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A delusion of parasitosis is defined as the fixed, false belief of infestation by invisible organisms or fibrous material of unknown origin. The differential diagnosis is true infection, substance use disorder, dementia or other neuropsychiatric disease.
Our goal was to characterize delusions of parasitosis, classically named Ekbom syndrome, among individuals attending our emergency department (ED).
Over a four-year period (2017-2020), we carried out a retrospective case-register study of patients with DSM-5 Ekbom syndrome attending an ED that provides mental health services to an area of nearly 450.000 inhabitants in Sabadell (Barcelona, Spain).
There were 13 eligible patients: 7 were diagnosed for the first time and 6 had multiple episodes. Female-to-male ratio was 1.6:1; average age was 56.9. The most common diagnosis was delusional disorder (n=5;8.5%), followed by schizophrenia (n=3;23.1%) and organic disorders (n=2;15.4%). Origin: Africa (n=5;38.5%), South-America (n=4;30.8%) and Spain (n=4;30.8%). Fifty percent showed poor treatment compliance. Antipsychotics used: risperidone (n=8;61.54%), olanzapine (n=4;30.8%). Five patients received antidepressants. Most patients had previously been seen by other medical specialties (internal medicine, dermatology and hematology). ‘’Match box sign’’: 7 patients (53.8%). Cerebral atrophy was present on brain scan in 4 patients. After discharge: acute psychiatric unit (n=7), outpatient appointments (n=4), day hospital (n=1) and 1 to a psychogeriatric unit.
Delusions of parasitosis are rare in our emergency department. The typical patient is a postmenopausal woman, a visitor or immigrant to Spain. Effective treatment requires a focus on cultural, gender, and age aspects, with close cooperation between psychiatry and other relevant specialties.
Day care programs have been extensively used to treat people with acute psychiatric disorders. Day hospitals (DH) can act as an alternative to admission in patients with acute symptoms, shorten the duration of admission, be useful for rehabilitation and maintenance care or enhance treatment in patients with poor adherence to outpatient care. Few research has been conducted in delusional disorder (DD).
To investigate whether DH care increases adherence with psychiatric appointments in patients with DD. To describe functions of partial hospitalization in DD.
Comparative study including DD patients who attended a DH (Group 1:n=12) versus patients who did not receive DH care (Group 2;n=7). Patients attending DH were classified into 3 groups according to the program function at referral. Adherence with outpatient follow-up appointments (primary outcome) and pharmacy refill data (secondary outcome) were assessed after discharge over a 6-month period (DH) and compared with group 2. For statistical analyses, non-parametric tests were performed.
Program function (DH): alternative to admission (n=4); shortening of admission (n=5) and enhancing outpatient treatment (n=3). Patients receiving DH care were more frequently referred from the inpatient unit or emergency department compared to those who did not attend DH (commonly referred from primary care services). No statistically significant differences were found between both groups in adherence to psychiatric appointments. Patients who attended DH showed higher compliance with antipsychotics (89.29% vs.72.62, p<0.05).
DH care may be a useful alternative to increase adherence with antipsychotics in DD patients with poor awareness of illness.
Conflict of interest
AGR has received honoraria, registration for congresses and/or travel costs from Janssen, Lundbeck-Otsuka and Angelini.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a biological basis overlapped with obsessive compulsive disorders and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). The combination of pharmacological treatment and psychological interventions have been considered the gold-standard
Our main objective was to present the case of a patient with ASD and comorbid BDD. As a second objective, we reviewed recent works on the common neurobiological substrate and therapeutic options for both conditions.
(1)Clinical case: Patient with ASD and BDD, treated with fluoxetine 60 mg/day and aripiprazole 30 mg/day. (2)Non-systematic narrative review focused on neurobiological substrate and treatment of ASD and BDD. The electronic search was performed by the PubMed database (1990-2020) using the following key terms: “autism spectrum disorder”, “body dysmorphic disorder”, “dysmorphophobia”, “neurobiology”, “pharmacological treatment”, “psychological treatment” and “treatment”.
Our patient is a 31-year-old single male fulfilling DSM-5 criteria for ASD, diagnosed in childhood, and BDD. He received pharmacological treatment and CBT. He also verbalized having been concerned with his lips and mouth for the last 10 years. This discomfort leads to passive ideas of death. Review: All articles (n=4) supported the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and CBT in this comorbidity. None of them reported the use of antipsychotics. Oone article described the use of Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and oxytocin.
ASD and BDD share the basis of corticostriatal circuits. ISRS and CBT may be effective in treatment. Other options (oxytocin or rTMS) should be further investigated. Examining this comorbidity could be useful for discovering possible endophenotypes.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD), is a population that does not usually receive specific treatment.
The main objective of the present study is to evaluate whether specific interventions within the TAVA program (transition program to adult life for patients with ADS), produce significant improvements in the quality of life of young adults with ASD.
This is a prospective randomized clinical study of patients with ASD (according to DSM-5 criteria) seen in outpatient of the Parc Tauli University Hospital in Sabadell (Barcelona) since September 2017. We compared the quality of life, functionality, caregiver burden, and comorbidity of patients in TAVA program (beneficiaries of group therapy and specific medical and psychosocial interventions), with that of control patients (treatment as usual), after 2 years of intervention.
Our sample is composed of 12 patients with ASD. The average age is 18.4 years. 83% of the sample are men (n = 10). 5 of the patients belonged to TAVA and the other 7 were controls. Overall, TAVA patients presented improvement in the ZARIT and BAI scales compared to control patients. The control patients evolved less favorably in the AAA, SRS and RAAS levels compared to TAVA.
Specific interventions in adults with ASD, improve the caregiver’s feeling of overload and the patients anxiety, compared to the usual interventions. The lack of regulated interventions produces an unfavorable evolution of the core symptoms of autism. More studies are needed to specify efficient interventions to improve the quality of life of adults with ASD.
No significant relationships.
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