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Background. – The cross-sectional clinical differentiation of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder from mood-incongruent psychotic mania or mixed mania is difficult, since pathognomonic symptoms are lacking in these conditions.
Aims of the study. – To compare a series of clinical variables related to mood and cognition in patient groups with DSM-III-R diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, mood-incongruent psychotic mania and mood-incongruent psychotic mixed mania.
Methods. – One hundred and fifty-one consecutive patients were evaluated in the week prior to discharge by using the structured clinical interview for DSM-III-R-patient edition (SCID-P). Severity of psychopathology was assessed by the 18-item version of the brief psychiatric rating scale (BPRS) and negative symptoms by the scale for assessment of negative symptoms (SANS). Level of insight was assessed with the scale to assess unawareness of mental disorders (SUMD).
Results. – There were no differences in rates of specific types of delusions and hallucinations between subjects with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychotic mania and psychotic mixed mania. SANS factors scores were significantly higher in patients with schizophrenia than in the bipolar groups. Patients with mixed state scored significantly higher on depression and excitement compared to schizophrenia group and, to a lesser extent, to schizoaffective group. Subjects with schizophrenia showed highest scores on the SUMD indicating that they were much more compromised on the insight dimension than subjects with psychotic mania or mixed mania.
Conclusion. – Negative rather than affective symptomatology may be a useful construct to differentiate between schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders from mood-incongruent psychotic mania or mixed mania.
Depression and acute coronary syndrome (ACS) are both extremely prevalent diseases. Studies aimed at evaluating whether depression is an independent risk factor for cardiac events provided no definitive results. In most of these studies, depression has been broadly defined with no differentiation between unipolar (MDD) versus bipolar forms (BD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of DSM-IV BD (bipolar I and bipolar II subtypes, cyclothymia), as well as temperamental or isolated bipolar features in a sample of 171 patients hospitalized for ACS. We also explored whether these psychopathological conditions were associated with some clinical characteristics of ACS.
Patients with ACS admitted to three neighboring Cardiac Intensive Care Units (CICUs) in a 12-month continuative period of time were eligible for inclusion if they met the criteria for either acute myocardial infarct with or without ST-segment elevation or unstable angina, verified by standard ACS criteria. All patients underwent standardized cardiological and psychopathological evaluations.
Of the 171 ACS patients enrolled, 37 patients (21.7%) were found to have a DSM-IV mood disorder. Of these, 20 (11.7%) had bipolar type I or type II or cyclothymia, while 17 (10%) were the cases of MDD. Rapid mood switches ranged from 11% of ACS patients with no mood disorders, to 47% of those with MDD to 55% of those with BD. Linear regression analysis showed that a diagnosis of BD (p = .023), but not that of MDD (p = .721), was associated with a significant younger age at the index episode of ACS. A history of previous coronary events was more frequent in ACS patients with BD than in those with MDD.
Our data indicate that bipolar features and diagnosis are frequent in ACS patients. Bipolar disorder has a negative impact on cardiac symptomatology. Further research in this area is warranted.
The Gravettian settlements of Europe are considered as an expression of human adaptation to harsh climates. In Southern Europe, however, favorable vegetation-climate conditions supported hunters-gatherer subsistence and the maintenance of their large-scale networks. This was also the case of the North-Adriatic plain and the Apennine mountain ridge in Italy. Traditionally considered lacking evidence, the northern part of the Apennine ridge has recently yielded the Early Gravettian site of Piovesello, located at 870 m a.s.l. Survey and excavation revealed lithic artifacts in primary position embedded in loamy sediments. Radiocarbon dating, anthracological and extended palynological and microcharcoal analyses have been integrated to reconstruct the palaeoecological context of this camp which was probably positioned above the timberline in an arid rocky landscape, bounding the fronts of local glaciers close to their maximum expansion at the time of Greenland Stadial (GS) 5 (32.04 - 28.9 ka cal BP). Human activity left ephemeral traces represented by lithic artefacts, charcoal, and the introduction of radiolarites from sources in proximity to the site and of chert from very far western sources. Evidence from Piovesello contributes to the reconstruction of human and vegetation ecology during Late Pleistocene glaciations and also provides hints for the historical biogeography of petrophytic plants and their orographic relics in the northern Apennine.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) categorization of mental disorders places “separation anxiety disorder” within the broad group of anxiety disorders, and its diagnosis no longer rests on establishing an onset during childhood or adolescence. In previous editions of DSM, it was included within the disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence, with the requirement for an onset of symptoms before the age of 18 years: symptomatic adults could only receive a retrospective diagnosis, based on establishing this early onset. The new position of separation anxiety disorder is based upon the findings of epidemiological studies that revealed the unexpectedly high prevalence of the condition in adults, often in individuals with an onset of symptoms after the teenage years; its prominent place within the DSM-5 group of anxiety disorders should encourage further research into its epidemiology, etiology, and treatment. This review examines the clinical features and boundaries of the condition, and offers guidance on how it can be distinguished from other anxiety disorders and other mental disorders in which “separation anxiety” may be apparent.
