Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Essential amino acids in the gluten-free diet and serum in relation to depression in patients with celiac disease
    Hees, Nathalie J.M. van; Giltay, E.J. ; Tielemans, S.M.A.J. ; Geleijnse, J.M. ; Puvill, Thomas ; Janssen, Nadine ; Does, Willem van der - \ 2015
    Leiden University
    Coeliac disease - gluten intolerance - psychopathology - depression - diet adherence - gluten-free diet - amino acids - tryptophan - tyrosine - Trp/LNAA ratio
    Introduction: Celiac disease (CD) is associated with an increased risk of major depressive disorder, possibly due to deficiencies in micronutrients in the gluten-free diet. We aimed to investigate whether essential amino acids (i.e., the precursors of serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters) are depleted in the diet and serum of CD patients with major depressive disorder. Methods: In a cross-sectional study we assessed dietary intake of amino acids and serum levels of amino acids, including in 77 CD patients on a gluten-free diet and in 33 healthy controls. , major depressive disorder was assessed with structured interviews (using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview Plus). Dietary intake of amino acids was assessed (using a 203-item food frequency questionnaire), and serum levels of amino acids were assessed. Results: Participants had a mean age of 55 years and 74% were women. The intake of vegetable protein was significantly lower in CD patients than in healthy controls (mean difference of 7.8 g/d; 95% CI: 4.7 - 10.8), as were serum concentrations of tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan (all p < 0.005). However, within the CD patient groups, the presence of major depressive disorder (n = 42) was not associated with intake or serum levels of essential amino acids. Conclusions: We found that patients with CD on a long-term successful gluten-free diet, with good adherence, consume significantly less vegetable protein than controls, and their serum levels of several essential amino acids were also lower in CD versus controls. Despite its potential adverse effect, intake and serum levels of essential amino acids were not related to major depression.
    Sex-biased inbreeding effects on reproductive success and home range size of the critically endangered black rhinoceros
    Cain, W.S. ; Wandera, A.B. ; Shawcross, S.G. ; Ouma, B.O. ; Watts, P.C. - \ 2014
    Conservation Biology 28 (2014)2. - ISSN 0888-8892 - p. 594 - 603.
    heterozygosity-fitness correlations - wide genetic diversity - natural-populations - diceros-bicornis - multilocus heterozygosity - microsatellite markers - wild populations - south-africa - depression - reserve
    A central premise of conservation biology is that small populations suffer reduced viability through loss of genetic diversity and inbreeding. However, there is little evidence that variation in inbreeding impacts individual reproductive success within remnant populations of threatened taxa, largely due to problems associated with obtaining comprehensive pedigree information to estimate inbreeding. In the critically endangered black rhinoceros, a species that experienced severe demographic reductions, we used model selection to identify factors associated with variation in reproductive success (number of offspring). Factors examined as predictors of reproductive success were age, home range size, number of nearby mates, reserve location, and multilocus heterozygosity (a proxy for inbreeding). Multilocus heterozygosity predicted male reproductive success (p<0.001, explained deviance >58%) and correlated with male home range size (p <0.01, r2 > 44%). Such effects were not apparent in females, where reproductive success was determined by age (p <0.01, explained deviance 34%) as females raise calves alone and choose between, rather than compete for, mates. This first report of a 3-way association between an individual male's heterozygosity, reproductive output, and territory size in a large vertebrate is consistent with an asymmetry in the level of intrasexual competition and highlights the relevance of sex-biased inbreeding for the management of many conservation-priority species. Our results contrast with the idea that wild populations of threatened taxa may possess some inherent difference from most nonthreatened populations that necessitates the use of detailed pedigrees to study inbreeding effects. Despite substantial variance in male reproductive success, the increased fitness of more heterozygous males limits the loss of heterozygosity. Understanding how individual differences in genetic diversity mediate the outcome of intrasexual competition will be essential for effective management, particularly in enclosed populations, where individuals have restricted choice about home range location and where the reproductive impact of translocated animals will depend upon the background distribution in individual heterozygosity. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.
    Vitamin D-tour : cognition and depression: the role of vitamin D and its interplay with glucose homeostasis
    Brouwer-Brolsma, E.M. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Lisette de Groot; Edith Feskens, co-promotor(en): Teun Schuurman; Wilma Steegenga. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571082 - 215
    vitamine d - depressie - glucose - homeostase - gezondheid - hersenen - vitaminetekorten - vitamin d - depression - glucose - homeostasis - health - brain - vitamin deficiencies

    According to recent estimations approximately 35.6 million people have dementia worldwide. Globally, 350 million people experience one or more depressive episodes during their life. As the therapeutic options for dementia and depression are limited, these conditions form a major challenge for public health and society. More and more researchers have initiated research on potential preventive factors for dementia and depression, including the potential effects of nutritional factors. The aim of this PhD-thesis was to study the role of vitamin D and its potential interplay with glucose homeostasis, in the development of cognitive decline and depression, using epidemiological data as well experimental animal data.

