Neuroplasticity-Based Brain Stimulation Interventions in the Study and Treatment of Schizophrenia: A Review.

Neuroplasticity-based brain stimulation interventions in the study and treatment of schizophrenia: a review.

Can J Psychiatry. 2013 Feb; 58(2): 93-8
Rajji TK, Rogasch NC, Daskalakis ZJ, Fitzgerald PB

We reviewed novel brain stimulation approaches that modify neuroplasticity and are used in the treatment and study of schizophrenia. We searched PubMed and Scholars Portal using search terms related to schizophrenia, brain stimulation, and neuroplasticity. Various brain stimulation approaches simulating a range of experimental protocols that induce synaptic long-term potentiation or depression have been developed. By far, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been the most widely used in the field of schizophrenia. Its application has been associated with mixed results in treating treatment-resistant symptoms and cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. Compared to the other approaches, rTMS is probably the least similar to plasticity-inducing cellular paradigms. Other approaches, such as paired associative stimulation, theta-burst stimulation, and transcranial direct current stimulation, are in their incipient stages in the study and treatment of schizophrenia, with promising early results. Numerous brain stimulation approaches have been developed to treat resistant dimensions of schizophrenia. Notwithstanding some promising reports, optimization of the methods and large randomized controlled trials are still needed. HubMed – addiction


A review of evidence linking disrupted neural plasticity to schizophrenia.

Can J Psychiatry. 2013 Feb; 58(2): 86-92
Voineskos D, Rogasch NC, Rajji TK, Fitzgerald PB, Daskalakis ZJ

The adaptations resulting from neural plasticity lead to changes in cognition and behaviour, which are strengthened through repeated exposure to the novel environment or stimulus. Learning and memory have been hypothesized to occur through modifications of the strength of neural circuits, particularly in the hippocampus and cortex. Cognitive deficits, specifically in executive functioning and negative symptoms, may be a corollary to deficits in neural plasticity. Moreover, the main excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters associated with neural plasticity have also been extensively investigated for their role in the cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) represents some of the most promising approaches to directly explore the physiological manifestations of neural plasticity in the human brain. Three TMS paradigms (use-dependent plasticity, paired associative stimulation, and repetitive TMS) have been used to evaluate neurophysiological measures of neural plasticity in the healthy brain and in patients with schizophrenia, and to examine the brain’s responses to such stimulation. In schizophrenia, deficits in neural plasticity have been consistently shown which parallel the molecular evidence appearing to be entwined with this debilitating disorder. Such pathophysiology may underlie the learning and memory deficits that are key symptoms of this disorder and may even be a key mechanism involved in treatment with antipsychotics. HubMed – addiction


Involvement of health professionals in tobacco control in the South-East Asia Region.

Indian J Cancer. 2012 Oct; 49(4): 327-35
Venkatesh S, Sinha DN

Tobacco use is widely entrenched in the South-East Asia (SEA) Region leading to high morbidity and mortality in this region. Several studies revealed that tobacco use is widespread among youth and school children. Exposure to second-hand smoke was reported as around 50% or more in three countries – Myanmar (59.5%), Bangladesh (51.3%), and Indonesia (49.6%). Health profession students encompassing medical, dental, nursing and pharmacy disciplines, and even qualified health professionals are no exception from tobacco use. While they are regarded as role models in tobacco cessation programs, their tobacco addiction will carry a negative impact in this endeavour. A mere inquiry about the smoking status of patients and a brief advice by doctors or dentists increases quit rates and prompts those who have not thought about quitting to consider doing so. Evidence from some randomized trials suggests that advice from motivated physicians to their smoking patients could be effective in facilitating cessation of smoking. However, the low detection rate of smokers by many physicians and the small proportion of smokers who routinely receive advice from their physicians to quit have been identified as a matter of concern. This paper describes the role and issues of involvement of health professionals in tobacco control. Data from a variety of sources is used to assess the status. Although there are some differences, tobacco use is widespread among the students and health professional students. Exposure to second hand smoke is also a matter of concern. Tobacco-related problems and tobacco control cut across a vast range of health disciplines. Building alliances among the health professional associations in a vertical way will help synergize efforts, and obtain better outcomes from use of existing resources. Health professional associations in some countries in the SEA region have already taken the initiative to form coalitions at the national level to advance the tobacco control agenda. In Thailand, a Thai Health Professional Alliance against Tobacco, with 17 allies from medical, nursing, traditional medicine, and other health professional organizations, is working in a concerted manner toward promoting tobacco control. Indian Dental Association intervention is another good example. HubMed – addiction


Increased Risk of Alcohol and Drug Use among Children from Deployed Military Families.

Addiction. 2013 Feb 26;
Acion L, Ramirez MR, Jorge RE, Arndt S

AIMS: To examine the association between military deployment of a parent and use of alcohol and drugs among children of deployed military personnel. DESIGN: Observational and cross-sectional study. SETTING: Data from the 2010 Iowa [USA] Youth Survey, a statewide survey of 6th, 8th, and 11th graders, were analyzed during 2011. PARTICIPANTS: Of all 6th, 8th, and 11th grade students enrolled in Iowa in 2010, 69% (n=78,240) completed the survey. MEASUREMENTS: Ever drink more than a few sips of alcohol and past 30-day: binge drinking, marijuana consumption, other illegal drug use, and prescription drug misuse. FINDINGS: The odds of using alcohol (OR=1.44, 99.91%CI=1.21-1.70), binge drinking (OR=2.02, 99.91%CI=1.63-2.50), using marijuana (OR=2.22, 99.91%CI=1.69-2.92), using other illegal drugs (OR=3.73, 99.91%CI=2.81-4.94), and misusing prescription drugs (OR=2.51, 99.91%CI=2.00-3.16) are greater for children of currently or recently deployed parents than for children of parents who are not in the military. The magnitude of the effects is consistent across 6th, 8th, and 11th grades. Disrupted living arrangements further accentuate increased substance use, with the largest effect seen in children with a deployed parent who was not living with a parent or relative. CONCLUSIONS: Children of deployed military personnel should be considered at higher risk for substance use than children of non-military citizens. HubMed – addiction


Arabic Validation of the Internet Addiction Test.

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2013 Feb 26;
Hawi NS

Abstract Concern about Internet addiction, fuelled by the rapid increase in its usage across the globe, has spread to many parts of the world, including the Arab world. Concurrently, there has been a relentless quest for a valid tool for measuring Internet addiction. Thus far, two popular tools have been translated to Arabic: the Compulsive Internet Use Scale and the Internet addiction test (IAT). While the Arabic version of the former was proven valid by one study, the validity of the latter’s Arabic version remains in question. Therefore, this study investigated the psychometric properties of the Arabic version of the IAT. An online Arabic version of the IAT was completed by 817 intermediate- and secondary-school students across Lebanon. The results showed that a one-factor model of the IAT has good psychometric properties and fits the data extremely well. This study presents evidence that the Arabic version of the IAT is valid for measuring Internet addiction among adolescents in Lebanon. HubMed – addiction