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Guevara-Campos J.,Universito of Oriente | Gonzalez-Guevara L.,Universito of Oriente | Gonzalez-Guevara L.,Epilepsy and Encephalography Unit | Puig-Alcaraz C.,Psychiatry Unit | Cauli O.,University of Valencia
Metabolic Brain Disease | Year: 2013

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by a combination of reciprocal social deficits, communication impairment, and rigid ritualistic interest and stereotypies. The etiology is generally multifactorial, including genetic, immunological and/or environmental factors. A group of ASD has been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction with subsequent deficiency in energy production. Patients with ASD and mitochondrial disease often show signs and symptoms uncommon to idiopathic ASD such as cardiac, pancreatic or liver dysfunction, cardiac, growth retardation, fatigability, but in some cases semiology is different. We show two clinical cases of ASD associated to a deficiency of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (complex I+III and IV) with different clinical presentations. In one case, signs and symptoms of mitochondrial disorder were mild and the second diagnosis was attained many years after that of ASD. These findings support the recent growing body of evidence that ASD can be associated with mitochondrial disorder. Children with ASD and abnormal neurologic or systemic findings should be evaluated for mitochondrial disorder. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Luca M.,Psychiatry Unit | Prossimo G.,Psychiatry Unit | Messina V.,Psychiatry Unit | Luca A.,University of Catania | And 2 more authors.
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment | Year: 2013

Background: The present study aimed: to assess prescribing patterns in the treatment of major depression, bipolar disorder type I, cyclothymia, and dysthymia from 1996 to 2007 in a day hospital setting; to evaluate the prevalence of the above-mentioned mood disorders and gender distribution; and to relate familiality, comorbidity, and marital status to each diagnosis. Methods: Medical records for 777 day hospital patients with a diagnosis of major depression, bipolar disorder type I, cyclothymia, or dysthymia were grouped into two 6-year periods so as to compare the prescribing patterns of tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants, first-generation antipsychotics, second-generation antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. Gender, prevalence, familiality, comorbidity, and marital status were related to each diagnosis. Results: The most common mood disorder, with a female preponderance, was major depression, regardless of marital status. High percentages of familiality and comorbidity were found for major depression, while a reduction was found in the utilization of tricyclic antidepressants. There was no statistically significant difference in rates of prescription of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors, but some irregularities were found upon evaluating each diagnosis (eg, increased utilization of these agents in dysthymia and major depression, respectively). There was an increase in prescriptions for serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, but no marked differences in utilization of noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants, which remained basically low. There was no significant difference in prescribing of first-generation antipsychotic agents, although a reduction was found. There was a significant increase in utilization of second-generation antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Conclusion: Our epidemiological findings are consistent with data reported in the literature regarding the high prevalence of major depression among the mood disorders, as well as the impact of familiality and comorbidity. Analysis of prescribing patterns for antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers in the treatment of mood disorders shows a shift from older to newer drugs, and wider use of mood stabilizers. © 2013 Luca et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.


Margari F.,Psychiatry Unit | Craig F.,University of Bari | Margari L.,University of Bari | Matera E.,University of Bari | And 4 more authors.
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment | Year: 2015

Background: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of potential environmental and psychopathological risk factors, with special focus on symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), in a sample of adolescent offenders in relation to the type of crime committed. Methods: The assessment included data collection and administration of clinical standardized scales such as the Youth Self-Report and Conners’ Adolescent Self-Report Scale. A total of 135 juvenile offenders participated in the study. In relation to the type of crime committed, we identified three groups matched for age and sex (crimes against people, property crimes, and alcohol-drug-related crimes). Results: Fifty-two percent of juvenile offenders reported educational achievement problems and 34% reported a family history of psychiatric disorders. We detected a statistically significant difference between the three groups with regard to ADHD (P=0.01) and conduct problems (P=0.034). Juvenile offenders who had committed crimes against people showed more ADHD symptoms (18%) and conduct problems (20%) than adolescents who had committed property crimes and alcohol-drug-related crimes. Sixty percent of the juvenile offenders who had committed property crimes and 54% of those who had committed alcohol-drug-related crimes showed problems in academic achievement. Conclusion: These findings suggest the need to implement specific interventions for prevention and treatment of specific criminal behavior © 2015 Margari et al.


