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Petah Tikva, Ireland

Barak Y.,Tel Aviv University | Barak Y.,Abarbanel Mental Health Center | Aizenberg D.,Tel Aviv University | Aizenberg D.,Geha Mental Health Center
BMC Psychiatry

Background: Clinical and psychosocial remission amongst persons with schizophrenia is nowadays a defined goal of treatment. This necessitates incorporating quantifiable psychosocial variables with traditional symptomatic data. We aimed to assess clinical and psychosocial remission in schizophrenia in a large cohort of community dwelling persons with schizophrenia. We emphasized between-groups comparison of antipsychotic medications and administration methods on the outcome of remission.Methods: Psychiatric case managers rated psychosocial remission using the PsychoSocial Remission Scale (PSRS) and clinical remission using the Remission in Schizophrenia Working Group symptomatic remission criteria (RSWG). Ratings were performed for persons with schizophrenia they have been treating for 6 months or more. Data as to gender, age and pharmacological treatment of each patient were also collected.Results: Of 445 participants who completed the survey, 268 (60%) were evaluated by psychiatrists, 161 (36%) by nurses and 16 (4%) were evaluated by social workers. Patients mean age was 43.4 + 13.1 years; 61% were men and 39% were women. Antipsychotic treatments were as follows: Per-os (PO) 243 (55%), IM long-acting typical antipsychotics (LAT) 102 (23%) and IM long-acting risperidone (RLAI; Consta) 100 (22%). Overall, 37% of patients achieved symptomatic remission and 31% achieved psychosocial remission. Rates of symptomatic remission were significantly higher in patients treated by LAT and RLAI compared with PO (51% and 48% vs., 29% respectively, p = 0.0003). Rates of psychosocial remission were also significantly higher in patients treated by LAT and RLAI compared with PO (43%% and 41% vs., 24% respectively, p = 0.003).Conclusion: In a large national sample a third of persons with schizophrenia were in remission. IM long acting preparations were associated with higher remission rates. Treatment choice may thus influence rates of remission in persons with schizophrenia. © 2012 Barak and Aizenberg; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Barak Y.,Abarbanel Mental Health Center | Barak Y.,Tel Aviv University | Aizenberg D.,Tel Aviv University | Aizenberg D.,Geha Mental Health Center
Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics

The prevention of dementia, and particularly of Alzheimers disease, is a major challenge for researchers and clinicians. In this article, the mixture of evidence, observations and hypotheses in the current literature is categorized into four avenues for possible preventive interventions, as suggested by the NIH State-of-the-Science Conference. The main categories are: antihypertensive medications; nutrition; cognitive engagement; and physical activity. There is, as yet, no conclusive evidence, but each category may hold promise for the prevention of dementia. The robust findings are as follows: cognitive engagement and regular physical activity may reduce the risk of Alzheimers disease; the Mediterranean diet and consumption of omega-3 fatty acids deserves further elucidation; and the meticulous management of risk factors, and especially hypertension, is the infrastructure of Alzheimers disease prevention. © 2010 Expert Reviews Ltd. Source

Amitai M.,Geha Mental Health Center | Amitai M.,Tel Aviv University | Apter A.,Tel Aviv University | Apter A.,The Feinberg Child Study Center
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Purpose: The present review summarizes the updated literature on the social aspects of suicidal behavior and prevention in adolescents. Recent findings: The predictive role of psychiatric disorders and past history are well recognized in adolescent suicide, but the role of social and cultural factors is less clear. Studies have focused on the importance of ethnicity, gender, family characteristics, and socioeconomic status. More recently, attention has been addressed to broader social risk factors, such as bullying in adolescents, suicide contagion, sexual orientation, and the popular media. Further empirical evidence is needed to advance our understanding of suicidal youth, develop better assessment tools, and formulate effective prevention and treatment programs. Summary: Suicidal behavior remains an important clinical problem and major cause of death in youth. Social factors may be at least as important as genetics. Advancing our understanding of underlying cultural and sociological issues in youth suicide will help clinicians achieve more efficient prediction, prevention and treatment. © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

Amit B.H.,Geha Mental Health Center | Amit B.H.,Tel Aviv University | Weizman A.,Geha Mental Health Center | Weizman A.,Tel Aviv University
Depression Research and Treatment

While studies in the past have focused more on treatment of the manic phase of bipolar disorder (BD), recent findings demonstrate the depressive phase to be at least as debilitating. However, in contrast to unipolar depression, depression in bipolar patients exhibits a varying response to antidepressants, raising questions regarding their efficacy and tolerability. Methods. We conducted a MEDLINE and Cochrane Collaboration Library search for papers published between 2005 and 2011 on the subject of antidepressant treatment of bipolar depression. Sixty-eight articles were included in the present review. Results. While a few studies did advocate the use of antidepressants, most well-controlled studies failed to show a robust effect of antidepressants in bipolar depression, regardless of antidepressant class or bipolar subtype. There was no significant increase in the rate of manic/hypomanic switch, especially with concurrent use of mood stabilizers. Prescribing guidelines published in recent years rely more on atypical antipsychotics, especially quetiapine, as a first-line therapy. Conclusions. Antidepressants probably have no substantial role in acute bipolar depression. However, in light of conflicting results between studies, more well-designed trials are warranted. © 2012 Ben H. Amit and Abraham Weizman. Source

Schwartz-Lifshitz M.,Geha Mental Health Center | Zalsman G.,Geha Mental Health Center | Zalsman G.,Tel Aviv University | Giner L.,University of Seville | Oquendo M.A.,Columbia University
Current Psychiatry Reports

Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for all ages. Unfortunately, suicide is difficult to prevent, in large part because the prevalence of risk factors is high among the general population. In this review, clinical and psychological risk factors are examined and methods for suicide prevention are discussed. Prevention strategies found to be effective in suicide prevention include means restriction, responsible media coverage, and general public education, as well identification methods such as screening, gatekeeper training, and primary care physician education. Although the treatment for preventing suicide is difficult, follow-up that includes pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, or both may be useful. However, prevention methods cannot be restricted to the individual. Community, social, and policy interventions will also be essential. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012. Source

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