Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: chronicity

7 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Problem Alcohol Use in Women: Systematic Analysis

Authors: Neringa Bagdonaite


Study Aims: The current study aimed to systematically analyse various research done in the area of female post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol abuse, and to critically review these results on the basis of theoretical models as well as answer following questions: (I) What is the reciprocal relationship between PTSD and problem alcohol use among females; (II) What are the moderating/mediating factors of this relationship? Methods: The computer bibliographic databases Ebsco, Scopus, Springer, Web of Science, Medline, Science Direct were used to search for scientific articles. Systematic analyses sample consisted of peer-reviewed, English written articles addressing mixed gender and female PTSD and alcohol abuse issues from Jan 2012 to May 2017. Results: Total of 1011 articles were found in scientific databases related to searched keywords of which 29 met the selection criteria and were analysed. The results of longitudinal studies indicate that (I) various trauma, especially interpersonal trauma exposure in childhood is linked with increased risk of revictimization in later life and problem alcohol use; (II) revictimization in adolescence or adulthood, rather than victimization in childhood has a greater impact on the onset and progression of problematic alcohol use in adulthood. Cross-sectional and epidemiological studies also support significant relationships between female PTSD and problem alcohol use. Regards to the negative impact of alcohol use on PTSD symptoms results are yet controversial; some evidence suggests that alcohol does not exacerbate symptoms of PTSD over time, while others argue that problem alcohol use worsens PTSD symptoms and is linked to chronicity of both disorders, especially among women with previous alcohol use problems. Analysis of moderating/mediating factors of PTSD and problem alcohol use revealed, that higher motives/expectancies, specifically distress coping motives for alcohol use significantly moderates the relationship between PTSD and problematic alcohol use. Whereas negative affective states mediate relationship between symptoms of PTSD and alcohol use, but only among woman with alcohol use problems already developed. Conclusions: Interpersonal trauma experience, especially in childhood and its reappearance in lifetime is linked with PTSD symptoms and problem drinking among women. Moreover, problem alcohol use can be both a cause and a consequence of trauma and PTSD, and if used for coping it, increases the likelihood of chronicity of both disorders. In order to effectively treat both disorders, it’s worthwhile taking into account this dynamic interplay of women's PTSD symptoms and problem drinking.

Keywords: female, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, problem alcohol use, systemic analysis

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6 In silico Analysis towards Identification of Host-Microbe Interactions for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Reactive Arthritis

Authors: Anukriti Verma, Bhawna Rathi, Shivani Sharda


Reactive Arthritis (ReA) is a disorder that causes inflammation in joints due to certain infections at distant sites in the body. ReA begins with stiffness, pain, and inflammation in these areas especially the ankles, knees, and hips. It gradually causes several complications such as conjunctivitis in the eyes, skin lesions in hand, feet and nails and ulcers in the mouth. Nowadays the diagnosis of ReA is based upon a differential diagnosis pattern. The parameters for differentiating ReA from other similar disorders include physical examination, history of the patient and a high index of suspicion. There are no standard lab tests or markers available for ReA hence the early diagnosis of ReA becomes difficult and the chronicity of disease increases with time. It is reported that enteric disorders such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that is inflammation in gastrointestinal tract namely Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) are reported to be linked with ReA. Several microorganisms are found such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella and Yersinia causing IBD leading to ReA. The aim of our study was to perform the in-silico analysis in order to find interactions between microorganisms and human host causing IBD leading to ReA. A systems biology approach for metabolic network reconstruction and simulation was used to find the essential genes of the reported microorganisms. Interactomics study was used to find the interactions between the pathogen genes and human host. Genes such as nhaA (pathogen), dpyD (human), nagK (human) and kynU (human) were obtained that were analysed further using the functional, pathway and network analysis. These genes can be used as putative drug targets and biomarkers in future for early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of IBD leading to ReA.