    Chapter 2 recapitulates a debate between vitamin D experts that was organized to make a step towards the harmonization on the formulation of optimal vitamin D intake levels and serum 25(OH)D concentrations across Europe. It was concluded that based on the current evidence-base 25(OH)D concentrations ≥50 nmol/L are sufficient with respect to optimal bone health. For health outcomes beyond bone health evidence was considered insufficient to formulate optimal levels. In order to achieve and maintain a 25(OH)D concentration ≥50 nmol/L, older adults aged ≥65 years were recommended to adhere to a vitamin D intake of 20 μg/day.

    Chapter 3 shows that there is a high prevalence of 25(OH)D inadequacy in a population of Dutch older adults that participated in the B-PROOF study (n=2857), namely 45% had 25(OH)D concentrations <50 nmol/L. Mean vitamin D intake was 4.9±2.9 µg/day and only 20% of the participants reported to use vitamin D containing supplements. Exploration of the determinants of 25(OH)D status showed significant associations between vitamin D ‘raising’ SNPs (n=2530), higher sun exposure (n=1012), vitamin D intake (n=596) and higher 25(OH)D concentrations. Including all the potential relevant predictors in one model explained 35% of the variance in 25(OH)D status (R2=0.35).

    In chapter 4 the associations between 25(OH)D status and global cognitive performance (n=116), depressive symptoms (n=118), and surrogate markers of glucose intolerance (n=593) were evaluated using data of European adults aged 70-75 years. None of the associations reached significance.

    Studying the potential role of vitamin D in domain-specific cognitive performance and depression in 127 Dutch pre-frail and frail older adults aged ≥65 years (chapter 5), showed an association between 25(OH)D concentration and executive functioning, and a tendency towards an association with information processing speed. Stratification for ‘low’ and ‘high’ fasting glucose concentrations did not suggest an interaction between vitamin D and glucose homeostasis in the association with domain-specific cognitive performance. Moreover, adding fasting glucose or insulin did not substantially influence the associations between 25(OH)D status and domain-specific cognitive performance, and hence a mediation effect of glucose homeostasis was considered unlikely.

    We furthermore observed associations of 25(OH)D status with attention and working memory (n=787) (chapter 6), depression (n=2839) (chapter 7) and grey matter volume of the brain (n=217) (chapter 8) in a population community-dwelling Dutch older adults aged ≥65 years. Again, these studies did not provide evidence that the associations were modified or mediated by glucose intolerance. However, it should be emphasized that glucose intolerance in these three chapters was defined sub-optimally, specifically using blood samples that may have been collected in a non-fasting state, or by using self-reported diabetes data. Hence, the mediation and interaction effects should be interpreted cautiously.

    Finally, chapter 9 shows the results of a proof of principle study on the effect of a long-term vitamin D deficiency on cognitive decline and emotional reactivity in old C57BL/6j mice. Modest tendencies were shown for a relation between vitamin D and spatial learning, but these tendencies did not reach significance. Vitamin D deficiency did not affect recognition memory, spatial memory or emotional reactivity. Mice that received a higher dietary fat load, which was given to induce an impaired glucose tolerance, did not respond differently to a vitamin D deficiency than mice that received a low fat diet did.

    Overall, it is concluded that the evidence for an effect of vitamin D on cognitive performance/decline, depression or brain volume is insufficient to formulate disease specific cut-off values for vitamin D intake or 25(OH)D status. However, given the high prevalence of 25(OH)D concentrations <50 nmol/L we do call for a more active promotion of the current vitamin D intake recommendations.

    Faecal microbiota composition and host-microbe cross-talk following gastroenteritis and in postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome
    Jalanka-Tuovinen, J. ; Salojärvi, J. ; Salonen, A. ; Immonen, O. ; Garsed, K. ; Kelly, F.M. ; Zaitoun, A. ; Palva, A. ; Spiller, R.C. ; Vos, W.M. de - \ 2014
    Gut 63 (2014)11. - ISSN 0017-5749 - p. 1737 - 1745.
