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  • Oxytocin Genotype Moderates the Impact of Social Support on Psychiatric Distress in Alcohol-Dependent Patients.

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    Oxytocin Genotype Moderates the Impact of Social Support on Psychiatric Distress in Alcohol-Dependent Patients.

    Alcohol Alcohol. 2017 Oct 13;:1-7

    Authors: Love TM, Cranford JA, Burmeister M, Wojnar M, Zucker RA, J Brower K

    Abstract
    Aims: The social environment strongly influences individual mental health. Individuals with strong social support systems tend to experience higher levels of well-being, lower levels of psychological distress and exhibit fewer psychiatric symptoms. However, there is a significant degree of individual variability as to the extent to which social support is beneficial to overall mental health. From a neurobiological perspective, it is suggested that the social hormone, oxytocin, may moderate the favorable effects of social interaction. To explore this possibility, we evaluated oxytocin genotype, social support and psychological health in a group of individuals diagnosed with DSM-IV alcohol dependence.
    Methods: The associations between OXT genotype, social support and psychological health were analyzed in data from 269 adults diagnosed with DSM-IV alcohol dependence (25% female) admitted into residential treatment programs and outpatient centers in Warsaw, Poland.
    Results: In line with past observations, we noted that psychiatric distress scores were negatively correlated with social support. Extending these observations, we uncovered a significant moderating effect of OXT genotype (rs2740210) on the relationship between social support and psychiatric distress. While G carriers displayed the predicted negative relationship between social support and psychiatric distress, T homozygotes failed to exhibit such a relationship.
    Conclusion: Genetically driven variation in oxytocin system functioning may influence the degree to which the beneficial effects of social support are felt in this population. These results have direct clinical relevance as enhancing social engagement to improve mental health may prove to be a less effective strategy in some patients owing to intrinsic factors.
    Short summary: The associations between oxytocin genotype, social support, and psychological health were analyzed in data from 269 adults diagnosed with DSM-IV alcohol dependence. A significant moderating effect of OXT genotype (rs2740210) on the relationship between social support and psychiatric distress was detected.

    PMID: 29040351 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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  • Postmenopausal hormone treatment alters neural pathways but does not improve verbal cognitive function.

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    Postmenopausal hormone treatment alters neural pathways but does not improve verbal cognitive function.

    Menopause. 2018 Jul 09;:

    Authors: Berent-Spillson A, Kelley AS, Persad CC, Love T, Frey KA, Reame NE, Koeppe R, Zubieta JK, Smith YR

    Abstract
    OBJECTIVE: Cognitive outcomes in trials of postmenopausal hormone treatment have been inconsistent. Differing outcomes may be attributed to hormone formulation, treatment duration and timing, and differential cognitive domain effects. We previously demonstrated treatment benefits on visual cognitive function. In the present study, we describe the effects of hormone treatment on verbal outcomes in the same women, seeking to understand the effects of prior versus current hormone treatment on verbal function.
    METHODS: This is a cross-sectional evaluation of 57 women (38 hormone users [25 prior long-term users and 13 current users] and 19 never-users). Hormone users took identical formulations of estrogen or estrogen + progestin (0.625 mg/d conjugated equine estrogens with or without medroxyprogesterone acetate) for at least 10 years, beginning within 2 years of menopause. Women were evaluated with tests of verbal function and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of a verbal discrimination task.
    RESULTS: All women scored similarly on assessments of verbal function (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test and a verbal discrimination task performed during the fMRI scanning session); however, women ever treated with hormones had more left inferior frontal (T = 3.72; P < 0.001) and right prefrontal cortex (T = 3.53; P < 0.001) activation during the verbal task. Hormone-treated women performed slightly worse on the verbal discrimination task (mean accuracy 81.72 ± 11.57 ever-treated, 85.30 ± 5.87 never-treated, P = 0.14), took longer to respond (mean reaction time 1.10 ± 0.17 s ever-treated, 1.02 ± 0.11 never-treated, P = 0.03), and remembered fewer previously viewed words (mean accuracy 62.21 ± 8.73 ever-treated, 65.45 ± 7.49 never-treated, P = 0.18). Increased posterior cingulate activity was associated with longer response times (R = 0.323, P = 0.015) and worse delayed verbal recall (R = -0.328, P = 0.048), suggesting that increased activation was associated with less efficient cognitive processing. We did not detect between group differences in activation in the left prefrontal cortex, superior frontal cortex, thalamus, or occipital/parietal junction.
    CONCLUSIONS: Although current and past hormone treatment was associated with differences in neural pathways used during verbal discrimination, verbal function was not higher than never-users.

    PMID: 29994967 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]