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Articles by A Schneider
Total Records ( 5 ) for A Schneider
  J. M Olichney , S Chan , L. M Wong , A Schneider , A Seritan , A Niese , J. C Yang , K Laird , S Teichholtz , S Khan , F Tassone and R. Hagerman

Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome, a neurodegenerative disorder associated with premutation alleles (55–200 CGG repeats) of the FMR1 gene, affects many carriers in late-life. Patients with fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome typically have cerebellar ataxia, intranuclear inclusions in neurons and astrocytes, as well as cognitive impairment. Dementia can also be present with cognitive deficits that are as severe as in Alzheimer’s disease, however frontosubcortical type impairment is more pronounced in fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome. We sought to characterize the P600 and N400 word repetition effects in patients with fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome, using an event-related potential word repetition paradigm with demonstrated sensitivity to very early Alzheimer’s disease. We hypothesized that the fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome-affected participants with poor declarative verbal memory would have pronounced abnormalities in the P600 repetition effect. In the event-related potential experiment, subjects performed a category decision task whilst an electroencephalogram was recorded. Auditory category statements were each followed by an associated visual target word (50% ‘congruous’ category exemplars, 50% ‘incongruous’ nouns). Two-thirds of the stimuli (category statement–target word pairs) were repeated, either at short-lag (~10–40 s) or long-lag (~100–140 s). The N400 and P600 amplitude data were submitted to split-plot analyses of variance. These analyses of variance showed a highly significant reduction of the N400 repetition effect (F = 22.5, P < 0.001), but not of the P600 repetition effect, in mild fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (n = 32, mean age = 68.7, mean Mini-Mental State Examination score = 26.8). Patients with fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome had significantly smaller late positive amplitude (550–800 ms post-stimulus onset) to congruous words (P = 0.04 for group effect). Reduced P600 repetition effect amplitude was associated with poorer recall within fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome patients (r = 0.66) and across all subjects (r = 0.52). Larger P600 amplitude to new congruous words also correlated significantly with higher free recall scores (r = 0.37, P < 0.01) across all subjects. We found a correlation between the amplitude of late positivity and CGG repeat length in those with fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (r = 0.47, P = 0.006). Higher levels of FMR1 mRNA were associated with smaller N400s to incongruous words and larger positive amplitudes (between 300 and 500 ms) to congruous words. In conclusion, event-related potential word repetition effects appear sensitive to the cognitive dysfunction present in patients with mild fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome. Their more severe reduction in N400 repetition effect, than P600, is in contrast to the reverse pattern reported in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and incipient Alzheimer’s disease (Olichney et al., 2008).

  M Ogueta , O Cibik , R Eltrop , A Schneider and H. Scholz

Preference determines behavioral choices such as choosing among food sources and mates. One preference-affecting chemical is ethanol, which guides insects to fermenting fruits or leaves. Here, we show that adult Drosophila melanogaster prefer food containing up to 5% ethanol over food without ethanol and avoid food with high levels (23%) of ethanol. Although female and male flies behaved differently at ethanol-containing food sources, there was no sexual dimorphism in the preference for food containing modest ethanol levels. We also investigated whether Drosophila preference, sensitivity and tolerance to ethanol was related to the activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh), the primary ethanol-metabolizing enzyme in D. melanogaster. Impaired Adh function reduced ethanol preference in both D. melanogaster and a related species, D. sechellia. Adh-impaired flies also displayed reduced aversion to high ethanol concentrations, increased sensitivity to the effects of ethanol on postural control, and negative tolerance/sensitization (i.e., a reduction of the increased resistance to ethanol's effects that normally occurs upon repeated exposure). These data strongly indicate a linkage between ethanol-induced behavior and ethanol metabolism in adult fruit flies: Adh deficiency resulted in reduced preference to low ethanol concentrations and reduced aversion to high ones, despite recovery from ethanol being strongly impaired.

