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Journal: Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica


Sturm J, Plöderl M, Fartacek C, Kralovec K, Neunhäuserer D, Niederseer D, Hitzl W, Niebauer J, Schiepek G, Fartacek R. Physical exercise through mountain hiking in high-risk suicide patients. A randomized crossover trial. Objective:  The following crossover pilot study attempts to prove the effects of endurance training through mountain hiking in high-risk suicide patients. Method:  Participants (n = 20) having attempted suicide at least once and clinically diagnosed with hopelessness were randomly distributed among two groups. Group 1 (n = 10) began with a 9-week hiking phase followed by a 9-week control phase. Group 2 (n = 10) worked vice versa. Assessments included the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Scale of Suicide Ideation (BSI), and maximum physical endurance. Results:  Ten participants of Group 1 and seven participants of Group 2 completed the study. A comparison between conditions showed that, in the hiking phase, there was a significant decrease in hopelessness (P < 0.0001, d = -1.4) and depression (P < 0.0001, d = -1.38), and a significant increase in physical endurance (P < 0.0001, d = 1.0), but no significant effect for suicide ideation (P = 0.25, d = -0.29). However, within the hiking phase, there was a significant decrease in suicide ideation (P = 0.005, d = -0.79). Conclusion:  The results suggest that a group experience of regular monitored mountain hiking, organized as an add-on therapy to usual care, is associated with an improvement of hopelessness, depression, and suicide ideation in patients suffering from high-level suicide risk.

Concepts: Exercise, Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Suicide, Parasuicide, Adolf Hitler, Beck Depression Inventory, Endurance


Electroencephalographic (EEG) neurofeedback training has been shown to produce plastic modulations in salience network and default mode network functional connectivity in healthy individuals. In this study, we investigated whether a single session of neurofeedback training aimed at the voluntary reduction of alpha rhythm (8-12 Hz) amplitude would be related to differences in EEG network oscillations, functional MRI (fMRI) connectivity, and subjective measures of state anxiety and arousal in a group of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Concepts: Anxiety, Cognitive science, Electroencephalography, Medical tests, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Schizophrenia, Functional magnetic resonance imaging, Neurofeedback


This study examines neurocognitive functioning in a large, well-characterized sample of homeless adults with mental illness and assesses demographic and clinical factors associated with neurocognitive performance.

Concepts: Mental illness


Somatization is a symptom cluster characterized by ‘psychosomatic’ symptoms, that is, medically unexplained symptoms, and is a common component of other conditions, including depression and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). This article reviews the data regarding the pathophysiological foundations of ‘psychosomatic’ symptoms and the implications that this has for conceptualization of what may more appropriately be termed physio-somatic symptoms.

Concepts: Medical terms, Symptoms, Symptom, Fibromyalgia, Fatigue, Post-concussion syndrome, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Medically unexplained physical symptoms


Objective:  To establish the temporal relationship between prescription of acid-suppressant therapy, GORD and clozapine prescribing. Method:  In this retrospective cohort study, we identified out-patients prescribed clozapine and other atypical antipsychotics (AAP) and compared times and rates of prescribing of acid-suppressant therapy. Odds ratios were calculated. Results:  Of 352 patients on clozapine and 358 patients on other AAP, there were 74 (21.0%) and 23 (6.7%) patients prescribed acid-suppressant therapy respectively [OR = 3.9 (95% CI: 2.4-6.4) P ≤ 0.0001]. In 67 of 74 cases (90.5%) vs. 18 of 23 cases (81.8%), acid-suppressant therapy began after the start of the antipsychotic. Clozapine patients were more likely to be prescribed acid-suppressant therapy within the first 5 years of initiation than those on other AAP (P = 0.039). Where indication for acid-suppressant therapy was known, it was prescribed for GORD in 44 of 62 (71.0%) of the clozapine patients and 6 of 13 (46.2%) of those on other AAP (P = 0.109). Rate of known GORD was 44 of 352 (12.5%) for clozapine and 6 of 358 (1.7%) for other atypicals [OR = 8.4 (95% CI: 3.5-19.9) P ≤ 0.0001]. Conclusion:  Clozapine was associated with higher rates of GORD and acid-suppressant therapy prescribing than other AAP. There was a clear temporal relationship between the prescribing of clozapine and the later use of acid-suppressant therapy. These observations strongly suggest that prescription of clozapine was associated with the onset of GORD.

