Catatonia: A much expanded diagnostic view
Catatonia has been a condition commonly associated with schizophrenia, but it exists in a number of other psychiatric disorders. Diagnostic criteria for catatonia involves at least three of these twelve findings: catalepsy, waxy flexibility, posturing, mutism, negativism, mannerism, stereotypy, grimacing, stupor, agitation, echolalia, and/or echopraxia. However, catatonia can also be a sign of medical or neurological conditions. An expanded understanding of potential etiologies speeds recognition, diagnosis, and treatment.
More than one-third of the adults in the U.S. report sleeping less than seven hours in a 24-hour period: A CDC study
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years should sleep at least 7 hours each night. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, psychiatric disorders, and all-cause mortality. Insufficient sleep impairs cognitive functioning, which can increase the likelihood of motor vehicle and other accidents, medical errors, and loss of work productivity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have called inadequate sleep a public health problem.
Do you know about flakka?
Alpha pyrrolidinopentiophenone (a-PVP) commonly known as “flakka” or “gravel” is fast emerging as a new and dangerous drug of abuse. Initially gaining prominence in Florida, it is now frequently abused throughout our country. It belongs to the class of synthetic cathinones, commonly marketed as bath salts, plant food, or insect repellant and to avoid scrutiny marketed with packaging labels warning “not for human consumption”. In 2014, a-PVP was classified as a Schedule I drug.
Flakka is a crystalline powder which can be inhaled directly or vaporized in e-cigarettes, consumed orally, or injected after being mixed into a solution. A potent dopamine and norepinephrine transporter inhibitor, it acts as a psychostimulant and is highly addictive.
Cocaine dangerously contaminated with levamisole
Cocaine is a frequent drug of abuse and a common precipitant of health emergencies. Recently, cocaine has become an even more dangerous public health concern since being adulterated by the addition of levamisole.
It is hard to detect levamisole when mixed with cocaine; the addition of levamisole adds to the volume and appears to augment cocaine's stimulant effects. However, this agent often causes serious toxicity, which includes a vasculitic effect in the body, especially at the skin, bone marrow, lungs, kidneys, and vascular system. Such a drug reaction can be fatal.
Walking is a protective factor against depression in elderly veterans
Millions of years ago, walking on two legs became a key attribute to human development, which distinguished humans from other animals. Since then, we have attained many benefits from walking. Is walking also beneficial to human’s mood? Numerous evidences suggest that physical activity (PA)/walking is a protective factor against depression (Robertson, R., Robertson, A., Jepson, & Maxwell, 2012). Physically active people often demonstrate lower rates of depressed mood than people with sedentary lifestyles and less engagement of PA (Middleton & Yaffe, 2009). Depression is the most frequent cause of emotional suffering and significantly decreases quality of life in older adults (Blazer, 2003).
Congratulations to Professor Shih-Ku Lin!
Leo Sher, M.D.
On behalf of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) Task Force on Men’s Mental Health I would like to congratulate Professor Shih-Ku Lin, a Member of the Task Force on becoming the President of the Society of Biological Psychiatry of Taiwan and wish Professor Shih-Ku Lin the best success in his work. Dr. Shih-Ku Lin is the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Taipei City Hospital and Psychiatric Center and a Professor at the Taipei Medical University School of Medicine. Professor Shih-Ku Lin is also a Member of the Executive Committee and the Treasurer of the Asian College of Neuropsychopharmacology.
The ideal body weight
The ideal body weight is usually described as a weight that is assumed to be maximally healthful for an individual, based mostly on height but modified by factors such as gender, age, build, and degree of muscular development. Ideal body weight is a definition originally introduced by life-insurance companies to describe the weight statistically associated with maximum life expectancy. The concept of the ideal body weight is related to the concept of the body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight (bodyweight [kg]/height2 [m]). A formula for body mass was described in 1869 by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet (1796-1874), a Belgian scientist.
Vitamin D, also called calciferol is a lipid soluble vitamin which exists in two major forms: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol, which is largely ingested) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol, which is synthesized in human body). Both forms are inactive form which are converted into active form by two enzymatic hydroxylation reactions, first in liver forming 25-hydroxyvitamin D mediated by 25-hydroxylase and second in kidney mediated by 1-alpha-hydroxylase forming the final activated product calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D).