Psychiatry - Research Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 93
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Teaching psychiatry in Ethiopia.
    Hanlon, C ; Fekadu, D ; Sullivan, D ; Alem, A ; Prince, M (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2006-04)
    There is a pressing need to train psychiatrists in low- and middle-income countries. Psychiatrists from high-income countries have an opportunity to share expertise in teaching and assessing trainees, while learning much in the process. Three trainees from a London psychiatric hospital were invited to help organise a revision course for the Department of Psychiatry, Addis Ababa University, and this paper reports their experiences.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Anesthetics Rapidly Promote Synaptogenesis during a Critical Period of Brain Development
    De Roo, M ; Klauser, P ; Briner, A ; Nikonenko, I ; Mendez, P ; Dayer, A ; Kiss, JZ ; Muller, D ; Vutskits, L ; Chédotal, A (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2009-09-16)
    Experience-driven activity plays an essential role in the development of brain circuitry during critical periods of early postnatal life, a process that depends upon a dynamic balance between excitatory and inhibitory signals. Since general anesthetics are powerful pharmacological modulators of neuronal activity, an important question is whether and how these drugs can affect the development of synaptic networks. To address this issue, we examined here the impact of anesthetics on synapse growth and dynamics. We show that exposure of young rodents to anesthetics that either enhance GABAergic inhibition or block NMDA receptors rapidly induce a significant increase in dendritic spine density in the somatosensory cortex and hippocampus. This effect is developmentally regulated; it is transient but lasts for several days and is also reproduced by selective antagonists of excitatory receptors. Analyses of spine dynamics in hippocampal slice cultures reveals that this effect is mediated through an increased rate of protrusions formation, a better stabilization of newly formed spines, and leads to the formation of functional synapses. Altogether, these findings point to anesthesia as an important modulator of spine dynamics in the developing brain and suggest the existence of a homeostatic process regulating spine formation as a function of neural activity. Importantly, they also raise concern about the potential impact of these drugs on human practice, when applied during critical periods of development in infants.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    LTP promotes a selective long-term stabilization and clustering of dendritic spines
    De Roo, M ; Klauser, P ; Muller, D ; Sheng, M (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2008-09-01)
    Dendritic spines are the main postsynaptic site of excitatory contacts between neurons in the central nervous system. On cortical neurons, spines undergo a continuous turnover regulated by development and sensory activity. However, the functional implications of this synaptic remodeling for network properties remain currently unknown. Using repetitive confocal imaging on hippocampal organotypic cultures, we find that learning-related patterns of activity that induce long-term potentiation act as a selection mechanism for the stabilization and localization of spines. Through a lasting N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor and protein synthesis-dependent increase in protrusion growth and turnover, induction of plasticity promotes a pruning and replacement of nonactivated spines by new ones together with a selective stabilization of activated synapses. Furthermore, most newly formed spines preferentially grow in close proximity to activated synapses and become functional within 24 h, leading to a clustering of functional synapses. Our results indicate that synaptic remodeling associated with induction of long-term potentiation favors the selection of inputs showing spatiotemporal interactions on a given neuron.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Depression in the patient with COPD.
    Wilson, I (Informa UK Limited, 2006)
    This paper explores the recent literature surrounding comorbid depression and COPD. The literature reveals a high prevalence of depression in patients with COPD and some evidence that the depression is a result of the disease. The literature highlights the negative impact of depression on quality of life and a possible impact on mortality. Depression also negatively impacts on compliance and smoking cessation. Treatment of depression in COPD, particularly by cognitive behavioral therapy, has positive impact on quality of life. Tricyclic antidepressants have a positive impact on mood and COPD, but side effects limit their use. The advent of the new antidepressants may improve acceptability and outcomes, but the research is yet to be undertaken. Physical rehabilitation may have a positive impact on mood. This paper highlights the difficulty in screening for depression in patients with COPD due to the overlap of symptoms between the two diseases. Despite the difficulties, it is important to recognize and treat depression in patients with COPD because of the significant likelihood of improvement in quality of life.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Asthma and depression: a pragmatic review of the literature and recommendations for future research.