Concepts: Cohort study, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, Tardive dyskinesia, Typical antipsychotic, Antipsychotic, Schizophrenia, Atypical antipsychotic, Clozapine


OBJECTIVE: To review the DSM-5 proposed criteria for mixed depression in light of robust and consistent historical and scientific evidence. METHOD: An extensive historical search, a systematic review of the papers used by DSM-5 as reference papers, and a PubMed search were performed. RESULTS: As Hippocrates, depressive mixed states have been described as conditions of intense psychic suffering, consisting of depressed mood, inner tension, restlessness, and aimless psychomotor agitation. In DSM-5, new criteria are proposed for a mixed features specifier, as part of depression either in major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar disorder. Those criteria require, as diagnostically specific, manic/hypomanic symptoms that are the least common kinds of symptoms that actually arise in depressive mixed states. The DSM-5 proposal is based, almost entirely, on a speculative wish to avoid ‘overlapping’ manic and depressive symptoms. Mixed states are, in fact, nothing but overlapping manic and depressive symptoms. CONCLUSION: In this article, we review the psychopathology and research on mixed depressive states, and try to demonstrate that the DSM-5 proposal has weak scientific basis and does not identify a large number of mixed depressive states. This may be harmful because of the different treatment required by these conditions.

Concepts: Abnormal psychology, Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Seasonal affective disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Depression, Suicide, Psychomotor agitation


OBJECTIVE: Personality traits are presumed to endure over time, but the literature regarding older age is sparse. Furthermore, interpretation may be hampered by the presence of dementia-related personality changes. The aim was to study stability in neuroticism and extraversion in a population sample of women who were followed from mid-life to late life. METHOD: A population-based sample of women born in 1918, 1922 or 1930 was examined with the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) in 1968-1969. EPI was assessed after 37 years in 2005-2006 (n = 153). Data from an interim examination after 24 years were analysed for the subsample born in 1918 and 1922 (n = 75). Women who developed dementia at follow-up examinations were excluded from the analyses. RESULTS: Mean levels of neuroticism and extraversion were stable at both follow-ups. Rank-order and linear correlations between baseline and 37-year follow-up were moderate ranging between 0.49 and 0.69. Individual changes were observed, and only 25% of the variance in personality traits in 2005-2006 could be explained by traits in 1968-1969. CONCLUSION: Personality is stable at the population level, but there is significant individual variability. These changes could not be attributed to dementia. Research is needed to examine determinants of these changes, as well as their clinical implications.

Concepts: Psychology, Personality psychology, Neuroticism, Big Five personality traits, Examination, Trait theory


OBJECTIVE: To review the literature on psychological and biological findings on resilience (i.e. the successful adaptation and swift recovery after experiencing life adversities) at the level of the individual, and to integrate findings from animal and human studies. METHOD: Electronic and manual literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and PSYCHINFO, using a range of search terms around biological and psychological factors influencing resilience as observed in human and experimental animal studies, complemented by review articles and cross-references. RESULTS: The term resilience is used in the literature for different phenomena ranging from prevention of mental health disturbance to successful adaptation and swift recovery after experiencing life adversities, and may also include post-traumatic psychological growth. Secure attachment, experiencing positive emotions and having a purpose in life are three important psychological building blocks of resilience. Overlap between psychological and biological findings on resilience in the literature is most apparent for the topic of stress sensitivity, although recent results suggest a crucial role for reward experience in resilience. CONCLUSION: Improving the understanding of the links between genetic endowment, environmental impact and gene-environment interactions with developmental psychology and biology is crucial for elucidating the neurobiological and psychological underpinnings of resilience.

Concepts: Psychology, Genetics, Biology, Developmental psychology, Psychiatry, Emotion, Attachment theory, Charles Darwin


To explore whether psilocybin with psychological support modulates personality parameters in patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression (TRD).


Bipolar disorder is a severe mental disorder for which currently no reliable biomarkers exist. It has been shown that patients with schizophrenia but not with unipolar depression have a reduced density of fast sleep spindles during N2 sleep. The aim of this study was to assess fast sleep spindle density in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder.