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  • Wierenga, Christina  (7)
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research, June 2011, Vol.35(6), pp.1034-40
    Description: Although there are multiple indications that alcohol can alter many physiological brain functions, including cerebral blood flow (CBF), studies of the latter have generally used small- or modest-sized samples. Few investigations have yet evaluated how CBF changes after alcohol relate to subsets of subjects with elevated alcoholism risks, such as those with lower levels of response (LR) to alcohol. This study used arterial spin labeling (ASL) after alcohol administration to evaluate a large sample of healthy young men and women with low and high alcohol responses, and, thus, varying risks for alcohol use disorders (AUD). Healthy young adult social drinkers with low and high LR (N=88, 50% women) matched on demography and drinking histories were imaged with whole-brain resting ASL ~1 hour after ingesting ~3 drinks of ethanol and after a placebo beverage (i.e., 178 ASL sessions). The relationships of CBF changes from placebo to alcohol for subjects with low and high LR were evaluated. CBF increased after alcohol when compared to placebo in 5 frontal brain regions. Despite identical blood alcohol concentrations, these increases with alcohol were less prominent in individuals who required more drinks to experience alcohol-related effects (i.e., had a lower LR to alcohol). The LR group differences remained significant after covarying for recent drinking quantities. The results confirm that alcohol intake is associated with acute increases in CBF, particularly in frontal regions. Less intense CBF changes were seen in subjects with a genetically influenced characteristic, a low LR to alcohol, that relates to the future risk of heavy drinking and alcohol problems.
    Keywords: Alcohol Drinking -- Genetics ; Cerebrovascular Circulation -- Physiology ; Ethanol -- Administration & Dosage ; Regional Blood Flow -- Physiology
    ISSN: 01456008
    E-ISSN: 1530-0277
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Biological Psychiatry, 15 May 2017, Vol.81(10), pp.S376-S377
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.02.656 Byline: Laura Berner (1), Alan Simmons (2), Christina Wierenga (2), Amanda Bischoff-Grethe (1), Martin Paulus (3), Ursula Bailer (4), Miki Ogasawara (1), Walter Kaye (1) Author Affiliation: (1) University of California, San Diego (2) University of California, San Diego/San Diego VA Healthcare System (3) Laureate Institute for Brain Research (4) Medical University of Vienna
    Keywords: Medicine ; Biology ; Chemistry
    ISSN: 0006-3223
    E-ISSN: 1873-2402
    E-ISSN: 18733402
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Biological Psychiatry, 01 May 2018, Vol.83(9), pp.S123-S124
    Keywords: Medicine ; Biology ; Chemistry
    ISSN: 0006-3223
    E-ISSN: 1873-2402
    Source: ScienceDirect Journals (Elsevier)
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Translational Psychiatry, 01 August 2018, Vol.8(1), pp.1-13
    Description: Abstract Interoception, or the sensing and integration of bodily state signals, has been implicated in anorexia nervosa (AN), given that the hallmark symptoms involve food restriction and body image disturbance. Here we focus on brain response to the anticipation and experience of affective interoceptive stimuli. Women remitted from AN (RAN; N = 18) and healthy comparison women (CW; N = 26) underwent a pleasant affective touch paradigm consisting of gentle strokes with a soft brush administered to the forearm or palm during functional neuroimaging. RAN had a lower brain response relative to CW during anticipation of touch, but a greater response when experiencing touch in the right ventral mid-insula. In RAN, this reduced anticipatory response was associated with higher levels of harm avoidance. Exploratory analyses in RAN also suggested that lower response during touch anticipation was associated with greater body dissatisfaction and higher perceived touch intensity ratings. This reduced responsivity to the anticipation of pleasant affective interoceptive stimuli in association with higher harm avoidance, along with an elevated response to the experience of touch, suggests an impaired ability in AN to predict and interpret incoming physiological stimuli. Impaired interoception may thus impact one’s sense of self, thereby supporting observations of disturbed body image and avoidance of affective and social stimuli. Therapeutic approaches that help AN to better anticipate and interpret salient affective stimuli or improve tolerance of interoceptive experiences may be an important addition to current interventions.
