Clinical studies have shown greater sex differences in symptoms of schizophrenia, with men having more negative symptoms than women, which may be related to the action of the reproductive hormones.
The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between negative symptoms and the plasma levels of testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) in male patients with schizophrenia.
The participants were 50 male patients with chronic schizophrenia. The psychopathology of the patients was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). The Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS) and the Drug-induced Extrapyramidal Symptoms Scale (DIEPSS) were also used to exclude the effects of depression or drug-induced extrapyramidal symptoms.
The PANSS negative scores showed a significant inverse correlation with the serum testosterone levels without a correlation with serum DHEAS.
This study indicates that testosterone but not DHEAS may play an important role in the severity of negative symptoms in male patients with schizophrenia.
Egypt experienced its first nationally televised antistigma campaign in 2007. This independent study aims at a scientific evaluation of the potential benefits of this campaign.
Two educational clips lasting 1 or 2 min each were aired daily on prime time television between 1 and 31 October 2007. Five messages were relayed as the clip rolled on. A specially designed questionnaire covering six areas was used; these included demographics, identifying those who have seen the clips, memory and opinion about each message, stigma-related attitudes, and behavior toward the mentally ill persons. Twenty mental health workers with experience in field work ranging in training from 1 to 13 years received two training sessions. The questionnaire was piloted on 82 participants and subsequently modified. A total of 3000 participants who consented to being interviewed were selected to participate. The data of 2274 participants from the Greater Cairo region are reported in this study (75.8%).
The study sample is more representative of the younger, as only 21% of the sample were above 46 years, educated, as only 18% were illiterate, married, as 55% of the sample were married, and employed sections of the population. A total of 55% reported that daily life stressors were the cause of mental illness. Only 17% of the study sample actually acknowledged seeing the antistigma adverts (campaign exposed, CE) and 83% were campaign unexposed. There were no statistically significant demographic differences between both groups. Among those who saw the campaign adverts, a significant proportion reported a number of positive effects on attitude and behavior. However, when CE and campaign unexposed participants were compared, no statistically significant differences emerged. A total of 50% of the participants remembered that mental illness is curable. The question that psychiatric patients are dangerous to self or others showed a statistically significant difference between participants who were CE and those who were not exposed.
The public were willing to express their opinions as they showed significant cooperativeness and validity of their answers, especially those exposed to the campaign. The television is the medium of choice that the public prefer is the evidence stated in the paper. The antistigma media campaign leads to changes in the attitude of participants who are exposed to mental illness. Positive messages influenced attitude change more.
Bipolar disorder in adolescents is often referred to as juvenile bipolar disorder. A peak in the prevalence of bipolar disorder has been documented between the ages of 15 and 19 years. Wide-ranging neuropsychological deficits have been found in many studies of juvenile bipolar disorder. Persistent neuropsychological deficits present in the euthymic state suggest that such deficits could be vulnerability trait markers of the illness.
To identify and assess cognitive functioning in euthymic adolescents diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
A case–control cross sectional study, in which 30 euthymic bipolar adolescents were recruited from the psychiatric adolescent clinic of Kasr al Ainy and compared with 30 healthy controls.
The Hamilton Rating Scale of Depression, the Young Mania Rating Scale, the letter cancellation test, the digit span and digit symbol/coding tests, the Bender gestalt test and the Wisconsin card sorting test were used.
Cases had significantly higher mean scores than controls in the letter cancellation test and its omission errors as well as in the perseverative errors of the Wisconsin card sorting test, and lower mean scores in the digit span, digit symbol coding and the Bender gestalt tests. There was a significant positive correlation between the number of omission errors on the letter cancellation test and both of the number of manic episodes and the age of onset of the illness.
There are neuropsychological deficits in the areas of sustained attention, set shifting, processing speed and visual and auditory short-term memory in euthymic bipolar adolescent patients, type I. There is a significant correlation between the number of manic episodes as well as age of illness onset and sustained attention.
