Psychiatry - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 1373
Emerging pharmacotherapy for cancer patients with cognitive dysfunction
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2013-10-24)
Advances in the diagnosis and multi-modality treatment of cancer have increased survival rates for many cancer types leading to an increasing load of long-term sequelae of therapy, including that of cognitive dysfunction. The cytotoxic nature of chemotherapeutic agents may also reduce neurogenesis, a key component of the physiology of memory and cognition, with ramifications for the patient's mood and other cognition disorders. Similarly radiotherapy employed as a therapeutic or prophylactic tool in the treatment of primary or metastatic disease may significantly affect cognition. A number of emerging pharmacotherapies are under investigation for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction experienced by cancer patients. Recent data from clinical trials is reviewed involving the stimulants modafinil and methylphenidate, mood stabiliser lithium, anti-Alzheimer's drugs memantine and donepezil, as well as other agents which are currently being explored within dementia, animal, and cell culture models to evaluate their use in treating cognitive dysfunction.
Smoking behavior among patients and staff: a snapshot from a major metropolitan hospital in Melbourne, Australia.
(Informa UK Limited, 2014)
BACKGROUND: A cross-sectional study was conducted to provide a snapshot of smoking behavior among staff and patients at a major metropolitan hospital in Melbourne. METHODS: Patients and staff were surveyed using a questionnaire exploring demographics, nicotine dependence (Fagerstrom test), readiness to quit, and preference for smoking cessation options. RESULTS: A total of 1496 people were screened within 2 hours; 1,301 participated (1,100 staff, 199 patients). Mean age was 42 years, 68% were female. There were 113 (9%) current smokers and 326 (25%) ex-smokers. Seven percent of the staff were current smokers compared with 19% of the patients. The Fagerstrom test showed that 47% of patients who smoked were moderately nicotine dependent compared with 21% of staff. A third of the staff who smoked did not anticipate health problems related to smoking. Most patients (79%) who smoked disagreed that their current health problems were related to smoking. Although more than half of the current smokers preferred pharmacotherapy, one in two of them did not prefer behavior counseling; with consistent results among staff and patients. Multivariate analyses showed that patients were three times more likely (odds ratio 3.0, 95% confidence interval 1.9-4.7) to smoke than staff. CONCLUSION: This study reports lower prevalence of smoking among hospital staff compared with national data. It also indicates an under-appreciation of health effects of smoking, and a preference not to use conventional methods of quitting.
The Effects of Multivitamin Supplementation on Diurnal Cortisol Secretion and Perceived Stress
(MDPI AG, 2013-11-01)
Recent evidence suggests that dietary intake of vitamins, in particular the B-vitamins including B6, B9 and B12 may have a number of positive effects on mood and stress. Given the effects of stress on a range of biological mechanisms including the endocrine system, it could be reasonably expected that multivitamin supplementation may also affect markers of these mechanisms such as diurnal cortisol secretion. In the current double-blind placebo-controlled study 138 adults (aged 20 to 50 years) were administered a multivitamin containing B-vitamins versus placebo over a 16-week period. Salivary cortisol measurements were taken at waking, 15-min, 30-min and at bedtime, at baseline, 8-weeks and 16-weeks. Perceived Stress (PSS) was measured at baseline, 8-weeks and 16-weeks, while blood serum measures of B6, B12 and homocysteine (HCy) as well as red cell folate (B9) were also collected at these time points. A significant interaction was found between treatment group and study visit for the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR). Compared to placebo, at 16-weeks multivitamin supplementation was found to be associated with a near-significant trend towards an increased CAR. No significant differences in PSS were found between groups, with PSS increasing in both groups across the course of the study. Red cell folate was found to be significantly correlated with the CAR response at 16-weeks while HCy levels were not found to be associated with the CAR response, although HCy significantly correlated with waking cortisol levels at 8-weeks. A possible interpretation of the elevation in CAR associated with multivitamin supplementation is that this represents an adaptive response to everyday demands in healthy participants.
Topiramate for abnormal eating behaviour in frontotemporal dementia
(HINDAWI LTD, 2013-01-01)
Topiramate is a sulfamate-substituted monosaccharide anticonvulsant that is associated with anorexia and weight loss and has been used to treat binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa. This report describes a man with frontotemporal dementia, behavioural variant, associated with abnormal eating behaviour which appeared to respond to topiramate. We review the physiological basis of abnormal eating behaviour in frontotemporal dementia and explore possible mechanisms of action by which topiramate may modify eating behaviour in this condition.
Study protocol for reducing childbirth fear: a midwife-led psycho-education intervention
BACKGROUND: Childbirth fear has received considerable attention in Scandinavian countries, and the United Kingdom, but not in Australia. For first-time mothers, fear is often linked to a perceived lack of control and disbelief in the body's ability to give birth safely, whereas multiparous women may be fearful as a result of previous negative and/or traumatic birth experiences. There have been few well-designed intervention studies that test interventions to address women's childbirth fear, support normal birth, and diminish the possibility of a negative birth experience. METHODS/DESIGN: Pregnant women in their second trimester of pregnancy will be recruited and screened from antenatal clinics in Queensland, Australia. Women reporting high childbirth fear will be randomly allocated to the intervention or control group. The psycho-educational intervention is offered by midwives over the telephone at 24 and 34 weeks of pregnancy. The intervention aims to review birth expectations, work through distressing elements of childbirth, discuss strategies to develop support networks, affirm that negative childbirth events can be managed and develop a birth plan. Women in the control group will receive standard care offered by the public funded maternity services in Australia. All women will receive an information booklet on childbirth choices. Data will be collected at recruitment during the second trimester, 36 weeks of pregnancy, and 4-6 weeks after birth. DISCUSSION: This study aims to test the efficacy of a brief, midwife-led psycho-education counselling (known as BELIEF: Birth Emotions - Looking to Improve Expectant Fear) to reduce women's childbirth fear. 1) Relative to controls, women receiving BELIEF will report lower levels of childbirth fear at term; 2) less decisional conflict; 3) less depressive symptoms; 4) better childbirth self-efficacy; and 5) improved health and obstetric outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Controlled Trials Registry ACTRN12612000526875.
Gastro oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)-related symptoms and its association with mood and anxiety disorders and psychological symptomology: a population-based study in women
BACKGROUND: Psychopathology seems to play a role in reflux pathogenesis and vice versa, yet few population-based studies have systematically investigated the association between gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and psychopathology. We thus aimed to investigate the relationship between GORD-related symptoms and psychological symptomatology, as well as clinically diagnosed mood and anxiety disorders in a randomly selected, population-based sample of adult women. METHODS: This study examined data collected from 1084 women aged 20-93 yr participating in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study. Mood and anxiety disorders were identified using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Research Version, Non-patient edition (SCID-I/NP), and psychological symptomatology was assessed using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). GORD-related symptoms were self-reported and confirmed by medication use where possible and lifestyle factors were documented. RESULTS: Current psychological symptomatology and mood disorder were associated with increased odds of concurrent GORD-related symptoms (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.3-3.5, and OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.7-5.6, respectively). Current anxiety disorder also tended to be associated with increased odds of current GORD-related symptoms (p = 0.1). Lifetime mood disorder was associated with a 1.6-fold increased odds of lifetime GORD-related symptoms (adjusted OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.4) and lifetime anxiety disorder was associated with a 4-fold increased odds of lifetime GORD-related symptoms in obese but not non-obese participants (obese, age-adjusted OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.8-9.0). CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that psychological symptomatology, mood and anxiety disorders are positively associated with GORD-related symptoms. Acknowledging this common comorbidity may facilitate recognition and treatment, and opens new questions as to the pathways and mechanisms of the association.
Tobacco smoking predicts depression and poorer quality of life in heart disease
BACKGROUND: We report on the prospective association between smoking and depression and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). METHODS: Prospective study of 193 patients with assessment of depression occurring 3-, 6- and 9- months (T1, 2, and 3, respectively) following discharge from hospital for a cardiac event. HRQOL was assessed at T3. T1 depression was assessed by clinical interview; T2 and T3 depression was assessed by self-report. Smoking at time of cardiac event was assessed by self-report. Multivariate analyses controlled for known demographic, psychosocial and clinical correlates of depression. RESULTS: Smoking at the time of index cardiac event increased the likelihood of being diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) at T1 by 4.30 [95% CI, 1.12-16.46; p < .05]. The likelihood of receiving a diagnosis of minor depression, dysthymia or MDD as a combined group was increased by 8.03 [95% CI, 2.35-27.46; p < .01]. Smoking did not reliably predict depression at T2 or T3 and did not reliably predict persistent depression. Smoking increased the likelihood of being classified as depressed according to study criteria at least once during the study period by 5.19 [95% CI, 1.51-17.82; p < .01]. Smoking independently predicted worse mental HRQOL. CONCLUSIONS: The findings support a role for smoking as an independent predictor of depression in CAD patients, particularly in the first 3 months post-cardiac event. The well-established imperative to encourage smoking cessation in these patients is augmented and the findings may add to the evidence for smoking cessation campaigns in the primary prevention of depression.
Human amygdala volume is predicted by common DNA variation in the stathmin and serotonin transporter genes
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2013-07-01)
Despite the relevance of changes in amygdala volume to psychiatric illnesses and its heritability in both health and disease, the influence of common genetic variation on amygdala morphology remains largely unexplored. In the present study, we investigated the influence of a number of novel genetic variants on amygdala volume in 139 neurologically healthy individuals of European descent. Amygdala volume was significantly associated with allelic variation in the stathmin (STMN1) and serotonin transporter (SLC6A4) genes, which have been linked to healthy and disordered affective processing. These results were replicated across both manual and automated methods of amygdala parcellation, although manual tracing showed stronger effects, providing a cautionary note to studies relying on automated parcellation methods. Future studies will need to determine whether amygdala volume mediates the impact of stathmin and serotonin transporter gene variants on normal and dysfunctional emotion processing.
A randomized controlled trial investigating the effects of PCSO-524 (R), a patented oil extract of the New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus), on the behaviour, mood, cognition and neurophysiology of children and adolescents (aged 6-14 years) experiencing clinical and subclinical levels of hyperactivity and inattention: study protocol ACTRN12610000978066
BACKGROUND: The prevalence rate of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) within Western cultures is between 5% and 12%, and is the most common psychiatric illness among school-aged children, with an estimated 50% of these children retaining ADHD symptoms for the rest of their lives. Children with ADHD have lower blood levels of long-chain Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (LC PUFAs) compared with children without ADHD, and following PUFA supplementation, have shown improvements in ADHD-related symptoms. One highly promising marine based LC PUFA preparation is the Omega-3-rich Lyprinol/Omega XL which is a natural formulation containing standardised lipid extract of the New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) known as PCSO-524® which contains a unique combination of free fatty acids, sterol esters, polar lipids and carotenoids. It is this unique combination of marine lipids that may assist in correcting the decreased levels of LC PUFA levels in children with symptoms of ADHD. The compound is a mixture belonging to a lipid group called sterol esters (SE). The fatty acids in the SE fraction are mainly myristic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Lyprinol/Omega XL has previously been shown to contain a potent group of Omega-3 lipids that block the 5 - lipoxygenase metabolic pathway responsible for inflammation in the body. METHODS: A randomized double blind placebo controlled trial will be utilized to assess the effects of 14 weeks administration of Lyprinol/Omega XL versus placebo in 150 children aged 6 to 14 years with high levels of hyperactivity and inattention. Additionally, a range of cognitive, mood and central electrophysiological measures will be undertaken during the 14 week supplementation trial. The primary outcome measure, the Conners' Parent Rating Scales will be completed initially at baseline, then in weeks 4, 8, 10, 14 and then again at 4 weeks post-administration (week 18). The results will contribute to our understanding of the efficacy of marine based Omega-3 s with high anti-inflammatory actions on inattention and hyperactivity in children aged 6 to 14 years.
