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Data-Franco J.,Hospital Santa Maria | Data-Franco J.,Deakin University | Berk M.,Deakin University | Berk M.,Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health | And 2 more authors.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry | Year: 2013

Objective: This paper aims to provide an overview on the nocebo effect, focusing on recognition - its phenomenology, at-risk demographic profiles, clinical situations and personality factors, as well as discriminating somatic symptoms in the general population from treatment-related adverse effects. Lastly, the paper addresses available evidence-based strategies for management and minimisation of the nocebo effect. Method: Data for this paper were identified by searching PubMed using the search terms "nocebo" and "nocebo effect", augmented by a manual search of the references of the key papers and the related literature. Results: The nocebo effect refers to non-pharmacodynamic, harmful or undesirable effects occurring after inactive treatment, a phenomenon that also occurs in the context of active therapy. Known drivers include classical conditioning and negative expectations concerning treatment. Recent meta-analyses have reported a considerable prevalence, ranging from 18% in the symptomatic treatment of migraine, to more than 74% in multiple sclerosis. Recognition of the nocebo-driven adverse effects presents a challenge, especially because of its non-specific nature and the similarity to the active medication's expected profile. Traits such as neuroticism, pessimism and type A personalities may predispose individuals to this phenomenon. Clinical management of the nocebo effect includes awareness and recognition, changing the manner of disclosure of potential drug-related adverse effects, shaping patients' expectations and enhancing the treatment alliance. Conclusion: The nocebo effect is a common, clinically significant, yet covert driver of clinical outcomes. Increased awareness of its features, as well as knowledge of strategies on how to manage it, are fundamental so that clinicians can mitigate its impact on clinical practice. © The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2012.

McIntyre R.S.,University of Toronto | Tohen M.,University of New Mexico | Berk M.,Deakin University | Berk M.,University of Melbourne | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2013

Background To describe the frequency of mixed specifier as proposed in DSM-5 in bipolar I patients with manic episodes, and to evaluate the effect of mixed specifier on symptom severity and treatment outcome. Methods This post-hoc analysis used proxies for DSM-5 mixed features specifier by using MADRS or PANSS items. Results Of the 960 patients analysed, 34%, 18% and 4.3% of patients, respectively, had ≥3 depressive features with mild (score ≥1 for MADRS items and ≥2 for PANSS item), moderate (score ≥2 MADRS, ≥3 PANSS) and severe (score ≥3 MADRS, ≥4 PANSS) symptoms. In patients with ≥3 depressive features and independent of treatment: MADRS remission (score ≤12) rate decreased with increasing severity (61-43%) and YMRS remission (score ≤12) was similar for mild and moderate patients (36-37%), but higher for severe (54%). In asenapine-treated patients, the MADRS remission rate was stable regardless of baseline depressive symptom severity (range 64-67%), whereas remission decreased with increasing severity with olanzapine (63-38%) and placebo (49-25%). Reduction in YMRS was significantly greater for asenapine compared with placebo at day 2 across the 3 severity cut-offs and continued to decrease throughout the treatment period. The difference between olanzapine and placebo was statistically significant in mild and moderate patients. Limitations Results are from post-hoc analyses. Conclusions These analyses support the validity of proposed DSM-5 criteria. They confirm that depressive features are frequent in bipolar patients with manic episodes. With increasing baseline severity of depressive features, treatment outcome was poorer with olanzapine and placebo, but remained stable with asenapine. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Maixner W.,Royal Melbourne Hospital | Jackson G.D.,Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health | Harvey A.S.,University of Melbourne
Neurology | Year: 2012

Objective: We sought to identify intracranial EEG patterns characteristic of epileptogenic tubers and to understand the contribution of perituberal cortex. Methods: Twenty-three intracranial EEG monitoring studies were reviewed from 17 children aged 1.3-7.7 years with tuberous sclerosis complex and intractable multifocal epilepsy, 14 with a history of epileptic spasms. Interictal epileptiform discharges and ictal rhythms for 60 electroclinically distinct seizures (EDS) were analyzed in relation to 162 sampled tubers. Results: Localized, tuber-related, ictal rhythms were seen in 49/60 EDS, most commonly as lowvoltage fast activity recruiting to rhythmic spiking, then diffuse slowing or bursts of ripple range activity. Ictal onset in localized EDS involved only tubers in 57% and tubers with perituberal cortex in 31%. Ictal fast ripples (FR) noted at seizure onset in 15/38 localized EDS were confined to tubers in 73% and involved tuber with perituberal cortex in 27%. Intraictal activation occurred during seizure propagation in 19 localized EDS, being to tubers in 63%and to tuberswith perituberal cortex in 37%; 63% of activated tubers generated independent EDS. Trains of periodic sharp waves on an attenuated background were seen interictally at 36/162 tubers, with 67% of those tubers generating EDS (p 5 0.0001). Interictal FR, when present, involved tubers more commonly than perituberal cortex but were not associated with EDS. Conclusion: The study demonstrates interictal and ictal intracranial EEG findings characteristic of epileptogenic tubers, suggests that tubers play a greater role in seizure genesis than perituberal cortex, and suggests tuberectomy may be a sufficient surgical approach in a number of patients. © 2012 American Academy of Neurology.

