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Dissociated Grey Matter Changes with Prolonged Addiction and Extended Abstinence in Cocaine Users  [PDF]
Colm G. Connolly, Ryan P. Bell, John J. Foxe, Hugh Garavan
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059645
Abstract: Extensive evidence indicates that current and recently abstinent cocaine abusers compared to drug-na?ve controls have decreased grey matter in regions such as the anterior cingulate, lateral prefrontal and insular cortex. Relatively little is known, however, about the persistence of these deficits in long-term abstinence despite the implications this has for recovery and relapse. Optimized voxel based morphometry was used to assess how local grey matter volume varies with years of drug use and length of abstinence in a cross-sectional study of cocaine users with various durations of abstinence (1–102 weeks) and years of use (0.3–24 years). Lower grey matter volume associated with years of use was observed for several regions including anterior cingulate, inferior frontal gyrus and insular cortex. Conversely, higher grey matter volumes associated with abstinence duration were seen in non-overlapping regions that included the anterior and posterior cingulate, insular, right ventral and left dorsal prefrontal cortex. Grey matter volumes in cocaine dependent individuals crossed those of drug-na?ve controls after 35 weeks of abstinence, with greater than normal volumes in users with longer abstinence. The brains of abstinent users are characterized by regional grey matter volumes, which on average, exceed drug-na?ve volumes in those users who have maintained abstinence for more than 35 weeks. The asymmetry between the regions showing alterations with extended years of use and prolonged abstinence suggest that recovery involves distinct neurobiological processes rather than being a reversal of disease-related changes. Specifically, the results suggest that regions critical to behavioral control may be important to prolonged, successful, abstinence.
Personality in the Big Five Model and maintaining abstinence after one year follow-up [Osobowo w Modelu Wielkiej Pi tki a utrzymywanie abstynencji od alkoholu przez rok od rozpocz cia leczenia]  [PDF]
B?tkowska-Korpa?a, Barbara
Psychiatria Polska , 2012,
Abstract: Aim. To compare Five-Factor personality traits in patients maintaining abstinence and relapsed patients (i.e. those who relapsed within a year after treatment), following eight weeks of in-house treatment and three months of out-patient treatment. Method. In longitudinal studies, a sample of 190 patients was analysed (49 females and 141 males; mean age: 43). The patients participated in therapeutic programmes at several addiction treatment centres across Poland. Personality traits were measured using the NEO PI-R inventory proposed by Costa and McCrae (adapted into Polish by Jerzy Siuta) at the initial stage of the treatment. Abstinence was assessed based on the interview. Results. As far as the main traits are concerned, abstinent patients have higher levels of Agreeableness and Conscientiousness than patients who relapsed within a year following the therapy. Moreover, they are characterised by higher levels of constituent traits: Straightforwardness, Ideas and Altruism, as well as higher levels of Order, Self-Discipline and Dutifulness. However, their levels of Hostility are lower compared to patients not maintaining abstinence. Conclusions. After one year follow-up, the group maintaining abstinence is characterised by a higher Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, which is beneficial for cooperation with others as well as undertaking and realising tasks. Moreover, lower constituent values of Neuroticism are linked to higher adaptability and greater therapy participation than in a relapsed group. An early identification of patients bearing traits linked to lower adaptability will decrease the possibility of relapse thanks to making a greater effort at enhancing treatment participation while paying special attention to any co-existing psychopathology.
Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire data on alcoholic violent offenders: specific connections to severe impulsive cluster B personality disorders and violent criminality
Roope Tikkanen, Matti Holi, Nina Lindberg, Matti Virkkunen
BMC Psychiatry , 2007, DOI: 10.1186/1471-244x-7-36
Abstract: The temperament structure of 114 alcoholic violent offenders with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) was compared to 84 offenders without ASPD, and 170 healthy controls. Inclusion occurred during a court-ordered mental examination preceded by homicide, assault, battery, rape or arson. Participants underwent assessment of temperament with the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) and were diagnosed with DSM-III-R criteria.The typical temperament profile in violent offender having ASPD comprised high novelty seeking, high harm avoidance, and low reward dependence. A 21% minority scored low in trait harm avoidance. Results, including the polarized harm avoidance dimension, are in accordance with Cloninger's hypothesis of dimensional description of ASPD. The low harm avoidance offenders committed less impulsive violence than high harm avoidance offenders. High harm avoidance was associated with comorbid antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.Results indicate that the DSM based ASPD diagnosis in alcoholic violent offenders associates with impulsiveness and high novelty seeking but comprises two different types of ASPD associated with distinct second-order traits that possibly explain differences in type of violent criminality. Low harm avoidance offenders have many traits in common with high scorers on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). Results link high harm avoidance with broad personality pathology and argue for the usefulness of self-report questionnaires in clinical praxis.The antisocial personality disorder diagnosis (ASPD) is frequent in prison populations [1], and prominent in assessment of violence. The validity of ASPD diagnosis, however, is unclear. The descriptive categorization criteria (present/absent) for ASPD were introduced in DSM-III [2]. Recently, Widiger and co-workers summed up personality disorder research and proposed a research agenda for the DSM-V that advocates replacing the current categori
Alcoholic liver disease  [cached]
Radan Bruha,Karel Dvorak,Jaromir Petrtyl
World Journal of Hepatology , 2012, DOI: 10.4254/wjh.v4.i3.81
Abstract: Alcohol use disorders affect millions of individuals worldwide. Alcohol consumption is directly associated with liver disease mortality and accounts for elevated social and economic costs. Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) may take the form of acute involvement (alcoholic hepatitis) or chronic liver disease (steatosis, steatohepatitis, fibrosis and cirrhosis). The severity and prognosis of alcohol-induced liver disease depends on the amount, pattern and duration of alcohol consumption, as well as on the presence of liver inflammation, diet, nutritional status and genetic predisposition of an individual. While steatosis is an almost completely benign disease, liver cirrhosis is associated with marked morbidity, mortality and life expectancy shortening. The median survival of patients with advanced cirrhosis is 1-2 years. Severe acute alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is associated with mortality as high as 50%. It has been managed with corticoids, pentoxifylline and enteral nutrition, although evidence based data are still conflicting. Some author suggest that pentoxifylline could be a better first-line treatment in patients with severe AH. Absolute abstinence is a basic condition for any treatment of acute or chronic ALD, the other therapeutical procedure being of a supportive nature and questionable significance. Acamprosate appears to be an effective treatment strategy for supporting continuous abstinence in alcohol dependent patients. Patients with advanced liver cirrhosis who demonstrably abstain can be considered for liver transplantation, which leads to a markedly prolonged life expectancy. The crucial step in ALD prevention is in the prevention of alcohol abuse, whereas the prevention of liver injury in active alcohol abusers is not clinically applicable.
Structural equivalence and the Neo-Pi-R: Implications for the applicability of the five-factor model of personality in an African context
Sumaya Laher
South African Journal of Industrial Psychology , 2008, DOI: 10.4102/sajip.v34i1.429
Abstract: The NEO-PI-R is one of the most widely used and researched operationalisations of the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality (McCrae & Allik, 2002, McCrae & Terraccianno, 2005). Considerable evidence exists in terms of its replicability across cultures leading researchers to conclude that the NEO-PI-R and by extension the FFM are universally applicable. This paper, by virtue of reviewing appropriate literature, argues that evidence for the structural equivalence of the NEO-PI-R, while appropriate in Western cultures, is lacking in non-Western, and specifically African cultures. This is discussed with particular reference to the existence of other factors which are not tapped by this model and which would merit further research.