Boddi V.,University of Florence | Fisher A.D.,University of Florence | Maseroli E.,University of Florence | Rastrelli G.,University of Florence | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Sexual Medicine | Year: 2014

Introduction: Sexual dysfunctions (SDs) are dictated by predisposing, precipitating, maintaining, and contextual factors, the latter of which can help sexual problems to emerge. Even if the lack of sexual privacy is one of the most common contextual issues, it has not been extensively studied. Aim: Investigation of sexual privacy in a large sample of men consulting for SD was the aim of this study. Methods: A consecutive series of 3,736 men, attending the outpatient clinic for SD for the first time, was retrospectively studied. Privacy during sexual intercourse was investigated with the following question, "During the last three months, have you had enough privacy during your sexual activity?" and rated 0=yes, 1=sometimes, 2=rarely, and 3=never. Main Outcome Measures: Several clinical, biochemical, and psychological (Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire [MHQ]) parameters were studied. Results: Among the 3,736 patients studied, 83.9% reported enough privacy during sexual intercourse, while 8.6%, 5.7%, and 1.7% declared a decrease of sexual privacy of increasing severity. Lack of sexual privacy was associated with ejaculatory dysfunctions and with the inability to maintain an erection during intercourse. Subjects reporting lack of sexual privacy had a higher risk of relational and intrapsychic impairments, as well as psychopathology at MHQ questionnaire, even after adjusting for confounders. Fatherhood was associated with sexual privacy issues only in the lowest quartiles. In subjects without children, the absence of cohabitation with the partner was associated with an increasing risk of not having enough privacy (hazard ratio [HR]=1.837 [1.269-2.659], P=0.001); data confirmed, after stratification for age, only in the youngest subjects (I quartile HR=2.159 [1.211-3.848], P=0.009). Conclusions: This study indicates that sexual privacy is often a poorly investigated item, which is important to evaluate in male SD. Boddi V, Fisher AD, Maseroli E, Rastrelli G, Corona G, Jannini E, Ricca V, Mannucci E, and Maggi M. Lack of sexual privacy affects psychological and marital domains of male sexual dysfunction. © 2013 International Society for Sexual Medicine.


Srivastava C.,Psychiatry Unit | Dhingra V.,MLN Medical College | Bhardwaj A.,North Essex Partnership Foundation Trust | Srivastava A.,Vatsalya Hospital
Indian Journal of Psychiatry | Year: 2013

Morality (from the Latin word moralitas that means "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong). It is determined by how one′s genetic makeup interacts with the environment. The development of morality has been a subject of investigation for a number of decades, and our understanding of neuro-biological and psychological mechanisms has increased manifolds in the last few decades. Development of morality has been of particular significance to psychiatric literature because of its significant contribution to the development of one′s personality and it′s aberration in various disorders. Cultures that have been just, equal and moral have been widely accepted and appreciated. In this review, we shall summarize the modern theories of moral development and then look into a part of our past and cultural heritage and review the traditional Hindu concepts of morality and their contribution to development of one′s personality and their relevance in the current times.


Boddi V.,University of Florence | Fanni E.,University of Florence | Castellini G.,Psychiatry Unit | Fisher A.D.,University of Florence | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Sexual Medicine | Year: 2015