  K Wolf , A Schneider , S Breitner , S von Klot , C Meisinger , J Cyrys , H Hymer , H. E Wichmann , A Peters and for the Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) Study Group

Background— Air temperature changes have been associated with cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. The objective of this study was to examine in detail the registry-based myocardial infarction (MI) rates and coronary deaths in relation to air temperature in the area of Augsburg, Germany.

Methods and Results— Between 1995 and 2004, the Monitoring Trends and Determinants on Cardiovascular Diseases/Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (MONICA/KORA) registry recorded 9801 cases of MI and coronary deaths. Over the same period, meteorological parameters and air pollutant concentrations were measured in the study region. Poisson regression analyses adjusting for time trend, relative humidity, season, and calendar effects were used to estimate immediate, delayed, and cumulative temperature effects on the occurrence of MIs. The daily rates of total MI, nonfatal and fatal events, and incident and recurrent events were analyzed. For the total MI cases, a 10°C decrease in 5-day average temperature was associated with a relative risk of 1.10 (95% confidence interval, 1.04 to 1.15). The effect of temperature on the occurrence of nonfatal events showed a delayed pattern, whereas the association with fatal MI was more immediate. No association could be observed for recurrent events. The effects of temperature decreases on total MI cases were more pronounced in years with higher average temperatures and were visible in summer.

Conclusions— We observed an inverse relationship between temperature and MI occurrence not only during winter but also during summer. Thus, our results suggest not a pure "cold effect" but an influence of unusual temperature decreases.

  D. B Panagiotakos , K Katsouyanni , T Bellander , M Grau , W Koenig , T Lanki , R Pistelli , A Schneider , A Peters and on behalf of the AIRGENE Study Group

Background Within the framework of the multi-centre AIRGENE project we studied the association of the Mediterranean diet on plasma levels of various inflammatory markers, in myocardial infarction (MI) survivors from six geographic areas in Europe.

Methods From 2003 to 2004, 1003 patients were repeatedly clinically examined. On every clinical visit (on average 5.8 times), blood EDTA-plasma samples were collected. High sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6 and fibrinogen concentrations were measured based on standardized procedures. Dietary habits were evaluated through a semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), whereas adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed by a diet score.

Results A protective effect of adherence to the Mediterranean diet was found. For each unit of increasing adherence to the Mediterranean diet score there was a reduction of 3.1% in the average CRP levels (95% CI 0.5–5.7%) and of 1.9% in the average IL-6 levels (95% CI 0.5–3.4%) after adjusting for centre, age, sex, body mass index, physical activity, smoking status, diabetes and medication intake. No significant association was observed between the diet score and fibrinogen levels. Moderate intake of red wine (1–12 wine glasses per month) was associated with lower levels of CRP, IL-6 and fibrinogen.

Conclusions Adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduction of the concentrations of inflammatory markers in MI survivors. This may, in part, explain the beneficial effects of this diet on various chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer, and expands its role to secondary prevention level.

  A Schneider and G. M. Cannarozzi

It is known that the accuracy of phylogenetic reconstruction decreases when more distant outgroups are used. We quantify this phenomenon with a novel scoring method, the outgroup score pOG. This score expresses if the support for a particular branch of a tree decreases with increasingly distant outgroups. Large-scale simulations confirmed that the outgroup support follows this expectation and that the pOG score captures this pattern. The score often identifies the correct topology even when the primary reconstruction methods fail, particularly in the presence of model violations. In simulations of problematic phylogenetic scenarios such as rate variation among lineages (which can lead to long-branch attraction artifacts) and quartet-based reconstruction, the pOG analysis outperformed the primary reconstruction methods. Because the pOG method does not make any assumptions about the evolutionary model (besides the decreasing support from increasingly distant outgroups), it can detect cases of violations not treated by a specific model or too strong to be fully corrected. When used as an optimization criterion in the construction of a tree of 23 mammals, the outgroup signal confirmed many well-accepted mammalian orders and superorders. It supports Atlantogenata, a clade of Afrotheria and Xenarthra, and suggests an Artiodactyla–Chiroptera clade.

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