High levels of comorbidity between separation anxiety disorder (SEPAD) and panic disorder (PD) have been found in clinical settings. In addition, there is some evidence for a relationship involving bipolar disorder (BD) and combined PD and SEPAD. We aim to investigate the prevalence and correlates of SEPAD among patients with PD and whether the presence of SEPAD is associated with frank diagnoses of mood disorders or with mood spectrum symptoms.
Adult outpatients (235) with PD were assessed by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I), the Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS), the Structured Clinical Interview for Separation Anxiety Symptoms (SCI-SAS), and the Mood Spectrum Self-Report Instrument (MOODS-SR, lifetime version).
Of ther 235 subjects, 125 (53.2%) were categorized as having SEPAD and 110 (46.8%) as not. Groups did not differ regarding onset of PD, lifetime prevalence of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social phobia, simple phobia, BD I and II, or major depressive disorder (MDD). SEPAD subjects were more likely to be female and younger; they showed higher rates of childhood SEPAD, higher PDSS scores, and higher MOODS-SR total and manic component scores than subjects without SEPAD.
SEPAD is highly prevalent among PD subjects. Patients with both PD and SEPAD show higher lifetime mood spectrum symptoms than patients with PD alone. Specifically, SEPAD is correlated with the manic/hypomanic spectrum component.
Our data confirm the high prevalence of SEPAD in clinical settings. Moreover, our findings corroborate a relationship between mood disorders and SEPAD, highlighting a relationship between lifetime mood spectrum symptoms and SEPAD.
Available data from the literature supporting the hypothesis that partial manifestations of the panic-agoraphobic spectrum may be as clinically relevant as a full-fledged syndrome were reviewed. These partial expressions of disorder may occur singly or in connection with other mental disorders. In particular, we have examined evidences indicating relationships of panic-agoraphobic spectrum with other mental disorders in childhood and adolescence and with psychotic disorders. Their importance in childhood and adolescence is significant because we believe that these symptoms influence adult behavior and are viewed, at a later time, as atypical symptoms. Panic-agoraphobic spectrum syndromes, both in their full-fledged and partial manifestations frequently co-occur with other mental disorders and are likely to be associated with significant impairment either when occurring singly, partially, or comorbidly. Several conditions typical of childhood, such as separation anxiety, school phobia, and other symptoms related to the concept of “behavioral inhibition” seem to be connected with the panic-agoraphobic spectrum and deserve attention in relation to the development of different anxiety and mood disorders in subsequent phases of the life cycle. Identification of panic-agoraphobic spectrum features is also important within the realm of psychoses where they may substantially affect phenomenology, course of illness, and treatment response.
Panic disorder occurs frequently with different forms of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. The 13 panic symptoms described in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) often overlap with manifestations of cardiovascular disorders, raising problems in the differential diagnosis. In order to explore in greater detail the phenomenology of panic symptoms in cardiovascular patients, the Structured Clinical Interview for Panic-Agoraphobic Spectrum (SCI-PAS) was administered to 111 patients with hypertension and 29 patients with a recent myocardial infarction.
