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Anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is an immune-mediated disorder which requires multi-disciplinary treatment including immunomodulation therapy. First presentation is most commonly to psychiatric services and continuing psychiatric care is required to treat disabling symptoms, such as behaviour disturbance, psychosis and catatonia. There is minimal available evidence to guide symptomatic treatment and concern for increased sensitivity to antipsychotics complicates traditional approaches.
All cases of cerebrospinal fluid positive anti-NMDAR encephalitis tested in Queensland, Australia were identified. Demographic, clinical and therapeutic data were collected and reviewed by two independent clinicians. Pre-specified variables reflecting possible treatment side effects were compared.
The majority of the 30 cases (83%) had early psychiatric symptoms and were treated with antipsychotics (67%), average daily olanzapine equivalence dose of 11.5 mg, prior to immunomodulation therapy. Although there was an 88% reduction in cases with aggression, there was little improvement in psychosis, affective symptoms or catatonia with antipsychotics alone. In the cases with psychiatric symptoms, there was no significant difference in the rate of occurrence of neurological and autonomic symptoms between cases prescribed and not prescribed antipsychotics.
Psychiatric input is imperative for both acute and longer-term management of anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Primary symptomatic treatment should remain immunotherapy and surgery. Antipsychotic medications have particular value in managing agitation and aggression. Potential side effects from antipsychotic treatment are difficult to differentiate from progression of anti-NMDAR encephalitis but there was no evidence in this cohort of increased antipsychotic sensitivity. Treatment with psychotropic medication should be individualised and adjusted during the course of the illness.
The link between childhood obesity and both television viewing and television advertising have previously been examined. We sought to investigate the frequency and type of food and beverage placements in children-specific television broadcasts and, in particular, differences between programme genres.
Content of five weekdays of children-specific television broadcasting on both UK (BBC) and Irish (RTE) television channels was summarized. Food and beverage placements were coded based on type of product, product placement, product use and characters involved. A comparison was made between different programme genres: animated, cartoon, child-specific, film, quiz, tween and young persons’ programming.
A total of 1155 (BBC=450; RTE=705) cues were recorded giving a cue every 4·2 min, an average of 12·3 s/cue. The genre with most cues recorded was cartoon programming (30·8 %). For the majority of genres, cues related to sweet snacks (range 1·8–23·3 %) and sweets/candy (range 3·6–25·8 %) featured highly. Fast-food (18·0 %) and sugar-sweetened beverage (42·3 %) cues were observed in a high proportion of tween programming. Celebratory/social motivation factors (range 10–40 %) were most common across all genres while there were low proportions of cues based on reward, punishment or health-related motivating factors.
The study provides evidence for the prominence of energy-dense/nutrient-poor foods and beverages in children’s programming. Of particular interest is the high prevalence of fast-food and sugar-sweetened beverage cues associated with tween programming. These results further emphasize the need for programme makers to provide a healthier image of foods and beverages in children’s television.
With prevention and treatment of mental disorders a challenge for primary care and increasing capability of electronic medical records (EMRs) to facilitate research in practice, we aim to determine the prevalence and treatment of mental disorders by using routinely collected clinical data contained in EMRs.
We reviewed EMRs of patients randomly sampled from seven general practices, by piloting a study instrument and extracting data on mental disorders and their treatment.
Data were collected on 690 patients (age range 18–95, 52% male, 52% GMS-eligible). A mental disorder (most commonly anxiety/stress, depression and problem alcohol use) was recorded in the clinical records of 139 (20%) during the 2-year study period. While most patients with the common disorders had been prescribed medication (i.e. antidepressants or benzodiazepines), a minority had been referred to other agencies or received psychological interventions. ‘Free text’ consultation notes and ‘prescriptions’ were how most patients with disorders were identified. Diagnostic coding alone would have failed to identify 92% of patients with a disorder.
Although mental disorders are common in general practice, this study suggests their formal diagnosis, disease coding and access to psychological treatments are priorities for future research efforts.
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