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1.  Personality traits in chronic daily headache patients with and without psychiatric comorbidity: an observational study in a tertiary care headache center 
Background
Previous studies suggest that patients with Chronic Daily Headache (CDH) have higher levels of anxiety and depressive disorders than patients with episodic migraine or tension-type headache. However, no study has considered the presence of psychiatric comorbidity in the analysis of personality traits. The aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity and specific personality traits in CDH patients, exploring if specific personality traits are associated to headache itself or to the psychiatric comorbidity associated with headache.
Methods
An observational, cross-sectional study. Ninety-four CDH patients with and without medication overuse were included in the study and assessed by clinical psychiatric interview and Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.) as diagnostic tools. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) were afterwards administered. Patients with and without psychiatric comorbidity were compared. Further analyses were made by splitting the whole group according to the headache diagnosis and the presence or not of medication overuse.
Results
Psychiatric comorbidity was detected in 44 patients (46.8%) (group A) and was absent in the remaining 50 patients (53.2%) (group B). Mood and anxiety disorders were the most frequently diagnosed (43.6%).
In the overall group, mean scores of MMPI-2 showed a high level in the so-called neurotic triad; in particular the mean score in the Hypochondriasis subscale was in the pathologic area (73.55 ± 13.59), while Depression and Hysteria scores were moderate but not severe (62.53 and 61.61, respectively). In content scales, score in Health Concern was also high (66.73).
Group A presented higher scores compared to Group B in the following MMPI-2 subscales: Hypochondriasis (p = .036), Depression (p = .032), Hysteria (p < .0001), Hypomania (p = .030). Group B had a high score only in the Hypochondriasis subscale. No significant differences were found between chronic migraine (CM)-probable CM (pCM) plus probable medication overuse headache (pMOH) and chronic tension-type headache (CTTH)-probable CTTH (pCTTH) plus pMOH patients or between patients with and without drug overuse.
Conclusions
The so-called “Neurotic Profile” reached clinical level only in CDH patients with psychiatric comorbidity while a high concern about their general health status was a common feature in all CDH patients.
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-14-22
PMCID: PMC3620450  PMID: 23566048
Chronic daily headache; Medication overuse headache; Psychiatric comorbidity; MMPI-2
2.  Comparison of methimazole/hydrocortisone ointment with oral methimazole in patients with graves disease: A prospective, randomized, open-label, parallel-group, 18-month study 
Background: Thionamide antithyroid drugs (ATDs) have certain disadvantages and are associated with some adverse events (AEs). To overcome the problems associated with ATDs, a compound antithyroid ointment (CATO) containing methimazole (MMI) and hydrocortisone has been developed for use as a local thyroid treatment (LTT).
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the clinical effectiveness and tolerability of CATO LTT in patients with Graves disease (GD).
Methods: This was a prospective, randomized, open-label, parallel-group clinical trial conducted at the Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University (Jinan, China). Patients with GD aged 19 to 65 years were randomized to receive either CATO LTT 0.3 g/d or oral MMI 37.5 mg/d (control group) treatment for 18 months, with a 4-year follow-up period. Hyperthyroid symptoms, thyroid function, granulocyte count, liver function, and AEs were assessed at baseline and every 2 weeks until serum thyroid hormone (TH) concentration normalized, at which point patients were assessed monthly. The primary efficacy end points were the duration of treatment required for serum TH concentration to normalize and the remission rate after completing the 18-month treatment regimen.
Results: A total of 154 patients (133 women, 21 men; mean [SD] age, 39.6 [11.8] years; all Han Chinese) participated in the study; all patients completed the 18-month treatment period. Compared with the MMI group (n 76), the CATO- treated group (n 78) had a significantly shorter median (range) time to restoration of normal serum thyroid hormone concentration (43 [12–150] vs 22 [7–60] days; P < 0.001), a significantly lower rate of recurrence of hyperthyroidism (309/1520 [20.3%] vs 193/1368 [14.1%] person-time; P < 0.001), a significantly lower drug hypothyroidism rate (185/1520 [12.2%] vs 54/1368 [3.9%] person-time; P < 0.001), and a higher remission rate (year 1:46/69 [66.7%] vs 65/72 [90.3%] patients, P 0.001; year 2:40/69 [58.0%] vs 60/72 [83.3%] patients, P - 0.001; year 3:34/69 [49.3%] vs 57/72 [79.2%] patients, P < 0.001; and year 4:30/69 [43.5%] vs 55/72 [76.4%] patients, P < 0.001). Systemic AEs occurred in 6 patients (7.9%) in the MMI group (drug neutropenia, 2 patients [2.6%]; epistaxis, 1 [1.3%]; hepatopathy, 1 [1.3%]; and other systemic AEs, 2 [2.6%]), while no systemic AEs were observed/reported in the CATO group.
Conclusion: This study suggests that CATO LTT was well tolerated and more effective than oral MMI treatment in controlling thyrotoxicosis and promoting remission of GD in these Han Chinese patients.
doi:10.1016/j.curtheres.2008.08.004
PMCID: PMC3969956  PMID: 24692808
hyperthyroidism; treatment; antithyroid drugs; transdermal administration; ointment
3.  Acupuncture and Counselling for Depression in Primary Care: A Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(9):e1001518.
In a randomized controlled trial, Hugh MacPherson and colleagues investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture and counseling compared with usual care alone for the treatment of depression symptoms in primary care settings.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Depression is a significant cause of morbidity. Many patients have communicated an interest in non-pharmacological therapies to their general practitioners. Systematic reviews of acupuncture and counselling for depression in primary care have identified limited evidence. The aim of this study was to evaluate acupuncture versus usual care and counselling versus usual care for patients who continue to experience depression in primary care.
Methods and Findings
In a randomised controlled trial, 755 patients with depression (Beck Depression Inventory BDI-II score ≥20) were recruited from 27 primary care practices in the North of England. Patients were randomised to one of three arms using a ratio of 2∶2∶1 to acupuncture (302), counselling (302), and usual care alone (151). The primary outcome was the difference in mean Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) scores at 3 months with secondary analyses over 12 months follow-up. Analysis was by intention-to-treat.