Introduction: The deterioration of a couple's relationship has been previously associated with impairment in male sexual function. Besides a couple's dystonic relationship, other stressors can unfavorably influence dyadic intimacy. A largely neglected etiopathogenetic factor affecting couple sexuality is the frustration caused by conflicts within the family. Aim: To evaluate the possible associations between male sexual dysfunction (SD) and conflictual relationships within the couple or the family. Methods: A consecutive series of 3,975 men, attending the Outpatient Clinic for SD for the first time, was retrospectively studied. Conflicts within the family and within the couple were assessed using two standard questions: "Are there any conflicts at home," and "Do you have a difficult relationship with your partner?" respectively, rating 0 = normal relationships, 1 = occasional quarrels, and 2 = frequent quarrels or always. Main Outcome Measures: Several clinical, biochemical, and psychological (Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire) parameters were studied. Results: Among the 3,975 patients studied, we observed a high prevalence of conflicts within the family and within the couple (32% vs. 21.2%). When compared with the rest of the sample, subjects reporting both type of conflicts showed a higher prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities. Hence, all data were adjusted for this parameter and for age. Family and couple conflicts were significantly associated with free floating anxiety, depression symptoms, and with a higher risk of subjective (self-reported) and objective (peak systolic velocity at the penile color Doppler ultrasound <35 mm/sec2) erectile dysfunction and hypoactive sexual desire. Female sexual function parameters, as reported by the patient, retained a significant association with both type of conflicts. Conclusions: This study indicates that the presence of often unexplored issues, like conflicts within the family or within the couple, can represent an important contextual factor in the determinism of male SD. © 2015 International Society for Sexual Medicine.


Iadisernia E.,Child Neurology and Psychiatry | Battaglia F.M.,Child Neurology and Psychiatry | Vanadia E.,Psychiatry Unit | Trapolino E.,Psychiatry Unit | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Paediatric Neurology | Year: 2012

Background: Anti-N-Methyl d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is an autoimmune disorder associated with antibodies against NMDAR resulting in a characteristic neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by seizures, dyskinesias, and cognitive impairment. The extent and specific tasks associated with cognitive dysfunction in anti-NMDAR encephalitis have not been fully investigated. Aims: To describe cognitive and neuropsychological profile in two children with anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Methods: Clinical, laboratory, cognitive and neuropsychological assessments have been performed. Cognitive functions have been evaluated one year after the disease onset, at age 4 years and 10 months in one patient and at age 5 years and 5 months in the other subject. The first patient has been re-assessed one year after the first evaluation. Results: Both children, who were reported to be normal before disease onset, showed a severe neurological impairment during the acute phase of disease with progressive substantial recovery following treatment. Selective and prolonged attention, activation and integration of semantic information and verbal fluency were particularly impaired. Significant improvements were observed at neuropsychological re-assessment. Conclusions: Executive dysfunction seems to be the "core" of the neuropsychological profile of children with anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Cognitive abilities may be, at least to some extent, recovered providing that immunomodulatory treatment and specific psychomotor and pedagogical therapy are started soon after disease onset. © 2011 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


News Article | September 14, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

As far as the brain's craving for nicotine is concerned, a person's perception that the cigarette contains nicotine has a key role to play, reports a research from the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas in Dallas. Smokers only feel satisfaction when they believe the cigarette they are smoking contains nicotine, if not even the nicotine cigarettes have no effect on their brain. For the study, the researchers included 24 nicotine addicts in four different experiments conducted on different occasions. In the double blind study, the participants were given real cigarettes with nicotine twice and fake placebo cigarettes twice. The participants were first given a placebo cigarette, but were told that it was a real one. On the second visit they were given a real cigarette, but were informed that they were smoking a fake cigarette. The participants then received a real cigarette, knowing that it was a real one on their third visit, and finally they were given a placebo cigarette and was informed that it's a fake one. The investigators used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor the neural activity in the insula cortex of the participants. Insula cortex is the region of the brain that controls certain functions of a person including self-awareness and perceptions. This region plays an important role in issues like drug addiction and craving. The participants were subjected to fMRI every time after smoking the cigarette and were also asked to complete a reward learning task. The subjects were also asked to rate their nicotine craving levels before and after every experiment. The fMRI showed significant neural activity when the participants smoked real cigarettes knowing that it contained nicotine. The fMRI results also correlated with both craving and learning signals during the task. However, the participants did not have the same neural activity in the brain when they smoked real cigarette believing that it was a fake one. The study outcome supports several previous findings that said beliefs have a role to play in the effect of drugs on issues like craving and addiction. "We expected the presence of nicotine to show some sort of craving response compared to conditions where the subjects did not receive nicotine despite the belief about the nicotine given, but that was not what we found," said Read Montague, the study's co-author and director of the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory and the Computational Psychiatry Unit at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. The study is published online in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | September 21, 2016
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

