REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0089.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: Serotonin; Chemical imbalance theories of psychopathology; Circular causality; Biocultural psychopathology; Critical neuroscience
Online: 3 August 2022 (11:24:47 CEST)
Serotonin (5-HT) show important relations to stress, and this relationship is crucial to understanding the psychobiology of common mental disorders. Environmental stressors regulate phasic and tonic serotonin levels, which are related to valence and outcome probabilities. This regulation takes place at smaller timescales, but also at the level of gene expression regulation. Moreover, genes related to the synthesis, metabolism, and transport of 5-HT are also involved in this regulation. Genetic variations in these genes modulate how stressors can lead to mental distress, but stressors also modulate gene expression in a genotype-dependent manner. As a result, the relationship between psychosocial stress and the regulation of the expression of 5-HTergic genes is bidirectional. This suggests a “circular causality” in which gene variations control tonic and phasic 5-HT signals (“upward causality”), while configurations and functions of the entire organism determine which genes are up- or downregulated, or which gene products are actually relevant in each situation (“downward causality”). The highly important role of social factors in human psychopathology is highlighted, and factors such as attachment and socioeconomic status modulate how the circular vertical causality between genes, neurotransmitters, and behavior is organized, representing circular horizontal causality. These complex interrelationships also suggest that more refined epistemologies are needed to fully grasp the relationship between 5-HT and common mental disorders.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0127.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: youth; adiposity; psychopathology; anxiety; depression; physical activity; exercise; MRI
Online: 7 November 2022 (14:34:46 CET)
Obesity during childhood has been associated with many important physiological and neurological health considerations. Specifically concerning are the associations between youth obesity and declines in mental health, as shown with increasing rates of adolescent depression and anxiety worldwide. The emergence of mental health disorders commonly arises during adolescent development, and approximately half the global population satisfy the criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder in their lifetime, suggesting a need for early intervention. Adolescence is critical time whereby brain structure and functions are not only negatively associated with obesity and declines in mental health, while also coinciding with significant declines in rates of physical activity among individuals in this age group. Physical activity is thus a prime candidate to address the intersection of obesity and mental health crises occurring globally. This review addresses the important considerations between physiological health (obesity, aerobic fitness, physical activity), brain health (structure and function), and mental wellbeing symptomology. Lastly, we pose a theoretical framework which asks important questions regarding the influence of physiological health on the association between brain health and the development of depression and anxiety symptoms in adolescence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0297.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Psychiatry And Mental Health Keywords: foehn wind; psychopathology; BSCL; mental health; weather; meteorological factors; climate change
Online: 17 August 2022 (04:04:41 CEST)
Psychiatric patients are particularly vulnerable to strong weather stimuli, such as foehn, a hot wind that occurs in the alps. However, there is a dearth of research regarding its impact on mental health. This study investigated the impact of foehn wind among patients of a psychiatric hospital located in a foehn area in the Swiss Alps. Analysis was based on anonymized datasets obtained from routine records on admission and discharge, including the Brief Symptom Checklist (BSCL) questionnaire, as well as sociodemographic parameters (age, sex, and diagnosis). Between 2013 and 2020 a total of 10,456 admission days and 10,575 discharge days were recorded. All meteorological data were extracted from the database of the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology of Switzerland. We estimated the effect of foehn on the BSCL items using a distributed lag model. Significant differences were found between foehn and non-foehn admissions in obsession-compulsion, Interpersonal Sensitivity, depression, Anxiety, Phobic Anxiety, Paranoid Ideation, and General Severity Index (GSI) (p <.05). Our findings suggest that foehn wind events may negatively affect specific mental health parameters in patients. More research is needed to fully understand the impact of foehn’s events on mental health.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0281.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: autism; autistic burnout; social camouflaging; early life stress; suicidality; psychopathology; mitochondrial allostatic load
Online: 5 September 2022 (03:35:24 CEST)