PHQ-9 data were available for 614 patients at 3 months and 572 patients at 12 months. Patients attended a mean of ten sessions for acupuncture and nine sessions for counselling. Compared to usual care, there was a statistically significant reduction in mean PHQ-9 depression scores at 3 months for acupuncture (−2.46, 95% CI −3.72 to −1.21) and counselling (−1.73, 95% CI −3.00 to −0.45), and over 12 months for acupuncture (−1.55, 95% CI −2.41 to −0.70) and counselling (−1.50, 95% CI −2.43 to −0.58). Differences between acupuncture and counselling were not significant. In terms of limitations, the trial was not designed to separate out specific from non-specific effects. No serious treatment-related adverse events were reported.
Conclusions
In this randomised controlled trial of acupuncture and counselling for patients presenting with depression, after having consulted their general practitioner in primary care, both interventions were associated with significantly reduced depression at 3 months when compared to usual care alone.
Trial Registration
Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN63787732
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Depression–overwhelming sadness and hopelessness–is responsible for a substantial proportion of the global disease burden and is a major cause of suicide. It affects more than 350 million people worldwide and about one in six people will have an episode of depression during their lifetime. Depression is different from everyday mood fluctuations. For people who are clinically depressed, feelings of severe sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, and worthlessness can last for months and years. Affected individuals lose interest in activities they used to enjoy and sometimes have physical symptoms such as disturbed sleep. Clinicians can diagnose depression and determine its severity by asking patients to complete a questionnaire (for example, the Beck Depression Inventory [BDI-II] or the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 [PHQ-9]) about their feelings and symptoms. The answer to each question is given a score and the total score from the questionnaire (“depression rating scale”) indicates the severity of depression. Antidepressant drugs are usually the front-line treatment for depression in primary care.
Why Was This Study Done?
Unfortunately, antidepressants don't work for more than half of patients. Moreover, many patients would like to be offered non-pharmacological treatment options for depression such as acupuncture–a therapy originating from China in which fine needles are inserted into the skin at specific points of the body–and counseling–a “talking therapy” that provides patients with a safe, non-judgmental place to express feelings and emotions and that helps them recognize their capacity for growth and fulfillment. However, it is unclear whether either of these treatments is effective in depression. In this pragmatic randomized controlled trial, the researchers investigate the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture or counseling in patients with depression compared to usual care in primary care in northern England. A randomized controlled trial compares outcomes in groups of patients who are assigned to different interventions through the play of chance. A pragmatic trial asks whether the intervention works under real-life conditions. Patient selection reflects routine practice and some aspects of the intervention are left to the discretion of clinician, By contrast, an explanatory trial asks whether an intervention works under ideal conditions and involves a strict protocol for patient selection and treatment.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited 755 patients who had consulted their primary health care provider about depression within the past 5 years and who had a score of more than 20 on the BDI-II–a score that is defined as moderate-to-severe depression on this depression rating scale–at the start of the study. Patients were randomized to receive up to 12 weekly sessions of acupuncture plus usual care (302 patients), up to 12 weekly sessions of counseling plus usual care (302 patients), or usual care alone (151 patients). Both the acupuncture protocol and the counseling protocols allowed for some individualization of treatment. Usual care, including antidepressants, was available according to need and monitored in all three groups. Compared to usual care alone, there was a significant reduction (a reduction unlikely to have occurred by chance) in the average PHQ-9 scores at both 3 and 6 months for both the acupuncture and counseling interventions. The difference between the mean PHQ-9 score for acupuncture and counseling was not significant. At 9 months and 12 months, because of improvements in the PHQ-9 scores in the usual care group, acupuncture and counseling were no longer significantly better than usual care.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that, compared to usual care alone, both acupuncture and counseling when provided alongside usual care provided significant benefits at 3 months in primary care to patients with recurring depression. Because this trial was a pragmatic trial, these findings cannot indicate which aspects of acupuncture and counseling are likely to be most or least beneficial. Nevertheless they do provide an estimate of the overall effects of these complex interventions, an estimate that is of most interest to patients, practitioners, and health care providers. Moreover, because this trial only considers the effect of these interventions on patients with moderate-to-severe depression as classified by the BDI-II; it provides no information about the effectiveness of acupuncture or counseling compared to usual care for patients with mild depression. Importantly, however, these findings suggest that further research into optimal treatment regimens for the treatment of depression with acupuncture and counseling is merited.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001518.
The US National Institute of Mental Health provides information on all aspects of depression (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides detailed information about depression, including personal stories about depression, and information on counseling and acupuncture
The UK charity Mind provides information on depression, on talking treatments, and on complementary and alternative therapies including acupuncture; Mind also includes personal stories about depression on its website
More personal stories about depression are available from Healthtalkonline
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about depression and about acupuncture (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001518
PMCID: PMC3782410  PMID: 24086114
4.  Evidence Against a Link Between Hyperemesis Gravidarum and Personality Characteristics from an Ethnically Diverse Sample of Pregnant Women: A Pilot Study 
Journal of Women's Health  2011;20(1):137-144.
Abstract
Background
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), a pregnancy-related condition marked by extreme nausea and vomiting, has been considered a psychosomatic illness associated with long-standing personality characteristics (e.g., hysteria). In this pilot study, we examined personality, somatic, and psychological variables with ethnically diverse samples of women with HG and women with typical levels of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP).
Methods
Personality (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Index-2 [MMPI-2] and MMPI-2RF), somatic (MMPI-2RF), and psychological (Beck Depression Inventory-II [BDI-II] and NVP-related quality of life) variables collected during the first trimester of pregnancy were compared between 15 women with HG and 15 women with normal levels of NVP matched for age, education, marital status, insurance source, and race/ethnicity. A secondary analysis was performed comparing these variables among a group of 9 asymptomatic pregnant women to the HG and NVP groups.
Results
No significant differences were found between the HG and NVP groups on any personality, somatic, or psychological variables. Both groups had clinically significant elevations on the MMPI-2 hypochondriasis scale, which incorporates somatic symptoms. The NVP group had a clinically significant elevation on the MMPI-2RF gastrointestinal complaints scale. Both groups had significantly higher means on the MMPI-2 and MMPI-2RF scales than the asymptomatic group. Predominantly Spanish speakers appeared particularly vulnerable to psychological distress associated with somatic complaints.
