dysregulation of the kynurenine pathway (KP) occurs in bipolar disorder (BD). This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed at assessing the possible differences in peripheral blood levels of KP metabolites between individuals with BD and healthy controls. We searched Medline, Embase, and PsycInfo electronic databases for articles indexed up to February 2020. We included any observational study comparing the peripheral blood levels of at least one KP metabolite between adults with BD and healthy controls. Random-effects meta-analyses were carried out generating pooled standardized mean differences (SMDs). Heterogeneity between studies was estimated using the I index. Meta-regression and sensitivity analyses were conducted. Sixteen studies met inclusion criteria and were included in our study. Meta-analyses showed that individuals with BD have lower peripheral blood levels of tryptophan (SMD = -0.29), kynurenine (SMD = -0.28), kynurenic acid (SMD = -0.30), and xanthurenic acid (SMD = -0.55), along with lower kynurenic acid to kynurenine (SMD = -0.60) and kynurenic acid to quinolinic acid (SMD = -0.37) ratios, than healthy controls. Individuals with a manic episode showed the greatest reductions in tryptophan levels (SMD = -0.51), whereas kynurenic acid levels were more reduced among subjects in a depressive phase (SMD = -0.70). Meta-regression and sensitivity analyses confirmed our results. The findings of the present meta-analysis support the hypothesis of an abnormality of the KP in BD. Considering the partial inconsistency of the findings and the small-to-medium magnitude of the estimated effect sizes, additional research assessing possible mediators or confounders is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-00913-1DOI Listing
October 2020

Major Depressive Disorder and gut microbiota - Association not causation. A scoping review.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2021 Mar 23;106:110111. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Broniewskiego 26, 71-460 Szczecin, Poland. Electronic address:

One very promising hypothesis of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) pathogenesis is the gut-brain axis (GBA) dysfunction, which can lead to subclinical inflammation, hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA) axis dysregulation, and altered neural, metabolic and endocrine pathways. One of the most important parts of GBA is gut microbiota, which was shown to regulate different functions in the central nervous system (CNS). The purpose of this scoping review was to present the current state of research on the relationship between MDD and gut microbiota and extract causal relationships. Further, we presented the relationship between the use of probiotics and antidepressants, and the microbiota changes. We evaluated the data from 27 studies aimed to investigate microbial fingerprints associated with depression phenotype. We abstracted data from 16 and 11 observational and clinical studies, respectively; the latter was divided into trials evaluating the effects of psychiatric treatment (n = 3) and probiotic intervention (n = 9) on the microbiome composition and function. In total, the data of 1187 individuals from observational studies were assessed. In clinical studies, there were 490 individuals analysed. In probiotic studies, 220 and 218 patients with MDD received the intervention and non-active study comparator, respectively. It was concluded that in MDD, the microbiota is altered. Although the mechanism of this relationship is unknown, we hypothesise that the taxonomic changes observed in patients with MDD are associated with bacterial proinflammatory activity, reduced Schort Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) production, impaired intestinal barrier integrity and neurotransmitter production, impaired carbohydrates, tryptophane and glutamate metabolic pathways. However, only in few publications this effect was confirmed by metagenomic, metabolomic analysis, or by assessment of immunological parameters or intestinal permeability markers. Future research requires standardisation process starting from patient selection, material collection, DNA sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis. We did not observe whether antidepressive medications influence on gut microbiota, but the use of psychobiotics in patients with MDD has great prospects; however, this procedure requires also standardisation and thorough mechanistic research. The microbiota should be treated as an environmental element, which considers the aetiopathogenesis of the disease and provides new possibilities for monitoring and treating patients with MDD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110111DOI Listing
March 2021

Analysis of gut microbiota and intestinal integrity markers of inpatients with major depressive disorder.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2021 Mar 19;106:110076. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Broniewskiego 26, 71-460 Szczecin, Poland. Electronic address:

Previous studies have reported on the relationship between gut microbiota and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, there remain gaps in literature concerning the role of the intestinal barrier and microflora in the pathogenesis of depression. This study analyzes the potential causative relationship between gut microbiota and inflammatory and gut integrity markers and clinical symptoms in inpatients with depressive episodes. Sixteen inpatients (50% females) being treated with escitalopram (5-20 mg daily) in standardized conditions were included in the study. The composition of fecal microbiota was evaluated at baseline and endpoint using 16S rRNA sequencing. A significant correlation between depression severity was found, as measured with HDRS24 (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-24 item), and the following abundance in bacteria: positive correlation with Paraprevotella (r = 0.80, q = 0.012), strong, negative correlations with Clostridiales (r = -0.70, q = 0.016), Clostridia (r = -0.71, q = 0.026), Firmicutes (r = -0.67. q = 0.032), and the RF32 order (r = -0.70, p = 0.016) in the Alphaproteobacteria (r = -0.66, q = 0.031). After six weeks of treatment, clinical outcomes were found to have a negative correlation with levels of plasma intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (IFABP) at the beginning of the study. Still they had a positive correlation with changes in fecal calprotectin during hospitalization. In conclusion, gut microbiota was associated with the severity of depressive symptoms. However, these findings do not serve as predictors of symptomatic improvement during antidepressant treatment in inpatient treatment for MDD. In turn, intestinal integrity and inflammation markers were associated with the response to treatment of patients with MDD and symptom severity. Additional studies are needed to confirm and extend these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110076DOI Listing
March 2021

Mental Health of Medical and Non-Medical Professionals during the Peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Nationwide Study.

J Clin Med 2020 Aug 5;9(8). Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Pasteura 10 Str., 50-367 Wroclaw, Poland.

Background: The study aimed to compare psychopathological expressions during the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, as declared on March 11th 2020 by the World Health Organization, with respect to which institutional variables might distinguish the impact of COVID-19 in medical and non-medical professionals.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed nationwide between 16th March and the 26th April 2020 in Poland. A total of 2039 respondents representing all healthcare providers (59.8%) as well as other professionals filled in the sociodemographic section, the General Health Questionnaire-28 and the author's questionnaire with questions related to exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, the availability of protective measures, quarantine, change of working hours and place of employment during the pandemic, as well as feelings associated with the state of the pandemic.

Results: Medical professionals more often presented with relevant psychopathological symptoms (GHQ-28 (General Health Questionnaire-28) total score >24) than the non-medical group (60.8% vs. 48.0%, respectively) such as anxiety, insomnia and somatic symptoms even after adjustment for potential confounding factors. Male sex, older age and appropriate protective equipment were associated with significantly lower GHQ-28 total scores in medical professionals, whereas among non-medical professionals, male sex was associated with significantly lower GHQ-28 total scores.

Conclusions: Somatic and anxiety symptoms as well as insomnia are more prevalent among medical staff than workers in other professions. Targeting the determinants of these differences should be included in interventions aimed at restoring psychological well-being in this specific population. Apparently, there are present gender differences in psychological responses that are independent of profession.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9082527DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7463597PMC
August 2020

Glucose homeostasis in unaffected first-degree relatives of schizophrenia patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Schizophr Res 2020 Sep 29;223:2-8. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Department of Nervous System Diseases, Wroclaw Medical University, Bartla 5 Street, 51-618 Wroclaw, Poland.

It has been proposed that type 2 diabetes and schizophrenia-spectrum disorders share overlapping genetic backgrounds. Therefore, we aimed to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies comparing fasting levels of glucose and insulin, the Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR), glucose levels during the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and the levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia and controls. Online searches covered the publication period from database inception until May 8th 2020. Meta-analyses were performed using random-effects models with Hedges' g as the effect size estimate. Out of 2556 records identified, 12 studies representing 672 relatives of schizophrenia patients and 6446 controls were found to be eligible. There were no significant differences in fasting levels of glucose (g = 0.54, 95%CI = -0.26 to 1.35, p = 0.188) and insulin (g = 0.07, 95%CI = -0.14 to 0.29, p = 0.491), HOMA-IR (g = 0.12, 95%CI = -0.19 to 0.43, p = 0.433), and the levels of HbA1c (g = 0.38, 95%CI = -0.02 to 0.77, p = 0.061) between relatives of schizophrenia patients and controls. Two studies demonstrated significantly higher 2-hour glucose levels during OGTT in relatives of patients with schizophrenia (g = 0.90, 95%CI = 0.49 to 1.31, p < 0.001). Our findings do not support the hypothesis that familial liability to psychosis is related to altered fasting parameters of glucose homeostasis. However, this population might show impaired glucose tolerance. More studies are needed to confirm these observations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2020.07.011DOI Listing
September 2020

The SARS-CoV-2 and mental health: From biological mechanisms to social consequences.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2021 01 28;104:110046. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Wybrzeże Ludwika Pasteura 10, 50-367 Wrocław, Poland. Electronic address:

In December 2019, the first case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19) infection was reported. In only few weeks it has caused a global pandemic, with mortality reaching 3.4%, mostly due to a severe pneumonia. However, the impact of SARS-CoV-2 virus on the central nervous system (CNS) and mental health outcomes remains unclear. Previous studies have demonstrated the presence of other types of coronaviruses in the brain, especially in the brainstem. There is evidence that the novel coronavirus can penetrate CNS through the olfactory or circulatory route as well as it can have an indirect impact on the brain by causing cytokine storm. There are also first reports of neurological signs in patients infected by the SARS-Cov-2. They show that COVID-19 patients have neurologic manifestations like acute cerebrovascular disease, conscious disturbance, taste and olfactory disturbances. In addition, there are studies showing that certain psychopathological symptoms might appear in infected patients, including those related to mood and psychotic disorders as well as post-traumatic stress disorder. Accumulating evidence also indicates that the pandemic might have a great impact on mental health from the global perspective, with medical workers being particularly vulnerable. In this article, we provide a review of studies investigating the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 on the CNS and mental health outcomes. We describe neurobiology of the virus, highlighting the relevance to mental disorders. Furthermore, this article summarizes the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 from the public health perspective. Finally, we present a critical appraisal of evidence and indicate future directions for studies in this field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7384993PMC
January 2021

Gut microbiota in dementia. Critical review of novel findings and their potential application.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2021 Jan 17;104:110039. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Pasteura 10, 50-368 Wroclaw, Poland.

There is a great deal of impetus for the comprehensive understanding of the complete pathological function, genetic information, and functional diversity of the gut microbiota that favors the development of dementia. It has been reported that patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease present with several metabolic and immune-inflammatory alterations. The recently highlighted aspects of human health linked to cognitive decline include insulin-resistance, obesity, and chronic low-grade inflammation. Gut microbiota is known to produce neurotransmitters, such as GABA, acetylcholine, dopamine or serotonin, vitamins, intestinal toxins, and modulate nerve signaling - with emphasis on the vagus nerve. Additionally, gut dysbiosis results in impaired synthesis of signaling proteins affecting metabolic processes relevant to the development of Alzheimer's disease. Due to numerous links of gut microbiota to crucial metabolic and inflammatory pathways, attempts aimed at correcting the gut microflora composition may affect dementia pathology in a pleiotropic manner. Taking advantage of the metabolic effects of cold exposure on organisms by the introduction of whole-body cryostimulation in dementia patients could lead to alterations in gut microbiota and, therefore, decrease of an inflammatory response and insulin resistance, which remain one of the critical metabolic features of dementia. Further studies are needed in order to explore the potential application of recent findings and ways of achieving the desired goals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110039DOI Listing
January 2021

Analysis of global gene expression at seven brain regions of patients with schizophrenia.

Schizophr Res 2020 09 4;223:119-127. Epub 2020 Jul 4.

Department of Genetics, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland. Electronic address:

Previous transcriptome analyses of brain samples provided several insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. In this study, we aimed to re-investigate gene expression datasets from seven brain regions of patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls by adopting a unified approach. After adjustment for confounding factors, we detected gene expression changes in 2 out of 7 brain regions - the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and parietal cortex (PC). We found relatively small effect sizes, not exceeding absolute log fold changes of 1. Gene-set enrichment analysis revealed the following alterations: 1) down-regulation of GABAergic signaling (in DLPFC and PC); 2) up-regulation of interleukin-23 signaling together with up-regulation of transcription mediated by RUNX1 and RUNX3 as well as down-regulation of RUNX2 signaling (in DLPFC) and 3) up-regulation of genes associated with responses to metal ions and RUNX1 signaling (PC). The number of neurons was significantly lower and the number of astrocytes was significantly higher at both brain regions. In turn, the index of microglia was increased in DLPFC and decreased in PC. Finally, our unsupervised analysis demonstrated that cellular composition of the samples was a major confounding factor in the analysis of gene expression across all datasets. In conclusion, our analysis provides further evidence that small but significant changes in the expression of genes related to GABAergic signaling, brain development, neuroinflammation and responses to metal ions might be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Cell sorting techniques need to be used by future studies to dissect the effect of cellular content.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2020.06.032DOI Listing
September 2020

Markers of Regenerative Processes in Patients with Bipolar Disorder: A Case-control Study.

Brain Sci 2020 Jun 30;10(7). Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian University of Medicine, 71-460 Szczecin, Poland.