Low Openness on the Revised NEO Personality Inventory as a Risk Factor for Treatment-Resistant Depression  [PDF]
Michio Takahashi, Yukihiko Shirayama, Katsumasa Muneoka, Masatoshi Suzuki, Koichi Sato, Kenji Hashimoto
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071964
Abstract: Background Recently, we reported that low reward dependence, and to a lesser extent, low cooperativeness in the Temperature and Character Inventory (TCI) may be risk factors for treatment-resistant depression. Here, we analyzed additional psychological traits in these patients. Methods We administered Costa and McCrae's five-factor model personality inventory, NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO-PI-R), to antidepressant-treatment resistant depressed patients (n = 35), remitted depressed patients (n = 27), and healthy controls (n = 66). We also evaluated the relationships between scores on NEO and TCI, using the same cohort of patients with treatment-resistant depression, as our previous study. Results Patients with treatment-resistant depression showed high scores for neuroticism, low scores for extraversion, openness and conscientiousness, without changes in agreeableness, on the NEO. However, patients in remitted depression showed no significant scores on NEO. Patients with treatment-resistant depression and low openness on NEO showed positive relationships with reward dependence and cooperativeness on the TCI. Conclusions Many studies have reported that depressed patients show high neuroticism, low extraversion and low conscientiousness on the NEO. Our study highlights low openness on the NEO, as a risk mediator in treatment-resistant depression. This newly identified trait should be included as a risk factor in treatment-resistant depression.
The Network Structure of Human Personality According to the NEO-PI-R: Matching Network Community Structure to Factor Structure  [PDF]
Rutger Goekoop, Jaap G. Goekoop, H. Steven Scholte
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051558
Abstract: Introduction Human personality is described preferentially in terms of factors (dimensions) found using factor analysis. An alternative and highly related method is network analysis, which may have several advantages over factor analytic methods. Aim To directly compare the ability of network community detection (NCD) and principal component factor analysis (PCA) to examine modularity in multidimensional datasets such as the neuroticism-extraversion-openness personality inventory revised (NEO-PI-R). Methods 434 healthy subjects were tested on the NEO-PI-R. PCA was performed to extract factor structures (FS) of the current dataset using both item scores and facet scores. Correlational network graphs were constructed from univariate correlation matrices of interactions between both items and facets. These networks were pruned in a link-by-link fashion while calculating the network community structure (NCS) of each resulting network using the Wakita Tsurumi clustering algorithm. NCSs were matched against FS and networks of best matches were kept for further analysis. Results At facet level, NCS showed a best match (96.2%) with a ‘confirmatory’ 5-FS. At item level, NCS showed a best match (80%) with the standard 5-FS and involved a total of 6 network clusters. Lesser matches were found with ‘confirmatory’ 5-FS and ‘exploratory’ 6-FS of the current dataset. Network analysis did not identify facets as a separate level of organization in between items and clusters. A small-world network structure was found in both item- and facet level networks. Conclusion We present the first optimized network graph of personality traits according to the NEO-PI-R: a ‘Personality Web’. Such a web may represent the possible routes that subjects can take during personality development. NCD outperforms PCA by producing plausible modularity at item level in non-standard datasets, and can identify the key roles of individual items and clusters in the network.