Conclusions
The results of this pilot study suggest that research with HG patients is feasible and that psychological distress expressed by women with HG and NVP may reflect reactions to somatic symptoms. No evidence was found to support an association between HG and personality characteristics. Recommendations for future research are provided, such as examining the potential benefits of translation services for Spanish-speaking HG patients.
doi:10.1089/jwh.2009.1851
PMCID: PMC3026647  PMID: 21194308
5.  Maternal personality profile of children affected by migraine 
Background
Empirical evidence of the important role of the family in primary pediatric headache has grown significantly in the last few years, although the interconnections between the dysfunctional process and the family interaction are still unclear. Even though the role of parenting in childhood migraine is well known, no studies about the personality of parents of migraine children have been conducted. The aim of the present study was to assess, using an objective measure, the personality profile of mothers of children affected by migraine without aura (MoA).
Materials and methods
A total of 269 mothers of MoA children (153 male, 116 female, aged between 6 and 12 years; mean 8.93 ± 3.57 years) were compared with the findings obtained from a sample of mothers of 587 healthy children (316 male, 271 female, mean age 8.74 ± 3.57 years) randomly selected from schools in the Campania, Umbria, Calabria, and Sicily regions. Each mother filled out the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory – second edition (MMPI-2), widely used to diagnose personality and psychological disorders. The t-test was used to compare age and MMPI-2 clinical basic and content scales between mothers of MoA and typical developing children, and Pearson’s correlation test was used to evaluate the relation between MMPI-2 scores of mothers of MoA children and frequency, intensity, and duration of migraine attacks of their children.
Results
Mothers of MoA children showed significantly higher scores in the paranoia and social introversion clinical basic subscales, and in the anxiety, obsessiveness, depression, health concerns, bizarre mentation, cynicism, type A, low self-esteem, work interference, and negative treatment indicator clinical content subscales (P < 0.001 for all variables). Moreover, Pearson’s correlation analysis showed a significant relationship between MoA frequency of children and anxiety (r = 0.4903, P = 0.024) and low self-esteem (r = 0.5130, P = 0.017), while the MoA duration of children was related with hypochondriasis (r = 0.6155, P = 0.003), hysteria (r = 0.6235, P = 0.003), paranoia (r = 0.5102, P = 0.018), psychasthenia (r = 0.4806, P = 0.027), schizophrenia (r = 0.4350, P = 0.049), anxiety (r = 0.4332, P = 0.050), and health concerns (r = 0.7039, P < 0.001) MMPI-2 scores of their mothers.
Conclusion
This could be considered a preliminary study that indicates the potential value of maternal personality assessment for better comprehension and clinical management of children affected by migraine, though further studies on the other primary headaches are necessary.
doi:10.2147/NDT.S51554
PMCID: PMC3775696  PMID: 24049447
MMPI-2; childhood migraine; maternal personality
6.  Personality Characteristics of Mothers of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as Assessed by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 
Psychiatry Investigation  2008;5(4):228-231.
Objective
The current study investigated the personality characteristics of mothers of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI).
Methods
Fifty mothers (average age of 38.1±4.2 years) of children with ADHD not having comorbidity (37 boys, 13 girls; average age of 8.5±1.9 years) and 59 mothers (average age of 38.1±2.7 years) of comparison children (37 boys, 13 girls; average age of 8.1±1.5 years) completed the Korean version of the MMPI. Only mothers whose psychiatric health was verified by the Structured Clinical Interview for axis-I DSM-IV disorders (SCID-IV) were included in current study.
Results
After controlling for maternal age, maternal education level, children's gender, age, and total and verbal intelligence quotient (IQ), the MMPI scores of the mothers of children with ADHD were significantly higher on the depression (D), hysteria (Hy) and psychasthenia (Pt) scales than those of the mothers of children in the comparison group.
Conclusion
These results suggested that even psychologically healthy mothers of children with ADHD alone might be depressed, histrionic and anxious.
doi:10.4306/pi.2008.5.4.228
PMCID: PMC2796013  PMID: 20046342
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; Mother; Personality; Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
7.  Hyperthyroidism in Childhood: Causes, When and How to Treat 
Graves’ disease (GD) is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in children. This review gives an overview and update of management of GD. Antithyroid drugs (ATD) are recommended as the initial treatment, but the major problem is the high relapse rate (30%) as remission is achieved after a first course of ATD. More prolonged medical treatment may increase the remission rate up to 50%. Alternative treatments, such as radioactive iodine or thyroidectomy, are considered in cases of relapse, lack of compliance, or ATD toxicity. Therefore, clinicians have sought prognostic indicators of remission. Relapse risk decreases with longer duration of the first course of ATD treatment, highlighting the positive impact of a long period of primary ATD treatment on outcome. The identification of other predictive factors such as severe biochemical hyperthyroidism at diagnosis, young age, and absence of other autoimmune conditions has made it possible to stratify patients according to the risk of relapse after ATD treatment, leading to improvement in patient management by facilitating the identification of patients requiring long-term ATD or early alternative therapy. Neonatal autoimmune hyperthyroidism is generally transient, occurring in only about 2% of the offspring of mothers with GD. Cardiac insufficiency, intrauterine growth retardation, craniostenosis, microcephaly and psychomotor disabilities are the major risks in these infants and highlight the importance of thyroid hormone receptor antibody determination throughout pregnancy in women with GD, as well as highlighting the need for early diagnosis and treatment of hyperthyroidism.
Conflict of interest:None declared.
doi:10.4274/Jcrpe.854
PMCID: PMC3608005  PMID: 23154161
Hyperthyroidism; childhood; Graves’ disease
8.  Selenium supplementation for patients with Graves’ hyperthyroidism (the GRASS trial): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:119.
Background
Graves’ hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune disease causing hyperfunction of the thyroid gland. The concentration of selenium is high in the thyroid gland and two important groups of enzymes within the thyroid are selenoproteins, that is, they depend on selenium. Selenium may have beneficial effects on autoimmune hypothyroidism and on Graves' orbitopathy, but the effects of selenium on Graves' hyperthyroidism is unknown.
