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Many studies suggest that both psychotherapy and drug therapy are effective in the treatment of bipolar disorders (BDs). However, the pathophysiology of both types of intervention has not been established definitively.
An activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis was performed to identify the distinct brain activity alterations between psychotherapy and drug therapy for the treatment of BDs. Articles were identified by searching databases including PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases. Eligible studies on BDs were published up until 10 June 2021.
21 studies were included and we conducted a meta-analysis for different therapies and imaging tasks. After receiving psychotherapy, BD patients showed increased activation in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and superior temporal gyrus. While after taking drug therapy, BD patients displayed increased activation in the anterior cingulate cortex, medial frontal gyrus, IFG, and decreased activation in the posterior cingulate cortex. The regions of brain activity changes caused by psychotherapy were mostly focused on the frontal areas, while drug therapy mainly impacted on the limbic areas. Different type of tasks also affected brain regions which were activated.
Our comprehensive meta-analysis indicates that these two treatments might have effect on BD in their own therapeutic modes. Psychotherapy might have a top-down effect, while drug therapy might have a bottom-up effect. This study may contribute to differential diagnosis of BDs and would be helpful to finding more accurate neuroimaging biomarkers for BD treatment.
The incidence of beta thalassemia varies greatly in different regions of China. Blood transfusion combined with iron chelation and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the main treatment for beta thalassemia in China. This study aimed to reveal the specific treatment schemes used for patients with beta thalassemia and to evaluate their effects.
A search strategy was developed to identify articles published between 1 January 2010 and 30 August 2021 in the following literature databases: PubMed, Embase, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang Data, and the Chinese BioMedical Literature Database.
The most used iron chelation schemes in China for patients with beta thalassemia included deferoxamine (DFO) monotherapy, deferiprone (DFP) monotherapy, deferasirox (DFX) monotherapy, and combinations of DFP and DFO. Most studies reported that combinations of DFP, DFO, and DFX monotherapy performed better than DFO or DFP monotherapy alone in reducing the blood, heart, and liver iron load. However, the adverse effects of iron chelation affected patient compliance with treatment to a certain extent. Stem cells for patients receiving HSCT in China were mainly donated by human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched siblings or unrelated individuals. The five-year overall survival rate after HSCT ranged from 83 to 90 percent, while the five-year beta thalassemia-free survival rate ranged from 65 to 87 percent. Graft-versus-host disease and infection were the most common serious complications experienced by transplant recipients.
For patients in China with beta thalassemia, the most effective iron chelation treatment schemes were combinations of DFP, DFO, and DFX monotherapy. HSCT from HLA-matched siblings or unrelated donors resulted in a significant improvement in the cure rate for beta thalassemia. However, patients still need safer and more effective innovative treatments, and further evidence on existing treatments needs to be generated from larger scale studies in the Chinese population.
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