Publications by authors named "N A Sedghi"

7 Publications

Brain predictive coding processes are associated to COMT gene Val158Met polymorphism.

Neuroimage 2021 06 11;233:117954. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Center for Music in the Brain, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University & The Royal Academy of Music Aarhus/Aalborg, Denmark; Department of Education, Psychology, Communication, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy.

Predicting events in the ever-changing environment is a fundamental survival function intrinsic to the physiology of sensory systems, whose efficiency varies among the population. Even though it is established that a major source of such variations is genetic heritage, there are no studies tracking down auditory predicting processes to genetic mutations. Thus, we examined the neurophysiological responses to deviant stimuli recorded with magnetoencephalography (MEG) in 108 healthy participants carrying different variants of Val158Met single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, responsible for the majority of catecholamines degradation in the prefrontal cortex. Our results showed significant amplitude enhancement of prediction error responses originating from the inferior frontal gyrus, superior and middle temporal cortices in heterozygous genotype carriers (Val/Met) vs homozygous (Val/Val and Met/Met) carriers. Integrating neurophysiology and genetics, this study shows how the neural mechanisms underlying optimal deviant detection vary according to the gene-determined cathecolamine levels in the brain.
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June 2021

Dignity-related existential distress in end-of-life cancer patients: Prevalence, underlying factors, and associated coping strategies.

Psychooncology 2018 11 24;27(11):2631-2637. Epub 2018 Sep 24.

Psycho-Oncology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, University of Turin, "Città della Salute e della Scienza" Hospital, Turin, Italy.

Objective: Cancer patients often have to face increasing levels of existential distress (ED) during disease progression, especially when nearing death. This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the prevalence of the dignity-related existential distress (DR-ED) in a sample of end-of-life cancer patients, and to explore the "existential distress" Patient Dignity Inventory (PDI-IT) subscale internal structure and its associations with different coping strategies.

Methods: Two hundred seven cancer inpatients with a Karnofsky Performance Status ≤50 and a life expectancy of 4 months or less have been examined with the following self-report measures: PDI-IT, Demoralization Scale (DS-IT) and Brief Coping Orientation to Problem Experienced (Brief-COPE). The existential distress PDI-IT subscale factor structure was explored through principal component analysis, and the DR-ED associations with the other considered variables were examined through X tests, MANOVA, and multivariate regression analysis.

Results: Dignity-related existential distress was a problem/major problem for 18.8% of the patients, especially for the younger (F(1, 205) = 3.40; P = 0.020) and more demoralized (F(1, 205) = 20.36; P < 0.001) individuals. Factor analysis supported 2 dimensions labeled "self-discontinuity" and "loss of personal autonomy," accounting for 58% of the variance. Positive reframing (β = -0.146, P < 0.05) and self-blame (β = 0.247, P < 0.001) coping styles emerged as DR-ED significant predictors.

Conclusions: This study showed how DR-ED is a relevant problem for patients nearing death and furthermore highlighted 2 underlying factors. Finally, the research has shown that positive reframing and self-blame coping styles might be clinically relevant elements for interventions on ED.
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November 2018

Dignity in cancer patients with a life expectancy of a few weeks. Implementation of the factor structure of the Patient Dignity Inventory and dignity assessment for a patient-centered clinical intervention: A cross-sectional study.

Palliat Support Care 2018 12 7;16(6):648-655. Epub 2018 Feb 7.

Psycho-Oncology Unit, Department of Neuroscience,University of Turin,"Città della Salute e della Scienza" Hospital,Turin,Italy.

Objective: Hospice is a favored setting for dignity care. Studies on dignity dimension in end-of-life patients are growing. The Patient Dignity Inventory (PDI) is a tool that can lead to interesting information on dignity-related aspects of suffering. The study aimed to investigate dignity among end-of-life cancer patients, by examining the Italian version of the PDI factor structure and assessing the relationship between dignity and other patients' psychosocial and spiritual variables to improve a patient-centered clinical practice.