Keywords: drug targets, inflammatory bowel disease, reactive arthritis, systems biology

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5 Perfectionism, Self-Compassion, and Emotion Dysregulation: An Exploratory Analysis of Mediation Models in an Eating Disorder Sample

Authors: Sarah Potter, Michele Laliberte


As eating disorders are associated with high levels of chronicity, impairment, and distress, it is paramount to evaluate factors that may improve treatment outcomes in this group. Individuals with eating disorders exhibit elevated levels of perfectionism and emotion dysregulation, as well as reduced self-compassion. These variables are related to eating disorder outcomes, including shape/weight concerns and psychosocial impairment. Thus, these factors may be tenable targets for treatment within eating disorder populations. However, the relative contributions of perfectionism, emotion dysregulation, and self-compassion to the severity of shape/weight concerns and psychosocial impairment remain largely unexplored. In the current study, mediation analyses were conducted to clarify how perfectionism, emotion dysregulation, and self-compassion are linked to shape/weight concerns and psychosocial impairment. The sample was comprised of 85 patients from an outpatient eating disorder clinic. The patients completed self-report measures of perfectionism, self-compassion, emotion dysregulation, eating disorder symptoms, and psychosocial impairment. Specifically, emotion dysregulation was assessed as a mediator in the relationships between (1) perfectionism and shape/weight concerns, (2) self-compassion and shape/weight concerns, (3) perfectionism and psychosocial impairment, and (4) self-compassion and psychosocial impairment. It was postulated that emotion dysregulation would significantly mediate relationships in the former two models. An a priori hypothesis was not constructed in reference to the latter models, as these analyses were preliminary and exploratory in nature. The PROCESS macro for SPSS was utilized to perform these analyses. Emotion dysregulation fully mediated the relationships between perfectionism and eating disorder outcomes. In the link between self-compassion and psychosocial impairment, emotion dysregulation partially mediated this relationship. Finally, emotion dysregulation did not significantly mediate the relationship between self-compassion and shape/weight concerns. The results suggest that emotion dysregulation and self-compassion may be suitable targets to decrease the severity of psychosocial impairment and shape/weight concerns in individuals with eating disorders. Further research is required to determine the stability of these models over time, between diagnostic groups, and in nonclinical samples.

Keywords: eating disorders, emotion dysregulation, perfectionism, self-compassion

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4 Beneficial Effects of Curcumin against Stress Oxidative and Mitochondrial Dysfunction Induced by Trinitrobenzene Sulphonic Acid in Colon

Authors: Souad Mouzaoui, Bahia Djerdjouri


Oxidative stress is one of the main factors involved in the onset and chronicity of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In this study, we investigated the beneficial effects of a potent natural antioxidant, curcumin (Cur) on colitis and mitochondrial dysfunction in trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis in mice. Rectal instillation of the chemical irritant TNBS (30 mg kg-1) induced the disruption of distal colonic architecture and a massive inflammatory cells influx to the mucosa and submucosa layers. Under these conditions, daily administration of Cur (25 mg kg-1) efficiently decreased colitis scores in the inflamed distal colon by reducing leukocyte infiltrate as attested by reduced myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. Moreover, the levels of nitrite, an end product of inducible NO synthase activity (iNOS) and malonyl dialdehyde (MDA), a marker of lipid peroxidation increased in a time depending manner in response to TNBS challenge. Conversely, the markers of the antioxidant pool, reduced glutathione (GSH) and catalase activity (CAT) were drastically reduced. Cur attenuated oxidative stress markers and partially restored CAT and GSH levels. Moreover, our results expanded the effect of Cur on TNBS-induced colonic mitochondrial dysfunction. In fact, TNBS induced mitochondrial swelling and lipids peroxidation. These events reflected in the opening of mitochondrial transition pore and could be an initial indication in the cascade process leading to cell death. TNBS inhibited also mitochondrial respiratory activity, caused overproduction of mitochondrial superoxide anion (O2-.) and reduced level of mitochondrial GSH. Nevertheless, Cur reduced the extent of mitochondrial oxidative stress induced by TNBS and restored colonic mitochondrial function. In conclusion, our results showed the critical role of oxidative stress in TNBS-induced colitis. They highlight the role of colonic mitochondrial dysfunction induced by TNBS, as a potential source of oxidative damages. Due to its potent antioxidant properties, Cur opens a promising therapeutic approach against oxidative inflammation in IBD.

