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(1/1210) Recurrence in affective disorder: analyses with frailty models.

The risk of recurrence in affective disorder is influenced by the number of prior episodes and by a person's tendency toward recurrence. Newly developed frailty models were used to estimate the effect of the number of episodes on the rate of recurrence, taking into account individual frailty toward recurrence. The study base was the Danish psychiatric case register of all hospital admissions for primary affective disorder in Denmark during 1971-1993. A total of 20,350 first-admission patients were discharged with a diagnosis of major affective disorder. For women with unipolar disorder and for all kinds of patients with bipolar disorder, the rate of recurrence was affected by the number of prior episodes even when the effect was adjusted for individual frailty toward recurrence. No effect of episodes but a large effect of the frailty parameter was found for unipolar men. The authors concluded that the risk of recurrence seems to increase with the number of episodes of bipolar affective disorder in general and for women with unipolar disorder.  (+info)

(2/1210) The use of atypical antipsychotics in the management of schizophrenia.

Long-term drug treatment of schizophrenia with conventional antipsychotics has limitations: an estimated quarter to one third of patients are treatment-resistant; conventional antipsychotics have only a modest impact upon negative symptoms (poverty of thought, social withdrawal and loss of affect); and adverse effects, particularly extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS). Newer, so-called atypical, antipsychotics such as olanzapine, risperidone, sertindole and clozapine (an old drug which was re-introduced in 1990) are claimed to address these limitations. Atypical agents are, at a minimum, at least as effective as conventional drugs such as haloperidol. They also cause substantially fewer extrapyramidal symptoms. However, some other adverse effects are more common than with conventional drugs. For example, clozapine carries a significant risk of serious blood disorders, for which special monitoring is mandatory; it also causes troublesome drowsiness and increased salivation more often than conventional agents. Some atypical agents cause more weight gain or QT prolongation than older agents. The choice of therapy is, therefore, not straightforward. At present, atypical agents represent an advance for patients with severe or intolerable EPS. Most published evidence exists to support the use of clozapine, which has also been shown to be effective in schizophrenia refractory to conventional agents. However, the need for compliance with blood count monitoring and its sedative properties make careful patient selection important. The extent of any additional direct benefit offered by atypical agents on negative symptoms is not yet clear. The lack of a depot formulation for atypical drugs may pose a significant practical problem. To date, only two double-blind studies in which atypical agents were compared directly have been published. Neither provides compelling evidence for the choice of one agent over another. Atypical agents are many times more expensive than conventional drugs. Although drug treatment constitutes only a small proportion of the costs of managing schizophrenia, the additional annual cost of the use of atypical agents in, say, a quarter of the likely U.K. schizophrenic population would be about 56 M pound sterling. There is only limited evidence of cost-effectiveness. Atypical antipsychotics are not currently licensed for other conditions where conventional antipsychotics are commonly used, such as behaviour disturbance or dementia in the elderly. Their dose, and place in treatment in such cases have yet to be determined.  (+info)

(3/1210) Affective symptoms in multiple system atrophy and Parkinson's disease: response to levodopa therapy.

The objective was to determine the extent to which psychiatric disturbances (especially mood disorders) generally considered poor prognostic factors, are present in patients with striatonigral (SND) type multiple system atrophy (MSA) compared with patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). The Hamilton depression scale (HAM-D), brief psychiatric rating scale (BPRS), and Unified Parkinson's disease rating scale (UPDRS) were administered to clinically probable non-demented patients with SND-type MSA and patients with IPD matched for age and motor disability, at baseline and after receiving levodopa. At baseline total HAM-D score was greater in patients with IPD. Overall, BPRS score did not differ between the two groups; however, patients with IPD scored higher on anxiety items of the BPRS, and patients with MSA had higher scores on the item indicating blunted affect. After levodopa, both groups improved significantly in UPDRS and HAM-D total scores (just significant for patients with MSA). Patients with IPD improved significantly in total BPRS score but patients with MSA did not. At baseline patients with IPD were more depressed and anxious than patients with MSA who, by contrast, showed blunted affect. After levodopa, depression and anxiety of patients with IPD improved significantly whereas the affective detachment of patients with MSA did not change. Major neuronal loss in the caudate and ventral striatum, which are part of the lateral orbitofrontal and limbic circuits, may be responsible for the blunted affect not responsive to levodopa therapy found in patients with MSA.  (+info)