With regard to the frequency of endorsement of many of the symptoms assessed on the SCI-PAS, more than 40% of the cardiovascular patients who failed to meet the DSM-IV criteria for panic disorder did not significantly differ from the 10% of cardiovascular patients who did fulfill the criteria for panic disorder. A third distinct subgroup comprising 48.6% of the cardiovascular patients reported a significantly smaller number of SCI-PAS symptoms than the other two groups.
These preliminary findings suggest the existence of a relatively large proportion of cardiovascular patients who present with physical and psychological symptoms that are potentially related to panic disorder and that may provoke considerable subjective distress. Further studies are needed to clarify the nature of these symptoms and their potential interference with treatment and symptomatology of cardiovascular disease.
Objectives - To present the results obtained from a cross-sectional evaluation of a sample of primary care attenders selected in Verona in the framework of the World Health Organization International Multicentre Study on Psychological Problems in Primary Care Settings. Methods - Among consecutive attenders at 16 primary care clinics in Verona during the period April 1991/February 1992, a random sample, stratified on the basis of GHQ-12 scores, was selected for a thorough evaluation of psychological status, physical status and disability in occupational and other daily activities. All patients with psychopathological symptoms at baseline assessment and a 20% random sample of those without psychopathological symptoms were interviewed again after 3 and 12 months (data not presented here). Results - Overall, 1,656 subjects were approached at the primary care clinics and 1,625 met inclusion criteria. The screening procedure was completed by 1,558 subjects and the second-stage evaluation by 250. Psychiatric disorders according to ICD-10 criteria were diagnosed in 12.4% of consecutive primary care attenders; of these, about one-third (4.5% of consecutive primary care attenders) satisfied ICD-10 diagnostic criteria for two or more disorders. Current Depressive Episode (4.7%) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (3.7%) were the most common diagnoses. In addition, 11.2% of consecutive primary care attenders had ‘sub-threshold’ psychiatric disorders (i.e., they suffered from symptoms in at least two different areas among those listed in ICD-10, but they did not satisfy diagnostic criteria for well-defined disorders). Psychiatric disorders were more common among females and those aged 24-44 years. Only 20.6% of the subjects with psychiatric disorders contacted the general practitioner for their psychological symptoms, 5.7% complained of symptoms which might have had a psychological origin, whereas in about 70% of the cases the psychiatric disorder was concealed behind the presentation of somatic symptoms, pains in various parts of the body or chronic physical illness. Sixty-two percent of the subjects with psychiatric disorders rated their health status as fair or poor, as compared to 52.0% of those with chronic physical illness and 31.3% of those without such disorders. According to the general practitioner, 40.1% of the subjects with psychiatric disorders and 45.3% of those with chronic physical illness had a fair or poor health status, compared to 14.4% of those without such disorders. Disability in occupational and other daily activities was reported by 52.5% of the subjects with psychiatric disorders (in 40.1% of the cases disability was moderate or severe), 44.4% of those with chronic physical illness (in 26.8% of the cases disability was moderate or severe), and 15.0% of the subjects without such disorders (in 9.1% of the cases disability was moderate or severe). According to the interviewer, disability was identified in 48.4% of the subjects with psychiatric disorders, 39.0% of those with chronic physical illness, and 27.6% of the subjects without such disorders. Sixty per cent of the subjects with psychiatric disorders suffered from concurrent chronic physical illness; these subjects had a poorer health status and higher disability levels than those with psychiatric disorders only. Conclusions - Psychiatric disorders among primary care attenders are frequent and represents a major public health problem, since they entail severe functional limitations for the patients and high costs for the society. Thus, appropriate programs for their recognition and treatment are needed.
