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Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience

Dieter Naber, Monika Bullinger
This manuscript summarizes the literature on mental health outcomes after cardiac arrest. Survivors of cardiac arrest show high rates of mental illness with more than 40% suffering from anxiety, 30% from depression, and 25% from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mental health outcomes may differ depending on the setting in which the cardiac arrest occurred. A major problem is reduced neuropsychological functioning. Between 30% and 50% of survivors of cardiac arrest suffer from cognitive deficits. Deficits of attention, declarative memory, executive function, visual-spatial abilities, and verbal fluency have been observed...
March 2018: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Brenda W J H Penninx, Sjors M M Lange
Psychiatric patients have a greater risk of premature mortality, predominantly due to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Convincing evidence shows that psychiatric conditions are characterized by an increased risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS), a clustering of cardiovascular risk factors including dyslipidemia, abdominal obesity, hypertension, and hyperglycemia. This increased risk is present for a range of psychiatric conditions, including major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder (BD), schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)...
March 2018: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Winfried Häuser, Mary-Ann Fitzcharles
Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by chronic widespread pain, unrefreshing sleep, physical exhaustion, and cognitive difficulties. It occurs in all populations throughout the world, with prevalence between 2% and 4% in general populations. Definition, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of FM remain points of contention, with some even contesting its existence. The various classification systems according to pain medicine, psychiatry, and neurology (pain disease; persistent somatoform pain disorder; masked depression; somatic symptom disorder; small fiber neuropathy; brain disease) mostly capture only some components of this complex and heterogeneous disorder...
March 2018: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Norman Sartorius
The comorbidity of mental and physical disorders is a major challenge for health care worldwide. Its prevalence is increasing and is likely to continue to grow due to the increase in life expectancy and a variety of other reasons. The comorbidity of depression and diabetes can be seen as a prototypical example of mental/physical comorbidity. The prevalence of both conditions is growing, and depression is twice as frequent in people with diabetes compared with those without diabetes. Health services are by and large inadequately prepared to deal with comorbid depression and diabetes, and the increasing specialization (and fragmentation) of medicine will probably make things worse...
March 2018: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Kristin L Rooney, Alice D Domar
The relationship between stress and infertility has been debated for years. Women with infertility report elevated levels of anxiety and depression, so it is clear that infertility causes stress. What is less clear, however, is whether or not stress causes infertility. The impact of distress on treatment outcome is difficult to investigate for a number of factors, including inaccurate self-report measures and feelings of increased optimism at treatment onset. However, the most recent research has documented the efficacy of psychological interventions in lowering psychological distress as well as being associated with significant increases in pregnancy rates...
March 2018: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Marc De Hert, Johan Detraux, Davy Vancampfort
Coronary heart disease (CHD) and mental illness are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Decades of research has revealed several, and sometimes surprising, links between CHD and mental illness, and has even suggested that both may actually cause one another. However, the precise nature of these links has not yet been clearly established. The goal of this paper, therefore, is to comprehensively review and discuss the state-of-the-art nature of the epidemiological and pathophysiological aspects of the bidirectional links between mental illness and CHD...
March 2018: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Peter Henningsen
This review paper gives an overview of the management of somatic symptom disorder. It starts with a description of the clinical problem of patients with persistent bodily distress, discusses classificatory, epidemiological, and etiological issues and then describes the evidence and practical principles of dealing with these patients who are often seen as "difficult" to treat. It is concluded that the best-suited approach is stepped care with close cooperation of primary care, a somatic specialist, and mental health care professionals operating on the basis of a biopsychosocial model of integrating somatic as well as psychosocial determinants of distress and therapeutic factors...
March 2018: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Isabelle Lang-Rollin, Götz Berberich
Medical progress, the improvement of general living conditions, and an increase in life expectancy have led to an increase in the general prevalence of oncologic disease. More importantly, more and more patients survive cancer or live with the disease for long periods of time. While the battle for survivorship is continuously being fought, improving patients' quality of life has come to the fore. Psychosocial issues may modulate the course of the disease, but mainly have a deep impact on patients' physical and mental wellbeing...
March 2018: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
German E Berrios
This paper deals with the history of the relationship between the mind-body dualism and the epistemology of madness. Earlier versions of such dualism posed little problem in regard to the manner of their communication. The Cartesian view that mind and body did, in fact, name different substances introduced a problem of incommunicability that is yet to be resolved. Earlier views that madness may be related to changes in the brain began gaining empirical support during the 17th century. Writers on madness chose to resolve the mind-body problem differently Some stated that such communication was not needed; others, that mind was a redundant concept, as madness could be fully explained by structural changes in the brain; and yet others described psychological spaces for madness to inhabit as a symbolic conflict...
March 2018: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Florence Thibaut
The French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650) argued that the natures of mind and body are completely different from one another and that each could exist by itself. How can these two structures with different natures causally interact in order to give rise to a human being with voluntary bodily motions and sensations? Even today, the problem of mind-body causal interaction remains a matter of debate.
