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Journal: Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment


Adolescence is the developmental epoch during which children become adults - intellectually, physically, hormonally, and socially. Adolescence is a tumultuous time, full of changes and transformations. The pubertal transition to adulthood involves both gonadal and behavioral maturation. Magnetic resonance imaging studies have discovered that myelinogenesis, required for proper insulation and efficient neurocybernetics, continues from childhood and the brain’s region-specific neurocircuitry remains structurally and functionally vulnerable to impulsive sex, food, and sleep habits. The maturation of the adolescent brain is also influenced by heredity, environment, and sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone), which play a crucial role in myelination. Furthermore, glutamatergic neurotransmission predominates, whereas gamma-aminobutyric acid neurotransmission remains under construction, and this might be responsible for immature and impulsive behavior and neurobehavioral excitement during adolescent life. The adolescent population is highly vulnerable to driving under the influence of alcohol and social maladjustments due to an immature limbic system and prefrontal cortex. Synaptic plasticity and the release of neurotransmitters may also be influenced by environmental neurotoxins and drugs of abuse including cigarettes, caffeine, and alcohol during adolescence. Adolescents may become involved with offensive crimes, irresponsible behavior, unprotected sex, juvenile courts, or even prison. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the major cause of death among the teenage population is due to injury and violence related to sex and substance abuse. Prenatal neglect, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption may also significantly impact maturation of the adolescent brain. Pharmacological interventions to regulate adolescent behavior have been attempted with limited success. Since several factors, including age, sex, disease, nutritional status, and substance abuse have a significant impact on the maturation of the adolescent brain, we have highlighted the influence of these clinically significant and socially important aspects in this report.

Concepts: Nervous system, Brain, Magnetic resonance imaging, Hippocampus, Limbic system, Adolescence, Puberty, Prefrontal cortex


In the last few decades, a large number of studies have produced compelling evidence that patients with schizophrenia are at increased risk for developing several medical conditions and diseases, including obesity, metabolic disturbances, and cardiovascular diseases. Several protocols have been designed with the aim of reducing such risk.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Health, Epidemiology, Cancer, Nutrition, Illness, Health science


Cognitive theorists relate anxiety disorders to the way in which emotional information is processed. The existing research suggests that patients with anxiety disorders tend to allocate their attention toward threat-related information selectively, and this may differ among different types of anxious subjects. The aim of this study was to explore attentional bias in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder (PD) using the emotional Stroop task and compare the differences between them.

Concepts: Psychology, Anxiety disorder, Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, Alprazolam, Fear, Anxiety disorders, Social anxiety disorder


Postpartum depression (PPD) represents a considerable health problem affecting women and their families. The aims of this study were to: (a) compare female patients with PPD to normal controls with regard to some biopsychosocial variables, (b) correlate between the severity of PPD and some clinical and biological variables, and © to predict some risk factors for PPD.

Concepts: Medicine, Childbirth, Epidemiology, Prediction, Illness, Woman, Bipolar disorder, Postpartum depression


Orthorexia nervosa describes a pathological obsession with proper nutrition that is characterized by a restrictive diet, ritualized patterns of eating, and rigid avoidance of foods believed to be unhealthy or impure. Although prompted by a desire to achieve optimum health, orthorexia may lead to nutritional deficiencies, medical complications, and poor quality of life. Despite its being a distinct behavioral pattern that is frequently observed by clinicians, orthorexia has received very little empirical attention and is not yet formally recognized as a psychiatric disorder. In this review, we synthesize existing research to identify what is known about the symptoms, prevalence, neuropsychological profile, and treatment of orthorexia. An examination of diagnostic boundaries reveals important points of symptom overlap between orthorexia and anorexia nervosa, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), somatic symptom disorder, illness anxiety disorder, and psychotic spectrum disorders. Neuropsychological data suggest that orthorexic symptoms are independently associated with key facets of executive dysfunction for which some of these conditions already overlap. Discussion of cognitive weaknesses in set-shifting, external attention, and working memory highlights the value of continued research to identify intermediate, transdiagnostic endophenotypes for insight into the neuropathogenesis of orthorexia. An evaluation of current orthorexia measures indicates a need for further psychometric development to ensure that subsequent research has access to reliable and valid assessment tools. Optimized assessment will not only permit a clearer understanding of prevalence rates, psychosocial risk factors, and comorbid psychopathology but will also be needed to index intervention effectiveness. Though the field lacks data on therapeutic outcomes, current best practices suggest that orthorexia can successfully be treated with a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, and medication.

Concepts: Psychology, Anorexia nervosa, Eating disorders, Psychiatry, Body dysmorphic disorder, Obsessive–compulsive disorder, Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder, Orthorexia nervosa


Mental health literacy is the beliefs and knowledge about mental health issues and their remedies. Attitudes and beliefs of lay individuals about mental illness are shaped by personal knowledge about mental illness, knowing and interacting with someone living with mental illness, and cultural stereotypes. Mental health issues are increasing and are alarming in almost every part of the world, and hence compiling this review provides an opportunity to understand the different views regarding mental disorders and problems as well as to fill the gap in the published literature by focusing only on the belief system and perception of mental health problems among general population.