Molecular hydrogen: an overview of its neurobiological effects and therapeutic potential for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2013-06-06)
Hydrogen gas is a bioactive molecule that has a diversity of effects, including anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties; these overlap with the process of neuroprogression in major psychiatric disorders. Specifically, both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are associated with increased oxidative and inflammatory stress. Moreover, lithium which is commonly administered for treating bipolar disorder has effects on oxidative stress and apoptotic pathways, as do valproate and some atypical antipsychotics for treating schizophrenia. Molecular hydrogen has been studied pre-clinically in animal models for the treatment of some medical conditions including hypoxia and neurodegenerative disorders, and there are intriguing clinical findings in neurological disorders including Parkinson's disease. Therefore, it is hypothesized that administration of hydrogen molecule may have potential as a novel therapy for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other concurrent disorders characterized by oxidative, inflammatory and apoptotic dysregulation.
Differential effects of pre and post-payment on neurologists' response rates to a postal survey
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2010-10-25)
BACKGROUND: Monetary incentives are an effective way of increasing response rates to surveys, though they are generally less effective in physicians, and are more effective when the incentive is paid up-front rather than when made conditional on completion. METHODS: In this study we examine the effectiveness of pre- and post-completion incentives on the response rates of all the neurologists in the UK to a survey about conversion disorder, using a cluster randomised controlled design. A postal survey was sent to all practicing consultant neurologists, in two rounds, including either a book token, the promise of a book token, or nothing at all. RESULTS: Three hundred and fifty-one of 591 eligible neurologists completed the survey, for a response rate of 59%. While the post-completion incentive exerted no discernible influence on response rates, a pre-completion incentive did, with an odds-ratio of 2.1 (95% confidence interval 1.5-3.0). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that neurologists, in the UK at least, may be influenced to respond to a postal survey by a pre-payment incentive but are unaffected by a promised reward.
Long acting risperidone in Australian patients with chronic schizophrenia: 24-month data from the e-STAR database
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2012-03-26)
BACKGROUND: This observational study was designed to collect treatment outcomes data in patients using the electronic Schizophrenia Treatment Adherence Registry (e-STAR). METHODS: Patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder in Australia who were prescribed risperidone long-acting injection (RLAI) between 2003 and 2007 were assessed 12-months retrospectively, at baseline and 24-months prospectively at 3-monthly intervals. The intent-to-treat population, defined as all patients who received at least one dose of RLAI at baseline, was used for the efficacy and safety analyses. RESULTS: At total of 784 patients (74% with schizophrenia, 69.8% male) with a mean age of 37.1 ± 12.5 years and 10.6 ± 9.5 years since diagnosis were included in this Australian cohort. A significant improvement in mean Clinical Global Impression - severity score was observed at 24-months (4.52 ± 1.04 at baseline, 3.56 ± 1.10 at 24-months). Most of this improvement was seen by 3-months and was also reflected in mean Global Assessment of Functioning score, which improved significantly at 24-months (42.9 ± 14.5 at baseline, 59 ± 15.4 at 24-months). For patients still receiving RLAI at 24-months there was an increase from a mean baseline RLAI dose of 26.4 ± 5 mg to 43.4 ± 15.7 mg. Sixty-six percent of patients discontinued RLAI before the 24-month period--this decreased to 46% once patients lost to follow-up were excluded. CONCLUSION: Over the 24-month period, initiation of RLAI was associated with improved patient functioning and illness severity in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Improved outcomes were observed early and sustained throughout the study. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical Trials Registration Number, NCT00283517.