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עמוד בית
Thu, 18.07.24

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January 2024
Bassam Abboud MD, Ron Dar MD, Zakhar Bramnick MD, Moaad Farraj MD

Gastric perforation secondary to foreign body ingestion is rare. While obvious signs of acute abdomen usually lead to a prompt diagnosis by emergency department (ED) staff, this can be delayed in non-responsive or mentally disabled patients. An altered pain perception has been described in schizophrenia, as part of a complex phenomenon, which is thought to be unrelated to changes in nociceptive pathways. Cognitive impairment and negative symptoms may strongly influence the patient’s expression of pain [1].

August 2023
Netta Shoenfeld BA, Nancy Agmon-Levin MD, David R. Serfaty MD, Revital Mann MD, Bat-Sheva Porat Katz MD, Rael D. Strous MD MHA

Background: While several studies have noted smell impairment in schizophrenia, it is unclear whether this impairment extends to acute psychosis and whether it is associated with more severe illness as expressed in extended hospitalization.

Objectives: To evaluate the olfactory function of patients in an acute psychotic state and correlate it with clinical symptomatology and length of hospitalization.

Methods: Olfactory function was assessed in 20 patients with schizophrenia in their first week of hospital admission for acute psychosis compared with matched controls. Olfaction was evaluated via three stages: threshold, discrimination, and identification of different odors utilizing the Sniffin' Sticks test battery.

Results: Schizophrenia patients scored significantly lower on total smell score, discrimination, and identification abilities. A significant association was observed between hospitalization duration and total smell score and smell discrimination. No significant associations between smell and clinical symptomatology were observed.

Conclusions: Study observations confirm impaired sense of smell in schizophrenia patients and suggest that smell impairment may be a potential marker of more serious illness as expressed in longer hospital stay.

February 2022
Assaf Shelef MD MHA, Sagit Dahan RN MA, Shira Weizman MD, and Esther Bloemhof Bris MA

Background: Risk factors for severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infection include old age, chronic illness, and neurological conditions. In contrast, high vitamin D levels are known to augment immune activity and to reduce the severity of viral infections. Recently, a possible association between the likelihood of COVID-19 infection, COVID-19 severity, and vitamin D blood levels was reported.

Objective: To assess the possible association between vitamin D long-term supplementation and COVID-19 symptomatic severity and complications of COVID-19 infection in elderly psychiatric inpatients, a high at-risk group.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective case series study. Data of 14 elderly COVID-19 positive inpatients, presenting with dementia or schizophrenia and other medical conditions were extracted from medical records. All patients maintained a 800 IU daily dose of vitamin D prior to the infection.

Results: Most of the inpatients were asymptomatic or presented very few symptoms. No need for intensive care unit intervention or deaths were reported. Cognitive functioning of the patients remained unchanged.

Conclusions: Pre-existing vitamin D supplementation may reinforce immunity and reduce COVID-19 severity in elderly psychiatric inpatients.

October 2021
Amir Krivoy MD, Shai Shrot MD, Matan Avrahami MD, Tsvi Fischel MD, Abraham Weizman MD, Yael Mardor PhD, David Guez PhD, Dianne Daniels PhD, Athos Katelaris BSc, David Last PhD, and Chen Hoffmann MD

Background: Only a small proportion of schizophrenia patients present with catatonic symptoms. Imaging studies suggest that brain motor circuits are involved in the underlying pathology of catatonia. However, data about diffusivity dysregulation of these circuits in catatonic schizophrenia are scarce.

Objectives: To assess the involvement of brain motor circuits in schizophrenia patients with catatonia.

Methods: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to measure white matter signals in selected brain regions linked to motor circuits. Relevant DTI data of seven catatonic schizophrenia patients were compared to those of seven non-catatonic schizophrenia patients, matched for sex, age, and education level.

Results: Significantly elevated fractional anisotropy values were found in the splenium of the corpus callosum, the right peduncle of the cerebellum, and the right internal capsule of the schizophrenia patients with catatonia compared to those without catatonia. This finding showed altered diffusivity in selected motor-related brain areas.

