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  • 1
    ISSN: 1433-8491
    Keywords: Seasonal depression ; Epidemiology ; Specific symptoms ; Course ; Retrospective reliability
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary In a longitudinal cohort study of young adults from the Canton of Zurich in Switzerland (Zurich Study), seasonal patterns of several psychiatric and psychosomatic syndromes were investigated in two interviews over a period of three years. At an age of 27–28 years, 23% of the depressives, 15% of the neurasthenic subjects, and 14% of the subjects with backache reported an increased susceptibility in autumn and/or winter. With respect to the course we found that 10.4% of the subjects of the longitudinal sample (n=417) suffered from seasonal depression (including individuals with subsyndromal seasonal difficulties) overtwo consecutive years. Specific symptoms, such as hypersomnia, increase of appetite or weight gain, were not found to be consistently associated with seasonal depression. A comparison of actual and retrospective reports on seasonal depression resulted in a very low reliability. In view of these results the seasonal subtype of depression should be diagnosed with caution, except when the diagnosis is based on longitudinal observations and/or external sources of information (e.g. family members, partner).
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1433-8491
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary The application of the methods of genetic epidemiology appears to be one of the most promising avenues to unravel the complex mechanisms through which genes may exert their influence. The approaches of genetic epidemiology are particularly important for those diseases which are characterized by moderate degrees of heritability and lack of direct correspondence between the underlying vulnerability factors and the ultimate expression of the disease, as is the case for affective disorders. The application of the methods of genetic epidemiology to children of affected parents may also elucidate environmental risk factors and early signs of the disorder. Perhaps the most important implication of the identification of genetic markers for affective disorders is the opportunity for prevention of the disorders. Early identification of youngsters who do manifest early signs of the disorders would facilitate secondary and tertiary prevention of the consequences of those conditions.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1433-8491
    Keywords: Genetics ; Linkage ; Psychiatric disorders ; Genetic epidemiology
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary Linkage analysis has been successful in identifying the genetic basis of numerous Mendelian diseases. These successes were due in part to the rapid developments in molecular biology, which have yielded a plethora of informative genetic markers. Although there is strong evidence that the manifestation of schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorders is controlled by genes, no evidence for linkage has been established. For psychiatric disorders, the most important limiting factor is likely to be the lack of single loci with very large effects that occur with any relevant frequency. The difficulties of linkage studies in psychiatric disorders are discussed with reference to non-psychiatric genetic diseases for which linkage to genetic markers has been successful. Recommendations for collecting information to clarify the patterns of transmission of the psychiatric disorders are described.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1433-8491
    Keywords: Epidemiology ; Headache ; Migraine ; Tension-type headache
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract This study examines the 1 year prevalence rates of headache syndromes in an epidemiologic cohort study of young adults ages 29–30 in Zurich, Switzerland. The 1 year prevalence rates of headache subtypes were 3.3% for migraine with aura and 21.3% of migraine without aura as defined by the International Headache Society (IHS) criteria. The demographic distribution, clinical features, sequelae, and treatment patterns of subjects with specifc headache subtypes are described. The rates of migraine are compared to those of other community samples that have employed the IHS criteria for headache subtypes. Subjects with migraine reported pervasive impairment in nearly every life role including occupation, leisure, and social relationships. Despite the substantial degree of impairment in occupational and social functioning that was associated with migraine, an extremely low proportion of subjects had received professional treatment for headache. These results suggest that a concerted effort should be directed towards education regarding the classification of headache and the availability of efficacious treatment for migraine.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1433-8491
    Keywords: Menstrual syndrome ; Epidemiology ; Menstrual problems
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary This paper reports on the prevalence of emotional and somatic symptoms of the pre- and peri-menstrual phases of the female reproductive cycle among women who participated in a 10-year prospective epidemiologic cohort study of young adults in Zurich, Switzerland. The association between menstrual syndrome and sociodemographic features, personal habits, and psychopathologyis investigated. The findings confirm those of previous studies, which have shown that symptoms of menstrual syndrome are quite common in non-clinical samples in the community, and increase with age. Women with menstrual problems could be distinguished from other women in a number of domains, including demographic characteristics such as nulliparity, higher educational level, distressing life events, lack of oral contraceptive use, psychiatric disorders, and personality traits. The combined evidence for a strong association between menstrual syndrome and anxiety, both in the subjects and their relatives, suggests that menstrual problems may represent a manifestation of underlying anxiety disorders rather than strictly affective disorders as traditionally believed.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1469-8986
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine , Psychology
    Notes: The time course of the facilitation of the acoustic startle reflex induced by anticipation of electric shocks was measured in 20 normal volunteers. Shocks could be administered during the last 10 s of 45-s threat conditions but not during 50-s no-threat conditions, each condition being signaled by a different light. Consistent with previous data, overall eyeblink startle levels were higher during the threat than during the no-threat conditions. However, the magnitude of this fear-potentiated startle effect became progressively larger in the threat condition the longer the light was on and then abruptly decreased with the onset of the light signaling the no-threat condition. These effects of the threat of shock on startle were interpreted in terms of anticipatory anxiety. Other interpretations, such as changes in selective or generalized attention, were also discussed. This paradigm provides a method to assess the time course of anticipatory anxiety in humans.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1469-8986
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine , Psychology
    Notes: The effects of fear/anticipatory anxiety on the acoustic startle reflex were investigated in humans using a paradigm involving anticipation of electric shocks. The eyeblink component of the startle reflex, elicited by an abrupt auditory stimulus, was measured in 9 normal volunteers during either the anticipation of electric shocks (anticipatory anxiety) or periods in which no shocks were anticipated (safe period). The eyeblink was consistently higher in amplitude, and shorter in latency, during periods when the subjects anticipated shocks, compared to the safe periods. This effect could not be attributed solely to a reduction in habituation and was statistically significant before the subjects actually received any shock (a single 30 mA stimulation on the median nerve). These results indicate that anticipatory anxiety can be measured objectively in humans using the fear-potentiated startle reflex in a paradigm not actually requiring any shock. Because a great deal is known about the neuroanatomical and pharmacological mechanisms of fear-potentiated startle in laboratory animals, this test procedure may be especially useful in humans to investigate the neurobiological substrates of anxiety disorders and their pharmacological treatments.
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