We hypothesize that adjuvant selenium may be beneficial in the treatment of Graves' hyperthyroidism. The objective is to investigate if selenium supplementation plus standard treatment with anti-thyroid drugs versus standard treatment with anti-thyroid drugs will lead to a decrease in anti-thyroid drug treatment failure (that is, failure to remain euthyroid, without further treatment, one year after cessation of anti-thyroid drug treatment), faster and longer lasting remission (that is, anti-thyroid drug treatment success), and improved quality of life in patients with Graves’ hyperthyroidism.
Methods and design
The trial is an investigator-initiated, randomised, blinded, multicentre clinical trial. Inclusion criteria are: age 18 years or older; diagnosis of active Graves' hyperthyroidism within the last two months; and informed consent. Exclusion criteria are major co-morbidity; previous radioactive iodine treatment; ongoing anti-thyroid drug treatment for more than two months; treatment with immunomodulatory drugs; known allergy towards the components in the selenium and placebo pills; pregnancy or breast-feeding; and intake of selenium supplementation above 70 μg per day. We plan to include 492 participants, randomised (1:1) to two tablets of 100 μg selenium once daily for the 24 to 30 months intervention period versus two identical placebo tablets once daily.
The primary outcome is the proportion of participants with anti-thyroid drug treatment failure (see above) at the end of the intervention period (24 to 30 months). Secondary outcomes are: thyroid-specific quality of life during the first year after randomisation; level of thyroid stimulating hormone-receptor antibodies at 18 months after randomisation and at the end of the intervention period (24 to 30 months); hyperthyroid symptoms during the first year after randomisation; eye symptoms during the first year after randomisation, and at the end of the intervention period (24 to 30 months); adverse reactions during the intervention period; and serious adverse events during the intervention period.
Discussion
It was of great importance to the initiators of this trial, that the results would be directly applicable to daily clinical practice. Therefore, it was designed as a pragmatic trial: the patients follow their usual treatment at their usual hospitals. In order to still collect high quality data on the clinical course and quality of life, an elaborate trial management system was designed to keep track of patient input, need for trial personnel input and action, and to collect data from medical chart systems. Meticulous follow-up on missing responses to the QoL measurements has been incorporated into the system, to minimise missing quality of life data. Monitoring of adverse reactions and events is achieved by thorough instruction of the participants, surveillance of patient-reported outcomes, and integration with national databases regarding hospitalizations. A very long intervention period was necessary, since patients are not considered in remission until one year after stopping anti-thyroid drugs. Usually, patients are treated for 12 to 18 months with anti-thyroid drugs, yielding a total intervention period of 24 to 30 months.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01611896.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-119
PMCID: PMC3748826  PMID: 23782950
Graves' disease; Selenium supplementation; Pragmatic trial; Quality of life; ThyPRO
9.  Can bone loss be reversed by antithyroid drug therapy in premenopausal women with Graves' disease? 
Context
Hyperthyroidism can lead to reduced bone mineral density (BMD) and increased fracture risk particularly in postmenopausal women, but the mechanism behind is still unclear.
Objective
Prospective examination of the influence of thyroid hormones and/or thyroid autoantibodies on BMD in premenopause.
Design
We have examined 32 premenopausal women with untreated active Graves' disease from time of diagnosis, during 18 months of antithyroid drug therapy (ATD) and additionally 18 months after discontinuing ATD. Variables of thyroid metabolism, calcium homeostasis and body composition were measured every 3 months. BMD of lumbar spine and femoral neck were measured at baseline, 18 ± 3 and 36 ± 3 months. Data were compared to base line, a sex- and age matched control group and a group of patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis treated with non-suppressive doses of levothyroxine.
Results
The study showed significantly (p < 0.002) lower BMD in the thyrotoxic state compared to the control group with subsequent significant improvement during 18 ± 3 months of ATD compared to baseline (p < 0.001). However, during the following 18 months after stopping ATD femoral neck BMD decreased again unrelated to age (more than 0.4% per year, p < 0,002). The wellestablished effect of thyrotoxicosis on calcium homeostasis was confirmed. The positive predictor for best BMD was TSH receptor antibodies (TRAb) while free T4 correlated negatively in the thyrotoxic female Graves' patients (p < 0.02 and p < 0.003). In healthy controls and patients with treated Graves' disease both TSH and T4 correlated negatively to the bone mass (BMC) (p < 0.003).
Conclusion
The results indicated a clinically relevant impact of thyroid function on bone modulation also in premenopausal women with Graves' disease, and further indicated the possibility for a direct action of TRAb on bones.
doi:10.1186/1743-7075-7-72
PMCID: PMC2936437  PMID: 20807449
10.  Hyperthyroidism (primary) 
Clinical Evidence  2008;2008:0611.
Introduction
Hyperthyroidism is characterised by high levels of serum thyroxine and triiodothyronine, and low levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone. The main causes of hyperthyroidism are Graves' disease, toxic multinodular goitre, and toxic adenoma. About 20 times more women than men have hyperthyroidism.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of drug treatments for primary hyperthyroidism? What are the effects of surgical treatments for primary hyperthyroidism? What are the effects of treatments for subclinical hyperthyroidism? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library and other important databases up to June 2007 (BMJ Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 14 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: adding thyroxine to antithyroid drugs (carbimazole, propylthiouracil, and thiamazole), antithyroid drugs (carbimazole, propylthiouracil, and thiamazole), radioactive iodine, and thyroidectomy.
Key Points
Hyperthyroidism is characterised by high levels of serum thyroxine and triiodothyronine, and low levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone. Thyrotoxicosis is the clinical effect of high levels of thyroid hormones, whether or not the thyroid gland is the primary source.The main causes of hyperthyroidism are Graves' disease, toxic multinodular goitre, and toxic adenoma.About 20 times more women than men have hyperthyroidism.