    gastrointestinal microbiota - phylogenetic microarray - disease - questionnaire - depression - anxiety - inflammation - association - mechanisms - bacterial
    Background - About 10% of patients with IBS report the start of the syndrome after infectious enteritis. The clinical features of postinfectious IBS (PI-IBS) resemble those of diarrhoea-predominant IBS (IBS-D). While altered faecal microbiota has been identified in other IBS subtypes, composition of the microbiota in patients with PI-IBS remains uncharacterised. Objective - To characterise the microbial composition of patients with PI-IBS, and to examine the associations between the faecal microbiota and a patient's clinical features. Design - Using a phylogenetic microarray and selected qPCR assays, we analysed differences in the faecal microbiota of 57 subjects from five study groups: patients with diagnosed PI-IBS, patients who 6 months after gastroenteritis had either persisting bowel dysfunction or no IBS symptoms, benchmarked against patients with IBS-D and healthy controls. In addition, the associations between the faecal microbiota and health were investigated by correlating the microbial profiles to immunological markers, quality of life indicators and host gene expression in rectal biopsies. Results - Microbiota analysis revealed a bacterial profile of 27 genus-like groups, providing an Index of Microbial Dysbiosis (IMD), which significantly separated patient groups and controls. Within this profile, several members of Bacteroidetes phylum were increased 12-fold in patients, while healthy controls had 35-fold more uncultured Clostridia. We showed correlations between the IMD and expression of several host gene pathways, including amino acid synthesis, cell junction integrity and inflammatory response, suggesting an impaired epithelial barrier function in IBS. Conclusions - The faecal microbiota of patients with PI-IBS differs from that of healthy controls and resembles that of patients with IBS-D, suggesting a common pathophysiology. Moreover, our analysis suggests a variety of host–microbe associations that may underlie intestinal symptoms, initiated by gastroenteritis
    The scent of inbreeding: a male sex pheromone betrays inbred males
    Bergen, E. van; Brakefield, P.M. ; Heuskin, S. ; Zwaan, B.J. ; Nieberding, C.M. - \ 2013
    Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences 280 (2013)1758. - ISSN 0962-8452
    butterfly bicyclus-anynana - mate-choice - drosophila-melanogaster - male courtship - genetic load - teleogryllus-commodus - morphological traits - life-history - depression - heterozygosity
    Inbreeding depression results from mating among genetically related individuals and impairs reproductive success. The decrease in male mating success is usually attributed to an impact on multiple fitness-related traits that reduce the general condition of inbred males. Here, we find that the production of the male sex pheromone is reduced significantly by inbreeding in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana. Other traits indicative of the general condition, including flight performance, are also negatively affected in male butterflies by inbreeding. Yet, we unambiguously show that only the production of male pheromones affects mating success. Thus, this pheromone signal informs females about the inbreeding status of their mating partners. We also identify the specific chemical component (hexadecanal) probably responsible for the decrease in male mating success. Our results advocate giving increased attention to olfactory communication as a major causal factor of mate-choice decisions and sexual selection
    Effect evaluation of a two-year complex intervention to reduce loneliness in non-institutionalised elderly Dutch people
    Honigh-de Vlaming, R. ; Haveman-Nies, A. ; Heinrich, J. ; Veer, P. van 't; Groot, C.P.G.M. de - \ 2013
    BMC Public Health 13 (2013). - ISSN 1471-2458
    friendship enrichment program - older-adult loneliness - social-isolation - health-promotion - risk-factors - support - metaanalysis - depression - design - women
    Background: Public health policy calls for intervention programmes to reduce loneliness in the ageing population. So far, numerous loneliness interventions have been developed, with effectiveness demonstrated for few of these interventions. The loneliness intervention described in this manuscript distinguishes itself from others by including multiple intervention components and targeting individuals and their environment. Intervention components included a mass media campaign, information meetings, psychosocial group courses, social activities organised by neighbours, and training of intermediaries. The aim of this manuscript is to study the effects of this integrated approach on initial and long-term outcomes. Methods: A quasi-experimental pre-test post-test intervention study was conducted among non-institutionalised elderly people aged 65 years and over to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention by comparing the intervention community and the control community. Data on outputs, initial and long-term outcomes, and the overall goal were collected by self-administered questionnaires. Data of 858 elderly people were available for the analyses. To assess the effect linear regression analyses with adjustments for age, gender, church attendance, and mental health were used. In addition, the process evaluation provided information about the reach of the intervention components. Results: After two years, 39% of the elderly people were familiar with the intervention programme. The intervention group scored more favourably than the control group on three subscales of the initial outcome, motivation (-4.4%, 95% CI-8.3-0.7), perceived social support (-8.2%, 95% CI-13.6-2.4), and subjective norm (-11.5%, 95% CI-17.4-5.4). However, no overall effects were observed for the long-term outcome, social support, and overall goal, loneliness. Conclusions: Two years after its initiation the reach of the intervention programme was modest. Though no effect of the complex intervention was found on social support and loneliness, more favourable scores on loneliness literacy subscales were induced.
    Does acute tryptophan depletion affect peripheral serotonin metabolism in the intestine?
    Keszthelyi, D. ; Troost, F.J. ; Jonkers, D.M. ; Donkelaar, E.L. van; Dekker, J. ; Buurman, W.A. ; Masclee, A.A. - \ 2012
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 95 (2012)3. - ISSN 0002-9165 - p. 603 - 608.