Screening for Personality Disorders: A Comparison of the Dimensional NEO-FFI with the Categorical SAPAS-SR  [PDF]
Sara Germans, Alexander Rath, Guus L. Van Heck, Paul P. G. Hodiamont
Psychology (PSYCH) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/psych.2013.42016

In psychiatric outpatients, the usefulness of the dimensional NEO-FFI as a screening instrument for personality disorders (PDs) was compared with the categorical screening instrument SAPAS-SR using the SCID-II as the gold standard. Major research questions are: 1) is the NEO-FFI a useful screening instrument for PDs? 2) does the NEO-FFI outperform a categorical screening instrument (SAPAS-SR)? 3) does combining both instruments improve the screening results? Extreme raising on Big Five personality trait domains (NEO-FFI) domain scores were examined in relation to the presence and the number of PDs as diagnosed, with to the SCID-II. Additionally, the NEO-FFI, in conjunction with a short self-report screening instrument (SAPAS-SR), was analysed with respect to sensitivity and specificity for screening of PDs. According to the SCID II, 97 patients (50%) were suffering from a PD. The majority of them had no (35.9%) or only one (40%) extreme score on one of the Big Five personality domains. There were no significant relationships between separate extreme traits on PD or five factor profiles, as proposed in the literature, and the presence of a SCID-II PD. Comparisons of the NEO-FFI with the SAPAS-SR showed no significant relationships. Using both screeners in conjunction resulted in an increase in specificity and the number of correctly classified cases at the expense, however, of the sensitivity. Correlation and regression analyses showed that personality traits are statistically significant predictors for each of the12 PDs. However, the associations between NEO-FFI scores and the DSM-VI-TR PD criteria were rather modest. Support could not be obtained for the view that separate extreme scores on basic personality traits or combinations of such scores in five-factor profiles will provide adequate screening possibilities for PDs. The SAPAS-SR has better screening potential than the NEO-FFI or the SAPAS-SR and the NEO-FFI together.

The C(-1019)G 5-HT1A promoter polymorphism and personality traits: no evidence for significant association in alcoholic patients
G Koller, B Bondy, UW Preuss, P Zill, M Soyka
Behavioral and Brain Functions , 2006, DOI: 10.1186/1744-9081-2-7
Abstract: The aim of this study is to replicate previous findings in a sample of 185 Alcohol-dependent individuals. Personality traits were evaluated using the NEO FFI and TCI. History of suicidal behavior was assessed by a standardized semistructured interview (SSAGA). No significant differences across C(-1019)G 5-HT1A genotype groups were found for TCI temperament and character traits and for NEO FFI personality scales. No association was detected between this genetic variant and history of suicide attempts. These results neither support a role of C(-1019)G 5-HT1A promoter polymorphism in the disposition of personality traits like harm avoidance or neuroticism, nor confirm previous research reporting an involvement of the G allele in suicidal behavior in alcoholics. Significant associations, however, were detected between Babor's Type B with number of suicide attempts in history, high neuroticism and harm avoidance scores in alcoholics.The 5-hydroxytryptamine 1A receptor (5-HT1A) is one of several different receptors for 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin). Serotonin has a role in moderating several brain functions and is involved in the aetiology of several psychiatric disorders. Evidence for a role of 5-HT1A receptor in the pathophysiology of anxiety and depression has come from several clinical studies as well as from animal models [1-3]. In animal models, 5-HT1A receptor-deficient animals have been reported to have an increased level of anxiety and stress response as well as decreased exploratory activity [4,5]. The 5-HT1A receptor is also suggested to be involved in the response to antidepressant and anxiolytic drugs [6,7].The 5-HT1A receptor is an integral membrane protein and belongs to the family of G-protein coupled receptors that inhibit adenylate cyclase activity. Negative feedback inhibition of serotonergic raphe neurons is mediated by somatodendritic 5-HT1A autoreceptors [8,9]. Reduced serotonergic neurotransmission is implicated in the pathogenesis of depressive i
Symptoms and signs of acute alcoholic hepatitis  [cached]
Gurjot Basra,Sarpreet Basra,Sreeram Parupudi
World Journal of Hepatology , 2011, DOI: 10.4254/wjh.v3.i5.118
Abstract: Although there is not one specific sign or symptom related to alcoholic hepatitis (AH), a constellation of symptoms and signs can help make the diagnosis of AH with reasonable accuracy. Documentation of chronic and active alcohol abuse is paramount in making a diagnosis of AH. Clinical presentation after abstinence for more than 3 m should raise doubts about the diagnosis of AH and dictate the need for considering other causes of liver disease, decompensation of alcoholic cirrhosis, sepsis and malignancy as the cause of patient’s clinical profile.
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