Method: This is a cross-sectional study. Data were collected using a battery of self-administered validated rating scales. The sample included 127 hospice patients with a life expectancy of a few weeks and a Karnofsky Performance Status ≤40. Factor structure and concurrent validity of PDI and correlations between dignity and anxious and depressive symptomatology, quality of life, demoralization, personal coping styles, spiritual well-being, and spiritual daily experience were analyzed.ResultFactor analysis highlighted a five-factor solution, accounting for 60% of the overall variance. The factors were labeled Psychological Distress, Social Support, Physical Symptoms and Dependency, Existential Distress, and Loss of Purpose/Meaning. Dignity assessment evidenced that self-blame coping style, emotional and physical well-being, and depression were the loss of dignity significant predictors (R2 = 0.605; p < 0.01).Significance of resultsThe results point out the intercultural validity of the PDI and empower an accurate detection of dignity-related distress sources in the daily clinical practice. Personality traits seem to have an active role in the loss of dignity, whereas spirituality is confirmed to be positively involved in dignity enhancement.
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December 2018

Vitamin D deficiency and its impact on asthma severity in asthmatic children.

Ital J Pediatr 2016 Dec 17;42(1):108. Epub 2016 Dec 17.

Pediatric Nephrology Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mofid Children's Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Despite obtaining evidences on association between vitamin D and development of lung in fetus, little is known about vitamin D level and its impact on severity of asthma in children. The present study aimed to assess the relationship between the asthma severity and vitamin D deficiency in asthmatic children.

Methods: This case-control study was conducted on 106 individuals including asthmatic (n = 53) and healthy children (n = 53) who referred to Mofid hospital in Tehran in 2013. The level of serum vitamin D in both groups was measured by radioimmunoassay method at the reference lab and was categorized as sufficient (> 30 ng/ml), insufficient (20 to 30 ng/ml), or deficient (< 20 ng/ml). The control status of asthma in patients group was classified as controlled, partially controlled, and uncontrolled.

Results: In the groups with and without asthma, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was 73.6 and 49.1%, and the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency was 18.9 and 18.9%, while normal vitamin D level was revealed in 7.5 and 32.1%, respectively with a significant difference (p = 0.005). Using the multivariate logistic regression analysis, the presence of asthma was associated with reduced level of vitamin D (OR = 1.068, 95% CI: 1.027-1.110, P = 0.001). In this context, the risk for asthma in the children with vitamin D deficiency was 6.3 times of those with normal vitamin D level. Although the presence of asthma was strongly associated with reduced level of vitamin D in serum, neither severity of asthma nor control status of asthma were associated with vitamin D deficiency.

Conclusion: The presence of vitamin D deficiency effectively predict increased risk for childhood asthma; however the severity or control status of this event may not be predicted by confirming vitamin D deficiency.
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December 2016

A survey of new temperature-sensitive, embryonic-lethal mutations in C. elegans: 24 alleles of thirteen genes.

PLoS One 2011 Mar 1;6(3):e16644. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

The Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, United States of America.

To study essential maternal gene requirements in the early C. elegans embryo, we have screened for temperature-sensitive, embryonic lethal mutations in an effort to bypass essential zygotic requirements for such genes during larval and adult germline development. With conditional alleles, multiple essential requirements can be examined by shifting at different times from the permissive temperature of 15°C to the restrictive temperature of 26°C. Here we describe 24 conditional mutations that affect 13 different loci and report the identity of the gene mutations responsible for the conditional lethality in 22 of the mutants. All but four are mis-sense mutations, with two mutations affecting splice sites, another creating an in-frame deletion, and one creating a premature stop codon. Almost all of the mis-sense mutations affect residues conserved in orthologs, and thus may be useful for engineering conditional mutations in other organisms. We find that 62% of the mutants display additional phenotypes when shifted to the restrictive temperature as L1 larvae, in addition to causing embryonic lethality after L4 upshifts. Remarkably, we also found that 13 out of the 24 mutations appear to be fast-acting, making them particularly useful for careful dissection of multiple essential requirements. Our findings highlight the value of C. elegans for identifying useful temperature-sensitive mutations in essential genes, and provide new insights into the requirements for some of the affected loci.
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March 2011