    5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid - gastrointestinal-tract - cerebrospinal-fluid - brain - permeability - depression - cortisol - reuptake - humans - lumbar
    Background: Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT), a tryptophan metabolite, plays an important regulatory role in the human central nervous system and in the gastrointestinal tract. Acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) is currently the most widely established method to investigate 5-HT metabolism. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of an acute decrease in the systemic availability of tryptophan on intestinal 5-HT metabolism and permeability. Design: Thirty-three healthy volunteers (17 with ATD, 3 of whom dropped out; 16 placebo) participated in this randomized placebo-controlled study. Plasma and duodenal mucosal concentrations of 5-HT, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), and kynurenic acid (KA) were measured by HPLC-mass spectrometry. Intestinal barrier function was assessed with a multisugar plasma test, and analysis of tight junction transcription was performed in duodenal biopsy samples obtained by gastroduodenoscopy. Results: Mucosal 5-HT, 5-HIAA, and KA concentrations remained unaltered by ATD. In contrast, ATD significantly decreased plasma 5-HT (P <0.05) and 5-HIAA (P <0.0001) concentrations. After endoscopy, a significant increase in plasma 5-HT concentrations was observed in the placebo group (P = 0.029) compared with the ATD group. Moreover, a significant increase in plasma KA concentrations over time was found in the placebo group (P <0.05). No changes in intestinal barrier function were observed. Conclusions: An acute decrease in precursor availability does not affect mucosal concentrations of serotonergic metabolites, in contrast with systemic concentrations. ATD alters biochemical responses to acute stress from the endoscopic examination reflected by lower 5-HT concentrations. Changes in 5-HT concentrations were paralleled by alterations in KA concentrations, which suggest competition between the 2 metabolic pathways for the mutual precursor. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00731003. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:603-8.
    The microbiota and the gut-brain axis: insights from the temporal and spatial mucosal alterations during colonisation of the germfree mouse intestine.
    Aidy, S.F. El; Kunze, W. ; Bienenstock, J. ; Kleerebezem, M. - \ 2012
    Beneficial Microbes 3 (2012)4. - ISSN 1876-2883 - p. 251 - 259.
    mice - behavior - depression - disease - system - microflora - rat
    The influence of the gut microbiota on the nervous system, brain development and behaviour, in particular during microbial colonisation of the host, has recently been receiving profound interest. Our time-resolved mining of combined data analyses of the ex-germfree mouse intestine during a 30-day course of colonisation with conventional mouse faecal microbiota (conventionalisation), shed light on temporal altered expression of genes of which the products influenced functions of the nervous system. Plasma tryptophan and kynurenine levels reflected high indoleamine dioxygenase activity, which was supported by significant temporal induction of the encoding gene in all gut tissues. However, the majority of genes associated with neuronal development and function were reduced. Colonic substance P elevation in response to conventionalisation was higher only after 30-days. These results support a functional microbiota-neurohumoral relationship during conventionalisation and suggest a delayed neuronal response that is elicited only after the microbiota accommodating homeostasis has been accomplished.
    Telomere length and mental well-being in eldery men from the Netherlands and Greece
    Rius-Ottenheim, N. ; Houben, J.M.J. ; Kromhout, D. ; Kafatos, A. ; Mast, R.C. van der; Zitman, F.G. ; Geleijnse, J.M. ; Hageman, G.J. ; Giltay, E.J. - \ 2012
    Behavior Genetics 42 (2012)2. - ISSN 0001-8244 - p. 278 - 286.
    geriatric medical patients - oxidative stress - mediterranean diet - oldest-old - mortality - depression - disease - zutphen - women - association
    Telomeres, repetitive DNA sequences that promote chromosomal stability, have been related to different measures of mental well-being and self-rated health, but mainly in women during adulthood. We aimed to investigate whether accelerated telomere shortening is associated with poor mental well-being and poor self-rated health in community-dwelling elderly men. Leukocyte telomere length was measured using quantitative PCR in two different samples of 203 elderly men (mean age 78 years) from the Netherlands in 1993, and 123 elderly men (mean age 84 years) from Greece in 2000. We also obtained follow-up data in 2000 from 144 Dutch subjects, of whom 75 had paired telomere length data in 1993 and 2000. Mental well-being was conceptualized as dispositional optimism, depressive symptoms, cognitive functioning, and loneliness. Linear regression analyses were used to study the association between telomere length, measures of mental well being, and self-rated health, while adjusting for potential confounders. In cross-sectional analyses, leukocyte telomere length was not associated with measures of mental well-being and self-rated health, neither in the Netherlands nor in Greece. Also, the rate of leukocyte telomere shortening (mean decrease: 0.28 kbp over 7 years) in the 75 Dutch participants with longitudinal data was not associated with changes in different measures of mental well-being and self-rated health. Thus, our results provide no support for a relationship between leukocyte telomere length and mental well-being in elderly community-dwelling men
    C-reactive protein haplotypes and dispositional optimism in obese and nonobese elderly subjects
    Rius-Ottenheim, N. ; Craen, A.J.M. ; Geleijnse, J.M. ; Slagboom, P.E. ; Westendorp, R.G. ; Giltay, E.J. - \ 2012
    Inflammation Research 61 (2012)1. - ISSN 1023-3830 - p. 43 - 51.
