Workpackage 3: Clinical & neurocognitive phenotype
Objectives and Tasks of the Workpackage
This WP is led by Prof. Dr. med. Beate Herpertz-Dahlmann, Director of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, and by Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Kerstin Konrad, Head of the Child Neuropsychology Section, at RWTH Aachen University. The WP3 leaders are supported by the Goethe University Frankfurt (Prof. Dr. med. Christine Freitag).
WP 3 comprises the following objectives: The first task is to compile a standardized assessment battery for deep clinical phenotyping of all study participants, including detailed medical, developmental, family and environmental histories, onset and severity of CD and related symptoms, the presence of comorbid disorders, determination of aggression type (e.g., reactive vs. proactive aggression) and associated personality and social-emotional traits (e.g., callous-unemotional traits, empathy, emotional regulation), general mental ability (i.e., IQ), and pubertal stage.
Given the central involvement of emotion processing in female CD, the second task is to establish a model-based computerized test battery to assess neurocognitive characteristics of emotion processing, including the Emotional Hexagon Task, the Emotional Go/Nogo Task and the Passive Avoidance Task, measuring emotion recognition, emotion regulation and emotion learning respectively.
Both assessment batteries are used to compare clinical presentations and neurocognitive functions related to emotion processing in 9-18 year old females (N=720) and males (N=200) with CD versus matched controls (females N=720, males N=200), and to describe phenotypically and neurocognitively defined subtypes of female CD within a large cross-sectional study.
In order to examine the effects of puberty on the phenomenology and neurocognitive characteristics of female CD, a subsample of 300 subjects with CD aged 9 to 12 years will be re-assessed after 18 months compared to 300 typically developing girls in a longitudinal study.
Additionally, all participants in the randomized controlled trial on DBT (WP7) as well as in the pharmacological challenge studies on oxytocin and tryptophan (WP8) will be assessed pre- and post-intervention with a shortened test battery developed in this workpackage in order to examine neurocognitive mechanisms of change due to treatment.