BSC discovers PTSD/personality traits link in vets

The April 2015 issue of Experimental Brain Research features a Brain Sciences Center research article authored by Lisa M. James, Samantha L. Anders, Carly K. Peterson, Brian E. Engdahl, Robert Krueger and Apostolos P. Georgopoulos entitled, "DSM-5 personality traits discriminate between posttraumatic stress disorder and control groups."




The relevance of personality traits to the study of psychopathology has long been recognized, particularly in terms of understanding patterns of comorbidity. In fact, a multidimensional personality trait model reflecting five higher-order personality dimensions — negative affect, detachment, antagonism, disinhibition, and psychoticism — is included in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and represented in the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5). However, evaluation of these dimensions and underlying personality facets within clinical samples has been limited. In the present study, we utilized the PID-5 to evaluate the personality profile elevation and composition of 150 control veterans and 35 veterans diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Results indicated that veterans with PTSD endorsed significantly more personality pathology than control veterans, with scores on detachment and psychoticism domains most clearly discriminating between the two groups. When personality domain scores were considered as parts of each subject's personality profile, a slightly different picture emerged. Specifically, the PTSD composition was primarily characterized by detachment and negative affect, followed by disinhibition, psychoticism, and antagonism in that order of relative importance. The profile of the control group was significantly different, mostly accounted for differences in antagonism and psychoticism.

Using these complementary analytic strategies, the findings demonstrate the relevance of personality pathology to PTSD, highlight internalizing features of PTSD, and pave the way for future research aimed at evaluating the role of shared maladaptive personality traits in underlying the comorbidity of PTSD and related disorders.



Mpls VA helping man with rare musical hallucinations

Minneapolis VA Medical Center neurologist Dr. Khalaf Alla Bushara and BSC Research Associate Dr. Roger E. Dumas were recently interviewed by KARE11 reporter Renee Tessman. Bushara and Dumas are using a unique approach to help VA patient and Vietnam Veteran Gregg Manderson with his musical hallucination, a novel bugle call. Working in the BSC's Studio of the Mind, Dumas re-created the melody from Manderson's description. No cure exists for what has come to be known as "musical ear syndrome", but Bushara believes that repeated playing of the recording will help his patient's brain tune it out.


(above) Notation for Manderson's musical hallucination.


View the KARE11 report - Mpls VA helping man with rare musical hallucinations

Neural interactions/apoE
paper in Exp. Brain Res.

BSC investigators Vassilios Christopoulos, Angeliki Georgopoulos and Apostolos P. Georgopoulos have published their paper entitled,"The effect of apolipoprotein E4 on synchronous neural interactions in brain cultures" in the April 2015 issue of Experimental Brain Research.

To their knowledge, this is the first study of the effects of apoE4 on neural network function in vitro. ApoE4 has been associated with various aspects of brain function and disease. The mechanisms of action of apoE4 in the brain are only partially understood and encompass various levels of reference. At the gross disease level, apoE4 is a known risk for Alzheimer’s disease, is involved in early onset of Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology in Down’s syndrome, adversely affects the sequelae of traumatic brain injury, affects susceptibility, clinical type and progression rate in multiple sclerosis, and is associated with higher symptom severity in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In a previous study, we assessed the synchronous neural interactions (SNI) in a developing neural network in brain cultures on multielectrode arrays (Christopoulos et al. in J Neural Eng 9:046008, 2012). Here, we report on the effects of apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) on these neural interactions. We carried out six experiments (five using rodent brain cultures and one using neuroblastoma cultures) in which we recorded local field potentials (LFP) from 59 sites for several days in vitro under the following conditions. In one experiment, we added to the culture media triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoproteins from a human subject with the apoE4/4 genotype, whereas in the other experiments, we added recombinant human apoE4. We found that SNI in the apoE4-treated cultures had higher coefficient of SNI variation, as compared to control cultures. These findings further document the role of SNI as a fundamental aspect of the dynamic organization of neural networks (Langheim et al. in Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103:455–459, 2006. doi:10.1073/pnas.0509623102; Georgopoulos et al. in J Neural Eng 4:349–355, 2007) and extend the effect of apoE4 on SNI (Leuthold et al. in Exp Brain Res 226:525–536, 2013) across different brain species (human, rodents), apoE source (TG-rich lipoproteins, recombinant), neural signals (MEG, LFP), and brain network (intact brain, developing brain in vitro). To our knowledge, this is the first study of the effects of apoE4 on neural network function in vitro.

Fig. 1 A picture of MEA used in these experiments (above) and photographs of cell cultures in it and two magnifications (below). images: multichannel systems


Updated April 22, 2015