Psychiatry - Research Publications

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    Treatment of refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder with nutraceuticals (TRON): a 20-week, open label pilot study
    Sarris, J ; Byrne, GJ ; Oliver, G ; Cribb, L ; Blair-West, S ; Castle, D ; Dean, OM ; Camfield, DA ; Brakoulias, V ; Bousman, C ; Dowling, N ; Ee, C ; Murphy, J ; Menon, R ; Berk, M ; Chamoli, S ; Boschen, M ; Ng, CH (CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS, 2021-06-21)
    BACKGROUND: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is often challenging to treat and resistant to psychological interventions and prescribed medications. The adjunctive use of nutraceuticals with potential neuromodulatory effects on underpinning pathways such as the glutamatergic and serotonergic systems is one novel approach. OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness and safety of a purpose-formulated combination of nutraceuticals in treating OCD: N-acetyl cysteine, L-theanine, zinc, magnesium, pyridoxal-5' phosphate, and selenium. METHODS: A 20-week open label proof-of-concept study was undertaken involving 28 participants with treatment-resistant DSM-5-diagnosed OCD, during 2017 to 2020. The primary outcome measure was the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), administered every 4 weeks. RESULTS: An intention-to-treat analysis revealed an estimated mean reduction across time (baseline to week-20) on the YBOCS total score of -7.13 (95% confidence interval = -9.24, -5.01), with a mean reduction of -1.21 points per post-baseline visit (P ≤ .001). At 20-weeks, 23% of the participants were considered "responders" (YBOCS ≥35% reduction and "very much" or "much improved" on the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement scale). Statistically significant improvements were also revealed on all secondary outcomes (eg, mood, anxiety, and quality of life). Notably, treatment response on OCD outcome scales (eg, YBOCS) was greatest in those with lower baseline symptom levels, while response was limited in those with relatively more severe OCD. CONCLUSIONS: While this pilot study lacks placebo-control, the significant time effect in this treatment-resistant OCD population is encouraging and suggests potential utility especially for those with lower symptom levels. Our findings need to be confirmed or refuted via a follow-up placebo-controlled study.
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    Effects of a group-based lifestyle medicine for depression: A pilot randomized controlled trial
    Ip, AK-Y ; Ho, FY-Y ; Yeung, W-F ; Chung, K-F ; Ng, CH ; Oliver, G ; Sarris, J ; Abdelbasset, WK (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2021-10-08)
    Given the growing evidence that a range of lifestyle factors are involved in the etiology of depression, a 'lifestyle medicine' approach can be potentially safe and cost-effective to prevent or treat depression. To examine the effects and acceptability of a group-based, integrative lifestyle medicine intervention as a standalone treatment for managing depressive symptoms, a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted in a Chinese adult population in 2018. Participants (n = 31) with PHQ-9 score above the cut-off of ≥ 10, which was indicative of moderate to severe depression, were recruited from the general community in Hong Kong and randomly assigned to lifestyle medicine group (LM group) or care-as-usual group (CAU group) in a ratio of 1:1. Participants in the LM group received 2-hour group sessions once per week for six consecutive weeks, which covered diet, exercise, mindfulness, psychoeducation, and sleep management. Linear mixed-effects model analyses showed that the LM group had a significant reduction in PHQ-9 scores compared to the CAU group at immediate posttreatment and 12-week posttreatment follow-up (d = 0.69 and 0.73, respectively). Moreover, there were significantly greater improvements in anxiety, stress, and insomnia symptoms (measured by DASS-21 and ISI) at all time points in the LM group (d = 0.42-1.16). The results suggests that our 6-week group-based, integrative lifestyle intervention program is effective in lowering depressive, anxiety, stress, and insomnia symptoms in the Chinese population. Further studies in clinical populations with a larger sample size and longer follow-up are warranted.