High levels of homocysteine are associated with vascular disease, changes in the levels of monoamine neurotransmitters and depression. A plausible hypothesis for these associations is that high homocysteine levels are implicated in vascular disease and neurotransmitter deficiency, which are in turn linked to depression.
To investigate the association between elevated homocysteine levels and depressive symptoms in patients with ischaemic heart disease (IHD).
Eighty patients with a confirmed diagnosis of IHD were consecutively selected in a cross-sectional study from the inpatient and outpatient cardiology department of Kasr-Al-Ainy hospital. All IHD patients were diagnosed according to the criteria of the American College of Cardiology. Depression was evaluated using the Present State Examination-10 Short English–Arabic Version and the Beck Depressive Inventory. The serum level of homocysteine was determined using the chemiluminescent technique.
Thirty-six ischaemic heart patients (45%) had depressive disorders. Depressed patients were older and had a longer duration of the IHD. The level of homocysteine was higher in depressed patients (P=0.098). Positive correlations were found between age and the serum level of homocysteine (P=0.028) but no correlations were found between the serum level of homocysteine and the severity of depression. Sleep disturbances correlated significantly with homocysteine levels irrespective of age.
Depressive symptoms are common in IHD patients, especially patients with prolonged duration of the disease. They are more apparent in IHD patients at times of emergency and intervention. In IHD patients, the serum level of homocysteine is associated with the occurrence of vegetative depressive symptoms.
To study sexual behavior among substance users, to find an association between substance use and risky sexual behaviors, and to determine whether there is an association between personality traits and risky sexual behaviors among substance users.
Our participants (100) were divided into two groups: group 1 (cases) included 50 individuals (diagnosed with substance abuse according to the DSM-VI criteria) recruited from the Kasr El Aini psychiatric inpatient ward and group 2 (controls) included 50 normal control individuals, matched for age, sex, and socioeconomic status. All patients were men, ranging age from 18 to 40 years, were taking substances for at least 6 months, and all of them could read and write. Those with a comorbid axis I diagnosis were excluded from the study. Both groups were subjected to a full psychiatric sheet, risk assessment battery (RAB), and the Eysenck personality questionnaire. The Addiction Severity Index was determined for cases, urine sampling was carried out using drug screening strips, and a laboratory test was performed for HIV and hepatitis C virus detection.
Both groups showed nonsignificant differences in terms of age, education, employment, education, and social status. The most prevalent substance used was tramadol (96%), followed by cannabis (72%) and heroin (58%). Hepatitis C virus infection was detected in (16%); none of the patients had HIV (AIDS). There were statistically significant differences in extroversion and neuroticism between the cases and the controls. There was a statistically significant difference between the cases and the controls in terms of the sexual subscale of RAB. There was a significant correlation between psychoticism and criminality subscales in Eysenck Personality Questionnaire and the RAB in the case group.
Patients with substance abuse have more sexual risk than normal controls. Sexual risk is not related to the severity of addiction, but to psychoticism and criminal behavior of personality.
Schizophrenia is a life-threatening illness with a mortality rate that is twice as high as that of the general population. Over 60% of deaths in schizophrenic patients are due to natural causes such as cardiovascular illness. Patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective or bipolar disorder may have a predisposition to metabolic syndrome that is exacerbated by a sedentary life, poor dietary habits, possible limited access to care, and antipsychotic drug-induced adverse effects. It has been found that the prevalence rate of metabolic syndrome among schizophrenic patients ranges from 32 to 51%, with a two- to three-fold higher mortality rate due to heart attack compared with those without metabolic syndrome.
The current study aimed at detecting the prevalence and patterns of metabolic syndrome in chronic institutionalized patients with schizophrenia, comparing patients with metabolic syndrome - defined by different criteria- and lastly trying to find the predictor factors for metabolic syndrome and for diabetes mellitus.
