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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.04.24

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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.

December 2015
Aviv Weinstein PhD, Yafa Yaacov BA, Michal Manning BA, Pinhas Danon MD and Abraham Weizman MD

Background: Use of the internet and videogames by children and adolescents has risen dramatically over the last decade. Increasing evidence of internet and videogame addiction among children is causing concern due to its harmful physical, emotional and social consequences. There is also emerging evidence for an association between computer and videogame addiction and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

Objectives: To investigate the relationship between ADHD and internet addiction.


Methods: We compared 50 male schoolchildren, mean age 13 years, diagnosed with ADHD to 50 male schoolchildren without ADHD on measures of internet addiction, internet use and sleep patterns.


Results: Children with ADHD had higher scores on the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), used the internet for longer hours, and went to sleep later than those without ADHD. 


Conclusions: These findings indicate an association of ADHD, sleep disorders and internet/videogame addiction.


 
September 2001
Irit Gil-ad, PhD, Blana Shtaif, MSc, Rina Eshet, PhD, Rachel Maayan, PhD, Moshe Rehavi, PhD and Abraham Weizman, MD

Background: The neurosteroids dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfated metabolite (DHEAS) have been reported to possess neuroprotective as well as anti-tumoral activity in vitro and in vivo.

Objectives: To compare the effect of the two neurohor­mones on cell viability in primary whole-brain fetal mouse culture and isolated neuronal culture, as well as in a human neuroblastoma cell line (SK-N-SH).

Methods: Cell viability and cell proliferation were deter­mined with the neutral red and 3H-thymidine uptake methods, Apoptosis in propidium iodide-stained neuroblastoma cells was determined using flow cytometry.

Results: DHEA (1 nM-10 ìM) decreased the viability of selected primary neuronal cells (33-95% after 24 and 72 hours) but not of whole-brain cultured cells (neuron+glia). DHEAS did not significantly modify cell viability in either primary culture. In a human neuroblastoma cell line, DHEA (1 nM- 1 ìM) decreased 3H-thymidine uptake (30-60%) and cell viability (23-52%) after 24 hours. DHEAS did not significantly modify, or only slightly stimulated, cell viability and uptake of  3H-thymidine (132% of controls). The combination of DHEA and DHEAS neutralized the toxic effect of DHEA in both primary neuronal culture and neuroblastoma cell line. Flow cytometric analysis of DNA fragmentation in neuroblastoma cells treated with 100 nM DHEA/DHEAS for 24 hours showed an increase in apoptotic events (31.9% and 26.3%. respec­tively, vs. control 2.54%).

Conclusions: Our results do not confirm a neuroprotective role for DHEA and suggest that DHEA and DHEAS have a differential role: DHEA possesses a neurotoxic (expressed only in isolated neurons) and anti-proliferative effect DHEAS demonstrates only a slight neuroprotective effect.
 

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.

February 2000
Yehuda Nofech-Mozes MD, Yael Yuhas PhD, Elisabeth Kaminsky MSc, Abraham Weizman MD and Shai Ashkenazi MD MSc

Background: The pathogenesis of neurological symptoms, the most common extraintestinal complication ofchildhood shigellosis, is unclear. To elucidate the mechanisms involved, we developed an animal model and demonstrated that TNF alpha and IL-1 beta play a role.

Objectives: To determine whether TNF alpha and IL-1 beta genes are expressed in the brain following peripheral administration of Shigella dysenteriae 60R.

Methods: Expression of mRNA for TNF alpha and IL-1 beta was examined in the brain structures (hypothalamus and hippocampus) and peripheral organs by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, at different time points after intraperitoneal injection of S. dysenteriae sonicate.

Results: In our animal model of Shigella related seizures, TNF alpha and IL-1 beta mRNA were induced in the brain, spleen and liver already 1 hour after injection of S. dysenteriae sonicate. The expression of TNF alpha and IL-1 beta mRNA in spleen, hippocampus and hypothalamus decreased after 6 h and increased again at 18 h post-injection.

Conclusions: Local production of TNF alpha and IL-1 beta in the brain may be involved in the enhanced seizure response of mice after administration of S. dysenteriae. It is possible that intracerebral production of TNF alpha and IL-1 beta plays a role in neurological disturbances of human shigellosis.
 

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