There is consensus that antithyroid drugs (carbimazole, propylthiouracil, and thiamazole) are effective in treating hyperthyroidism, although we found no evidence comparing them with placebo or with each other. We found no evidence that antithyroid drugs plus thyroxine (block-replace regimens) improved relapse rates compared with titration regimens.Higher-dose antithyroid drugs work better when taken for longer (more than 18 months) than for a shorter time (6 months).The doses of antithyroid drugs reported in the studies we found are higher than are generally used in practice.
There is also consensus that radioactive iodine (radioiodine) is effective for hyperthyroidism. We don't know whether radioactive iodine increases risk of thyroid and extrathyroid cancer.Radioactive iodine can worsen ophthalmopathy in people with Graves' disease.Giving antithyroid drugs to people having radioiodine may increase the proportion of people with persistent or recurrent hyperthyroidism or who need further treatment.
There is consensus that thyroidectomy is effective for hyperthyroidism. Total thyroidectomy is more effective than subtotal thyroidectomy for hyperthyroidism.Replacement thyroxine will need to be given to people who become hypothyroid after thyroidectomy.
There may be some improvement in bone mineral density and thyroid-stimulating hormone levels after treatment with antithyroid treatment in women who have subclinical hyperthyroidism.
PMCID: PMC2907936  PMID: 19450325
11.  Hyperthyroidism (primary) 
Clinical Evidence  2010;2010:0611.
Introduction
Hyperthyroidism is characterised by high levels of serum thyroxine and triiodothyronine, and low levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone. The main causes of hyperthyroidism are Graves' disease, toxic multinodular goitre, and toxic adenoma. About 20 times more women than men have hyperthyroidism.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of drug treatments for primary hyperthyroidism? What are the effects of surgical treatments for primary hyperthyroidism? What are the effects of treatments for subclinical hyperthyroidism? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to February 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 15 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: adding thyroxine to antithyroid drugs (carbimazole, propylthiouracil, and thiamazole), antithyroid drugs (carbimazole, propylthiouracil, and thiamazole), radioactive iodine, and thyroidectomy.
Key Points
Hyperthyroidism is characterised by high levels of serum thyroxine and triiodothyronine, and low levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Thyrotoxicosis is the clinical effect of high levels of thyroid hormones, whether or not the thyroid gland is the primary source.The main causes of hyperthyroidism are Graves' disease, toxic multinodular goitre, and toxic adenoma.About 20 times more women than men have hyperthyroidism.
There is consensus that antithyroid drugs (carbimazole, propylthiouracil, and thiamazole) are effective in treating hyperthyroidism, although we found no evidence comparing them with placebo or with each other. We found no evidence that antithyroid drugs plus thyroxine (block-replace regimens) improved relapse rates compared with titration regimens.Higher-dose antithyroid drugs work better when taken for longer (greater than 18 months) than for a shorter time (6 months).The doses of antithyroid drugs reported in the studies we found are higher than are generally used in practice.
There is also consensus that radioactive iodine (radioiodine) is effective for hyperthyroidism. We don't know whether radioactive iodine increases risk of thyroid and extrathyroid cancer.Radioactive iodine can worsen ophthalmopathy in people with Graves' disease.Giving antithyroid drugs to people having radioiodine may increase the proportion of people with persistent or recurrent hyperthyroidism or who need further treatment.
There is consensus that thyroidectomy is effective for hyperthyroidism. Total thyroidectomy is more effective than subtotal thyroidectomy for hyperthyroidism.Replacement thyroxine will need to be given to people who become hypothyroid after thyroidectomy.
There may be some improvement in bone mineral density and TSH levels after treatment with antithyroid treatment in women who have subclinical hyperthyroidism.
PMCID: PMC3275323  PMID: 21418670
12.  Radioiodine Thyroid Ablation in Graves’ Hyperthyroidism: Merits and Pitfalls 
Ablative approaches using radioiodine are increasingly proposed for the treatment of Graves′ disease (GD) but their ophthalmologic and biological autoimmune responses remain controversial and data concerning clinical and biochemical outcomes are limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate thyroid function, TSH-receptor antibodies (TRAb) and Graves′ ophthalmopathy (GO) occurrence after radioiodine thyroid ablation in GD. We reviewed 162 patients treated for GD by iodine-131 (131I) with doses ranging from 370 to 740 MBq, adjusted to thyroid uptake and sex, over a 6-year period in a tertiary referral center. Collected data were compared for outcomes, including effectiveness of radioiodine therapy (RIT) as primary endpoint, evolution of TRAb, and occurrence of GO as secondary endpoints. The success rate was 88.3% within the first 6 months after the treatment. The RIT failure was increased in the presence of goiter (adjusted odds ratio = 4.1, 95% confidence interval 1.4–12.0, P = 0.010). The TRAb values regressed with time (r = −0.147; P = 0.042) and patients with a favorable outcome had a lower TRAb value (6.5 ± 16.4 U/L) than those with treatment failure (23.7 ± 24.2 U/L, P < 0.001). At the final status, 48.1% of patients achieved normalization of serum TRAb. GO occurred for the first time in 5 patients (3.7%) who were successfully cured for hyperthyroidism but developed early and prolonged period of hypothyroidism in the context of antithyroid drugs (ATD) intolerance (P = 0.003) and high TRAb level (P = 0.012). On the basis the results of this study we conclude that ablative RIT is effective in eradicating Graves’ hyperthyroidism but may be accompanied by GO occurrence, particularly in patients with early hypothyroidism and high pretreatment TRAb and/or ATD intolerance. In these patients, we recommend an early introduction of LT4 to reduce the duration and the degree of the radioiodine-induced hypothyroidism.
doi:10.4103/1450-1147.98731
PMCID: PMC3425234  PMID: 22942775
Autoimmunity; Graves’ disease; ophthalmopathy; radioiodine therapy
13.  Comparison of Memory Function and MMPI-2 Profile between Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Adjustment Disorder after a Traffic Accident 
Objective
Differential diagnosis between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and adjustment disorder (AD) is rather difficult, but very important to the assignment of appropriate treatment and prognosis. This study investigated methods to differentiate PTSD and AD.
Methods
Twenty-five people with PTSD and 24 people with AD were recruited. Memory tests, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 2 (MMPI-2), and Beck's Depression Inventory were administered.
