The role of psychological and biological factors in postinfective gut dysfunction.
BACKGROUND: Both psychological and physiological disturbances have been implicated in the aetiopathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). AIMS: To investigate how the psychological factors act, and the involvement of infective and physiological factors. METHODS: Consecutive patients hospitalised for gastroenteritis reported life events for the previous 12 months, and past illness experiences on standardised questionnaires. They also completed psychometric questionnaires for anxiety, neuroticism, somatisation, and hypochondriasis. In some patients, rectal biopsy specimens were obtained during the acute illness and at three months postinfection. RESULTS: Ninety four patients completed all questionnaires: 22 patients were diagnosed with IBS after their gastroenteritis (IBS+), and 72 patients returned to normal bowel habits (IBS-). IBS+ patients reported more life events and had higher hypochondriasis scores than IBS- patients. The predictive value of the life event and hypochondriasis measures was highly significant and independent of anxiety, neuroticism, and somatisation scores, which were also elevated in IBS+ patients. Rectal biopsy specimens from 29 patients showed a chronic inflammatory response in both IBS+ and IBS- patients. Three months later, specimens from IBS+ patients continued to show increased chronic inflammatory cell counts but those from IBS- patients had returned to normal levels. IBS+ and IBS- patients exhibited rectal hypersensitivity and hyper-reactivity and rapid colonic transit compared with normal controls, but there were no significant differences between IBS+ and IBS- patients for these physiological measurements. CONCLUSION: Psychological factors most clearly predict the development of IBS symptoms after gastroenteritis but biological mechanisms also contribute towards the expression of symptoms. (+info)
Psychotropic drug use among women.
The consistent 2:1 ratio of women to men in the receipt of prescriptions for psychotropic drugs is reflected in the higher rates for women of neurotic illness, symptoms of both physical and mental discomfort, and help-seeking and drug-taking behaviour. Physicians' perceptions of the problems presented by their male and female patients influence their prescribing of these drugs. Recent statistics in Ontario indicate that greater use of physicians' services by women is an inadequate explanation of the higher rate of prescribing of psychotropic drugs to women. A longitudinal study of a large insured population in Ontario showed that almost twice the proportion of females, compared with males, received a prescription for psychotropic drugs in 1970-71 and in 1973-74, a higher proportion of females received multiple prescriptions for each drug class, and males were more likely than females to have received only one prescription in a year. (+info)
Drug-induced hyponatraemia in psychogenic polydipsia.
Two patients with psychogenic polydipsia developed hyponatraemia, one in association with administration of hydrochlorothiazide and the other with that of tolbutamide. It is suggested that the increased fluid intake in such patients may make them more susceptible to the development of hyponatraemia from thiazide or sulphonylurea compounds. (+info)
The misdiagnosis of epilepsy and the management of refractory epilepsy in a specialist clinic.
We assessed the frequency, causes and consequences of erroneous diagnosis of epilepsy, and the outcome of patients referred with 'refractory epilepsy', by retrospective analysis of the case records of 324 patients. The sample was divided into those exposed to anti-epileptic drugs (n = 184), of whom 92 were said to have refractory seizures, and those who had not received treatment (n = 140). The latter group is reported elsewhere. The overall misdiagnosis rate was 26.1% (46/184), with incomplete history-taking and misinterpretation of the EEG equally responsible. Side-effects were reported by 19/40, while unnecessary driving restrictions and employment difficulties were encountered by 12/33 and 5/33, respectively. Of those labelled 'refractory epilepsy', 12 did not have epilepsy. Sixteen were rendered seizure-free and 25 significantly improved by the optimal use of anti-epileptic drugs or surgery. Diagnostic and management services for patients with suspected and established epilepsy are suboptimal, with psychological and socio-economic consequences for individual patients. The resulting economic burden on the health and welfare services is probably substantial. (+info)
Psychosomatic symptoms of Japanese working women and their need for stress management.