Conclusions: Catatonic schizophrenia is associated with dysregulation of the connectivity in specific motoric brain regions and corresponding circuits. Future DTI studies are needed to address the neural correlates of motor abnormalities in schizophrenia-related catatonia during the acute and remitted state of the illness to identify the specific pathophysiology of this disorder.

August 2018
Limor Nashelsky Zolotov MD MSc and Eyal Reinstein MD PhD

Background: Nail-patella syndrome (NPS) is characterized by changes in the nails, knees, and elbows, as well as the presence of iliac horns detected by X-ray of the pelvis. A higher occurrence of psychiatric disorders has also been suggested in NPS. Heterozygous mutations in the gene encoding the LIM-homeodomain transcription factor (LMX1B) are identified in most patients with typical clinical findings of NPS.

Objective: To report on the association between NPS and schizophrenia.

Methods: Genomic DNA were isolated from a patient's venous blood and collected on ethylenediaminetetraacetic 5% with the Gentra Puregene Blood Kit. All exons and flanking regions of the LMX1B gene (LMX1B: NM_001174146.1) were amplified by standard polymerase chain reaction and analyzed by direct DNA sequencing with BigDye Terminators on an ABI 3100 sequencer. Sequence chromatograms were analyzed using SeqScape software version 1.1. Mutation analysis and characterization of variants was performed with the Alamut Software Version 2.1.

Results: We report a patient presenting to the psychiatry department with schizophrenia. Clinical examination revealed characteristic findings consistent with NPS. Since NPS was suspected, based on clinical findings, sequencing of all coding exons of LMX1B gene was completed. Results revealed a novel heterozygous mutation in the proband: c.546_547insACCG(het); p.Glu183Thrfs*11.

Conclusions: Based on LMX1B expression in brain regions that are implicated in neuropsychiatric illness, and especially in the development of dopaminergic neurons, we hypothesize that schizophrenia may be part of the clinical spectrum of NPS.

March 2014
Tal Bergman-Levy, Jeremia Heinik and Yuval Melamed
Testamentary capacity refers to an individual's capability to write his or her own will. Psychiatrists are required occasionally to give expert opinions regarding the testamentary capacity of individuals with a medical history or suspected diagnosis of a mental illness. This may stem from the patient/lawyer/family initiative to explore the current capacity to testate in anticipation of a possible challenge, or may be sought when testamentary capacity of a deceased has been challenged. In this article we examine the medico-legal construct of testamentary capacity of the schizophrenic patient, and discuss the various clinical situations specific to schizophrenic patients, highlighting their impact on the medical opinion regarding testamentary capacity through examining the rulings of the Israeli Supreme Court in a specific case where the testamentary capacity of a mentally ill individual who was challenged postmortem, and provide a workable framework for the physician to evaluate the capacity of a schizophrenia patient to write a will.

August 2012
M. Linder, L. Lev Ari, R. Kurs and Y. Melamed

Background: Patient protection requires the provision of informed consent for participation in medical research. The MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Clinical Research (MacCAT-CR) is frequently used for screening the capacity of research subjects to consent to participate in research.

Objectives: To evaluate the utility of the Hebrew translation of the MacCAT-CR for the assessment of capacity of patients with chronic schizophrenia to provide informed consent to participate in clinical trials.

Methods: We evaluated the translated MacCAT-CR by comparing the capacity of patients with chronic schizophrenia to provide informed consent to participate in clinical trials. The following standardized neurocognitive assessment tools were used: Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE) and Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), as well as the attending doctor’s assessment.

Results: Twenty-one patients participated. Mean MacCAT-CR score was12 ¡À 10.57 (range 0¨C32), mean FAB score was 9.9 ¡À 4.77 (range 1¨C18), mean ACE was 59.14 ¡À 16.6 (range 27¨C86) and mean doctor’s assessment was 5.24 ¡À 1.18 (range 3¨C7).