Results
There were significant decreases in immediate verbal recall and delayed verbal recognition in the participants with PTSD. The reduced memory functions of participants with PTSD were significantly influenced by depressive symptoms. Hypochondriasis, hysteria, psychopathic deviate, paranoia, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder scale of MMPI-2 classified significantly PTSD and AD group.
Conclusion
Our results suggest that verbal memory assessments and the MMPI-2 could be useful for discriminating between PTSD and AD.
doi:10.9758/cpn.2014.12.1.41
PMCID: PMC4022765  PMID: 24851120
Diagnosis, Differential; Post-traumatic stress disorders; Adjustment disorders; Memory deficits; MMPI-2
14.  Heterogeneity of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Croatian War Veterans: Retrospective Study 
Croatian medical journal  2007;48(2):133-139.
Aim
To determine the relationship between the intensity of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the intensity of predominating symptoms.
Method
The study included 151 veterans from 1992-1995 war in Croatia with PTSD, aged 38.3 ± 7.3 years (mean ± standard deviation). The veterans were psychologically tested with the Mississippi Scale for Combat-related PTSD (M-PTSD), Questionnaire on Traumatic Combat and War Experiences (USTBI-M), and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-version 201 (MMPI-201).
Results
The discriminative analysis of the data revealed that the group with lower PTSD intensity had the highest scores on MMPI scales D (depression, T-score 95.7 ± 5.6), Hs (hypochondriasis, 87.6 ± 5.1), and Hy (hysteria, 85.6 ± 4.9), whereas the group with higher PTSD intensity, besides these three scales (D = 98.3 ± 5.3; Hs = 90.1 ± 4.3; Hy = 89.5 ± 4.7), also had clinically significantly elevated Pt (psychastenia, 80.6 ± 5.6), Sc (schizophrenia, 79.6 ± 4.8), and Pa (paranoia, 85.6 ± 5.4) scales, with the highest Pa scale.
Conclusion
It was possible to differentiate study participants with different PTSD intensity on the basis of their MMPI profile. More intense PTSD was associated with externalized symptoms, such as aggression, acting-out, hostility, and mistrust, whereas less intensive PTSD was associated with mostly depressive symptoms. Our study showed that different intensity of PTSD has different symptom patterns.
PMCID: PMC2080523  PMID: 17436377
15.  Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(2):e45.
Background
Meta-analyses of antidepressant medications have reported only modest benefits over placebo treatment, and when unpublished trial data are included, the benefit falls below accepted criteria for clinical significance. Yet, the efficacy of the antidepressants may also depend on the severity of initial depression scores. The purpose of this analysis is to establish the relation of baseline severity and antidepressant efficacy using a relevant dataset of published and unpublished clinical trials.
Methods and Findings
We obtained data on all clinical trials submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the licensing of the four new-generation antidepressants for which full datasets were available. We then used meta-analytic techniques to assess linear and quadratic effects of initial severity on improvement scores for drug and placebo groups and on drug–placebo difference scores. Drug–placebo differences increased as a function of initial severity, rising from virtually no difference at moderate levels of initial depression to a relatively small difference for patients with very severe depression, reaching conventional criteria for clinical significance only for patients at the upper end of the very severely depressed category. Meta-regression analyses indicated that the relation of baseline severity and improvement was curvilinear in drug groups and showed a strong, negative linear component in placebo groups.
Conclusions
Drug–placebo differences in antidepressant efficacy increase as a function of baseline severity, but are relatively small even for severely depressed patients. The relationship between initial severity and antidepressant efficacy is attributable to decreased responsiveness to placebo among very severely depressed patients, rather than to increased responsiveness to medication.
Kirsch and colleagues show that, in antidepressant trials, there is a greater difference in efficacy between drug and placebo amongst more severely depressed patients. However, this difference seems to result from a poorer response to placebo amongst more depressed patients.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Everyone feels miserable occasionally. But for some people—those with depression—these sad feelings last for months or years and interfere with daily life. Depression is a serious medical illness caused by imbalances in the brain chemicals that regulate mood. It affects one in six people at some time during their life, making them feel hopeless, worthless, unmotivated, even suicidal. Doctors measure the severity of depression using the “Hamilton Rating Scale of Depression” (HRSD), a 17–21 item questionnaire. The answers to each question are given a score and a total score for the questionnaire of more than 18 indicates severe depression. Mild depression is often treated with psychotherapy or talk therapy (for example, cognitive–behavioral therapy helps people to change negative ways of thinking and behaving). For more severe depression, current treatment is usually a combination of psychotherapy and an antidepressant drug, which is hypothesized to normalize the brain chemicals that affect mood. Antidepressants include “tricyclics,” “monoamine oxidases,” and “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors” (SSRIs). SSRIs are the newest antidepressants and include fluoxetine, venlafaxine, nefazodone, and paroxetine.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), and other licensing authorities have approved SSRIs for the treatment of depression, some doubts remain about their clinical efficacy. Before an antidepressant is approved for use in patients, it must undergo clinical trials that compare its ability to improve the HRSD scores of patients with that of a placebo, a dummy tablet that contains no drug. Each individual trial provides some information about the new drug's effectiveness but additional information can be gained by combining the results of all the trials in a “meta-analysis,” a statistical method for combining the results of many studies. A previously published meta-analysis of the published and unpublished trials on SSRIs submitted to the FDA during licensing has indicated that these drugs have only a marginal clinical benefit. On average, the SSRIs improved the HRSD score of patients by 1.8 points more than the placebo, whereas NICE has defined a significant clinical benefit for antidepressants as a drug–placebo difference in the improvement of the HRSD score of 3 points. However, average improvement scores may obscure beneficial effects between different groups of patient, so in the meta-analysis in this paper, the researchers investigated whether the baseline severity of depression affects antidepressant efficacy.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers obtained data on all the clinical trials submitted to the FDA for the licensing of fluoxetine, venlafaxine, nefazodone, and paroxetine. They then used meta-analytic techniques to investigate whether the initial severity of depression affected the HRSD improvement scores for the drug and placebo groups in these trials. They confirmed first that the overall effect of these new generation of antidepressants was below the recommended criteria for clinical significance. Then they showed that there was virtually no difference in the improvement scores for drug and placebo in patients with moderate depression and only a small and clinically insignificant difference among patients with very severe depression. The difference in improvement between the antidepressant and placebo reached clinical significance, however, in patients with initial HRSD scores of more than 28—that is, in the most severely depressed patients. Additional analyses indicated that the apparent clinical effectiveness of the antidepressants among these most severely depressed patients reflected a decreased responsiveness to placebo rather than an increased responsiveness to antidepressants.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that, compared with placebo, the new-generation antidepressants do not produce clinically significant improvements in depression in patients who initially have moderate or even very severe depression, but show significant effects only in the most severely depressed patients. The findings also show that the effect for these patients seems to be due to decreased responsiveness to placebo, rather than increased responsiveness to medication. Given these results, the researchers conclude that there is little reason to prescribe new-generation antidepressant medications to any but the most severely depressed patients unless alternative treatments have been ineffective. In addition, the finding that extremely depressed patients are less responsive to placebo than less severely depressed patients but have similar responses to antidepressants is a potentially important insight into how patients with depression respond to antidepressants and placebos that should be investigated further.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia contains a page on depression (in English and Spanish)
Detailed information for patients and caregivers is available on all aspects of depression (including symptoms and treatment) from the US National Institute of Medical Health and from the UK National Health Service Direct Health Encyclopedia
MedlinePlus provides a list of links to further information on depression
Clinical Guidance for professionals, patients, caregivers and the public is provided by the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045
PMCID: PMC2253608  PMID: 18303940
16.  Radioactive Iodine for Thyrotoxicosis in Childhood and Adolescence: Treatment and Outcomes 
Objective: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the outcome of radioiodine treatment in thyrotoxicosis in childhood and adolescence.
