372 research outputs found

    Examination of the factor structure of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) among British and Trinidadian adults

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    Much debate in schizotypal research has centred on the factor structure of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ), with research variously showing higher-order dimensionality consisting of two to seven dimensions. In addition, cross-cultural support for the stability of those factors remains limited. Here, we examined the factor structure of the SPQ among British and Trinidadian adults. Participants from a White British sub-sample (n = 351) resident in the UK and from an African Caribbean sub-sample (n = 284) resident in Trinidad completed the SPQ. The higher-order factor structure of the SPQ was analysed through confirmatory factor analysis, followed by multiple-group analysis for the model of best-fit. Between-group differences for sex and ethnicity were investigated using multivariate analysis of variance in relation to the higher-order domains. The model of best-fit was the four-factor structure, which demonstrated measurement invariance across groups. Additionally, these data had an adequate fit for two alternative models: a) 3 factors and b) a modified 4-factor. The British sub-sample had significantly higher scores across all domains than the Trinidadian group, and men scored significantly higher on the disorganised domain than women. The four-factor structure received confirmatory support and, importantly, support for use with populations varying in ethnicity and culture

    Time Perception in First Year Undergraduates: Correlation with Stress, Anxiety and Depression

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    The transition from school to university is a period of intense change for young adults. For many, it means moving away from home for the first time, learning to manage many aspects of independent living that they’ve never had to do before, alongside integrating to a new social circle of friends and adapting to new more independent ways of studying. More students than ever are reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety, which is directly linked to their coping skills. One area often reported to cause difficulty is time management, which relies heavily on a person being able to make realistic cognitive judgements about time passing, which is crucial in planning study time and in particular working to assessment deadlines. Time management relies heavily on a person being able to make realistic cognitive judgements about time, an ability which can be measured experimentally. It is known that perception is different in people with depression and anxiety compared to healthy participants so here, we asked whether the cognitive ability to perceive temporal order, temporal bisection and prospective movement might be different in those students who are experiencing high stress levels. The level of stress experienced by a student was measured using the Undergraduate Student Questionnaire (Crandall et al, 1992), anxiety and depression were measured using the State Trait Anxiety Text and the Becks Depression Inventory, respectively. The study revealed a correlation between scores on the undergraduate stress questionnaire and prospective time estimations, which suggests that under stressful situations, students underestimate the time tasks will take, which could in turn impact their studies

    Dynamic and Static Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder After the First Episode

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    Abstract Few studies have comprehensively examined the profile of cognitive functioning in first episode psychosis patients throughout the lifespan, and from first episode to chronic stage. We assessed functioning in general and specific cognitive functions, comparing both schizophrenia (N = 64) and bipolar I (N = 19) patients to controls (N = 103). Participants were from a population-based, case-control study of first episode psychosis patients, who were followed prospectively up to 10 years post first admission. A cognitive battery was administered at baseline and follow-up. By combining longitudinal and cross-sectional data, we were able to examine the cognitive profile of patients and controls throughout the entire age range of our sample (16–65). Schizophrenia patients exhibited widespread declines in IQ, executive function, visual memory, language ability, and verbal knowledge. However, the ages at which these declines occurred differed between functions. Deficits in verbal memory, working memory, processing speed, and visuospatial ability, on the other hand, were present at the first episode, and remained relatively static thereafter. Bipolar I patients also showed declines in IQ, verbal knowledge, and language ability, albeit at different ages to schizophrenia patients and only in verbal functions. Deficits on measures of verbal memory, processing speed, and executive function remained relatively static. Thus, both schizophrenia and bipolar I patients experienced cognitive decline in general and specific functions after the first episode, but the age at which these declines occurred differed between disorder and function. Cognitive remediation efforts may be most fruitful when targeting individual functions during specific time periods throughout adulthood

    Incidence of schizophrenia and other psychoses in ethnic minority groups: results from the MRC AESOP Study

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    Background. The incidence of schizophrenia in the African-Caribbean population in England is reported to be raised. We sought to clarify whether (a) the rates of other psychotic disorders are increased, (b) whether psychosis is increased in other ethnic minority groups, and (c) whether particular age or gender groups are especially at risk. Method. We identified all people (n=568) aged 16-64 years presenting to secondary services with their first psychotic symptoms in three well-defined English areas (over a 2-year period in Southeast London and Nottingham and a 9-month period in Bristol). Standardized incidence rates and incidence rate ratios (IRR) for all major psychosis syndromes for all main ethnic groups were calculated. Results. We found remarkably high IRRs for both schizophrenia and manic psychosis in both African-Caribbeans (schizophrenia 9.1, manic psychosis 8.0) and Black Africans (schizophrenia 5.8, manic psychosis 6.2) in men and women. IRRs in other ethnic minority groups were modestly increased as were rates for depressive psychosis and other psychoses in all minority groups. These raised rates were evident in all age groups in our study. Conclusions. Ethnic minority groups are at increased risk for all psychotic illnesses but African- Caribbeans and Black Africans appear to be at especially high risk for both schizophrenia and mania. These findings suggest that (a) either additional risk factors are operating in African- Caribbeans and Black Africans or that these factors are particularly prevalent in these groups, and that (b) such factors increase risk for schizophrenia and mania in these groups