Berk M.,Deakin University | Berk M.,University of Melbourne | Berk M.,Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health | Berk L.,Deakin University | And 11 more authors.
Bipolar Disorders | Year: 2014

Objectives: Clinical staging is widespread in medicine - it informs prognosis, clinical course, and treatment, and assists individualized care. Staging places an individual on a probabilistic continuum of increasing potential disease severity, ranging from clinically at-risk or latency stage through first threshold episode of illness or recurrence, and, finally, to late or end-stage disease. The aim of the present paper was to examine and update the evidence regarding staging in bipolar disorder, and how this might inform targeted and individualized intervention approaches. Methods: We provide a narrative review of the relevant information. Results: In bipolar disorder, the validity of staging is informed by a range of findings that accompany illness progression, including neuroimaging data suggesting incremental volume loss, cognitive changes, and a declining likelihood of response to pharmacological and psychosocial treatments. Staging informs the adoption of a number of approaches, including the active promotion of both indicated prevention for at-risk individuals and early intervention strategies for newly diagnosed individuals, and the tailored implementation of treatments according to the stage of illness. Conclusions: The nature of bipolar disorder implies the presence of an active process of neuroprogression that is considered to be at least partly mediated by inflammation, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and changes in neurogenesis. It further supports the concept of neuroprotection, in that a diversity of agents have putative effects against these molecular targets. Clinically, staging suggests that the at-risk state or first episode is a period that requires particularly active and broad-based treatment, consistent with the hope that the temporal trajectory of the illness can be altered. Prompt treatment may be potentially neuroprotective and attenuate the neurostructural and neurocognitive changes that emerge with chronicity. Staging highlights the need for interventions at a service delivery level and implementing treatments at the earliest stage of illness possible. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Sarris J.,University of Melbourne | Sarris J.,Swinburne University of Technology | O'Neil A.,Deakin University | O'Neil A.,Monash University | And 6 more authors.
BMC Psychiatry | Year: 2014

The prevalence of depression appears to have increased over the past three decades. While this may be an artefact of diagnostic practices, it is likely that there are factors about modernity that are contributing to this rise. There is now compelling evidence that a range of lifestyle factors are involved in the pathogenesis of depression. Many of these factors can potentially be modified, yet they receive little consideration in the contemporary treatment of depression, where medication and psychological intervention remain the first line treatments. " Lifestyle Medicine" provides a nexus between public health promotion and clinical treatments, involving the application of environmental, behavioural, and psychological principles to enhance physical and mental wellbeing. This may also provide opportunities for general health promotion and potential prevention of depression. In this paper we provide a narrative discussion of the major components of Lifestyle Medicine, consisting of the evidence-based adoption of physical activity or exercise, dietary modification, adequate relaxation/sleep and social interaction, use of mindfulness-based meditation techniques, and the reduction of recreational substances such as nicotine, drugs, and alcohol. We also discuss other potential lifestyle factors that have a more nascent evidence base, such as environmental issues (e.g. urbanisation, and exposure to air, water, noise, and chemical pollution), and the increasing human interface with technology. Clinical considerations are also outlined. While data supports that some of these individual elements are modifiers of overall mental health, and in many cases depression, rigorous research needs to address the long-term application of Lifestyle Medicine for depression prevention and management. Critically, studies exploring lifestyle modification involving multiple lifestyle elements are needed. While the judicious use of medication and psychological techniques are still advocated, due to the complexity of human illness/wellbeing, the emerging evidence encourages a more integrative approach for depression, and an acknowledgment that lifestyle modification should be a routine part of treatment and preventative efforts. © 2014 Sarris et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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