Abstract: Survey of current research in the clinical field of central auditory dysfunctions reveals a significant preference of assessment techniques (esp. evoked potentials) compared to controlled therapeutic trials. Many studies apply high complex designs but are lacking implications for therapeutic planning.Despite this fact basic experimental neuropsychology developed in the last years via neglect-research a more sophisticated view to recognition (WHAT) and processing of spatial dimension (WHERE). In few cases, where treatment is described…in detail, the studies offer little statistically controlled efficacy data and they leave doubts concerning a valid specific treatment effect caused by therapy of central auditory disorders performed by training programms. Results of localization performance in ADD/ADHD-patients are presented and discussed separately.
Abstract: Introduction: This exploratory study investigated the impact of altered physiological states on emotion processing in quadriplegic patients, endurance athletes and healthy controls. High cervical spinal cord injury patients differ from both other groups in their lack of peripheral feedback and their inability to show motor approach or withdrawal behavior. However, both patients and athletes at rest are distinguished from non-athletic controls by their reduced sympathetic nervous system activity which may lead to less…intense emotional experiences. Methods: We measured both physiological (event-related potentials, skin conductance, heart rate) and subjective responses (valence and arousal ratings) to stimuli from the International Affective Picture System. Results: While there were no group differences in arousal, both athletes and quadriplegics tended to rate positive slides as less pleasant and negative slides as less unpleasant than ablebodied controls. Skin conductance response was reduced in athletes and absent in quadriplegics, and both groups had greater heart rate deceleration than controls. The three groups showed similar electrocortical responses to both pleasant and unpleasant pictures. Discussion: The similarities between patients and athletes suggest that feedback of peripheral sympathicoadrenergic processes contributes to emotion processing. Further research is warranted to elucidate the contributions of autonomic nervous system activity to emotional experience.
Abstract: Objectives: Despite the widespread use of alcohol the neurobiological differences underlying social drinking and addiction are poorly understood. The route of treatment has been found crucial to achieve addicted animals. However, even in such a paradigm not all animals will get addicted. We investigated the effects of chronic ethanol on drinking behavior, behavioral changes due to consumption, and blood levels in rats. Methods: 77 PVG/OlaHsd hooded rats were subjected to a free-choice-design for alcohol…consumption (4 bottles 0, 5, 10, and 20% ethanol). Alcohol deprivation phases were used to assess motivational changes. Drinking behavior was monitored daily. In addition rat behavior was tested in an elevated plus-maze and open-field test. Results: Rats voluntarily consumed alcohol (6.5 ± 0.4 g/kg/d). Alcohol preference was highest on 5% solution. Motivation changed by occurrence of a significant deprivation effect after 40 days. Both acute and chronic treatment had an impact on anxiolytic-like behaviors. However, blood alcohol levels of voluntarily drinking rats were clearly lower compared to those after acute injection. Conclusion: Rats not specifically prone to high alcohol consumption were suitable in free-choice-paradigms. Motivational changes occurred already after 40 days of treatment. Predictive value of such changes has to be elucidated in future.
Keywords: Free-choice, alcohol preference, blood levels, motivation, anxiety, rat
Abstract: Objectives: Patients with somatic diseases frequently suffer from comorbid mental disorders. The impact of comorbid mental disorders in somatically ill patients on morbidity, mortality, costs and quality of life is often reported. The present review summarizes and discusses main findings of this area of research. Methods: A Medline search was conducted until 2004. Cross-references of the included studies were analysed. Results: The review includes 94 studies; 52 studies focused on morbidity and…mortality as outcome, 20 studies on costs and 28 studies on quality of life. The reviewed studies are quite heterogeneous concerning both methodology and results. However, overall the review shows that there is a meaningful deterioration of morbidity, mortality, costs and quality of life in somatically ill patients with comorbid mental disorders in comparison with corresponding patients without comorbid mental disorders. Conclusion: The review underlines the need for an increased attention for those somatically ill patients showing comorbid mental disorders. Moreover, future research tasks will be to examine the efficacy and effectiveness of treatment strategies of mental disorders in somatically ill patients concerning the reviewed outcome parameters.
Keywords: Mental disorders, chronic diseases, morbidity, mortality, costs, quality of life