Randomised Controlled Trial of Brief Intervention With Biofeedback and Hypnotherapy in Patients With Refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Randomised controlled trial of brief intervention with biofeedback and hypnotherapy in patients with refractory irritable bowel syndrome.

J R Coll Physicians Edinb. 2013 Mar; 43(1): 15-23
Dobbin A, Dobbin J, Ross SC, Graham C, Ford MJ

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder associated with profoundly impaired quality of life and emotional distress. The management of refractory IBS symptoms remains challenging and non-pharmacological therapeutic approaches have been shown to be effective. We compared brief interventions with biofeedback and hypnotherapy in women referred by their GP with refractory IBS symptoms. Patients were randomised to one of two treatment groups, biofeedback or hypnotherapy, delivered as three one-hour sessions over 12 weeks. Symptom assessments were undertaken using validated, self-administered questionnaires. Two of the 128 consecutive IBS patients suitable for the study declined to consider nonpharmacological therapy and 29 patients did not attend beyond the first session. Of the 97 patients randomised into the study, 21 failed to attend the therapy session; 15 of 76 patients who attended for therapy dropped out before week 12 post-therapy. The mean (SD) change in IBS symptom severity score 12 weeks post-treatment in the biofeedback group was -116.8 (99.3) and in the hypnotherapy group -58.0 (101.1), a statistically significant difference between groups (difference=-58.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] for difference [-111.6, -6.1], p=0.029 ). In 61 patients with refractory IBS, biofeedback and hypnotherapy were equally effective at improving IBS symptom severity scores, total non-gastrointestinal symptom scores and anxiety and depression ratings during 24 weeks follow-up. Biofeedback may prove to be the more cost-effective option as it requires less expertise. HubMed – depression


Hit parade: the future of the sports concussion crisis.

Cerebrum. 2013 Jan; 2013: 2
Nowinski C

While concussions have long been linked to brain and central nervous system issues, a new study suggests that repeated hits to the head-mild or otherwise-can lead to memory loss, depression, and dementia. This postmortem brain study, conducted at the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, provides new and troubling evidence about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a long-term degenerative and incurable brain disease. Although military personnel and others are vulnerable to the disease, the highest risk is among athletes involved in contact sports in which hits to the head are considered “part of the game.” HubMed – depression


Characterization and modeling of intermittent locomotor dynamics in clock gene-deficient mice.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e58884
Nakamura T, Takumi T, Takano A, Hatanaka F, Yamamoto Y

The scale-invariant and intermittent dynamics of animal behavior are attracting scientific interest. Recent findings concerning the statistical laws of behavioral organization shared between healthy humans and wild-type mice (WT) and their alterations in human depression patients and circadian clock gene (Period 2; Per2) mutant mice indicate that clock genes play functional roles in intermittent, ultradian locomotor dynamics. They also claim the clinical and biological importance of the laws as objective biobehavioral measures or endophenotypes for psychiatric disorders. In this study, to elucidate the roles of breakdown of the broader circadian regulatory circuit in intermittent behavioral dynamics, we studied the statistical properties and rhythmicity of locomotor activity in Per2 mutants and mice deficient in other clock genes (Bmal1, Clock). We performed wavelet analysis to examine circadian and ultradian rhythms and estimated the cumulative distributions of resting period durations during which locomotor activity levels are continuously lower than a predefined threshold value. The wavelet analysis revealed significant amplification of ultradian rhythms in the BMAL1-deficient mice, and instability in the Per2 mutants. The resting period distributions followed a power-law form in all mice. While the distributions for the BMAL1-deficient and Clock mutant mice were almost identical to those for the WT mice, with no significant differences in their parameter (power-law scaling exponent), only the Per2 mutant mice showed consistently and significantly lower values of the scaling exponent, indicating the increased intermittency in ultradian locomotor dynamics. Furthermore, based on a stochastic priority queuing model, we explained the power-law nature of resting period distributions, as well as its alterations shared with human depressive patients and Per2 mutant mice. Our findings lead to the development of a novel mathematical model for abnormal behaviors in psychiatric disorders. HubMed – depression