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Twenty-two schizophrenic patients (DSM-III-R criteria) with clinically significant akathisia were matched with 22 schizophrenic patients without akathisia on the following variables: age, sex, diagnosis, duration of illness, and current treatment. Both groups were assessed using a variety of clinical rating scales and several parameters of serum iron status. The akathisic patients showed greater severity of clinical psychopathology, particularly positive symptoms, and an excess of extrapyramidal side-effects. We were unable to confirm any association between low serum iron and neuroleptic-induced akathisia in our sample of community-based patients.
Research into delivery of psychiatric care has shown that the chronic mentally ill (CMI) patients continue to pose major difficulties not only in terms of economic cost to patients, their families and the state but also in the ability of authorities to provide adequate facilities in the community. The latter is especially important now because of rapid discharge of patients into the community from long-stay wards of mental hospitals, often with little rehabilitative preparation and even less consideration of the effects of the environment into which they are relocated. Although follow-up in some cases has been of exceptionally high quality, a majority have filtered through the network into inadequate residence; this surely is unacceptable. The high prevalence of mental illness among the homeless and the difficulties of providing care for them by an inflexible health service have been highlighted by a recent report of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (Bhugra et al, 1991). This paper attempts to define the possible adverse consequences of the recent reorganisation of National Health Service (NHS) on the care of the chronic mentally ill.
Recent developments in psychiatry have required increased inter-disciplinary collaboration to ensure co-ordination of specialist skills. Simultaneously, changes in management structures of participating disciplines have produced vertically organised systems of management with multiple tiers often referred to as line management. The membership of multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) now comprises individuals at varying levels in management hierarchy and with different abilities to contribute to the decision making process. Managers usually impose attitudes, expectations and obligations on staff working in MDTs which are often major obstacles to effective teamwork by causing ambivalence and opposing loyalties leaving individual workers in invidious positions (Fagin, 1985). This paper reviews current thinking on multidisciplinary teams and present day management structures among disciplines in psychiatry and discusses the practical problems and areas of conflict resulting from their interaction in settings where MDTs are expected to operate.
To determine the usefulness of the DST in differentiating depression from dementia, the test was administered to three diagnostic groups of psychogeriatric patients: depression; dementia; and dementia with depression. Clinical assessments were supplemented by ratings on the HRSD and SCAG, as well as by EEG and CT. All three groups showed a high incidence of abnormal DST results unrelated to presence or severity of affective symptoms, but showing a better association with SCAG and its ‘organic’ subsets. The mechanism(s) underlying these abnormal results may reflect organic brain disease. The usefulness of the DST in differentiating depression from dementia in the elderly was not confirmed.
Depot neuroleptics are now commonly used for maintenance therapy of schizophrenia. Their physicochemical composition makes them ideal for such use because they are long-acting and show stable blood levels for prolonged periods. Their absorption from the site of injection may, however, be affected by local muscle factors. This paper describes three such factors in relation to fluphenazine decanoate: varying the site of injection; massage of the injection site; and effects of muscular exercise. Our results suggest that fluphenazine pharmacokinetics are not significantly affected by any of these factors.
The exercise of hospital accreditation by the Royal College of Psychiatrists has resulted in a significant improvement in the standards of psychiatric training in this country.1 The North West, more than any other region, adopted the policy of District General Hospital psychiatry2 in the sixties which had the effect of creating small psychiatric units, unable to muster enough resources, to provide comprehensive training programmes by themselves. These developments have highlighted the problems of organising viable rotational schemes for training in psychiatry.3,4,5
Fifty-four patients suffering from a variety of psychotic states were graded by their degree of psychomotor activity. Serum creatine Phosphokinase (CPK) levels were found to be related to the degree of psychomotor activity, irrespective of the diagnostic category. Retarded and withdrawn patients had normal serum CPK, but on their return to normal psychomotor activity the CPK levels tended to rise transiently. It appears that unphysiological motor activity has a more direct relationship to the rise of serum CPK than motor activity per se.
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