Progress in medical science has allowed the discovery of many factors affecting the pathogenesis of bipolar disorder, and among the most recent research directions are found regenerative and inflammatory processes. The role of regenerative processes remains particularly poorly explored, but available data encourage further research, which may explain the pathogenesis of bipolar disorder (BD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the mobilization of stem cells into peripheral blood, in patients with bipolar disorder during stable phase, not treated with lithium salts. The study included 30 unrelated individuals with the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, with disease duration of at least 10 years, not treated with lithium salts for at least five years prior to the study. The control group consisted of 30 healthy subjects, matched for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), origin, socio-demographic factors and nicotine use. Blood samples underwent cytometric analyses to assess concentrations of: Very Small Embryonic Like (VSEL) CD34+, VSEL AC133+, HSC CD34+, HSC AC133+. There were no significant differences in stem cell levels between patients with BD and healthy controls. However, the level of VSEL cells AC133 + was significantly higher in type I BD patients compared to healthy controls. Our results indicate a disturbance in regenerative processes in patients with bipolar disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10070408DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7408571PMC
June 2020

Association between DRD2 and ANKK1 polymorphisms with the deficit syndrome in schizophrenia.

Ann Gen Psychiatry 2020 17;19:39. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University, 26 Broniewskiego Street, 71-460 Szczecin, Poland.

Background: The clinical course of schizophrenia varies among patients and is difficult to predict. Some patient populations present persistent negative symptoms, referred to as the deficit syndrome. Compared to relatives of non-deficit schizophrenia patients, family members of this patient population are at an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to search for genetic underpinnings of the deficit syndrome in schizophrenia.

Methods: Three SNPs, i.e., rs1799732 and rs6276 located within DRD2, and rs1800497 within ANKK1, were identified in the DNA samples of 198 schizophrenia probands, including 103 patients with deficit (DS) and 95 patients with non-deficit schizophrenia (NDS). Results: No significant differences concerning any of the analyzed polymorphisms were found between DS and NDS patients. However, significant links were observed between family history of schizophrenia and the deficit syndrome, G/G genotype and rs6276 G allele. In a separate analysis, we identified significant differences in frequencies of rs6276 G allele between DS and NDS patients with family history of schizophrenia. No significant associations were found between DRD2 and ANKK1 SNPs and the age of onset or schizophrenia symptom severity.

Conclusions: The results of our preliminary study fail to provide evidence of associations between DRD2 and ANKK1 polymorphisms with the deficit syndrome or schizophrenia symptom severity, but suggest potential links between rs6276 in DRD2 and the deficit syndrome in patients with hereditary susceptibility to schizophrenia. However, further studies are necessary to confirm this observation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12991-020-00289-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7302002PMC
June 2020

Assessment of Appetite-Regulating Hormones Provides Further Evidence of Altered Adipoinsular Axis in Early Psychosis.

Front Psychiatry 2020 29;11:480. Epub 2020 May 29.

Department of Genetics, Wroclaw Medical University, Wrocław, Poland.

It has been found that antipsychotic-naïve patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) present with impaired hormonal regulation of appetite in terms of low leptin and high insulin levels (the adipoinsular axis). These findings imply that certain intrinsic mechanisms might play a role in the development of metabolic dysregulation in early psychosis. However, clinical correlates of this phenomenon remain unknown. Moreover, these alterations have not been tested in individuals at familial high risk of psychosis (FHR-P). In this study we aimed to assess the levels of adiponectin, insulin, leptin, glucose, total cholesterol, lipoproteins and triglycerides in FEP patients, unaffected offspring of schizophrenia patients (FHR-P individuals) and healthy controls (HCs) with respect to cognitive performance and psychopathological manifestation. Participants were 35 FEP patients, 33 FHR-P individuals, and 32 HCs. Cognitive performance was assessed using the Repeatable Battery for Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). The levels of leptin and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) were significantly lower (leptin: 10.7 ± 15.7 vs. 12.6 ± 10.1, p = 0.046, and HDL: 48.0 ± 16.9 vs. 59.8 ± 17.5 mg/dl, p = 0.007), while the levels of triglycerides and insulin were significantly higher (triglycerides: 137.4 ± 58.8 vs. 77.5 ± 33.2 mg/dl, p < 0.001, and insulin: 15.2 ± 13.1 vs. 9.6 ± 5.0 µIU/ml, p = 0.023) in FEP patients compared to HCs. These differences were significant after controlling for the effects of potential confounding factors. No significant differences in the levels of serum markers between FHR-P individuals and HCs were found. There was a significant negative correlation between the level of leptin and the RBANS language score after covarying for potential confounding factors in FEP patients (B = -0.226, p = 0.006) but not in other subgroups of participants. Our findings confirm impairment of adipoinsular axis in early psychosis. However, results of our study do not support the hypothesis that familial liability to psychosis might be associated with metabolic dysregulation. Leptin levels might be associated with cognitive deficits in FEP patients. Longitudinal studies of individuals at risk of psychosis are needed to provide insights into causal mechanisms underlying our results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00480DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7273873PMC
May 2020

Impaired hormonal regulation of appetite in schizophrenia: A narrative review dissecting intrinsic mechanisms and the effects of antipsychotics.