Molecular autism research is evolving towards a biopsychosocial framework that is more informed by autistic experiences. In this context, research aims are moving away from correcting external autistic behaviors and towards alleviating internal distress. Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASCs) are associated with high rates of depression, suicidality and other comorbid psychopathologies, but this relationship is poorly understood. Here, we integrate emerging characterizations of internal autistic experiences within a molecular framework to yield insight into the prevalence of psychopathology in ASC. We demonstrate that descriptions of social camouflaging and autistic burnout resonate closely with the accepted definitions for early life stress (ELS) and chronic adolescent stress (CAS). We propose that social camouflaging could be considered a distinct form of CAS that contributes to allostatic overload, culminating in a pathophysiological state that is experienced as autistic burnout. Autistic burnout is thought to contribute to psychopathology via psychological and physiological mechanisms, but these remain largely unexplored by molecular researchers. Building on converging fields in molecular neuroscience, we discuss the substantial evidence implicating mitochondrial dysfunction in ASC to propose a novel role for mitochondrial allostatic load in the relationship between autism and psychopathology. An interplay between mitochondrial, neuroimmune and neuroendocrine signaling is increasingly implicated in stress-related psychopathologies, and these molecular players are also associated with neurodevelopmental, neurophysiological and neurochemical aspects of ASC etiology. Together, this suggests an increased exposure and underlying molecular susceptibility to ELS that increases the risk of psychopathology in ASC. This article describes an integrative framework shaped by autistic experiences that highlights novel avenues for molecular research into mechanisms that directly affect the quality of life and well-being of autistic individuals. Moreover, this framework emphasizes the need for increased access to diagnoses, accommodations, and resources to improve mental health outcomes in autism.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0332.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: Cognitive–Attentional Syndrome; COVID-19 pandemic; stress and trauma related disorders; psychopathology; adjustment disorder
Online: 5 June 2023 (14:21:16 CEST)
Background: According to metacognitive theory, Cognitive–Attentional Syndrome (CAS) is a transdiagnostic factor and main mechanism of psychopathology maintenance. The main goal of this study was to examine whether CAS predicted symptoms of stress and trauma-related symptomatology in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic and three months later. Methods: Initially 1,792 participants were recruited online via social media; data was collected at two time points. Measures included the Cognitive–Attentional Syndrome Questionnaire, Adjustment Disorder – New Module 20, the International Trauma Questionnaire, and additional measures. Results: Structural equation modeling was conducted in order to determine relations between reported stressors, CAS, and symptomatology. At both time points, CAS was a significant mediator between stressors and symptoms of adjustment disorder. Despite the decrease in the intensity of adjustment disorder symptoms between waves, it was a significant predictor of other psychopathology at both time points, except for traumatic stress. Conclusions: The findings confirm the assumption that CAS is a transdiagnostic factor of psychopathology, and has a mediating role in the relationship between stressors and adjustment disorder and co-occurring symptomatology. The effect was particularly significant in the initial phase of the pandemic, which was highly stressful for many people.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: consciousness 1; subjective experience 2; will 3; agency 4; self 5; psychopathology 6; treatment 7; transcranial near infrared light 8; biophotomodulation 9
Online: 25 May 2021 (08:44:47 CEST)
In this paper I will address Dr. Sonne’s questions about will, agency, choice, consciousness, relevant brain regions, impacts of disorders and their therapeutics, and I will do this by referring to my theory, Dual-brain Psychology, which posits that within most of us there exist two mental agencies with different experiences, wills, choices, and behaviors. Each of these agencies is associated as a trait with one brain hemisphere (either left or right) and its composite regions. One of these agencies is more adversely affected by past traumas and is more immature and more symptomatic while the other is more mature and healthier. The theory has extensive experimental support through 17 peer-reviewed publications with clinical and non-clinical research. I will discuss how this theory relates to the questions that Dr. Sonne presented and will discuss also my published theory on the physical nature of subjective experience and its relation to the brain and how that theory interacts with DBP, and how the 2 theories relate to subjective experience, will, behavior, psychopathology and its treatment.