How the brain responds to nicotine depends on a smoker's belief about the nicotine content in a cigarette, according to new research from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas. The study, recently published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, found that smoking a nicotine cigarette but believing that it lacked nicotine failed to satisfy cravings related to nicotine addiction. Contrary to their expectations, researchers found that in order to satisfy nicotine cravings, smokers had to not only smoke a cigarette with nicotine but also believe that they were smoking nicotine. "These results suggest that for drugs to have an effect on a person, he or she needs to believe that the drug is present," said Dr. Xiaosi Gu, assistant professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and the study's lead author. The scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to capture neural activity in the insula cortex, a region of the brain that plays a role in diverse functions such as bodily perception and self-awareness. The insula cortex is also associated with drug cravings and addiction, Gu said. Twenty-four chronic, nicotine-addicted smokers participated in the double-blind study. Over four visits, participants were twice given a nicotine-containing cigarette and twice a placebo. With each type of cigarette, they were once accurately told what type they had and once told the opposite. "We examined the impact of beliefs about cravings prior to and after smoking while also measuring neural activity," said Gu, who also serves as the head of the Computational Psychiatry Unit at the Center for BrainHealth. Each visit, participants underwent an fMRI scan and were administered a cigarette, but each visit tested a different condition: After smoking the provided cigarette, participants completed a reward learning task while undergoing fMRI. They rated their levels of craving before smoking the cigarette and after the task. The fMRI scans showed significant neural activity that correlated to both craving and learning signals when participants smoked a nicotine cigarette and believed its nicotine content was genuine. However, smoking nicotine but believing it was a placebo did not produce the same brain signals. Results from this study support previous findings that beliefs can alter a drug's effects on craving, providing insight into possible avenues for novel methods of addiction treatments.


News Article | September 21, 2016
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

How the brain responds to nicotine depends on a smoker's belief about the nicotine content in a cigarette, according to new research from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas. The study, recently published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, found that smoking a nicotine cigarette but believing that it lacked nicotine failed to satisfy cravings related to nicotine addiction. Contrary to their expectations, researchers found that in order to satisfy nicotine cravings, smokers had to not only smoke a cigarette with nicotine but also believe that they were smoking nicotine. "These results suggest that for drugs to have an effect on a person, he or she needs to believe that the drug is present," said Xiaosi Gu, assistant professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and the study's lead author. The scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to capture neural activity in the insula cortex, a region of the brain that plays a role in diverse functions such as bodily perception and self-awareness. The insula cortex is also associated with drug cravings and addiction, Gu said. Twenty-four chronic, nicotine-addicted smokers participated in the double-blind study. Over four visits, participants were twice given a nicotine-containing cigarette and twice a placebo. With each type of cigarette, they were once accurately told what type they had and once told the opposite. "We examined the impact of beliefs about cravings prior to and after smoking while also measuring neural activity," said Gu, who also serves as the head of the Computational Psychiatry Unit at the Center for BrainHealth. Each visit, participants underwent an fMRI scan and were administered a cigarette, but each visit tested a different condition: After smoking the provided cigarette, participants completed a reward learning task while undergoing fMRI. They rated their levels of craving before smoking the cigarette and after the task. The fMRI scans showed significant neural activity that correlated to both craving and learning signals when participants smoked a nicotine cigarette and believed its nicotine content was genuine. However, smoking nicotine but believing it was a placebo did not produce the same brain signals. Results from this study support previous findings that beliefs can alter a drug's effects on craving, providing insight into possible avenues for novel methods of addiction treatments

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