Keywords: colitis, curcumin, mitochondria, oxidative stress, TNBS

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3 The Impact of the Length of Time Spent on the Street on Adjustment to Homelessness

Authors: Jakub Marek, Marie Vagnerova, Ladislav Csemy


Background: The length of time spent on the street influences the degree of adjustment to homelessness. Over the years spent sleeping rough, homeless people gradually lose the ability to control their lives and their return to mainstream society becomes less and less likely. Goals: The aim of the study was to discover whether and how men who have been sleeping rough for more than ten years differ from those who have been homeless for four years or less. Methods: The research was based on a narrative analysis of in-depth interviews focused on the respondent’s entire life story, i.e. their childhood, adolescence, and the period of adulthood preceding homelessness. It also asked the respondents about how they envisaged the future. The group under examination comprised 51 homeless men aged 37 – 54. The first subgroup contained 29 men who have been sleeping rough for 10 – 21 years, the second group contained 22 men who have been homeless for four years or less. Results: Men who have been sleeping rough for more than ten years had problems adapting as children. They grew up in a problematic family or in an institution and acquired only a rudimentary education. From the start they had problems at work, found it difficult to apply themselves, and found it difficult to hold down a job. They tend to have high-risk personality traits and often a personality disorder. Early in life they had problems with alcohol or drugs and their relationships were unsuccessful. If they have children, they do not look after them. They are reckless even in respect of the law and often commit crime. They usually ended up on the street in their thirties. Most of this subgroup of homeless people lack motivation and the will to make any fundamental change to their lives. They identify with the homeless community and have no other contacts. Men who have been sleeping rough for four years or less form two subgroups. There are those who had a normal childhood, attended school and found work. They started a family but began to drink, and as a consequence lost their family and their job. Such men end up on the street between the ages of 35 and 40. And then there are men who become homeless after the age of 40 because of an inability to cope with a difficult situation, e.g. divorce or indebtedness. They are not substance abusers and do not have a criminal record. Such people can be offered effective assistance to return to mainstream society by the social services because they have not yet fully self-identified with the homeless community and most of them have retained the necessary abilities and skills. Conclusion: The length of time a person has been homeless is an important factor in respect of social prevention. It is clear that the longer a person is homeless, the worse are their chances of being reintegrated into mainstream society.

Keywords: risk factors, homelessness, chronicity, narrative analysis

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2 The Social Aspects of Mental Illness among Orthodox Christians of the Tigrinya Ethnic Group in Eritrea

Authors: Erimias Firre


This study is situated within the religio-cultural milieu of Coptic Orthodox Christians of the Tigrinya ethnic group in Eritrea. With this ethnic group being conservative and traditionally bound, extended family structures dissected along various clans and expansive community networks are the distinguishing mark of its members. Notably, Coptic Tigrinya constitutes the largest percentage of all Christian denominations in Eritrea. As religious, cultural beliefs, rituals and teachings permeate in all aspects of social life, a distinct worldview and traditionalized health and illness conceptualization are common. Accordingly, this study argues that religio-culturally bound illness ideologies immensely determine the perception, help seeking behavior and healing preference of Coptic Tigrinya in Eritrea. The study bears significance in the sense that it bridges an important knowledge gap, given that it is ethno-linguistically (within the Tigrinya ethnic group), spatially (central region of Eritrea) and religiously (Coptic Christianity) specific. The conceptual framework guiding this research centered on the social determinants of mental health, and explores through the lens of critical theory how existing systems generate social vulnerability and structural inequality, providing a platform to reveal how the psychosocial model has the capacity to emancipate and empower those with mental disorders to live productive and meaningful lives. A case study approach was employed to explore the interrelationship between religio-cultural beliefs and practices and perception of common mental disorders of depression, anxiety, bipolar affective, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorders and the impact of these perceptions on people with those mental disorders. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 41 participants representing seven diverse cohorts; people with common mental disorders, family caregivers, general community members, ex-fighters , priests, staff at St. Mary’s and Biet-Mekae Community Health Center; resulting in rich data for thematic analysis. Findings highlighted current religio-cultural perceptions, causes and treatment of mental disorders among Coptic Tigrinya result in widespread labelling, stigma and discrimination, both of those with mental disorders and their families. Traditional healing sources are almost exclusively tried, sometimes for many years, before families and sufferers seek formal medical assessment and treatment, resulting difficult to treat illness chronicity. Service gaps in the formal medical system result in the inability to meet the principles enshrined in the WHO Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 to which the Eritrean Government is a signatory. However, the study found that across all participant cohorts, there was a desire for change that will create a culture whereby those with mental disorders will have restored hope, connectedness, healing and self-determination.