Concepts: Psychology, Belief, Truth, Mental health, Sociology, Mental disorder, Psychiatry, Literacy


Autism is more common in people with epilepsy, approximately 20%, and epilepsy is more common in people with autism with reported rates of approximately 20%. However, these figures are likely to be affected by the current broader criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which have contributed to an increased prevalence of autism, with the result that the rate for ASD in epilepsy is likely to be higher and the figure for epilepsy in ASD is likely to be lower. Some evidence suggests that there are two peaks of epilepsy onset in autism, in infancy and adolescence. The rate of autism in epilepsy is much higher in those with intellectual disability. In conditions such as the Landau-Kleffner syndrome and nonconvulsive status epilepticus, the epilepsy itself may present with autistic features. There is no plausible mechanism for autism causing epilepsy, however. The co-occurrence of autism and epilepsy is almost certainly the result of underlying factors predisposing to both conditions, including both genetic and environmental factors. Conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and sleep disorders are common in both epilepsy and autism. Epilepsy is generally not a contraindication to treating these conditions with suitable medication, but it is important to take account of relevant drug interactions. One of the greatest challenges in autism is to determine why early childhood regression occurs in perhaps 25%. Further research should focus on finding the cause for such regression. Whether epilepsy plays a role in the regression of a subgroup of children with autism who lose skills remains to be determined.

Concepts: Attention, Educational psychology, Autism, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Hyperactivity, Asperger syndrome, Autism spectrum, Status epilepticus


Clinical trials have shown the benefits of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil and galantamine, and an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, memantine, in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, little is known regarding the effects of switching from donepezil 5 mg/day to galantamine 16 or 24 mg/day, or regarding the effects of adding memantine to established therapy compared with increasing the dose of donepezil. This report discusses two studies conducted to evaluate treatment with galantamine and memantine with respect to cognitive benefits and caregiver evaluations in patients with AD receiving donepezil 5 mg/day for more than 6 months. Patients with mild or moderate AD (scores 10-22 on the Mini-Mental State Examination) were enrolled in the Galantamine Switch study and switched to galantamine (maximum doses 16 mg versus 24 mg). Patients with moderate to severe AD (Mini-Mental State Examination scores 3-14) were enrolled in the Donepezil Increase versus Additional Memantine study and either had their donepezil dose increased to 10 mg/day or memantine 20 mg/day added to their existing donepezil dose. Patients received the study treatment for 28 weeks and their Disability Assessment for Dementia, Mental Function Impairment Scale, Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory, and Neuropsychiatric Inventory scores were assessed with assistance from their caregivers. For the Galantamine Switch study after 8 weeks, agitation evaluated by the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory improved in both the 16 mg and 24 mg groups compared with baseline. However, there were no significant differences between the two galantamine groups. Agitation was also less in patients in the additional memantine group than in the donepezil increase group. In summary, switching to galantamine from donepezil and addition of memantine in patients with AD receiving donepezil were both safe and meaningful treatment options, and particularly efficacious for suppression of agitation.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Caregiver, Receptor, Dementia, Acetylcholine, Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, Memantine, Donepezil


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) describes the presence of physical damage to the brain as a consequence of an insult and frequently possesses psychological and neurological symptoms depending on the severity of the injury. The recent increased military presence of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has coincided with greater use of improvised exploding devices, resulting in many returning soldiers suffering from some degree of TBI. A biphasic response is observed which is first directly injury-related, and second due to hypoxia, increased oxidative stress, and inflammation. A proportion of the returning soldiers also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and in some cases, this may be a consequence of TBI. Effective treatments are still being identified, and a possible therapeutic candidate is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Some clinical trials have been performed which suggest benefits with regard to survival and disease severity of TBI and/or PTSD, while several other studies do not see any improvement compared to a possibly poorly controlled sham. HBOT has been shown to reduce apoptosis, upregulate growth factors, promote antioxidant levels, and inhibit inflammatory cytokines in animal models, and hence, it is likely that HBOT could be advantageous in treating at least the secondary phase of TBI and PTSD. There is some evidence of a putative prophylactic or preconditioning benefit of HBOT exposure in animal models of brain injury, and the optimal time frame for treatment is yet to be determined. HBOT has potential side effects such as acute cerebral toxicity and more reactive oxygen species with long-term use, and therefore, optimizing exposure duration to maximize the reward and decrease the detrimental effects of HBOT is necessary. This review provides a summary of the current understanding of HBOT as well as suggests future directions including prophylactic use and chronic treatment.

Concepts: Oxygen, Antioxidant, Traumatic brain injury, Oxidative phosphorylation, Decompression sickness, Diving medicine, Hyperbaric medicine, Oxygen toxicity


The objective of the study was to conduct systematic review and meta-analysis to establish the effect of exercise interventions on cancer-related fatigue (CRF) in cancer survivors, compared to non-exercise intervention controls.

Concepts: Cancer, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Effect size, Meta-analysis, Intervention