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Childhood trauma has been linked to increased risk of schizophrenia and social dysfunction, and oxytocin and its receptor gene have been implicated in regulating social behavior. This study investigated the potential role of oxytocin and oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) in mediating the effects of childhood trauma on social functioning in schizophrenia.
The study consisted of 382 patients with schizophrenia and 178 healthy controls who were assessed using the Taiwanese version of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ-SF), the Social Functioning Scale (SFS), and plasma oxytocin levels. DNA was extracted to genotype the OXTR and ten single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; rs2254298, rs237885, rs237887, rs237899, rs53576, rs9840864, rs13316193, rs7632287, rs1042778, and rs237895) were selected.
Patients with schizophrenia showed higher CTQ-SF scores (t = 12.549, p < 0.001), lower SFS scores (t = −46.951, p < 0.001), and lower plasma oxytocin levels (t = −5.448, p < 0.001) compared to healthy controls. The study also found significant differences in OXTR SNPs between both groups, with risk alleles being more prevalent in patients with schizophrenia (t = 2.734, p = 0.006). Results indicated a significant moderated mediation effect, with oxytocin and the OXTR SNPs partially mediating the relationship between childhood trauma exposure and social functioning in patients with schizophrenia (index of mediation = 0.038, 95% CI [0.033–0.044]).
The findings suggest that oxytocin and its receptor gene may be promising targets for interventions aimed at improving social functioning in patients with a history of childhood trauma and schizophrenia. However, further research is needed to fully understand these effects and the potential of oxytocin-based interventions in this population.
A proportion of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) manifests with only unipolar mania (UM). This study examined relevant clinical features and psychosocial characteristics in UM compared with depressive-manic (D-M) subgroups. Moreover, comorbidity patterns of physical conditions and psychiatric disorders were evaluated between the UM and D-M groups.
This clinical retrospective study (N = 1015) analyzed cases with an average of 10 years of illness duration and a nationwide population-based cohort (N = 8343) followed up for 10 years in the Taiwanese population. UM was defined as patients who did not experience depressive episodes and were not prescribed adequate antidepressant treatment during the disease course of BD. Logistic regression models adjusted for relevant covariates were used to evaluate the characteristics and lifetime comorbidities in the two groups.
The proportion of UM ranged from 12.91% to 14.87% in the two datasets. Compared with the D-M group, the UM group had more psychotic symptoms, fewer suicidal behaviors, a higher proportion of morningness chronotype, better sleep quality, higher extraversion, lower neuroticism, and less harm avoidance personality traits. Substantially different lifetime comorbidity patterns were observed between the two groups.
Patients with UM exhibited distinct clinical and psychosocial features compared with patients with the D-M subtype. In particular, a higher risk of comorbid cardiovascular diseases and anxiety disorders is apparent in patients with D-M. Further studies are warranted to investigate the underlying mechanisms for diverse presentations in subgroups of BDs.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with a higher risk of burn injury than in the normal population. Nevertheless, the influence of methylphenidate (MPH) on the risk of burn injury remains unclear. This retrospective cohort study analysed the effect of MPH on the risk of burn injury in children with ADHD.
Data were from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). The sample comprised individuals younger than 18 years with a diagnosis of ADHD (n = 90 634) in Taiwan's NHIRD between January 1996 and December 2013. We examined the cumulative effect of MPH on burn injury risk using Cox proportional hazards models. We conducted a sensitivity analysis for immortal time bias using a time-dependent Cox model and within-patient comparisons using the self-controlled case series model.
Children with ADHD taking MPH had a reduced risk of burn injury, with a cumulative duration of treatment dose-related effect, compared with those not taking MPH. Compared with children with ADHD not taking MPH, the adjusted hazard ratio for burn injury was 0.70 in children taking MPH for <90 days (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.64–0.77) and 0.43 in children taking MPH for ≥90 days (95% CI 0.40–0.47), with a 50.8% preventable fraction. The negative association of MPH was replicated in age-stratified analysis using time-dependent Cox regression and self-controlled case series models.
This study showed that MPH treatment was associated with a lower risk of burn injury in a cumulative duration of treatment dose-related effect manner.
Little is known about methylphenidate (MPH) use and mortality outcomes.
To investigate the association between MPH use and mortality among children with an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis.
This population-based cohort study analysed data from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). A total of 68 096 children and adolescents aged 4–17 years with an ADHD diagnosis and prescribed MPH between 2000 and 2010 were compared with 68 096 without an MPH prescription, matched on age, gender and year of first ADHD diagnosis. All participants were followed to death, migration, withdrawal from the National Health Insurance programme or 31 December 2013. MPH prescriptions were measured on a yearly basis during the study period, and the association between MPH use and mortality was analysed using a repeated-measures time-dependent Cox regression model. The outcome measures included all-cause, unnatural-cause (including suicide, accident and homicide) and natural-cause mortality, obtained from linkage to the National Mortality Register in Taiwan.
The MPH group had lower unadjusted all-cause, natural-, unnatural- and accident-cause mortality than the comparison group. After controlling for potential confounders, MPH use was associated with a significantly lower all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio AHR = 0.81, 95% CI 0.67–0.98, P = 0.027), delayed use of MPH was associated with higher mortality (AHR = 1.05, 95% CI 1.01–1.09) and longer MPH use was associated with lower mortality (AHR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.70–0.98).
MPH use is associated with a reduced overall mortality in children with ADHD in this cohort study, but unmeasured confounding cannot be excluded absolutely.
Tramadol hydrochloride (HCl) is a centrally acting synthetic opioid analgesic. Psychotic symptoms are relatively rare in reported adverse events. Here, we report a patient who presented with tramadol-related psychotic symptoms.
A 59-year-old female had underlying bipolar I disorder and received lithium treatment with stable affective status. 1 month before hospitalisation, she had been taking tramadol HCl/acetaminophen for joint pain. She then developed obvious persecutory delusion. However, her clinical picture did not meet the criteria of any mood episode. After treatment of risperidone in addition to lithium, she was discharged without any psychotic symptom. She remained euthymic without any psychotic symptom on monotherapy of lithium (300 mg) three tablets once daily.
Tramadol HCl is commonly prescribed in clinical practice and psychotic symptoms related to it are uncommon. We should be careful about the rare but important adverse events while prescribing tramadol HCl.