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  • Author: Sebastian Masternak x
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Abstract

Schizophrenic psychoses are a heterogeneous group of diseases that affect about 1% of the world’s population. The first symptoms of the disease usually manifest between ages 20 and 30. The diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia and its subtypes are characterized in detail in ICD-10. Diagnosis is based primarily on the presence of productive symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations occurring for at least one month which cannot be explained in another way. Schizophrenia is a disease which largely affects social functioning of patients, such as occupational performance, family life, interpersonal relationships or housing situation. Apart from the sociological aspect, social lives of schizophrenia sufferers are significantly impoverished due to cognitive impairment associated with improper functioning of NMDA receptors. The study describes a case of a patient suffering from paranoid schizophrenia which sheds light on the social functioning of this group of patients.

Abstract

Aim: The aim of the study was 1) to report the case of a 15-year-old boy who developed kleptomania symptoms during methylphenidate treatment and 2) to review the available therapeutic options for kleptomania based on a literature search of Medline and Google Scholar databases (2000–2018).

Case report: For the past seven years a 15-year-old boy had participated in counselling at a psychological counselling centre because of school problems and upbringing difficulties, and had a five-year history of psychiatric treatment for ADHD. He was admitted to the Department of Psychiatry because of recurrent stealing episodes that occurred during methylphenidate treatment. During the hospitalization, the patient did not observe the therapeutic contract – he stole items from other patients. Pharmacotheraputic and psychotherapeutic treatment resulted in a partial improvement in impulsive behaviour. At discharge, he spoke critically of his previous conduct and expressed readiness to continue treatment in an outpatient setting.

Conclusions:

  1. Kleptomania has a very negative impact on a patient's overall well-being.
  2. In the reported case, kleptomania developed during methylphenidate treatment.
  3. Kleptomania should always be taken into account as a possible cause of stealing during a psychiatric examination, to avoid stigmatization of patients as criminals.
  4. Pharmacotherapy and cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy focused on the development of strategies, which can help the patient to control the urge to steal, are important components of kleptomania treatment.

Abstract

Introduction: Smoking is a huge medical and social problem in Poland, with as many as about 24% of Poles being addicted to nicotine. Approximately 6 million people worldwide die every year from conditions that are closely related to tobacco addiction, such as cancer and cardiovascular, metabolic or lung diseases. The difficulty in combatting nicotine dependence is largely due to the complex mechanism of this addiction. The motivation of a patient to quit smoking is of great importance in the difficult withdrawal process. Strengthening this motivation is one of the most important tasks of physicians and addiction therapists.

Overview of literature: Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) has been the most widely known way to break away from smoking addiction for many years now. It involves delivering nicotine to the body in ways that are less harmful than through tobacco smoke. As a consequence, the cravings for nicotine are reduced, making it easier for the patient to break with the addiction. Clinical trials have shown that the use of NRT is associated with a 50-70% increased chance of maintaining abstinence from smoking compared to placebo. There are many NRT products, including nicotine chewing gum, nicotine patches, lozenges, dissolvable nicotine sticks, or inhalers. Bupropion is a selective dopamine–noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor. This drug is one of the most commonly used in the pharmacotherapy of depression in the United States. At the same time, it has been found to have a positive effect on people trying to break up with the habit of smoking cigarettes. The mechanism of action remains unknown in this case, but studies clearly indicate the efficacy of bupropion, which is comparable to the efficacy of NRT. Varenicline is a partial agonist selective for α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. It has a higher affinity for these receptors than nicotine. By stimulating them, it causes an increase in dopamine secretion (but to a lesser extent than cigarette smoking), helping in this way ease withdrawal symptoms.

Conclusions: Varenicline has higher efficacy than bupropion and NRTs. Simultaneous use of two NRT forms increases the effectiveness of this method to a level comparable to varenicline. Contrary to previous reports, it seems that varenicline does not increase self-aggressive behaviour and the risk of suicide. The effectiveness of antinicotinic drugs depends on the sex of the patient. For both sexes, the most effective drug is varenicline. It is slightly more effective in women than in men. By contrast, NRT and bupropion show greater therapeutic potential in men.

Abstract

Alcohol dependence and its treatment is not an exactly resolved problem. Based on the EZOP [Epidemiology of Mental Disorders and Accessibility of Mental Health Care] survey, which included a regular analysis of the incidence of mental disorders in the population of adult Polish citizens, we were able to estimate that the problem of alcohol abuse in any period of life affects even 10.9% of the population aged 18-64 years, and those addicted represent 2.2% of the country’s population. The typical symptoms of alcohol dependence according to ICD-10, include alcohol craving, impaired ability to control alcohol consumption, withdrawal symptoms which appear when a heavy drinker stops drinking, alternating alcohol tolerance, growing neglect of other areas of life, and persistent alcohol intake despite clear evidence of its destructive effect on life. At the moment, the primary method of alcoholism treatment is psychotherapy. It aims to change the patient’s habits, behaviours, relationships, or the way of thinking. It seems that psychotherapy is irreplaceable in the treatment of alcoholism, but for many years now attempts have been made to increase the effectiveness of alcoholism treatment with pharmacological agents. In this article we will try to provide a description of medications which help patients sustain abstinence in alcoholism therapy with particular emphasis on baclofen.