Conclusions: The Hebrew-version of the MacCAT-CR helped identify patients with the capacity to provide informed consent for participation in research. Patients with FAB scores ¡Ý 12 tended to score higher on the Hebrew-version of the MacCAT-CR, thus confirming the utility of the Hebrew version of the MacCAT-CR. During the screening process for clinical trials it may be practical to administer the concise FAB questionnaire, and then administer the MacCAT-CR only to those who scored ¡Ý 12 on the FAB.

February 2012
D. Itzhaky, D. Amital, K. Gorden, A. Bogomolni, Y. Arnson and H. Amital

Background: Vitamin D is increasingly associated with the pathology of cognition and mental illness. Vitamin D receptors have been detected on neurons that regulate behavior.

Objective: To assess vitamin D serum concentrations in patients with major depression and schizophrenia as compared to healthy controls and to determine if a correlation exists between serum levels of vitamin D and disease activity.  

Methods: We recruited 50 patients with schizophrenia and compared them to 33 patients with major depression and 50 controls with no major psychopathology. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) for schizophrenia and the Hamilton Depression scale for depression were administered on the same day the blood samples were drawn. We used LIAISON® 25-OH vitamin D (DiaSorin) immunoassay to measure serum concentrations of 25-OH vitamin D.

Results: Lower serum vitamin D concentrations were detected among patients with schizophrenia (15.0 ± 7.3 ng/ml) compared to patients with depression (19.6 ± 8.3 ng/ml) and to controls (20.2 ± 7.8 ng/ml, P < 0.05). We found no correlation between disease activity, measured by the PANSS score, and vitamin D levels.   

Conclusions: Serum vitamin D levels were lower in patients with schizophrenia as compared to patients with depression and to healthy controls. No correlation was found between serum concentration and disease activity. Additional studies are needed to elucidate the role of vitamin D in the autoimmune mechanism and in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.

September 2010
B. Finkel, C. Goodman, Y. Melamed, R. Kurs and A. Bleich

Background: In compliance with public health measures initiated by the Israel Ministry of Health following an outbreak of influenza, amantadine was administered to all patients in the psychogeriatric department of Lev Hasharon Mental Health Center to reduce transmission and illness severity in this susceptible population.

Objectives: To evaluate the potential beneficial effects of amantadine on elderly hospitalized patients with persistent schizophrenia.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective case review of the treatment effects of amantadine on the mental, cognitive and clinical states of elderly chronic schizophrenic patients who received concomitant amantadine treatment and were routinely evaluated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, the Mini Mental State Examination, and Sandoz Clinical Assessment Geriatric Scale.

Results: No significant differences before and after amantadine treatment were noted. Conclusion: Amantadine did not influence the mental, cognitive and clinical states of elderly schizophrenia patients and thus can be considered as an anti-influenza preventive measure for this population, when indicated.

survey. A tailor-made CME program may have contributed to the improvement in skills and quality of care.

January 2005
T. Ebert and M. Kotler

Various events occurring during pregnancy might influence the normal neurogenesis of fetus brain, including exposure to the influenza virus. Several studies have attempted to find a relationship between exposure to influenza virus and the onset of schizophrenic behavior in childhood or adulthood, however results remain contradictory. In this review we describe several animal and human studies that show or do not show a relationship between exposure to the influenza virus during pregnancy and the subsequent development of schizophrenia.



May 2004
I. Furstenberg Liberty, D. Todder, R. Umansky and I. Harman-Boehm
August 2001
Pablo Jeczmien, Yechiel Levkovitz, MD, Abraham Weizman, MD and Ziv Carmel, MD MmedSc

Although a depressive state is known to occur following the resolution of an acute psychotic episode, little research has investigated its etiology, course, prognosis and treatment. Very often the depression is mistaken for an extrapyramidal­like syndrome — the secondary effect of antipsychotic medica­tion - as a sense of inevitability assails both the patient and therapist. Post-psychotic depression, far from being an obscure and undefined clinical picture, has the characteristics of a clear-cut syndrome. Nevertheless, it was only recently referred to as a distinct entity in psychiatric classification systems. As a result, different researchers used varying criteria for the definition of the phenomenon, and the data collected in the different studies are therefore difficult to compare. We present a critical review of the data published to date, with emphasis on the importance of early recognition and treatment of post-psychotic depression.

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