Using Extended-Release Injectable Aripiprazole for the Successful Treatment of Depressive Symptoms in Bipolar I DisorderRead the full article
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A Case of Schizophrenia in a Young Male Adult with no History of Substance Abuse: Impact of Clinical Pharmacists’ Interventions on Patient Outcome
Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder characterized by distortions in thinking, perception, emotions, language, sense of self, and behaviour. This report presents the role of clinical pharmacists in the management of a patient diagnosed with schizophrenia with symptoms of paranoia. A gainfully employed young African male adult reported to be roaming around town moving from one bank to another was arrested. The patient was referred to the psychiatric unit of a hospital and diagnosed with schizophrenia. Key interventions offered included rapid tranquilization, electroconvulsive therapy, and psychotherapy. Medications administered to the patient while on admission included IV diazepam, IM haloperidol, IV Ketamine, IM flupentixol, olanzapine tablets, and trihexyphenidyl tablets. Issues raised by clinical pharmacists during the patient’s admission included need for alternative medication for rapid tranquilization, need for initial investigations and documentation of the patient’s vitals, initiation of antipsychotic therapy without initial monitoring and screening for substance abuse, inappropriate dose at initiation of antipsychotic medications, untreated indication, and incidence of missed doses. Interventions by the clinical pharmacists contributed to improvement in the patient’s symptoms prior to hospital discharge. The case proves that it is critical for clinical pharmacists to be involved in the multidisciplinary team during management of patients with psychosis.
Prolonged Hypercalcemia-Induced Psychosis
Hypercalcemia is known to cause neuropsychiatric dysfunction including mood and cognitive changes and rarely, acute psychosis. High calcium levels can be a catalyst for neuronal demise, possibly due to glutaminergic excitotoxicity and dopaminergic and serotonergic dysfunction. While restoration of normal calcium levels or removal of a parathyroid adenoma has been shown to rapidly resolve neuropsychiatric symptoms, there have been rare reported cases of primary hyperparathyroid-related hypercalcemia with persistent symptoms of psychosis. In this case report, we will describe a patient with no past psychiatric history presenting with a protracted course of delirium and psychosis after a removal of a parathyroid adenoma which had caused prolonged exposure to hypercalcemia. The patient’s psychosis was unresponsive to psychotropic medication and required inpatient psychiatric care after medical clearance. Per medical records, before the patient was ultimately lost to follow-up, she continued to suffer from psychotic symptoms for at least 8 months. We will discuss the patient’s unusual hospital course and management and offer suggestions for future study.
Positive Emotions from Brain Injury: The Emergence of Mirth and Happiness
Brain injury can result in an increase in positive emotions. We describe a 63-year-old man who presented with a prominent personality change after a gunshot wound to the head. He became “content,” light-hearted, and prone to joking and punning. Prior to his brain injury, he suffered from frequent depression and suicidal ideation, which subsequently resolved. Examination showed a large right calvarial defect and right facial weakness, along with memory impairment and variable executive functions. Further testing was notable for excellent performance on joke comprehension, good facial emotional recognition, adequate Theory of Mind, and elevated happiness. Neuroimaging revealed loss of much of the right frontal and right anterior lobes and left orbitofrontal injury. This patient, and the literature, suggests that frontal predominant injury can facilitate the emergence of mirth along with a sense of increased happiness possibly from disinhibited activation of the subcortical reward/pleasure centers of the ventral striatal limbic area.
A Case of Comorbid PTSD and Posttraumatic OCD Treated with Sertraline-Aripiprazole Augmentation
Several studies report on traumatic history in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and comorbidity between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and OCD. First-line pharmacological treatments for both OCD and PTSD are primarily based on antidepressants, including Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin-Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI) such as Venlafaxine for PTSD. Second-Generation Antipsychotic (SGA) augmentation has shown good outcomes for nonresponsive OCD cases. However, evidence on the use of SGA in PTSD is more limited. In the present paper, we report on comorbid OCD-PTSD successfully treated with aripiprazole augmentation of sertraline. Shared psychopathological and pharmacological aspects of the disorders are discussed.
A Case of Septum Pellucidum Agenesis in a Patient with Psychotic Symptoms
Agenesis of the septum pellucidum is a rare congenital defect that has been associated with psychiatric disorders, cognitive deficits, learning disabilities, seizures, and neuropsychiatric disturbances. We present the case of a patient with partial agenesis of the septum pellucidum who exhibits disorganized behavior and paranoid and persecutory delusions. We add to the literature of incidental neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with partial agenesis of the septum pellucidum which is an area that requires further exploration and study. We discuss the implications of these findings in light of previous literature findings.
Comorbid Depressive and Anxiety Symptoms in a Patient with Myasthenia Gravis
Introduction. Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic illness most commonly found in women under 40 years. The most common psychiatric comorbidities found in MG include depressive and anxiety disorders. Clinical Presentation. We describe a case of a 43-year-old African American female with MG who was brought in for shortness of breath. History included MG diagnosed twelve years prior to the current presentation and a history of seven intubations. The patient was admitted to the ICU and intubated. She endorsed poor sleep, easy fatigability, and feeling hopeless in the context of psychosocial stressors—being single, homeless, and unemployed. The patient was started on Zoloft 50 mg per oral daily for depression and Atarax 50 mg per oral three times a day for anxiety. The patient responded well to the treatment and was discharged on day 10 after the resolution of her symptoms with appropriate aftercare in place. Discussion. Depressive and anxiety symptoms usually develop as comorbidity during MG disease. Depressive and anxiety symptoms, besides motor symptoms, have a negative impact on the quality of life. Mental health must be a clinical focus during the treatment of somatic symptoms during MG.