Methods: This was a retrospective study of 27 patients (ages 7.2- 19.8 years) with a diagnosis of thyrotoxicosis who received iodine-131 (I-131) treatment from January 2007 to December 2011 in the Nuclear Medicine Division, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University. Gender, duration of antithyroid drug (ATD) treatment, 24-hour I-131 uptake, thyroid weight, total dose and number of treatments with I-131, and thyroid status at 6 months after treatment were recorded.
Results: The outcomes of 27 patients (85.2% female, 14.8% male) treated with radioactive iodine were analyzed to assess the effectiveness of therapy as related to dose and gland size. All children and adolescents received 150 µCi of I-131/g of thyroid tissue (n=27). Six 6 months after treatment, 44.5% of the patients were hyperthyroid, 14.8% were euthyroid, and 40.7% were hypothyroid. Of the 12 cases with hyperthyroidism, 2 cases needed a second dose of I-131 treatment, and they finally reached a hypothyroid state. The patients were classified into 2 groups according to treatment success (euthyroid and hypothyroid) and treatment failure (hyperthyroid). There were no significant differences in age, gender, duration of ATD treatment, 2- and 24-hour I-131 uptake, thyroid weight, and total I-131 dose between these two groups.
Conclusions: Radioiodine treatment is safe and effective for thyrotoxicosis in childhood and adolescence. It is suitable as a good second-line therapy for patients with severe complications, those who show poor compliance, and those who fail to respond to ATD treatment. .
Conflict of interest:None declared.
doi:10.4274/Jcrpe.951
PMCID: PMC3701929  PMID: 23748061
Radioiodine treatment; thyrotoxicosis; children; adolescence; outcome
17.  Hyperthyroidism-Associated Insulin Resistance Is Not Mediated by Adiponectin Levels 
Journal of Thyroid Research  2011;2011:194721.
To evaluate the relationship between circulating adiponectin and insulin sensitivity in patients with hyperthyroid Graves' disease, we studied 19 adult patients with this disease and 19 age- and sex-matched euthyroid controls. All hyperthyroid patients were treated with antithyroid drugs and were re-evaluated after thyroid function normalized. Before antithyroid treatment, the adiponectin plasma concentrations were not different comparing with those in control group. The adiponectin levels remained unchanged after treatment. The homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in hyperthyroid group was higher before treatment than after treatment. There was no significant difference in serum glucose and insulin levels between hyperthyroid and control groups and in the hyperthyroid group before and after treatment. BMI-adjusted adiponectin levels were not different among three groups. On the other hand, BMI-adjusted insulin levels and HOMA-IR values were significantly decreased after management of hyperthyroidism. Pearson's correlation revealed that insulin and HOMA-IR values positively correlated with triiodothyronine (T3) and free thyroxine (FT4) levels. However, adiponectin did not correlate with T3, FT4, insulin, HOMA-IR and thyrotropin receptor autoantibody (TRAb) levels. In conclusion, insulin resistance associated with hyperthyroidism is not mediated by the levels of plasma adiponectin.
doi:10.4061/2011/194721
PMCID: PMC3034962  PMID: 21318144
18.  Depression after myocardial infarction. 
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory was completed by 101 patients 16 to 18 months after a proved myocardial infarction. The data suggested a bimodal distribution of patients. One class of patients had a relatively "normal" personality score apart from a tendency to hypomania. The second class had severe depression, with associated hysteria, hypochondriasis and psychasthenia. The severely depressed patients were older, with a greater tendency to hypertension and angina, and a tendency to smaller gains in aerobic power despite an equal intensity of endurance training. The distinction between "normal" and "depressed" postinfarction patients seems of some clinical importance, for the two classes of patients require opposite supportive techniques--restraint and encouragement, respectively.
PMCID: PMC1956314  PMID: 1148970
19.  Treatment of cervical myelopathy in patients with the fibromyalgia syndrome: outcomes and implications 
European Spine Journal  2007;16(9):1423-1433.
