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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.
Paranoia querulans is a type of persistent delusional disorder of the persecutory subtype, recognized under ICD-10 and DSM-IV. Being a classically described entity, evidence is lacking from its conceptualization as a nosological entity to diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, controversy still exists regarding its interplay between the judicial and mental health systems.
To summarize current evidence and knowledge regarding Paranoia querulans on its conceptualization, ethiopathological explanations, therapeutical management and interface between psychiatry and the law.
A systematic review was undertaken between June and October 2020 in the PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus databases according to PRISMA directive. Key-terms: ((querul* OR vexatious) AND (paranoia OR delusio* OR neuros* OR behavi* OR complai*) OR litig*) AND psychiatry. No language or time restrictions were established.
A total of 1648 studies were initially identified (PubMed: 679; WOS: 945; Scopus: 24; other: 0); after duplicates were removed, n=1381 studies remained. After screening title and abstract, 56 studies were included. Their main content was categorized into: 1. Conceptualization (n=26): Neurosis (n=5), psychosis (n=9), behavioral disorder (n=5); no psychiatric diagnosis (n=7). 2. Descriptive psychopathology (n=8) 3. Etiopathogenesis (n=9): Social or personality basis (n=3), culture (n=4), trauma (n=1), cognitive decline (n=1) 4. Management (n=1) 5. Psychiatry and Law: same object, different objectives (n=12)
There is controversy regarding the nosological entity of querulousness, from psychosis to neurosis or behavioral disorders. Some authors consider this behavior to not be a psychiatric diagnosis. Furthermore, most papers dealt with a social or nurture-based origin. There is a dearth of information regarding treatment.
Over the last decades, antipsychotic plasma levels have been used to evaluate therapeutic response, adherence and safety of antipsychotics in schizophrenia. Their clinical utility in delusional disorder (DD) has been poorly studied.
To investigate the relationship between plasma concentrations of risperidone (R), 9-OH-risperidone (9-OH-R) and olanzapine (OLZ), and clinical outcomes in DD.
Case-series of inpatients and outpatients with DD receiving treatment with risperidone (n=19) or olanzapine (n=2). Determination of R, 9-OH-R (active metabolite) and OLZ levels were obtained by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Clinical variables such as treatment response or adverse events were recorded for all patients. These variables were correlated with two plasmatic ratios in patients treated with R: R:9-OH-R concentration ratio and total concentration-to-dose (C: D) ratio, indicating CYP2D6 activity and R elimination respectively.
Twenty-one patients were included: inpatients (n=10) and outpatients (n=11). Dose range: R, 1-6 mg/day; OLZ, 5-10 mg/day. Three outpatients (R, n=2; OLZ, n=1) presented antipsychotic levels under the detection limit (non-adherence). All R patients showed CYP2D6 activity (R: 9-OH-R ratio <1). Eight patients presented C: D > 14, indicating a reduction of R elimination, which was associated with poor clinical response (n=3), adverse events (n=3) and no clinical relevance (n=2). OLZ (n=2), no association between levels and clinical outcomes.
The determination of antipsychotic plasma levels may be of clinical utility in the assessment of treatment resistance, antipsychotic-adverse events or non-adherence in inpatients or outpatients with DD. Therapeutic drug monitoring should be further studied in future works.
AGR has received honoraria, registration for congresses and/or travel costs from Janssen, Lundbeck-Otsuka and Angelini.
Treatment response in schizophrenia can be influenced by cultural and ethno-biological factors. However, in delusional disorder (DD), these potential influences have been poorly investigated.
This review aims to synthesize what is known about the influence that cultural and biological factors may have on treatment response in DD.
A systematic review was performed on PubMed from inception to 2020 in keeping with PRISMA directives. Search terms: [(cultural OR ethnic* OR ethno*) AND (treatment OR therap* OR antipsychotic response) AND (delusional disorder)]. We included all studies whose objective was to explore ethno-psychopharmacological aspects of treatment response in DD.
A total of 182 papers were retrieved. Four studies tested ethno-biological factors and 10 reported cultural aspects of treatment response in DD. 1. Cultural hypothesis: 3 studies reported cultural differences in diagnostic practices; in 2 studies, culturally-determined long durations of untreated psychosis (DUP) and comorbidity with mood disorders was associated with response to both antipsychotics (AP) and antidepressants (AD); 3 studies reported that response and AP dose were similar among cultures and that culturally-sensitive psychotherapy improved adherence; 2 studies showed that, where women had poor access to health care, mortality rates were high. 2. Ethno-biological hypothesis: 1 study reviewed moderators and mediators of ethno-specific treatment response; 1 study presented a culture-bound syndrome (Taijin kyofusho) for which AD were found effective; 2 studies in diverse populations found that DD and schizophrenia were both significantly linked to HLA genes.
The sociodemographic profile of DD is consistent across various cultures and, when treated appropriately, responds, but in an ethno-culturally-specific manner.
Mycobacterium kansasii is a nontuberculous mycobacterium that causes infection associated with past or current tuberculosis disease. Clinical syndromes and radiological findings are mostly indistinguishable from that of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, thus requiring microbiological confirmation.
We report a case of a 44-year-old man diagnosed with schizophrenia and Mycobacterium kansasii infection.
Case report and non-systematic narrative review from PubMed.
Case report: Patient with schizophrenia who was admitted at the inpatient unit presenting psychotic exacerbation with high levels of excitement. Risperidone 6 mg/day and valproate 500 mg/day were initiated. He was also diagnosed with a M. kansasii lung infection, with radiological findings of past tuberculosis disease. Before the microbiological confirmation, it was necessary to start rifampicin, requiring an increase in doses of both psychotropic drugs. Review: (1)Comorbidity of mycobacterial infections and schizophrenia. Several studies have shown that people with severe mental illness have higher rates of tuberculosis compared with the general population. Although the relationship between tuberculosis and M. Kansasii infection is known, few literature is available with regard to the association of M. Kansasii and schizophrenia. (2)Interactions between antipsychotics and mood stabilizers with rifampicin. Rifampicin is mainly metabolized by CYP3A4 and transported by P-glycoprotein. Add-on with rifampicin have been reported to reduce clozapine and olanzapine plasma levels (despite both are metabolized by CYP1A2), reduce haloperidol and risperidone levels (possible role of P-glycoprotein in this interaction), as well as for valproate.
Treatment of comorbid infections in people with schizophrenia remains a challenge. Antibiotics used to treat mycobacterial infections can modify the pharmacokinetic of psychotropic drugs.
No significant relationships.
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