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Delusional parasitosis, also known as Ekbom syndrome, is the most frequent among the somatic delusions. It may occur at any age but is more common in the elderly, particularly in females. It is a syndrome in which the patient has the false belief that he is infested by some type of insects, lice, worms or other invertebrates, and that they live or grow under their skin or inside their body. Psychiatric interventions are usually rejected by these patients and long-term treatments are frequently abandoned.
Objectives and method
A clinical case was followed and reviewed to illustrate the links between somatic delusions, hypochondriasis, somatization and obsessive disorders.
A 58-year-old female presents delusions of infestation. She has a long history of somatization and hypochondria, which can be interpreted as a continuum in the onset of the delusional syndrome. In this case, delusions of infestation are projected onto a third person. Psychophramacological treatment with long acting injectable risperidone was then introduced, as an alternative to drugs previously used.
The effectiveness of pimozide and risperidone for the Ekbom syndrome has been documented in the literature. In our case, we decided to introduce long acting injectable risperidone after several rejections or long-term discontinuation in oral treatments.
Comorbidity between Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and other psychiatric disorders, known as Dual Diagnosis, is an issue of growing interest in Mental Health. The high association between Personality Disorders (PD) and substance use is reported in scientific literature. However, not many studies have been published regarding the prevalence of this disorder in a psychiatric unit. AIMSTo determine the prevalence of substance abuse among patients with a Personality Disorder in a psychiatric unit.
A retrospective descriptive study was carried out among all patients admitted to our psychiatric unit during one year. The data collected from the discharge clinical records of patients were: demographic variables, personal psychiatric history and substance use, urine tests and clinical diagnoses at discharge.
We obtained a sample of 334 patients. There was comorbidity between Mental Disorder and SUD in 10.17% of subjects; including 4% diagnosed with Personality Disorder (80% belong to Cluster B). 53.3% of patients with PD substance abuse was reported. Excluding nicotine dependence and benzodiazepines, the most common substances used were cannabis (50%), alcohol (37.5%) and cocaine (25%).
This study shows that Personality Disorder is the Mental Disorder most commonly associated with SUD, among inpatients in our psychiatric unit. In order to detect cases of Dual Diagnosis, we suggest optimize recording in clinical history substance use and systematic urine tests in all patients admitted, which would benefit from specific treatment for their condition.
Despite the increasing use of the Internet to seek medical information, little is known about the web search for mental health information among psychiatric patients. We aimed to identify the patients’ demographic and clinical characteristics that better predict the search for medical information, as well as the most consulted aspects of psychiatric disorders.
Over a one-month period, a consecutive series of patients followed at one Spanish hospital psychiatric outpatient clinic completed a 13-item questionnaire about their personal Internet use.
Among the 144 participating patients (72% women), 61% reported having ever used the Internet, with lower search rates for general health (34%) and mental health (22%) data. There were no differences by sex, but Internet use was more frequent among younger and higher-educated patients, as well as among those with eating disorders and personality disorders. Patients were most interested in diagnosis and treatment facets. A model with age (exp.β=1.05; p=.001) and high-school education (exp.β=5.55; p=.004) predicted searching for general medical information and correctly classified 75% of the sample (R2=0.3; p=0.004). Age was the only variable predicting specific search about mental health (exp.β=1.05; p=.001), and correctly classified 76% of patients (R2=0.2; p=0.001).
The results of this one-site pilot study went in the anticipated direction and suggest that possible differences in the access to Internet according to the diagnostic group merit further research with multi-centre, larger samples.
Psychotic symptoms in depression are indicators of severity and poor prognosis. It usually requires psychopharmacotherapy with antidepressants and antipsychotic agents and it may even require electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
To review the indications of ECT in major depression through the study of a clinical case of a patient admitted in an indoor psychiatric unit.
A 64-year-old woman diagnosed as bipolar affective disorder 20 years ago. Her first manic episode required hospitalization. Afterwards, she remained clinically stable for 18 years with pharmacotherapy with lithium. Lately she was admitted due to a major depressive episode with psychotic features (injury delusions, ruin and catastrophe). Antidepressant and antipsychotic treatment was added, improving her symptoms. However, she had to be readmitted two months later with severe psychotic symptoms that did not improve with pharmacological treatment. ECT was added to her treatment. She improved after a few sessions. During the last years, she has presented depressive episodes with psychotic symptoms at least once a year, and all of them have required ECT.
ECT is an alternative to pharmacological therapy in depression with psychotic symptoms in patients with no response to drugs. According to studies and clinical practice, ETC has been effective as we see in this case. Therefore, ECT is a technique to consider in major depression, not only in patients who do not respond to drug therapy but also in those who do not tolerate psychopharmacological, who suffer from severe or psychotic symptoms, suicide thoughts or those, psychomotor agitation or stupor.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in childhood was first described by Legrand du Saulle in late XIX century, however, a systematic study in pediatric population was not made until 1986, by Rapoport. It is has been documented in scientific literature that younger patients usually hide their symptoms because of shame or that they do not find their obsessions and compulsions excessive, so that they feel them in an egosyntonic way, delaying diagnosis until several years after their first symptoms.
Aims and methodology
To highlight the specific symptoms in Pediatric OCD and review its treatment and approach through the study of a case report.