Objective – Epidemiological and clinical studies indicate that 10–50% of primary care patients suffering from clinically relevant psychiatric distress are not diagnosed by their physician and only a minority of them receive an appropriate treatment. The improvement of physicians' ability to detect mental distress and psychiatric disorder, in their routine clinical activity, represents a crucial point to reduce the social impact of mental illnesses, prevent their worsening and chronicity and, eventually, relieve mental health services of an excessive burden of care and costs. The aim of this article is to examine a number of factors which intervene in the process of detection of mental distress by the physician. Then, we will examine factors related to the management of psychiatric disorders most commonly co-occurring with physical illness in general health care sector. Method – The method used for this review was essentially a recension of the literature concerning detection and treatment of psychiatric disorders in primary care settings, having in view to see the factors connected with these processes. Results – Among factors intervening in the process of identification of mental distress in primary care settings, both the characteristics of the physician and the characteristics of the patient should be taken into account. Primary care physicians and psychiatrists are being asked to work together more frequently in this era of community care. The principal aim of such invoked collaboration is the amelioration of quality of care and reduction of costs for mentally ill patients. An important issue within this collaboration is the referral by primary care physicians to specialist services.
Axis I comorbidities are prevalent among patients with severe bipolar disorder but the clinical and psychopathological implications are not clear.
To investigate characteristics of four groups of patients categorised as follows: substance abuse only (group I), substance abuse associated with other Axis I disorders (group 2), non-substance-abuse Axis I comorbidity (group 3), no psychiatric comorbidity (group 4)
Consecutive patients with bipolar disorder with psychotic features (n=125) were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM–III–R – patient version, and several psychopathological scales.
By comparison with group 4, group I had a higher risk of having mood-incongruent delusions, group 2 had an earlier age at onset of mood disorder, a more frequent onset with a mixed state and a higher risk of suicide, and group 3 had more severe anxiety and a better awareness of illness.
Substance abuse, non-substance-abuse Axis I comorbidity and their reciprocal association are associated with different characteristics of bipolar disorder.
A review of the efficacy of antidepressant drug treatment in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), using a meta-analytic approach.
Randomised double-blind clinical trials of antidepressant drugs, carried out among patients with OCD and published in peer-reviewed journals between 1975 and May 1994, were selected together with three studies currently in press. Forty-seven trials were located by searching the Medline and Excerpta Medica – Psychiatry data bases, scanning psychiatric and psychopharmacological journals, consulting recent published reviews and bibliographies, contacting pharmaceutical companies and through cross-references. Hedges' g was computed in pooled data at the conclusion of treatment under double-blind conditions or at the latest reported point of time during this treatment period. For each trial, effect sizes were computed for all available outcome measures of the following dependent variables: obsessive–compulsive symptoms considered together; obsessions; compulsions; depression; anxiety; global clinical improvement; psychosocial adjustment; and physical symptoms.
Clomipramine was superior to placebo in reducing both obsessive–compulsive symptoms considered together (g = 1.31; 95% CI = 1.15 to 1.47) as well as obsessions (g = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.36 to 1.42) and compulsions (g = 0.79; 95% CI = 0.34 to 1.24) taken separately. Also, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as a class were superior to placebo, weighted mean g being respectively 0.47 (95% CI = 0.33 to 0.61), 0.54 (95% CI = 0.34 to 0.74) and 0.52 (95% CI = 0.34 to 0.70) for obsessive–compulsive symptoms considered together, and obsessions and compulsions taken separately. Although on Y–BOCS the increase in improvement rate over placebo was 61.3%, 28.5%, 28.2% and 21.6% for clomipramine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and sertraline respectively, the trials testing clomipramine against fluoxetine and fluvoxamine showed similar therapeutic efficacy between these drugs. Finally, both clomipramine and fluvoxamine proved superior to antidepressant drugs with no selective serotonergic properties.
Antidepressant drugs are effective in the short-term treatment of patients suffering from OCD; although the increase in improvement rate over placebo was greater for clomipramine than for SSRIs, direct comparison between these drugs showed that they had similar therapeutic efficacy on obsessive–compulsive symptoms; clomipramine and fluvoxamine had greater therapeutic efficacy than antidepressant drugs with no selective serotonergic properties; concomitant high levels of depression at the outset did not seem necessary for clomipramine and for SSRIs to improve obsessive–compulsive symptoms.
In this work construction characteristics and performance of a small scale self-heating copper vapor laser are presented. Analytical design of the thermal isolator is reported in some detail. Particular attention has been given to the knowledge of power deposition in the discharge to evaluate the component losses. In the optimized conditions the laser mean power is over 5 W, confirming the expected values. Details of the measurements on the system are also reported.
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