    Opolski, M ; Wilson, I (Bentham Science Publishers Ltd., 2005-09-27)
    BACKGROUND: Although the association between asthma and psychosocial factors has long been recognised, it is only in the last decade that the impact of coexisting asthma and depression has become the focus of considerable research interest. However, the findings so far have been confusing and often contradictory. This paper sets out a methodical review and appraisal of the literature to date, including suggestions for future research. METHOD: PubMed and PsycINFO databases were used to search for English-language articles relating to asthma and depression research. The resulting articles were then reviewed and summarised, creating a report that was used to develop research recommendations. RESULTS: The main findings from this review included: (a) results are mixed as to whether persons with asthma are more likely to be depressed than those without asthma; (b) asthma and depression may have an 'additive' adverse effect on the normal asthma-related quality of life reductions; (c) subjective measures of asthma severity may be more strongly related to depression than objective measures; (d) specific asthma symptoms appear to be linked to depression; (e) sadness and depression can produce respiratory effects consistent with asthma exacerbations; (f) depression appears to be negatively related to asthma treatment compliance; (g) corticosteroid use in asthma treatment has been associated with depression, though it is unclear how common this problem is in real life; (h) interventions that address the physical, psychological, and social consequences of asthma are likely to lead to the most successful treatment outcomes; (i) treating the depression of individuals with asthma is likely to minimise the negative effects of the coexistence; and (j) a number of common methodological problems were observed in the literature. RECOMMENDATIONS: There is a large amount of research yet to be undertaken to clarify issues around asthma and depression, with the overdue next step being to design integrated treatment approaches, and carry out large-scale prospective studies to determine the impact of using such approaches to treat individuals with depression and asthma. Such studies will be the only way in which some fundamental questions about the development and coexistence of these two conditions will be answered.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Recurrence of suicidal ideation due to treatment with antidepressants in anxiety disorder: a case report.
    Todder, D ; Baune, BT (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2007-12-03)
    This report describes a patient suffering from panic disorder who developed repeated suicidal ideation specifically due to the treatment with Venlafaxine. A first suicide attempt years ago occurred while being treated with Venlafaxine. Subsequent treatment with SSRIs or other antidepressants involved no suicidal ideation. Re-commencement of Venlafaxine four years later immediately led to a second suicide attempt. This unwanted effect subsided immediately after switching to another SNRI (i.e. Duloxetine). The case report underlines the importance of onset of suicide risk in panic disorders due to specific antidepressants.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    The association of psychological stress and health related quality of life among patients with stroke and hypertension in Gaza Strip.
    Baune, BT ; Aljeesh, Y (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2006-05-19)
    BACKGROUND: The study was performed to investigate the association of psychological stress and quality of life (QOL) among patients with the cardiovascular disease (CVD) of hypertension plus stroke or hypertension only. METHODS: The WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire was applied to 112 hypertensive patients with hypertension plus stroke and 224 hypertensive patients without stroke. Psychological stress was assessed with SCL-90. Means scale scores were compared using student-t-test and predictors of QOL were calculated with covariance analysis. RESULTS: Patients with stroke had a significant lower QOL than patients without stroke and a significantly higher level of stress (p < 0.01). In analyses of covariance psychological stress was significantly correlated to all domains of QOL among non-stroke patients. The same psychological and sociodemographic factors showed little impact on the stroke patients in these multivariable analyses. In these models psychological stress had a significant impact on the global domain of QOL among stroke patients. Income and gender were the only sociodemographic factors being significantly associated with the physical (education) and social (gender) domains of QOL in stroke patients. CONCLUSION: Psychological stress was strongly correlated with all domains of QOL in patients without stroke and was only partly associated with QOL among patients with stroke. Future studies should investigate if psychological stress is a factor suitable for educational and psychological interventions aiming at stress reduction in CVD patients which might substantially contribute to better health related quality of life in these patients.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Associations between preschool attendance and developmental impairments in pre-school children in a six-year retrospective survey.
    Stich, HL ; Baune, BT ; Caniato, RN ; Krämer, A (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2006-10-20)
    BACKGROUND: Many school-aged children suffer physical and mental impairments which can adversely affect their development and result in significant morbidity. A high proportion of children in western countries attend pre-school, and it is likely that the preschool environment influences the prevalence and severity of these impairments. Currently there is insufficient data available on the prevalence of these impairments and their causal associations. The influence that location of a pre-school and the duration of preschool attendance have on the prevalence of these impairments is not known. METHODS: In a retrospective survey spanning six years (1997-2002) we reviewed the records of 6,230 preschool children who had undergone routine school entry assessments. These children had been assessed utilising a modified manual of the "Bavarian Model" for school entry examinations. This model outlines specific criteria for impairments of motor, cognitive, behavioural and psychosocial functioning. Prevalence rates for physical and behavioural impairments were based on the results of these assessments. The relationship between the prevalence of impairments and the duration of preschool attendance and the location of the preschool attended was estimated utilizing logistic regression models. RESULTS: We found that 20.7% of children met the criteria for at least one type of impairment. Highest prevalence rates (11.5%) were seen for speech impairments and lowest (3.5%) for arithmetic impairments. Boys were disproportionately over represented, with 25.5% meeting the criteria for impairment, compared to 13.0% for girls. Children who had attended preschool for less than one year demonstrated higher rates of impairment (up to 19.1% for difficulties with memory, concentration or perseverance) compared to those who had attended for a longer duration (up to 11.6% for difficulties with pronunciation). Children attending preschool in an urban location had slightly elevated rates of impairment (up to 12.7%), compared to their rural counterparts (up to 11.1%). CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that there are high prevalence rates for physical and mental impairments among preschool children. Furthermore, children without preschool experience are a risk group for struggling with educational successes. The associations between the duration of preschool attendance and location of preschool attended and rates of impairment need replication and further exploration. Larger prospective studies are needed to examine if these relationships are causal and may therefore lend themselves to specific intervention strategies.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Prevalence and risk factors of syphilis infection among drug addicts.