    nutrition examination survey - coronary-heart-disease - 3rd national-health - crp gene - mendelian randomization - positive affect - inflammatory markers - depression - polymorphisms - women
    Background Chronic low-grade inflammation, characterized by elevated plasma levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), has been inversely associated with dispositional optimism. Using a Mendelian randomization design, this study explores whether CRP haplotypes that determine CRP plasma levels are also associated with dispositional optimism. Methods In a sample of 1,084 community-dwelling subjects (aged 60–85 years) from three cohort studies (Arnhem Elderly Study, n = 426; Leiden Longevity Study, n = 355; Zutphen Elderly Study, n = 303), six CRP polymorphisms (rs2808628, rs2808630, rs1205, rs1800947, rs1417938, and rs3091244) coding for five common haplotypes were genotyped. The association of CRP haplotypes with CRP plasma levels and dispositional optimism was analyzed using multivariable linear regression models. Subanalyses were stratified by body mass index (BMI =25 kg/m2). Results CRP haplotypes determined CRP plasma levels (adjusted ß = 0.094, p <0.001). In the whole group, no association was found between CRP haplotypes and dispositional optimism scores (adjusted ß = -0.02, p = 0.45). In BMI strata, CRP haplotypes were associated with increasing levels of plasma CRP levels (adjusted ß = 0.112; p = 0.002) and lower dispositional optimism levels (adjusted ß = -0.068; p = 0.03) in the obese group only. Conclusions These results suggest that genetically increased CRP levels are involved in low dispositional optimism, but only in case of obesity
    Genetic variation in folate metabolism is not associated with cognitive functioning or mood in healthy adults
    Schiepers, O.J.G. ; Boxtel, M.P.J. van; Groot, R.H.M. ; Jolles, J. ; Bekers, O. ; Kok, F.J. ; Verhoef, P. ; Durga, J. - \ 2011
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 35 (2011)7. - ISSN 0278-5846 - p. 1682 - 1688.
    methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene - serine hydroxymethyltransferase genes - mthfr c677t polymorphism - participants aged 24-81 - normative data - thymidylate synthase - alzheimers-disease - colorectal-cancer - common mutation - depression
    The present study examined the associations between genetic variation in folate metabolism on the one hand and cognitive functioning and mood on the other in healthy individuals. Two independent population-based samples were used, including 777 participants, aged 24-82 years, from the Maastricht Aging Study (MAAS): and 818 participants, aged 50-70 years, from the Folic Acid and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (FACIT) study. Thymidylate synthase (75.) 2R -> 3R and serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT1) 1420C -> J polymorphisms were determined in both populations. In addition, the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677C -> T polymorphism was determined in the MAAS population. Cognitive performance was assessed in both populations using a neuropsychological test battery. In the MAAS population only, cognitive performance was retested after 12 years of follow-up (n = 612), and mood was measured at baseline (n = 772) and 12-year follow-up (n = 565) by means of the depression subscale of the Symptom Checklist 90. We found that in both study populations, cognitive performance was not associated with TS 2R -> 3R or SHMT1 1420C -> T polymorphisms at baseline, after correction for age, sex, and level of education. The MTHFR 677C -> T polymorphism was not associated with cognitive performance in the MAAS population. None of the polymorphisms in the MAAS population were related to mood at baseline or over 12 years. In conclusion, our findings do not support the involvement of genetic variation in folate metabolism in cognitive performance or mood in healthy individuals.
    The danger of unrealistic optimism - linking cargivers' perceived ability to help victims of terror with their own secondary trauma
    Shalvi, S. ; Shenkman, G. ; Handgraaf, M.J.J. ; Dreu, C.K.W. De - \ 2011
    Journal of Applied Social Psychology 41 (2011)11. - ISSN 0021-9029 - p. 2656 - 2672.
    positive illusions - mental-health - self - depression - perspective - prevalence - relevant - behavior - workers - future
    This study examined how caregivers' biased perceptions of ability to help traumatized patients relates to the caregivers' secondary traumatic stress (STS). There is reason to believe that caregivers overestimate their ability to help and underestimate their vulnerability to develop STS, but it is unclear how such unrealistic optimism relates to STS. The results show that Israeli caregivers working with terror victims believed that their ability to help traumatic patients is superior to their peers' while their likelihood to be negatively affected by such treatment is lower. Beyond the impact of the number of patients treated and caregivers' experience, unrealistic optimism was positively correlated to caregivers' STS. Theoretical and practical implications for those working with traumatized patients are discussed. In a world filled with conflict and terror, an increasing number of individuals are traumatized and both seek and need help to cope with their gruesome experiences. Unfortunately, the impact of a traumatic experience goes beyond those who experience it themselves. Helping traumatic patients bear their pain and reconstruct their shattered reality comes at considerable costs for treating caregivers. Caregivers working with traumatized patients often experience compassion fatigue or, more generally, secondary traumatic stress (STS). STS is manifested in symptoms similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including fear, difficulty sleeping, recurringimages of traumatic experience, and cognitive and behavioral avoidance of trauma reminders (Boscarino, Figley, & Adams, 2004; Figley, 1995). Listening to the stories of traumatized patients, helping them bear their pain, and attempting to reconstruct their shattered reality extracts a personal price from caregivers (Pearlman & Saakvitne, 1995). The transfer of trauma from victims to their immediate social environment creates what Basham (2008) referred to as a new front, calling for special awareness to these exposed groups. Therapists working with survivors of the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center attack (Boscarino et al., 2004; Creamer & Liddle, 2005; Eidelson, D'Alessio, & Eidelson, 2003), as well as the 1995 Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing (Wee & Myers, 2002) suffered from high levels of STS. High STS levels were also found among social workers working