    Keywords: Medicine
    E-ISSN: 2158-3188
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 30 September 2015, Vol.233(3), pp.394-401
    Description: This study investigated the temporal pattern of brain response to emotional stimuli during 28 days of alprazolam treatment among patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) randomized 2:1 to drug or placebo in a double-blind design. Functional magnetic resonance imaging scans obtained during an emotion face matching task (EFMT) and an affective stimulus expectancy task (STIMEX) were performed at baseline, one hour after initial drug administration and 28 days later. Alprazolam significantly reduced scores on the Hamilton Anxiety Scale and the Penn State Worry Questionnaire after one week and 28 days of treatment. Brain activation in the amygdala during the EFMT and in the insula during the STIMEX was reduced one hour after alprazolam administration but returned to baseline levels at Day 28. Exploratory analyses revealed significant treatment differences in brain activity during the STIMEX on Day 28 in frontal lobe, caudate nucleus, middle temporal gyrus, secondary visual cortex, and supramarginal gyrus. These results are consistent with the notion that the neural mechanisms supporting sustained treatment effects of benzodiazepines in GAD differ from those underlying their acute effects.
    Keywords: Alprazolam ; Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging ; Emotional Faces ; Affective Anticipation ; Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial ; Generalized Anxiety Disorder ; Medicine
    ISSN: 0925-4927
    E-ISSN: 1872-7506
    E-ISSN: 18727123
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, June 2019, Vol.44(7), pp.1265-1273
    Description: Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by dysregulated intake of food, which may indicate homeostatic imbalance. Critically important for homeostatic regulation is interoception, or the sensing and processing of body-relevant information. A well-documented link between avoidance of unpleasant body sensations and BN symptoms suggests that aversive interoceptive experiences may be particularly relevant to BN pathophysiology. This study examined whether individuals with a history of BN show aberrant neural processing of aversive interoceptive stimuli. Using a cued inspiratory breathing load paradigm, we compared women remitted from BN (RBN; n = 24; to reduce the confounding effects of active bulimic symptoms) and control women (CW; n = 25). During breathing load anticipation, the RBN group, relative to CW, showed increased activation in mid-insula, superior frontal gyrus, putamen, dorsal anterior cingulate, posterior cingulate, and amygdala. However, over the course of the aversive experience, neural activation in RBN relative to CW showed an aberrant decline in most of these regions. Exploratory analyses indicated that greater activation during breathing load anticipation was associated with past bulimic symptom severity and the duration of symptom remission. An exaggerated anticipatory response and an abnormally decreasing response during aversive homeostatic perturbations may promote hallmark bulimic behaviors-binge eating, dietary restriction, and purging. Our findings support a role for homeostatic instability in BN, and these altered patterns of brain activation may serve as novel targets for pharmacological, neuromodulatory, and behavioral interventions.
    Keywords: Putamen ; Respiration ; Amygdala ; Purging ; Diet ; Eating Disorders ; Signs and Symptoms ; Bulimia ; Pharmacology ; Brain ; Frontal Gyrus ; Information Processing ; Stability ; Eating Disorders ; Bulimia Nervosa ; Remission ; Active Control ; Breathing ; Food Intake;
    ISSN: 0893133X
    E-ISSN: 1740-634X
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 06/2018, Vol.3(6), pp.501-513
    Description: Interoception refers to the process by which the nervous system senses, interprets, and integrates signals originating from within the body, providing a moment-by-moment mapping of the body’s internal landscape across conscious and unconscious levels. Interoceptive signaling has been considered a component process of reflexes, urges, feelings, drives, adaptive responses, and cognitive and emotional experiences, highlighting its contributions to the maintenance of homeostatic functioning, body regulation, and survival. Dysfunction of interoception is increasingly recognized as an important component of different mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, addictive disorders, and somatic symptom disorders. However, a number of conceptual and methodological challenges have made it difficult for interoceptive constructs to be broadly applied in mental health research and treatment settings. In November 2016, the Laureate Institute for Brain Research organized the first Interoception Summit, a gathering of interoception experts from around the world, with the goal of accelerating progress in understanding the role of interoception in mental health. The discussions at the meeting were organized around four themes: interoceptive assessment, interoceptive integration, interoceptive psychopathology, and the generation of a roadmap that could serve as a guide for future endeavors. This review article presents an overview of the emerging consensus generated by the meeting.
    Keywords: Biomarker ; Computational Psychiatry ; Interoception ; Mental Health ; Research Domain Criteria ; Treatment;
    ISSN: 24519022
    E-ISSN: 24519030
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