March 2018: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Michael Davidson
Despite significant progress in the study of the epidemiology and genetics of autism, the etiology and patho-physiology of this condition is far from being elucidated and no curative treatment currently exists. Although solid scientific research continues, in an attempt to find explanations and solutions, a number of nonscientific and pure myths about autism have emerged. Myths that vaccines or mercury are associated with autism have been amplified by misguided scientists; frustrated, but effective parent groups; and politicians...
December 2017: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Ekaterina Stepanova, Susannah Dowling, Molly Phelps, Robert L Findling
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by impairment in social communication and restricted patterns of behavior. Although there is no pharmacological treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the core symptoms of ASD, there is mounting support in the literature for the management of behavioral symptoms associated with this developmental disorder, in particular, irritability and hyperactivity. Aripiprazole and risperidone are currently approved by the FDA for the treatment of irritability in youth with ASD...
December 2017: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Daniel Schöttle, Peer Briken, Oliver Tüscher, Daniel Turner
Like nonaffected adults, individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) show the entire range of sexual behaviors. However, due to the core symptoms of the disorder spectrum, including deficits in social skills, sensory hypo- and hypersensitivities, and repetitive behaviors, some ASD individuals might develop quantitatively above-average or nonnormative sexual behaviors and interests. After reviewing the relevant literature on sexuality in high-functioning ASD individuals, we present novel findings on the frequency of normal sexual behaviors and those about the assessment of hypersexual and paraphilic fantasies and behaviors in ASD individuals from our own study...
December 2017: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Georg Peter Zwick
Neuropsychological assessment provides a profound analysis of cognitive functioning in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Individuals on the autistic spectrum often show a high level of anxiety and are frequently affected by comorbidities that influence their quality of life. Yet, they also have cognitive strengths that should be identified in order to develop effective support strategies. This article presents an overview of five cognitive areas that are essential for neuropsychological evaluation (ie, intelligence, attention, executive function, social cognition, and praxis) and explores the underlying causes of behavioral problems in persons with ASD...
December 2017: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Bridget A Fernandez, Stephen W Scherer
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encompasses a group of neurodevelopmental conditions diagnosed solely on the basis of behavioral assessments that reveal social deficits. Progress has been made in understanding its genetic underpinnings, but most ASD-associated genetic variants, which include copy number variants (CNVs) and mutations in ASD-risk genes, account for no more than 1 % of ASD cases. This high level of genetic heterogeneity leads to challenges obtaining and interpreting genetic testing in clinical settings...
December 2017: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Simon Baron-Cohen, Michael V Lombardo
In 2003, we proposed the hypersystemizing theory of autism. The theory proposes that the human mind possesses a systemizing mechanism (SM) that helps identify lawful regularities (often causal) that govern the input-operation-output workings of a system. The SM can be tuned to different levels, from low to high, with a normal distribution of individual differences in how strongly people search for such input-operation-out-put regularities in any data that is systemizable. Evidence suggests that people with autism are on average hypersystemizers, scoring higher than average on the systemizing quotient and on performance tests of systemizing...
December 2017: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Maria Chahrour, Robin J Kleiman, M Chiara Manzini
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social deficits and repetitive/restrictive interests. ASD is associated with multiple comorbidities, including intellectual disability, anxiety, and epilepsy. Evidence that ASD is highly heritable has spurred major efforts to unravel its genetics, revealing possible contributions from hundreds of genes through rare and common variation and through copy-number changes. In this perspective, we provide an overview of the current state of ASD genetics and of how genetic research has spurred the development of in vivo and in vitro models using animals and patient cells to evaluate the impact of genetic mutations on cellular function leading to disease...
December 2017: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Mark D Shen, Joseph Piven
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous condition that affects 1 in 68 children. Diagnosis is based on the presence of characteristic behavioral impairments that emerge in the second year of life and thus is not typically made until 3 to 4 years of age. Recent studies of early brain and behavior development have provided important new insights into the nature of this condition. Autism-specific brain imaging features have been identified as early as 6 months of age, and age-specific brain and behavior changes have been demonstrated across the first 2 years of life, highlighting the developmental nature of ASD...
December 2017: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Florence Thibaut
Autism spectrum disorder, a complex developmental disorder, has been found to be one of the most heritable neuropsychiatric disorders. The next step will be to translate these findings into successful treatments for this disorder.
December 2017: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Genevieve Lafaye, Laurent Karila, Lisa Blecha, Amine Benyamina
Cannabis (also known as marijuana) is the most frequently used illicit psychoactive substance in the world. Though it was long considered to be a "soft" drug, studies have proven the harmful psychiatric and addictive effects associated with its use. A number of elements are responsible for the increased complications of cannabis use, including the increase in the potency of cannabis and an evolution in the ratio between the two primary components, Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9 -THC) and cannabidiol (toward a higher proportion of Δ9 -THC), Synthetic cannabinoid (SC) use has rapidly progressed over the last few years, primarily among frequent cannabis users, because SCs provide similar psychoactive effects to cannabis...
September 2017: Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
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