in Israeli hospitals sharing the patients' war reality (Lev-Wiesel, Goldblatt, Eizikovits, & Admi, 2008). In recent years, awareness of the impact of trauma treatment on caregivers is growing rapidly. Social workers engaged in direct practice with traumatic patients of domestic and politically related violence have experienced symptoms of STS (Bride, 2007). Caregivers who tend not to work thoroughly through the traumatic events with their patients and advocate that perspective have been found to demonstrate high STS levels (Deighton, Gurris, & Traue, 2007). Among the situational characteristics that (negatively) correlate with lay trauma counselors' STS are the level of their program coordination, perceived social support, and the program director's commitment. On the chronic personality level, self-efficacy and sense of coherence have been negatively correlated with STS levels (Ortlepp & Friedman, 2002). Exploring factors that correlate with STS manifestation is of high importance, as it may contribute to mapping potential STS risk factors. The current study focuses on one prominent factor: the extent to which the caregiver's perceived ability to help is accurate or, instead, is biased in an optimistic, self-serving manner. As far as we know, ours is the first study to look directly at this relationship between unrealistic optimism and STS. It addresses questions such as the following: Do caregivers who treat traumatized patients perceive their ability to help patients recover as superior to the ability of peers with similar experience? Do they feel less vulnerable than their peers to suffering from the negative consequences of trauma treatment? Are these biased perceptions associated with lower levels of STS, as positive illusions theories might suggest? Or are these biased perceptions associated with higher levels of STS, as suggested by theories considering the individual as a naïve scientist? To answer these and related questions, we used a cross-sectional design to survey Israeli caregivers working with traumatized victims of war and terror. These caregivers are typically called to hospitals in a mass-casualty event to provide psychological first aid (Gagin, Cohen, & Peled-Avram, 2005). Many of these caregivers work with multiple helping systems (e.g., social security, welfare) simultaneously (Woodrow & Ginsberg, 1997), and face difficulties creating a sense of safe environment for their patients (Shalvi & Luzzatto, 2006). Thus, apart from a theoretical contribution concerning the relationship between unrealistic optimism and STS, the current study also highlights practical implications for a particularly important and vulnerable group of caregivers.
    Alteration of gene expression in mammary gland tissue of dairy cows in response to dietary unsaturated fatty acids
    Mach Casellas, N. ; Jacobs, A.A.A. ; Kruijt, L. ; Baal, J. van; Smits, M.A. - \ 2011
    Animal 5 (2011)08. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 1217 - 1230.
    polymerase-chain-reaction - conjugated linoleic-acid - milk-fat - nutritional regulation - lipid-metabolism - detergent fiber - adipose-tissue - lactating cows - depression - identification
    The aim of this study was to determine the effects of supplementing unprotected dietary unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) from different plant oils on gene expression in the mammary gland of grazing dairy cows. A total of 28 Holstein–Friesian dairy cows in mid-lactation were blocked according to parity, days in milk, milk yield and fat percentage. The cows were then randomly assigned to four UFA sources based on rapeseed, soybean, linseed or a mixture of the three oils for 23 days, after which, all 28 cows were switched to a control diet for an additional 28 days. On the last day of both periods, mammary gland biopsies were taken to study genome-wide differences in gene expression on Affymetrix GeneChip® Bovine Genome Arrays (no. 900493) by ServiceXS (Leiden, The Netherlands). Supplementation with UFAs resulted in increased milk yield but decreased milk fat and protein percentages. Furthermore, the proportion of de novo fatty acids (FAs) in the milk was reduced, whereas that of long-chain FAs increased. Applying a statistical cut-off of false discovery rate of q-values
    Polyunsaturated fatty acids in various macroalgal species from north Atlantic and tropical seas
    Ginneken, V.J.T. van; Helsper, J.P.F.G. ; Visser, W. de; Keulen, H. van; Brandenburg, W.A. - \ 2011
    Lipids in Health and Disease 10 (2011). - ISSN 1476-511X - 8 p.
    cardiovascular-disease - marine macroalgae - edible seaweeds - sargassum - products - risk - fish - depression - cancer - waters
    Background - In this study the efficacy of using marine macroalgae as a source for polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are associated with the prevention of inflammation, cardiovascular diseases and mental disorders, was investigated. Methods - The fatty acid (FA) composition in lipids from seven sea weed species from the North Sea (Ulva lactuca, Chondrus crispus, Laminaria hyperborea, Fucus serratus, Undaria pinnatifida, Palmaria palmata, Ascophyllum nodosum) and two from tropical seas (Caulerpa taxifolia, Sargassum natans) was determined using GCMS. Four independent replicates were taken from each seaweed species. Results - Omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), were in the concentration range of 2-14 mg/g dry matter (DM), while total lipid content ranged from 7-45 mg/g DM. The n-9 FAs of the selected seaweeds accounted for 3%-56% of total FAs, n-6 FAs for 3%-32% and n-3 FAs for 8%-63%. Red and brown seaweeds contain arachidonic (C20:4, n-6) and/or eicosapentaenoic acids (EPA, C20:5, n-3), the latter being an important "fish" FA, as major PUFAs while in green seaweeds these values are low and mainly C16 FAs were found. A unique observation is the presence of another typical "fish" fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6, n-3) at ˜ 1 mg/g DM in S. natans. The n-6: n-3 ratio is in the range of 0.05-2.75 and in most cases below 1.0. Environmental effects on lipid-bound FA composition in seaweed species are discussed. Conclusion - Marine macroalgae form a good, durable and virtually inexhaustible source for polyunsaturated fatty acids with an (n-6) FA: (n-3) FA ratio of about 1.0. This ratio is recommended by the World Health Organization to be less than 10 in order to prevent inflammatory, cardiovascular and nervous system disorders. Some marine macroalgal species, like P. palmata, contain high proportions of the "fish fatty acid" eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5, n-3), while in S. natans also docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6, n-3) was detected.