Ninety-five patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder were recruited from long-stay hospital wards, were interviewed using structured clinical interview, and were diagnosed according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. They were subjected to a cross-sectional assessment by psychopathological rating scales including positive and negative syndrome scale, mini mental state examination, and clinical global impression – severity index scale and also to anthropometric measurement taking (BMI and waist circumference). Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics as well as treatment history were collected from data files. Cases were classified into four groups according to the International Diabetes Federation criteria: definite cases with metabolic syndrome (IDF criteria); the high-risk group (lacking one criterion); risky cases with risk for central obesity; and patients with no apparent risk. Data were collected and statistically analyzed.
Twenty-two patients (23.15%) had definite metabolic syndrome according to IDF criteria, 47 patients (49.4%) had high risk, 17 patients (17.8%) had risk factors of metabolic syndrome, and only nine cases (9.4%) had no apparent risk for metabolic syndrome. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics and psychopathological rating scores were not predictors for metabolic syndrome, nor for diabetes mellitus. BMI and waist circumference had the highest sensitivity, predictive value, and diagnostic accuracy for metabolic syndrome compared with the presence of diabetes, hypertension, or dyslipidemia. Diabetes mellitus occurred earlier and was of longer duration compared with other metabolic disturbances.
(1) The high risk of MS among patients with chronic schizophrenia mandates careful monitoring and elimination of risk factors. (2) BMI and WC as well as blood sugar and lipid profile are considered simple measures for detecting risk factors. (3) Attempts towards toward eliminating risk factors such as poor lifestyle, obesity, and metabolic disturbances is vital for long stay hospitalised patients.
The aim of the current study was to assess the relation between working memory dysfunction and clinical and MRI findings in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.
This study was conducted on 50 patients with clinically definite relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, they were recruited from the Outpatient Clinic of Alexandria University Hospitals; and 25 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and educational level. All participants were subjected to neuropsychological assessment that included: digit span, visual span, N-nack task, and Wisconsin card sorting test. The patient group was further subjected to: Expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and brain MRI.
Clinically, the present study found no statistically significant correlations between working memory dysfunction and age, age at onset, sex, number of relapses, affected functional system, or EDSS status. Alternatively, there were statistically significant positive correlations between working memory dysfunction and the duration of illness.
This study suggests that according to the resources utilized by cognitive tasks, working memory tasks may be classified into high-demanding working memory tasks (2-back task and WCST) and low-demanding working memory tasks (1-back task and digit and visual span), and in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis working memory dysfunction includes mainly high-demanding working memory tasks.
The relationship between mother and child develops and progresses throughout the pregnancy period. In recent times there has been increasing interest in antenatal maternal–foetal bonding and its relationship with different variables, as well as the impact of this bonding on the child’s mental health.
To investigate the pattern of maternal–foetal relationship during pregnancy, and its relationship to maternal depression and to different sociodemographic and pregnancy-related factors, as well as to the perception of intimate relation with spouse.
One hundred expectant Egyptian mothers attending obstetric outpatient clinics for regular follow-up of their pregnancy were recruited into the study. They were asked to fill the Maternal–Fetal Attachment Scale (MFAS), the Intimate Bond Measure and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.
Maternal antenatal bonding was significantly higher on the MFAS in expectant mothers with longer gestational age. Women with assisted pregnancy had significantly higher scores on the MFAS total score and Role Taking and Attribution subscales. However, if the cause of infertility was unexplained or related to female-oriented factors, the aforementioned MFAS scores tended to be significantly lower than when infertility was related to male-oriented or both factors. Primiparous women had significantly higher scores on the MFAS total score and Role Taking and Differentiation subscales compared with multiparous women. Women who perceived themselves as being healthy had significantly higher scores on the Interaction subscale of MFAS. In this study the intimate relationship with the spouse, and not the marriage duration, showed significant differences in relation to maternal bonding. Expectant mothers who reported a positive attitude towards their marital relationship (Optimal Intimacy and Affectionate Constraint) had significant higher means on the total score of the MFAS and on the Interaction, Giving of Self and Role Taking subscales. The study showed that expectant women with previous loss of foetus and those with no depressive symptoms had better bonding despite the lack of significance.