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2020 09 5;119:104744. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

Department of Genetics, Wroclaw Medical University, Marcinkowskiego 1 Street, 50-368 Wroclaw, Poland. Electronic address:

Cardiometabolic diseases are the main contributor of reduced life expectancy in patients with schizophrenia. It is now widely accepted that antipsychotic treatment plays an important role in the development of obesity and its consequences. However, some intrinsic mechanisms need to be taken into consideration. One of these mechanisms might be related to impaired hormonal regulation of appetite in this group of patients. In this narrative review, we aimed to dissect impairments of appetite-regulating hormones attributable to intrinsic mechanisms and those related to medication effects. Early hormonal alterations that might be associated with intrinsic mechanisms include low levels of leptin and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) together with elevated insulin levels in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients. However, evidence regarding low GLP-1 levels in FEP patients is based on one large study. In turn, multiple-episode schizophrenia patients show elevated levels of insulin, leptin and orexin A together with decreased levels of adiponectin. In addition, patients receiving olanzapine may present with low ghrelin levels. Post mortem studies have also demonstrated reduced number of neuropeptide Y neurons in the prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophrenia. Treatment with certain second-generation antipsychotics may also point to these alterations. Although our understanding of hormonal regulation of appetite in schizophrenia has largely been improved, several limitations and directions for future studies need to be addressed. This is of particular importance since several novel pharmacological interventions for obesity and diabetes have already been developed and translation of these developments to the treatment of cardiometabolic comorbidities in schizophrenia patients is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2020.104744DOI Listing
September 2020

A pro-inflammatory phenotype is associated with behavioural traits in children with Prader-Willi syndrome.

Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2020 Jun 3. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Department of Genetics, Wroclaw Medical University, 1 Marcinkowski Street, 50-368, Wroclaw, Poland.

Several lines of evidence indicate that immune-inflammatory alterations are widely observed in various mental disorders. Genetic syndromes with high risk of psychiatric disorders may constitute a model for studies investigating this phenomenon. One of such genetically determined neurodevelopmental disorders is the Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Therefore, we aimed to profile a broad panel of immune-inflammatory markers in patients with PWS, taking into account co-morbid psychopathology. Participants were 20 children with PWS, and 20 healthy children matched for age, sex and body mass index. Behavioural symptoms and co-occurring psychopathological symptoms were assessed using the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL). We found significantly elevated levels of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-13 in patients with PWS. There were significant positive correlations between the levels of IL-1β and scores of the following externalizing and internalizing CBCL domains: withdrawn/depressed, social problems, thought problems, attention problems, delinquent and aggressive behaviour in PWS children. Moreover, higher levels of IL-13 were associated with more severe psychopathology in terms of social and attention problems as well as delinquent and aggressive behaviour. Our findings imply that subclinical inflammation, observed as elevated IL-1β and IL-13 levels, appears only in PWS patients and is correlated to several psychopathological symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00787-020-01568-7DOI Listing
June 2020

The relationship between cingulum bundle integrity and different aspects of executive functions in chronic schizophrenia.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2020 08 29;102:109955. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland. Electronic address:

Background: Evidence suggests that disruption in the cingulum bundle (CB) may influence executive dysfunctions in schizophrenia, but findings are still inconsistent. Using diffusion tensor imaging tractography, we investigated the differences in fiber integrity between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls together with the association between fiber integrity and executive functions.

Methods: Thirty-two patients with chronic schizophrenia and 24 healthy controls took part in the study. Both groups were matched for age, sex, and years of education. Assessment of cognitive functions was performed using the Berg Card Sorting Test (BCST), the Color Trail Test (CTT), and the Stroop Color-Word Test (SCWT).

Results: Results showed group differences, bilaterally (left and right) in fractional anisotropy (FA) of the CB, where patients showed less anisotropy than controls. Moreover, normal asymmetry (left FA > right FA) in the CB in schizophrenia was found. There were no group differences in mean diffusivity (MD). Patients had a similar but reduced profile of executive functions compared to healthy controls. However, when premorbid IQ was controlled for, the differences were no longer statistically significant. In schizophrenia patients, a negative correlation was found between FA of the left CB and perseverative errors in the BCST.

Conclusions: These findings provide evidence that CB disruption appears in schizophrenia patients and might account for impairments of executive processes, including concept formation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.109955DOI Listing
August 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak and Google searches: Is it really the time to worry about global mental health?

Brain Behav Immun 2020 07 29;87:126-127. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Pasteura 10 Street, 50-367 Wroclaw, Poland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2020.04.083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7189861PMC
July 2020