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Symptoms of depression are transdiagnostic heterogenous features frequently assessed in psychiatric disorders, that impact the response to first-line treatment and are associated with higher suicide risk. This study assessed whether severe mental pain could characterize a specific phenotype of severely depressed high-risk psychiatric patients. We also aimed to analyze differences in treatments administered.
2,297 adult patients (1,404 females and 893 males; mean age = 43.25 years, SD = 15.15) treated in several Italian psychiatric departments. Patients were assessed for psychiatric diagnoses, mental pain, symptoms of depression, hopelessness, and suicide risk.
More than 23% of the patients reported high depression symptomatology and high mental pain (HI DEP/HI PAIN). Compared to patients with lower symptoms of depression, HI DEP/HI PAIN is more frequent among females admitted to an inpatient department and is associated with higher hopelessness and suicide risk. In addition, HI DEP/HI PAIN (compared to both patients with lower symptoms of depression and patients with higher symptoms of depression but lower mental pain) were more frequently diagnosed in patients with personality disorders and had different treatments.
Patients reporting severe symptoms of depression and high mental pain presented a mixture of particular dangerousness (high trait hopelessness and the presence of suicide ideation with more frequency and less controllability and previous suicide behaviors). The presence of severe mental pain may act synergically in expressing a clinical phenotype that is likewise treated with a more complex therapeutic regime than that administered to those experiencing symptoms of depression without mental pain.
Patients with severe mental illness (SMI), such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorders, are more frequently affected by metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular (CV) diseases than the general population, with a significant reduction in life expectancy. Beyond metabolic syndrome, quantifying the risk of CV morbidity in the long-term may help clinicians to put in place preventive strategies. In this study, we assessed 10-year CV risk in patients with SMI and healthy individuals using an algorithm validated on the Italian general population.
Patients aged 35–69 years diagnosed with SMI were consecutively recruited from psychiatric acute care units. Single CV risk factors were assessed, and 10-year CV risk calculated by means of the CUORE Project 10-year CV risk algorithm, based on the combination of the following risk factors: age, systolic blood pressure, total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, diabetes, smoking habit, and hypertensive treatment. Patients’ data were compared with those from the general population. The 10-year CV risk was log-transformed, and multivariable linear regression was used to estimate mean ratios, adjusting for age, and education.
Three hundred patients and 3,052 controls were included in the analysis. Among men, the 10-year CV risk score was very similar between patients with SMI and the general population (mean ratio [MR]: 1.02; 95%CI 0.77–1.37), whereas a 39% increase in 10-year CV risk was observed in women with SMI compared to the general population (MR: 1.39; 95%CI 1.16–1.66).
In our study, women with SMI were consistently more at risk than the general population counterpart, even at younger age.
The objective of this study is to evaluate the relationship between suicidal ideation (SI), structural brain damage, and cognitive deficits in patients with penetrating traumatic brain injury (pTBI).
Vietnam War veterans (n = 142) with pTBI to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) underwent combination of neuropsychological and psychiatric examinations and non-contrast CT brain scan. Patients were divided into SI positive (SI+) and SI negative (SI−) groups according to the SI item of the Beck Depression Inventory.
Lesions to the left rostrolateral PFC (rlPFC) were associated with a lower risk of SI independent of depression and global functioning. Left rlPFC lesion also reduced abstract reasoning skills, which mediated the lesion effects on suicide ideation.
The left rlPFC plays a crucial role in SI independently of depression and global functioning.
White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) are one the most common neuroimaging findings in patients with bipolar disorder (BD). It has been suggested that WMHs are associated with impaired insight in schizophrenia and schizoaffective patients; however, the relationship between insight and WMHs in BD type I has not been directly investigated.
Patients with BD-I (148) were recruited and underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Affective symptoms were assessed using Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS17); the presence of impaired insight was based on the corresponding items of YMRS and HDRS17.
Multiple punctate periventricular WMHs (PWMHs) and deep WMHs (DWMHs) were observed in 49.3% and 39.9% of the cases, respectively. Subjects with lower insight for mania had significantly more PWMHs (54.6% vs 22.2%; p < 0.05) when compared to BD-I patients with higher insight for mania. The presence of PWMHs was independently associated with lower insight for mania: patients who denied illness according to the YMRS were 4 times more likely to have PWMHs (95% CI: 1.21/13.42) than other patients.
Impaired insight in BD-I is associated with periventricular WMHs. The early identification of BD-I subjects with PWMHs and impaired insight may be crucial for clinicians.
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