(4/1210) Disagreement in patient and carer assessment of functional abilities after stroke.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to describe differences between functional ability assessments made by stroke patients and their informal carers and to investigate the psychological associates of the difference in assessments. METHODS: A prospective design was used, with repeated assessments of function, mood, and carer strain. Thirty hospital stroke patients and their main carer were interviewed 3 times: within 1 month of stroke, 1 month after discharge, and 6 months after discharge. RESULTS: There were significant differences between patient and carer assessments at all 3 time points, with patient self-assessment less disabled than carer assessment (at least P<0.02). The disagreement in assessment was unrelated to patient or carer mood (P>0.05) but greater disagreement was associated with greater carer strain (P<0.05). The source of the disagreement in functional ability assessment remains unclear. CONCLUSIONS: The method of assessment affects the rating of functional abilities after stroke. Carer strain is potentially increased when the patient or carer makes an unrealistic assessment of the patient's level of independence.  (+info)

(5/1210) A prospective multicentre study in Sweden and Norway of mental distress and psychiatric morbidity in head and neck cancer patients.

A Swedish/Norwegian head and neck cancer study was designed to assess prospectively the levels of mental distress and psychiatric morbidity in a heterogeneous sample of newly diagnosed head and neck cancer patients. A total of 357 patients were included. The mean age was 63 years, and 72% were males. The patients were asked to answer the HAD scale (the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale) six times during 1 year. The number of possible or probable cases of anxiety or depression disorder was calculated according to standardized cut-offs. Approximately one-third of the patients scored as a possible or probable case of a major mood disorder at each measurement point during the study year. There were new cases of anxiety or depression at each time point. The anxiety level was highest at diagnosis, while depression was most common during treatment. Females were more anxious than males at diagnosis, and patients under 65 years of age scored higher than those over 65. Patients with lower performance status and more advanced disease reported higher levels of mental distress and more often scored as a probable or possible cases of psychiatric disorder. Our psychometric analyses supported the two-dimensional structure and stability of the HAD scale. The HAD scale seems to be the method of choice for getting valid information about the probability of mood disorder in head and neck cancer populations. The prevalence of psychiatric morbidity found in this study emphasizes the importance of improved diagnosis and treatment.  (+info)

(6/1210) Schizophrenia and major affective disorder among Medicaid recipients with HIV/AIDS in New Jersey.

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to identify and characterize seriously mentally ill patients with HIV infection. METHODS: Medicaid beneficiaries with HIV/AIDS were identified through the merging of New Jersey HIV/AIDS Registry and Medicaid eligibility files. Claims histories were used to classify individuals as having schizophrenia, major affective disorder, or no serious mental illness. RESULTS: Of 8294 individuals, 476 (5.7%) were classified as having schizophrenia, and 564 (6.8%) were classified as having major affective disorder. Those with serious mental illness were more likely than other groups to be injection drug users and to have claims indicative of substance abuse. CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with serious mental illness are a significant but little-recognized subgroup of those with HIV infection.  (+info)

(7/1210) Underlying personality differences between alcohol/substance-use disorder patients with and without an affective disorder.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a popular personality test, was used to profile the personalities of in-patient alcoholics/substance-use disorder patients who had, and those who did not have, a concurrent affective disorder diagnosis. The MBTI divides individuals into eight categories: Extroverts and Introverts, Sensors and Intuitives, Thinkers and Feelers, and Judgers and Perceivers. Alcohol/substance-use disorder patients with no affective disorder differed from a normative population only in being significantly more often Sensing and significantly less often Intuitive single-factor types. The Extroverted/Sensing/ Feeling/Judging four-factor type was also significantly over-represented in this group, compared to a normative population. In contrast, mood-disordered alcohol/substance-use disorder patients were significantly more often Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving and significantly less often Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging single-factor types. They were also significantly more often Introverted/Sensing/ Feeling/Perceiving and Introverted/Intuitive/Feeling/Perceiving four-factor types. 'Pure' alcohol/ substance-use disorder patients differed from alcohol/substance-use disorder patients with a mood disorder in that they were significantly more often Extroverted and Thinking and significantly less often Introverted and Feeling single-factor types; and significantly less often were an Introverted/Sensing/ Feeling/Perceiving four-factor type. The above results may have psychogenetic, diagnostic, and psychotherapeutic implications.  (+info)

(8/1210) Role of the serotonergic system in the pathogenesis of major depression and suicidal behavior.

Phylogenetically, the serotonergic system is one of the oldest transmitter systems in the brain. Combining a complex and widespread innervation of most cortical and subcortical structures, with over a dozen receptor subtypes, there is a diversity of signaling opportunities and functional roles that explain the association of serotonin with many different types of psychopathological conditions. The role of the serotonergic system in mood disorders and in the predisposition for suicidal behavior are reviewed in this paper. Effects on the serotonergic system underlie the antidepressant action of many types of medications and must be integrated into a neurobiological model of mood disorders.  (+info)