    Gardening promotes neuroendocrine and affective restoration from stress
    Berg, A.E. van den; Custers, M.H.G. - \ 2011
    Journal of Health Psychology 16 (2011)1. - ISSN 1359-1053 - p. 3 - 11.
    physical-activity - salivary cortisol - health - exercise - depression - landscapes - preference - exposure - adults - impact
    Stress-relieving effects of gardening were hypothesized and tested in a field experiment. Thirty allotment gardeners performed a stressful Stroop task and were then randomly assigned to 30 minutes of outdoor gardening or indoor reading on their own allotment plot. Salivary cortisol levels and self-reported mood were repeatedly measured. Gardening and reading each led to decreases in cortisol during the recovery period, but decreases were significantly stronger in the gardening group. Positive mood was fully restored after gardening, but further deteriorated during reading. These findings provide the first experimental evidence that gardening can promote relief from acute stress
    Financial problems and psychological distress: Investigating reciprocal effects among business owners
    Gorgievski, M.J. ; Bakker, A.B. ; Schaufeli, W.B. ; Veen, H.B. van der; Giesen, C.W.M. - \ 2010
    Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 83 (2010)2. - ISSN 0963-1798 - p. 513 - 530.
    dynamic equilibrium-model - negative affectivity - job characteristics - farm operators - stress process - self - performance - depression - health - strain
    Building on conservation of resources theory and the dynamic equilibrium model, this three-wave longitudinal study among 260 Dutch agricultural business owners (1-year time intervals) investigated reciprocal relationships between the financial situation of the business and psychological distress. Results of structural equation modelling analyses revealed a negative spiral of farm decline, in which psychological variables played a key role. Experiencing financial problems predicted psychological distress, and acted as a self-fulfilling prophecy by strengthening intentions to quit the business, which predicted a deterioration of the objective financial situation of the business 1 year later. Moreover, farmers experiencing more psychological distress were more likely to get caught in this negative spiral than business owners with better mental health, because they experienced more financial problems, irrespective of their objective financial situation. Long-term psychological distress rather than temporary fluctuations in distress levels accounted for this effect.
    Parental control and the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) interaction on emotional eating in adolescence
    Strien, T. van; Snoek, H.M. ; Zwaluw, C.S. van der; Engels, R.C. - \ 2010
    Appetite 54 (2010)2. - ISSN 0195-6663 - p. 255 - 261.
    psychological control - adjustment - behavior - overweight - depression - stress - reward - food - polymorphism - sensitivity
    The present study addresses the emergence of emotional eating in adolescence in relation to maternal or paternal psychological control. A reduction of food intake is considered the biological natural response to distress, therefore we tested whether the a-typical stress response of emotional eating develops in interaction with genetic vulnerability. Carrying the A1 allele of the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene Taq1A polymorphism (rs1800497) is associated with reduced dopamine D2 receptor availability in the brain. We hypothesized that carrying this allele would confer risk for the development of emotional eating, particularly so in adolescents with adverse rearing experiences. Participants were 279 Dutch adolescents (average age of 13.4) that participated in a prospective study with a four-year follow-up. We found a moderator effect of DRD2 genotype on the relation between both maternal and paternal psychological control and increases in emotional eating in both sexes. Adolescents showed only an increase in emotional eating in relation to high psychological control if they carried at least one DRD2 A1 allele. This study is the first to show that the relationship between adverse rearing experiences and emotional eating might be dependent on genetic make-up.
    Training GP's to use a minimal intervention for stress-related mental disorders with sick leave (MISS): Effects on performance: Results of the MISS project; a cluster-randomised controlled trial [ISRCTN43779641]
    Bakker, I.M. ; Marwijk, H.W.J. van; Terluin, B. ; Anema, J.R. ; Mechelen, W. van; Stalman, W.A.B. - \ 2010
    Patient Education and Counseling 78 (2010)2. - ISSN 0738-3991 - p. 206 - 211.