Keywords: Coptic Tigrinya, mental disorders, psychosocial model social integration and recovery, traditional healing

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1 Plasma Levels of Collagen Triple Helix Repeat Containing 1 (CTHRC1) as a Potential Biomarker in Interstitial Lung Disease

Authors: Rijnbout-St.James Willem, Lindner Volkhard, Scholand Mary Beth, Ashton M. Tillett, Di Gennaro Michael Jude, Smith Silvia Enrica


Introduction: Fibrosing lung diseases are characterized by changes in the lung interstitium and are classified based on etiology: 1) environmental/exposure-related, 2) autoimmune-related, 3) sarcoidosis, 4) interstitial pneumonia, and 4) idiopathic. Among interstitial lung diseases (ILD) idiopathic forms, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most severe. Pathogenesis of IPF is characterized by an increased presence of proinflammatory mediators, resulting in alveolar injury, where injury to alveolar epithelium precipitates an increase in collagen deposition, subsequently thickening the alveolar septum and decreasing gas exchange. Identifying biomarkers implicated in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis is key to developing new therapies and improving the efficacy of existing therapies. The transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-B1), a mediator of tissue repair associated with WNT5A signaling, is partially responsible for fibroblast proliferation in ILD and is the target of Pirfenidone, one of the antifibrotic therapies used for patients with IPF. Canonical TGF-B signaling is mediated by the proteins SMAD 2/3, which are, in turn, indirectly regulated by Collagen Triple Helix Repeat Containing 1 (CTHRC1). In this study, we tested the following hypotheses: 1) CTHRC1 is more elevated in the ILD cohort compared to unaffected controls, and 2) CTHRC1 is differently expressed among ILD types. Material and Methods: CTHRC1 levels were measured by ELISA in 171 plasma samples from the deidentified University of Utah ILD cohort. Data represent a cohort of 131 ILD-affected participants and 40 unaffected controls. CTHRC1 samples were categorized by a pulmonologist based on affectation status and disease subtypes: IPF (n = 45), sarcoidosis (4), nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (16), hypersensitivity pneumonitis (n = 7), interstitial pneumonia (n=13), autoimmune (n = 15), other ILD - a category that includes undifferentiated ILD diagnoses (n = 31), and unaffected controls (n = 40). We conducted a single-factor ANOVA of plasma CTHRC1 levels to test whether CTHRC1 variance among affected and non-affected participants is statistically significantly different. In-silico analysis was performed with Ingenuity Pathway Analysis® to characterize the role of CTHRC1 in the pathway of lung fibrosis. Results: Statistical analyses of CTHRC1 in plasma samples indicate that the average CTHRC1 level is significantly higher in ILD-affected participants than controls, with the autoimmune ILD being higher than other ILD types, thus supporting our hypotheses. In-silico analyses show that CTHRC1 indirectly activates and phosphorylates SMAD3, which in turn cross-regulates TGF-B1. CTHRC1 also may regulate the expression and transcription of TGFB-1 via WNT5A and its regulatory relationship with CTNNB1. Conclusion: In-silico pathway analyses demonstrate that CTHRC1 may be an important biomarker in ILD. Analysis of plasma samples indicates that CTHRC1 expression is positively associated with ILD affectation, with autoimmune ILD having the highest average CTHRC1 values. While characterizing CTHRC1 levels in plasma can help to differentiate among ILD types and predict response to Pirfenidone, the extent to which plasma CTHRC1 level is a function of ILD severity or chronicity is unknown.

Keywords: interstitial lung disease, CTHRC1, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, pathway analyses

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