Open Access Short Research Article

Emotional Difficulties in Adolescence: Psychopathology and Family Interactions

M. Gatta, A. Simonelli, L. Sudati, M. Sisti, L. Svanellini, M. Stucchi, A. Spoto, P. A. Battistella

International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal, Page 47-54
DOI: 10.9734/INDJ/2015/17789

Introduction: Several studies on developmental age have investigated aspects relating to emotional competence, and alexithymia in particular, showing that it is associated with behavioral problems in childhood and adolescence.

Some such research has focused on the relationship between emotional difficulties and family interactions assuming a link between the quality of family relationships and a child’s emotional competence.

Subjects and Methods: The aims of the present study were: 1) to compare a group of psychiatric adolescents with a group of “healthy” adolescents in terms of any alexithymia and its relationship with the former’s psychopathological issues; 2) to clarify the relationship, if any, between psychopathology, alexithymia and family interaction patterns in our sample of psychiatric adolescents. The experimental group consisted of 41 psychiatric adolescents and the control group of 41 students matched for gender and age. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) was used to identify any alexithymic traits, the Youth Self Report (YSR) 11-18 and the CBCL to detect any psycho-behavioral problems, and the Lausanne Trilogue Play (LTP) to analyze family interactions.

Results: There was a higher prevalence of alexithymia among the adolescents with mental health problems than in the control group, and a correlation between their scores for internalizing problems and alexithymia. In the experimental group, adolescents with internalizing problems, somatic complaints and attention difficulties belonged to families revealing high levels of parental conflict. As for alexithymia, adolescents’ difficulty identifying emotions correlated significantly with the same trait in their mothers. This feature also seemed to be associated with better family interactions.

Conclusion: Our study confirms the importance of family relationships in the development of emotional skills, and highlights how deficiencies in the development of emotional competence are strongly associated with psychopathologies in adolescence. In the light of these findings, it is advisable in clinical practice to provide psychotherapeutic interventions for teens and their parents.


Open Access Minireview Article

The Aquaporins: Regulator for Brain Pathophysiology

Nilofar Khan, Neetu Kushwah, Dipti Prasad

International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal, Page 29-37
DOI: 10.9734/INDJ/2015/17580

Water transport is a fundamental process contributing to human physiology and pathophysiology. Water is primarily needed for all cell types but the water does not sit in the cells it moves through in very organized way. This process of movement is occurring through aquaporins. Aquaporins (AQPs) are expressed in tissues in which edema and fluid imbalances are of major concern. Three major water-channel proteins (AQP1, AQP4, AQP9) are expressed in brain. Potential roles of AQPs in brain are water homeostasis, edema, angiogenesis, cell migration and development. Beside their physiological expression patterns in the brain, AQPs are abnormally expressed in some pathological conditions e.g. cancer, neuroinflammatory diseases and neurodegenerative diseases, in which preservation of brain homeostasis is at risk. In mammalian brain, AQP4 water channels are localised in astroglial cells at the blood-brain-barrier interface; AQP1 channels are expressed in choroid plexus and serve in cerebral spinal fluid secretion. Some of glial cells and neurons also show the expression of AQPs though the function is still not known. These aquaporins being integral membrane proteins have an important role in various neurodegenerative diseases, thereby signifying their therapeutic importance. Furthermore the enhanced expression of AQP4 increases the water permeability of blood vessels which could be an important aspect for understanding the ill effects of hypoxia. Research in this field has significantly in last few years, and the review focuses on functional roles of AQPs in brain related to physiology and pathophysiology.

Open Access Original Research Article

Correlations between the Serum Antibody Levels to Herpes Family Viruses and Multi-parametric Immunity Characteristics with Clinical Symptoms in Episodic Remittent form of Paranoid Schizophrenia

Vera A. Orlova, Irina I. Mikhailova, Vitalij L. Minutko, Irina N. Malisheva

International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/INDJ/2015/16029

Background: Recent etiological studies for schizophrenia have been focused on the herpes family viruses. The majority of these studies were aimed at detection of increased specific antibodies level. An important aspect of systemic immunological changes associated with infection by these viruses and clinical symptoms of schizophrenia has not been investigated.

The Goal of Investigation Was: to study the relationships of acute episodes of remittent paranoid schizophrenia and herpes virus infection (herpes simplex virus type 1 - HSV-1, herpes simplex virus type 2 - HSV-2, cytomegalovirus -CMV and Epstein-Barr virus -EBV) including the analysis of the correlations of clinical symptoms with serum antibody levels and multiparametric immunity characteristics.

Materials and Methods: 32 patients with paranoid schizophrenia (episodic remittent form) (F 20.03 by ICD-10) in acute psychotic state were examined. The controls included 15 healthy subjects comparable by the age and sex without mental diseases and visible symptoms of somatic pathology. Using immunological methods we determined the leukocyte content, the lymphocyte subpopulations and the leukocyte phagocytosis in «PHAGOTEST» ("EXBIO Praha", Czech Republic) with fluorescein (FITC)-labeled opsonized bacteria and calculated the phagocytic index (PhI), the circulating immune complexes (CIC) level by spectrophotometry. Total serum immunoglobulins (IgG and IgM as well as IgA) were determined by immunoturbidimetry. The antibodies against herpes viruses (both IgG and IgM) were determined using the ELISA test. Clinical psychiatric examinations, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) were used for the clinical symptoms assessment. Statistic analysis included U Test (Mann-Whitney). Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was also used.

Results: The maximal number of patients demonstrated the positive reaction for IgG to EBV (96%), HSV-1 (81%) and CMV (31%). The levels of IgM to all studied herpes viruses differed from 0.Only Ig M titers to all studied viruses significantly exceeded corresponding titers in patients in comparison with studied controls. The pattern of changes of immune parameters in controls differed from that in patients. The level of Ig M to HSV-2 was correlated with the unfolded reaction involving the humoral, cellular and phagocytic immunity and occurrence of clinical symptoms as "somatic concerns" (provisionally designated "hypochondriac" complex). Correlation of the content of Ig M to HSV-2 with immune reaction in the form of antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity was associated with deployed anxiety-depressive syndrome ("affective" complex). Correlation of Ig M to HSV-2 with a comprehensive reaction cell immunity, collectively with acute immune response to EBV revealed conjugacy with the formation of a psychotic state. R varied from 0,37 to 0,86 (p<0,05). Acute infectious process unfolds in the network of a mixed herpetic infection, associated of   HSV-1and CMV. The last one is outstanding due to significantly higher level of IgM in patients compared with controls for both viruses and high frequency of seropositive cases for HSV-1.

Discussion: The results have demonstrated pathogenesis lines virus - immune response – psychopathology. They suppose an acute infectious process caused by HSV- 2, with the support of EBV as an important pathogenetic stage of development of psychotic episodes of remittent schizophrenia.


Open Access Original Research Article

MAO-B Activity in Platelets and the MAO-B Gene Polymorphism are Differently Related to Personality Traits in Alcohol Dependent Patients

P. Netter, M. Y. Baars, J. Harro, M. Reuter, C. Montag, D. Eensoo, M. J. Müller, B. Gallhofer

International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal, Page 14-28
DOI: 10.9734/INDJ/2015/17427

Aims: Since monamine oxidase B (MAO-B) platelet activity has been found to be associated with impulsivity, aggression, sensation seeking, and alcoholism, the main goal of the current study to be investigated is the question, if similar associations can be found with the polymorphism rs1799836 of the MAO B gene coding for activity of the enzyme MAO B.

Study Design: The study was an experimental group comparison.

Place and Duration of Study: It was carried out at the Psychiatric Giessen University Clinic, the Psychiatric Vitos Clinic and two outpatient psychotherapy treatment centers at the city of Giessen, Germany, between September 2010 and July 2011. Laboratory analyses were only completed in 2012 /2013

Methodology: 60 male alcohol dependent patients aged 27 to 68 years were tested individually after detoxification in hospital and subsequent withdrawal. Tests were questionnaires on alcohol history and personality scales (aggression, impulsivity and sensation seeking) followed by a computer test measuring impulsive premature responding and reaction time. In addition, blood samples for determination of platelet MAO B activity and genotyping of the MAO B gene were drawn.

Results: Analyses of covariance using genotypes and classes of enzyme activity as independent factors and controlling for age and smoking revealed that the genetic disposition and MAO B activity were not related.(means of MAO B levels, genotype A vs G:  P = .228). However, genotype G participants exhibited shorter reaction times (P =.045) and higher aggression scores (P = .043) than A, while genotype A scored higher on experience seeking P= .016) than G. High MAO-B platelet levels were associated with high motor impulsivity (P = .017), but only in genotype A with attentional impulsivity. (interaction: P = .031)

Conclusion: The MAO B gene is newly detected to be relevant to personality but is probably not  related to MAO B activity .Results are discussed as possibly resulting from different dopamine levels mediated by differences in genotype effects on MAO-B brain activity.


Open Access Original Research Article

Gender Differences, Personality Traits and Mental Health among Secondary School Adolescents in Enugu, South East Nigeria

Friday E. Okwaraji, Emmanuel N. Aguwa, Godwin C. Onyebueke, Chioma Shiweobi-Eze

International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal, Page 38-46
DOI: 10.9734/INDJ/2015/17998

Background: Our thinking, feelings and behaviour as well as our unique individuality can contribute a lot to our mental health. Furthermore based on personality traits it has been argued that some people may be more prone to mental health problems than others. Adolescents are generally perceived as a healthy age group but reports revealed that in spite of this as many as 20% of them in any given year experience mental health problems.

Objective: This study assessed gender differences, personality traits and mental health among secondary school adolescents in Enugu, south east Nigeria.

Study Design: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study design.

Place and Duration of Study: Enugu, south east Nigeria, between October-December 2014.

Methods: The general Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), the Big Five Personality inventory and a socio-demographic questionnaire were used to assess 432 secondary school adolescents (216 males and 216 females) in Enugu for prevalence of personality traits and mental health.

Results: The prevalence of personality traits varied among the subjects with neuroticism being the most prevalent (22.9%), while extraversion was the least prevalent (16.9%). The study further revealed that mental health problem was present in 23.6% of the subjects.

Conclusion: The study had revealed the prevalence of various personality traits and mental health problems among secondary school adolescents who took part in the study. It is recommended that adolescent counselling and regular personality assessment in schools be introduced.