    Grey matter abnormalties in first episode schizophrenia and affective psychosis

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    Background: Grey matter and other structural brain abnormalities are consistently reported in first-onset schizophrenia, but less is known about the extent of neuroanatomical changes in first-onset affective psychosis. Aims: To determine which brain abnormalities are specific to (a) schizophrenia and (b) affective psychosis. Method: We obtained dual-echo (proton density/T2-weighted) MR images and carried out voxel-based analysis on the images of 73 first-episode psychosis patients (schizophrenia=44, affective psychosis=29) and 58 healthy controls. Results: Both patients with schizophrenia and patients with affective psychosis had enlarged lateral and third ventricle volumes. Regional cortical grey matter reductions (including bilateral anterior cingulate gyrus, left insula and left fusiform gyrus) were evident in affective psychosis but not in schizophrenia, although patients with schizophrenia displayed decreased hippocampal grey matter and increased striatal grey matter at a more liberal statistical threshold. Conclusions: Both schizophrenia and affective psychosis are associated with volumetric abnormalities at the onset of frank psychosis, with some of these evident in common brain areas

    Targeting HOX-PBX interactions causes death in oral potentially malignant and squamous carcinoma cells but not normal oral keratinocytes

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    YesBackground: High HOX gene expression has been described in many cancers, including oral squamous cell carcinoma and the functional roles of these genes are gradually being understood. The pattern of overexpression suggests that inhibition may be useful therapeutically. Inhibition of HOX protein binding to PBX cofactors by the use of synthetic peptides, such as HXR9, results in apoptosis in multiple cancers. Methods: Activity of the HOX-PBX inhibiting peptide HXR9 was tested in immortalised normal oral (NOK), potentially-malignant (PMOL) and squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells, compared to the inactive peptide CXR9. Cytotoxicity was assessed by LDH assay. Expression of PBX1/2 and c-Fos was assessed by qPCR and western blotting. Apoptosis was assessed by Annexin-V assay. Results: PMOL and OSCC cells expressed PBX1/2. HOX-PBX inhibition by HXR9 caused death of PMOL and OSCC cells, but not NOKs. HXR9 treatment resulted in apoptosis and increased expression of c-Fos in some cells, whereas CXR9 did not. A correlation was observed between HOX expression and resistance to HXR9. Conclusion: Inhibition of HOX-PBX interactions causes selective apoptosis of OSCC/PMOL, indicating selective toxicity that may be useful clinically.Intercalated Degree Scholarship from the Harry Bottom Trust; scholarship by Becas Chile, Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica de Chile (CONICYT), Grant 7216004

    Black-hole quasinormal modes and scalar glueballs in a finite-temperature AdS/QCD model

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    We use the holographic AdS/QCD soft-wall model to investigate the spectrum of scalar glueballs in a finite temperature plasma. In this model, glueballs are described by a massless scalar field in an AdS_5 black hole with a dilaton soft-wall background. Using AdS/CFT prescriptions, we compute the boundary retarded Green's function. The corresponding thermal spectral function shows quasiparticle peaks at low temperatures. We also compute the quasinormal modes of the scalar field in the soft-wall black hole geometry. The temperature and momentum dependences of these modes are analyzed. The positions and widths of the peaks of the spectral function are related to the frequencies of the quasinormal modes. Our numerical results are found employing the power series method and the computation of Breit-Wigner resonances.Comment: Revision: Results unchanged. More discussions on the model and on the results. References added. 28 pages, 7 figures, 5 table

    The role of HOX genes in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

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    Recent decades have witnessed the publication of numerous studies reporting alterations in the genome and transcriptome of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Currently, the utilisation of these alterations as biomarkers and targets for therapy are limited and new, useful molecular characteristics are being sought. Many of the published HNSCC gene expression profiles demonstrate alterations in the expression of HOX genes. These are a family of Homeobox containing genes which are involved in developmental patterning and morphogenesis in the embryo, and which are often aberrantly expressed in cancer. The 39 HOX genes found in the human genome are arranged in 4 paralogous groups at different chromosomal loci. These control a wide range of cellular processes, including proliferation and migration, which are relevant in the context of cancer development. In this review article we will outline the biology of HOX genes in relation to cancer and summarise the accumulating evidence for their role in the development of HNSCC and the possibility that they could be a therapeutic target in this malignancy. We will also identify areas where our current understanding is weak in order to focus future work and appraise the ongoing strategies for pharmacological intervention.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1600-07142017-04-30hb2016Oral Pathology and Oral Biolog

    Cohesin mutations alter DNA damage repair and chromatin structure and create therapeutic vulnerabilities in MDS/AML

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    The cohesin complex plays an essential role in chromosome maintenance and transcriptional regulation. Recurrent somatic mutations in the cohesin complex are frequent genetic drivers in cancer including myelodysplatic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Here, using genetic dependency screens of STAG2-mutant AML, we identified DNA damage repair and replication as genetic dependencies in cohesin-mutant cells. We demonstrated increased levels of DNA damage and sensitivity of cohesin-mutant cells to PARP inhibition. We developed a mouse model of MDS in which Stag2 mutations arise as clonal secondary lesions in the background of clonal hematopoiesis driven by Tet2 mutations, and demonstrated selective depletion of cohesin-mutant cells with PARP inhibition in vivo. Finally, we demonstrated a shift from STAG2- to STAG1-containing cohesin complexes in cohesin-mutant cells, which is associated with longer DNA loop extrusion, more intermixing of chromatin compartments, and increased interaction with PARP and RPA proteins. Our findings inform the biology and therapeutic opportunities for cohesin-mutant malignancies
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