A 11-year-old boy was referred by his paediatrician to a child mental outpatient service for behavioural disturbances in the last few months. For the last three years, he had been performing rituals of cleaning, order and checking, increasingly complex and with a significant impact on his life, to the point of not being able to go to school and have other members of his family involved. He also had religious and catastrophic obsessions that generated him important distress. He was treated with high doses of sertraline and low doses of risperidone, and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy with exposure response prevention and training in relaxation techniques were associated to the treatment. The patient improved partially.
This case illustrates the delay in the diagnosis of Pediatric OCD itself as well as the complexity when treating this disorder.
There is a growing interest in establishing a relationship between several mental disorders and traumatic life events in childhood and adolescence.
It has been seen a high prevalence of these traumatic events when reviewing the clinical history of patients with mental illness.
Measuring the prevalence of traumatic events in a sample of patients with a diagnosis of psychotic disorder.
A retrospective descriptive study was made. The sample comprised 50 patients admitted to our psychiatric inpatient unit. These patients were separated into different categories according to clinical diagnosis and demographic variables. Data was obtained through clinical interview before their hospital discharge. We tried to detect the presence or absence of real or imaginary memories of traumatic events during their childhood or adolescence.
52% of patients had a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. 64% reported a history of substance abuse in their family. 20% referred the experience of having suffered sexual abuse by a member of their family, and up to 44% of them by someone other than family. 22% reported having suffered some kind of physical abuse by their parents, and more than 70% reported having suffered some type of traumatic event in the school environment.
There is an important amount of traumatic events in childhood and adolescence in this sample of patients. However, concluding that such traumatic events could eventually produce severe psychiatric disorders is still quite controversial. In order to understand better the association between childhood trauma and severe mental illnesses more research is needed.
Late-onset psychoses are a heterogeneous group of disorders whose nosology has been controversial throughout history. Several methodological limitations have made difficult the comparison among studies and, as a consequence, the research interest has been little, leading to the absence of late-onset schizophrenia and paraphrenia in current official classifications.
Aims and methodology
To highlight the specific symptoms of late-onset schizophrenia as well as its differences with other psychoses though the study of a case report.
A 70-year-old woman developed psychotic symptoms during the last seven years, consisting of auditory and olfactory hallucinations, telepathic phenomena and injury delusions, erotomania and thought control, with a high level of systematization and fantasy. She was admitted in an inpatient unit. She was treated with risperidone and the psychotic symptoms got better. At the time of hospital discharge, hallucinations and delusional thoughts had disappeared and no behavioral or emotional disorder was observed. Some weeks later, risperidone had to be substituted by paliperidone due to side effects, such as tremor, sialorrhea and parkinsonism.
Late-onset schizophrenic psychosis is not as exceptional as it has been traditionally considered. One of the main problems is that current classifications do not include specific diagnostic categories for cases of late or very-late-onset psychoses. It would be necessary that future ICD-11 and DSM-V classifications will include different-age criteria when diagnosing mental disorders.
The recent increase of immigrant population in some European countries represents a new social reality demanding an update of psychiatric clinical practice and resources. We aimed to:
1. compare the clinical and demographic profile of immigrant patients admitted to a Spanish acute psychiatric ward with that of native patients, and
2. detect changes over the last years regarding both the profile and the occupation of psychiatric beds.
Demographic and clinical data of immigrant patients admitted to the Doctor Peset University Hospital acute unit during 2005-2007 were retrospectively analyzed. For each case, a non-immigrant patient was assigned as a control. Immigrant subjects hospitalized during 2007 were compared to those admitted during 2000.
Over the three-year period, 38 immigrant individuals needed 45 hospitalizations (2.9-5.1% of total annual psychiatric admissions). Native patients presented similar demographics and produced a similar number of hospital stays, but had significantly more psychiatric (p=.02) and medical (p=.05) comorbid conditions. Immigrant patients hospitalized during 2007 (n= 12) were comparable to those admitted in 2000 (n=6), although the former accounted for a larger proportion of annual admissions (3.44% vs. 1.93%).
During the last seven years, the occupation of psychiatric beds by immigrant population has almost doubled but it is still in the low range. The clinical and demographic profiles of patients admitted to this acute ward were similar, regardless of their geographical origin.
Several trials have shown the efficacy of long acting injectable (LAI) second-generation anti-psychotics compared with other anti-psychotics. LAI aripiprazole is a novel therapeutic tool in the management of patients with schizophrenia.
The present study aimed to evaluate the clinical outcomes of patients who initiated treatment with LAI aripiprazole, by comparing their clinical outcomes prior and after initiating treatment with LAI aripiprazole.
This observational, retrospective, mirror study assessed a series of socio-demographic and clinical variables during the 12 months prior to commencing LAI aripiprazole, while on another anti-psychotic medication, and the first 12 months of LAI aripiprazole. The sample included a series of consecutive patients receiving LAI aripiprazole at the Doctor Peset university hospital health area, in Valencia (Spain). The variables analyzed in the study included: emergency room visits, number and average length of hospitalizations, relapse, rate of abandonment of treatment and number of anti-psychotics needed as maintenance treatment.
The preliminary analysis showed a reduction in the rate of emergency room visits and the number of relapse and total hospitalizations while on LAI aripiprazole; however, there is no a reduction of the average length of hospitalizations. A reduction in the number of anti-psychotics as maintenance treatment was not appreciated, however, there was an improvement in treatment adherence.
The preliminary results showed that LAI aripiprazole is an useful option that could suppose a benefit concerning treatment adherence, a decreased in number of relapses and hospitalizations and use of health resources.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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