    Scherbaum, N ; Baune, BT ; Mikolajczyk, R ; Kuhlmann, T ; Reymann, G ; Reker, M (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2005-05-17)
    BACKGROUND: Recent epidemiological data show an increased trend of official estimates for syphilis infection in the general population. Many of the infected cases remain undetected leaving an underestimation of the true prevalence of syphilis in the general population, but also among subpopulations such as illicit drug users. There is limited epidemiological data published on the proportion and risk factors of syphilis infections associated with illicit drug abuse. METHODS: Illicit drug addicts (n = 1223) in inpatients units in Germany were screened (2000-01) for syphilis and interviewed regarding patterns of drug use and sexual behaviour. TPHA-test for initial screening and FTA-ABS-IgM test in TPHA-positive patients were used. RESULTS: In total, TPHA-tests were positive in 39 (3.3%) and 7 patients (0.6%) were IgM positive. The prevalence rate for syphilis in males was 1.9% and for women it was 8.5%. Female patients were 4.56 (CI 95% 2.37-8.78) times more likely to have a positive TPHA test than males. Sexual behaviours such as high number of sexual partners, sex for drugs/money, sex on the first day were associated with syphilis infection only in women. Females with frequent sex for drugs or money had 4.31 (CI 95% 2.32-8.52) times more likely a reactive TPHA test than remaining patients. Neither the sociodemographic factors nor sexual behaviour were statistically significant associated with syphilis infection among men at all. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest the need for screening for syphilis among these illicit drug users in inpatient settings, in particular among sexual active women. This conclusion is corroborated by the finding of increasing numbers of syphilis infections in the general population. The identification of syphilis cases among drug addicts would give treatment options to these individuals and would help to reduce the spread of infection in this population, but also a spread into heterosexual populations related to prostitution.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    A 6-months assessment of the alcohol-related clinical burden at emergency rooms (ERs) in 11 acute care hospitals of an urban area in Germany.
    Baune, BT ; Mikolajczyk, RT ; Reymann, G ; Duesterhaus, A ; Fleck, S ; Kratz, H ; Sundermann, U (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2005-11-18)
    BACKGROUND: The purpose of the study was to identify and to profile alcohol-related attendances to emergency rooms (ERs) of 11 hospitals of various medical specialties covering a large urban population, to assess risk factors associated with short-stay cases, repeat attendances and higher degree of alcohol consumption and to estimate their impact on the alcohol-related burden at ERs. METHODS: A 6-months study was carried out to obtain clinical and administrative data on single and multiple attendances at ERs in 11 governmental acute hospitals in a large city in Germany. All alcohol-related attendances at ERs of study hospitals were eligible. A broad definition of alcohol-related attendances independently from alcohol diagnosis and various demographic, clinical and administrative measures were used. Odds ratios for the associations of these measures with duration of stay, repeat attendances and higher degrees of alcohol consumption were derived from multivariate binomial and multinomial logistic regression models. RESULTS: 1,748 patients with symptoms of alcohol consumption or withdrawal (inclusion rate 83.8%) yielded 2,372 attendances (3% of all medical admissions), and resulted in 12,629 inpatient-days. These patients accounted for 10.7 cases per 1,000 inhabitants. The average duration of inpatient stay was 10 days. 1,451 of all patients (83%) presented once, whereas the median of repeat attendances was three for the remaining 297 patients. Short-stay cases (<24 hours) were significantly linked with male gender, alcohol misuse, trauma (or suspicion of a trauma) and medical specialties. Increased levels of alcohol consumption at first attendance were significantly associated with repeat attendances in due course. In a multinomial logistic regression model higher degrees of alcohol consumption were significantly associated with male gender, trauma, short-stays, attendance outside regular working time, and with repeat attendances and self-discharge. CONCLUSION: Apart from demographic factors, the alcohol-related clinical burden is largely determined by short-stay cases, repeat attendances and cases with higher levels of alcohol consumption at first attendance varying across medical specialties. These findings could be relevant for the planning of anti-alcoholic interventions at ERs.