    general-practice - health problems - population - care - depression - practitioners - disability - absence - needs
    Objective - To study the effects of a brief patient-stress management training on the performance of general practitioners (GPs). Methods - After training in the Minimal Intervention for Stress-related mental disorders with Sick leave (MISS), the performance of 24 GPs was compared with the usual care provided by 22 GPs. Outcome measures in this intervention were: assignment of a diagnosis, taking an activating approach and monitoring the symptoms. Results - Twenty-three GPs completed the training. Outcomes showed that the training added to a psychosocial diagnosis. Other skills (using a questionnaire to make a diagnosis, handing out information leaflets and monitoring the symptoms) were to some extent improved by the training. Conclusion - The result indicates limited adherence of GPs to the MISS. Only a few components of the training were actually applied after the training, and there is still ample room for improvement. Practice implications - More than the current 11 h of training are probably needed to change the behaviour of GPs in general. Within educational programmes more attention should be given to the implementation of new behaviour, particularly when it concerns the treatment of patients with stress-related problems
    Effect of relatedness and inbreeding on reproductive success of Nile tilapia (oreochromis niloticus)
    Fessehaye, Y. ; Bovenhuis, H. ; Rezk, M.A. ; Crooijmans, R.P.M.A. ; Arendonk, J.A.M. van; Komen, J. - \ 2009
    Aquaculture 294 (2009)3-4. - ISSN 0044-8486 - p. 180 - 186.
    fluctuating asymmetry - peromyscus-polionotus - kin recognition - mating systems - rainbow-trout - mate choice - avoidance - depression - traits - populations
    It is well established that progeny of inbred matings are less fit than those of outbred matings, and that inbred individuals suffer from reduced viability and fertility. Inbreeding can be avoided by dispersal of progeny or by actively avoiding mating with kin (mate choice). We investigated the effects of sex ratio, relatedness (kinship coefficient) and level of inbreeding on the reproductive success in Nile tilapia under semi-natural mass spawning conditions in two net enclosures (hapas). Fry were collected from the mouth of incubating females on a weekly basis and parentage assignment was done on 1115 offspring from 56 spawnings using seven polymorphic microsatellite markers. Results show that the degree of pairwise relatedness, measured by kinship coefficient, did not have any significant effect on the reproductive success of males. Female total fecundity was significantly affected by the level of inbreeding but not by body weight and gonadosomatic index. Male reproductive success, calculated as the proportion of offspring sired within a single spawning, was significantly affected by the level of inbreeding, body weight, GSI of males and sex ratio. Effects of inbreeding on male reproductive success were higher in the presence of higher number of males suggesting that the effects of inbreeding are magnified under stronger male–male competition. Our results show that there is no inbreeding avoidance via kin recognition and that accumulation of inbreeding in tilapia populations is counterbalanced by reduced reproductive success of inbred males and females
    Fish fatty acids and mental health in older people
    Rest, O. van de - \ 2009
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Lisette de Groot; Frans Kok, co-promotor(en): Marianne Geleijnse. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085854715 - 200
    geestelijke gezondheid - mentale vaardigheid - depressie - visoliën - meervoudig onverzadigde vetzuren - ouderen - verouderen - omega-3 vetzuren - mental health - mental ability - depression - fish oils - polyenoic fatty acids - elderly - aging - omega-3 fatty acids
    Background
    It has been suggested that the intake of fish and marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids could protect against age-related cognitive decline and impaired mental well-being. However, results from observational studies are inconclusive and data from randomized controlled trials in older people without clinical dementia or depression are scarce. The objective of this thesis was to investigate the effect of daily supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on cognitive performance and mental well-being in an older non-clinical population. We also examined the effect of fish oil on gene expression profiles in white blood cells to identify early changes in pathways possibly related to mental health. Furthermore, we assessed the association of fish and EPA+DHA intake with mental health in different aging populations.

    Methods
    The effect of low and high doses of EPA+DHA (400 and 1,800 mg per day, respectively) on cognitive performance, several measures of mental well-being, and gene expression was examined in a 26-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. This study was conducted in 302 individuals aged 65 years or older with no clinical diagnosis of dementia or depression. Furthermore, the cross-sectional association between fatty fish and EPA+DHA intake with cognitive performance and the association with cognitive change during 6 years of follow-up was assessed in 1,025 aging US men who participated in the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study (NAS). In addition, the associations of EPA+DHA and fish intake with depressive symptoms and dispositional optimism were assessed in 644 free-living Dutch subjects with a history of myocardial infarction.

    Results
    Daily intake of low or high doses of EPA+DHA did not affect cognitive performance, mental well-being, anxiety, or quality of life, after 13 or 26 weeks of intervention. However, treatment with EPA+DHA for 26 weeks altered gene expression in white blood cells to a more anti-inflammatory and more anti-atherogenic profile. In elderly US men we found no association of fatty fish or EPA+DHA intake with cognitive performance or 6-year cognitive change. Intake of EPA+DHA was positively associated with dispositional optimism in subjects with a history of myocardial infarction. There was also a tendency for less depressive symptoms with a higher EPA+DHA or fish intake, but this association was no longer statistically significant after controlling for confounders.

    Conclusion
    Supplemental intake of EPA+DHA is unlikely to have a short-term impact on cognitive performance or mental well-being of older people without a clinical diagnosis of dementia or depression. Whether long-term intake of EPA+DHA and fish could be beneficial to the maintenance of cognitive performance or mental well-being of older people in Western populations still needs to be established.
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