Maternal antenatal bonding is associated with multiple factors including longer gestational age, parity, previous loss of foetus, assisted pregnancy, perceived good maternal health and intimacy with partner.
Executive function (EF) develops throughout childhood and adolescence. Up to half of youth with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show executive dysfunction. Reading disability has a comorbidity with ADHD of 20–40%. Adequate reading comprehension depends on higher cognitive skills beyond word decoding.
The aim of this study was to investigate EFs and reading abilities in a group of primary school children with ADHD [intelligence quotient (IQ)≥85] and whether they differ with sex.
A total of 30 Egyptian boys and 30 girls aged 8–12 years diagnosed with ADHD were compared with 40 healthy matched controls in terms of clinical assessment of reading skills, comorbidites, IQ, ADHD symptoms using Conners’ Parent Rating Scale-Revised-Long version (CPRS-R-L), EFs using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), and metacognitive reading using the Metacognitive Reading Comprehension Scale.
In total, 50% of ADHD cases showed the combined type, 31.7% the predominantly inattentive, and 18.3% the predominantly hyperactive type, with a significant gender difference (P=0.007). Patients had significantly higher scores in all CPRS-R-L scales, except for the anxious–shy subscale. Boys had higher means in the ‘hyperactivity’, whereas girls had higher means in the ‘cognitive problems/inattention’ scale. Male and female patients did not differ in comorbid learning disabilities but differed in conduct disorder and depression. Patients scored significantly lower on all WCST indices, except the first trials (P<0.001). Girls with ADHD made more errors, P=0.050, and completed less number of categories than boys, P=0.024. EF did not correlate with the hyperactivity subscale of CPRS-R-L. It correlated with the cognitive problems/inattention subscale in male and female patients. The Metacognitive Reading Comprehension scores differed significantly between the children with ADHD and the controls (P<0.001). None of the WCST indices predicted the Metacognitive Reading Comprehension total score. The total score was predicted only by the CPRS-R-L N scale (DSM-IV total), but not by its other subscales, IQ scales, sex, or age.
Children with ADHD have lower EF and reading abilities than controls. Executive dysfunction is related to inattention and not to hyperactivity. No robust differences in EF can be attributed solely to sex. Reading and metacognitive reading dysfunctions showed no gender difference.
The new Egyptian law for the care of the mentally ill has set strict criteria specifying the circumstances under which a person can be involuntarily detained in mental health institutions. The New Law does not specify whether addiction, as a psychiatric disorder, should be treated differently from other psychiatric disorders. Since the law was decreed by Parliament, the number of admissions of patients with drug addiction has reportedly declined.
To explore the knowledge and attitude toward the New Law ‘Law for the Care of the Mentally Ill Patient’ (71/2009) among service providers, patients, and patients’ relatives and how it is perceived to have affected the service to addiction patients.
A total of 505 patients with substance misuse, 213 relatives, and 172 substance misuse healthcare workers (providers) were assessed using specially designed questionnaires.
More than 90% of service providers had heard about the new mental health law in Egypt. More than 50% of substance users and their relatives were not aware of it. About two-thirds of the patients agreed with provisions of the New Law as they relate to addiction, whereas more than two-thirds of service providers did not. Attribution of illness affected patients’ agreement with involuntary admission. More patients who agree to enforcing treatment view addiction as an illness (72 vs. 60%, &khgr;2=6.79, P=0.009). There is a dominant perception that the law does not allow involuntary admission of addiction patients for treatment (about 80% of service providers and 87% of relatives). Sixty-four percent of patients in this sample agreed on involuntary treatment for a period of time until patients can make rational decisions about their treatment and 69% of the patients’ relatives believed that the law needs to be modified to allow involuntary admission for addiction patients.
There are considerable ambiguities about the regulations of commitment for treatment as well as the duration of treatment and discharge for patients with addiction problems under the new mental health law (71/2009). This is only matched by an overall negative attitude of the studied stakeholders, especially service providers, which may be attributed in the latter case to a large gap in training.