This study was conducted to clarify Japanese female workers' psychosomatic symptoms including women-specific complaints and their need for stress management as part of occupational health services (OHS). In 1997, a survey was conducted in which a questionnaire was sent to 1108 full-time female workers. The response rate was 92.1%. They classified their own health status excellent (26.0%), good (60.4%), fair (9.6%), or bad (1.6%). They also reported their irritability (25.3%) and depression (15.6%). There were high rates of complaints of eye discomfort (53.6%), fatigue (44.1%), headache (43.0%), and menstrual pain (32.5%). Such symptoms were associated with irritability or depression. Amount of overtime works, marital status in the 30-44 age group, the presence of children were found to be important factors in determining health status. Regarding the needs for occupational health services, 22.2% of respondents answered they needed mental health management (MHM). Compared with other services, such as management of lifestyle diseases, gynecological diseases, cancer screenings and counseling on nutrition and exercise, the need for MHM was low. The preferred personnel were female doctors and nurses. Workers who performed frequent overtime work had a greater need for MHM. The most preferred means of receiving MHM was personal counseling by doctors (not psychologists) and nurses. (+info)
Follow-up of psychogenic, non-epileptic seizures: a pilot study - experience in a Dutch special centre for epilepsy.
A follow-up study was performed in 33 patients with proven (ictal EEG-CCTV) psychogenic, non-epileptic seizures (PNES). These patients received a questionnaire to evaluate seizures, treatment and rehabilitation. The response group consisted of 21 females (80% response) and seven males (100% response). Follow-up after diagnosis varied from 23-67 months. Seven patients (25%) reported that seizures had ceased and of the patients not seizure-free seven did report a seizure-free period after diagnosis of an average 6.7 months. Eight patients were on antiepileptic drugs again. Of 13 patients referred for psychotherapy, who also did receive treatment, six became free of seizures and seven did not. Of seven patients also referred, but who did not receive psychotherapy, all continued to have seizures. On a self-rating scale to compare "overall function" at the time of diagnosis and follow-up, 75% considered themselves to have "improved", but no improvement could be detected in psychosocial functioning. (+info)
Postictal symptoms help distinguish patients with epileptic seizures from those with non-epileptic seizures.
The aim of the study was to assess whether post-ictal symptoms can help distinguish patients who have epileptic seizures from those with non-epileptic seizures (NES). We reviewed the spontaneous responses to the question 'What symptoms do you have after a seizure?' in 16 patients with epileptic seizures (predominantly focal with secondary generalization or generalized tonic-clonic) and 23 NES patients. Six of the 16 patients (38%) vs. only one of 23 NES patients (4.3%) noted post-ictal headache (P = 0.008). Nine epilepsy patients (56%) vs. three NES patients (13%) reported post-ictal fatigue (P = 0.004). Confusion or other symptoms did not distinguish epilepsy patients from those with NES. All epilepsy patients had at least one post-ictal symptom while 12 NES patients (52%) had none (P = 0.001). Therefore, patients evaluated for epileptic vs. non-epileptic seizures who have post-ictal fatigue or headache, are more likely to have epileptic seizures. Patients with a diagnosis of NES who note post-ictal fatigue or headache should be investigated further. (+info)
The value of provocation methods in patients suspected of having non-epileptic seizures.
Non-epileptic seizures (NES) are reported in 18-23% of patients referred to comprehensive epilepsy centres. Non-epileptic seizures may also be present in 5-20% of the patients who are diagnosed as having refractory seizures. Because of their prevalence, financial and psychosocial outcomes cannot be ignored and accurate diagnosis is of the utmost importance. Various methods of seizure induction have been developed with the aim of differentiating epileptic from non-epileptic seizures. However, recording the attacks by video-EEG monitoring is the gold standard. In our outpatient EEG laboratory we try to induce seizures with verbal suggestion or IV saline infusion in patients who are referred by a clinician with the diagnosis of probable non-epileptic seizures. In this study we investigated the results of 72 patients who were referred between January 1992-June 1996. Non-epileptic seizures were observed in 52 (72.2%) patients. Thirteen of these patients still had risk factors for epilepsy. We could not decide whether all of their previous attacks were non-epileptic because 10-30% of the patients with NES also have epileptic seizures. For a more accurate diagnosis it was decided that these 13 patients, together with the 20 patients who did not have seizures with induction, needed video-EEG monitoring. Thirty-nine patients who had NES and no risk factors for epilepsy were thought to have pure non-epileptic seizures. We claim that not all patients suspected of having NES need long-term video-EEG monitoring and almost half (54.2%) of the cases can be eliminated by seizure induction with some provocative techniques. (+info)