Some patients with fibromyalgia also exhibit the neurological signs of cervical myelopathy. We sought to determine if treatment of cervical myelopathy in patients with fibromyalgia improves the symptoms of fibromyalgia and the patients’ quality of life. A non-randomized, prospective, case control study comparing the outcome of surgical (n = 40) versus non-surgical (n = 31) treatment of cervical myelopathy in patients with fibromyalgia was conducted. Outcomes were compared using SF-36, screening test for somatization, HADS, MMPI-2 scale 1 (Hypochondriasis), and self reported severity of symptoms 1 year after treatment. There was no significant difference in initial clinical presentation or demographic characteristics between the patients treated by surgical decompression and those treated by non-surgical means. There was a striking and statistically significant improvement in all symptoms attributed to the fibromyalgia syndrome in the surgical patients but not in the non-surgical patients at 1 year following the treatment of cervical myelopathy (P ≤ 0.018–0.001, Chi-square or Fisher’s exact test). At the 1 year follow-up, there was a statistically significant improvement in both physical and mental quality of life as measured by the SF-36 score for the surgical group as compared to the non-surgical group (Repeated Measures ANOVA P < 0.01). There was a statistically significant improvement in the scores from Scale 1 of the MMPI-2 and the screening test for somatization disorder, and the anxiety and depression scores exclusively in the surgical patients (Wilcoxon signed rank, P < 0.001). The surgical treatment of cervical myelopathy due to spinal cord or caudal brainstem compression in patients carrying the diagnosis of fibromyalgia can result in a significant improvement in a wide array of symptoms usually attributed to fibromyalgia with attendant measurable improvements in the quality of life. We recommend detailed neurological and neuroradiological evaluation of patients with fibromyalgia in order to exclude compressive cervical myelopathy, a potentially treatable condition.
doi:10.1007/s00586-007-0366-2
PMCID: PMC2200733  PMID: 17426987
Cervical myelopathy; Fibromyalgia; Surgery; Treatment outcome; Case control study
20.  Adjunctive Atypical Antipsychotic Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder: A Meta-Analysis of Depression, Quality of Life, and Safety Outcomes 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(3):e1001403.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis, Glen Spielmans and colleagues find that adjunctive atypical antipsychotic medications are associated with small-to-moderate improvements in depressive symptoms in patients with depression, but there is little evidence for improvement on measures of quality of life, and these medications are linked to adverse events such as weight gain.
Background
Atypical antipsychotic medications are widely prescribed for the adjunctive treatment of depression, yet their total risk–benefit profile is not well understood. We thus conducted a systematic review of the efficacy and safety profiles of atypical antipsychotic medications used for the adjunctive treatment of depression.
Methods and Findings
We included randomized trials comparing adjunctive antipsychotic medication to placebo for treatment-resistant depression in adults. Our literature search (conducted in December 2011 and updated on December 14, 2012) identified 14 short-term trials of aripiprazole, olanzapine/fluoxetine combination (OFC), quetiapine, and risperidone. When possible, we supplemented published literature with data from manufacturers' clinical trial registries and US Food and Drug Administration New Drug Applications. Study duration ranged from 4 to 12 wk. All four drugs had statistically significant effects on remission, as follows: aripiprazole (odds ratio [OR], 2.01; 95% CI, 1.48–2.73), OFC (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.01–2.0), quetiapine (OR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.33–2.42), and risperidone (OR, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.31–4.30).
The number needed to treat (NNT) was 19 for OFC and nine for each other drug. All drugs with the exception of OFC also had statistically significant effects on response rates, as follows: aripiprazole (OR, 2.07; 95% CI, 1.58–2.72; NNT, 7), OFC (OR, 1.30, 95% CI, 0.87–1.93), quetiapine (OR, 1.53, 95% CI, 1.17–2.0; NNT, 10), and risperidone (OR, 1.83, 95% CI, 1.16–2.88; NNT, 8). All four drugs showed statistically significant effects on clinician-rated depression severity measures (Hedges' g ranged from 0.26 to 0.48; mean difference of 2.69 points on the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale across drugs). On measures of functioning and quality of life, these medications produced either no benefit or a very small benefit, except for risperidone, which had a small-to-moderate effect on quality of life (g = 0.49).
Treatment was linked to several adverse events, including akathisia (aripiprazole), sedation (quetiapine, OFC, and aripiprazole), abnormal metabolic laboratory results (quetiapine and OFC), and weight gain (all four drugs, especially OFC). Shortcomings in study design and data reporting, as well as use of post hoc analyses, may have inflated the apparent benefits of treatment and reduced the apparent incidence of adverse events.
Conclusions
Atypical antipsychotic medications for the adjunctive treatment of depression are efficacious in reducing observer-rated depressive symptoms, but clinicians should interpret these findings cautiously in light of (1) the small-to-moderate-sized benefits, (2) the lack of benefit with regards to quality of life or functional impairment, and (3) the abundant evidence of potential treatment-related harm.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Everyone feels miserable occasionally. But for people who are clinically depressed, feelings of sadness and hopelessness and physical symptoms such as sleeping badly can last for months or years and can make them feel life is no longer worth living. Depression affects one in six people at some time during their life. Clinicians diagnose depression by asking their patients a series of questions about their feelings and symptoms. The answer to each question is given a score, and the total score from the questionnaire (“depression rating scale”) indicates the severity of depression. Treatment of depression often involves talking treatments (psychotherapy) such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps people change negative ways of thinking and behaving and antidepressant drugs, most commonly “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors” such as fluoxetine and paroxetine.
Why Was This Study Done?
Atypical antipsychotic medications (for example, aripiprazole, olanzapine/fluoxetine combination [OFC], quetiapine, and risperidone) are also widely prescribed for the treatment of depression. These drugs, which were developed to treat mental illnesses that are characterized by a loss of contact with reality, are used as adjunctive therapy for depression. That is, they are used in addition to antidepressant drugs. Clinicians wrote nearly four million prescriptions for adjunctive treatment of depression with atypical antipsychotic medications in 2007–2008 in the US alone. However, it is not known whether the benefits of using these drugs to treat depression outweigh their side effects, which include weight gain, sedation, and akathisia (a feeling of inner restlessness resulting in an urge to move, which may or may not be accompanied by increased movement). Here, the researchers undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy and safety profiles of atypical antipsychotic medications used for the adjunctive treatment of depression. A systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic; a meta-analysis is a statistical approach that combines the results of several studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 14 short-term randomized controlled trials (duration 4–12 weeks) that compared adjunctive antipsychotic medications (aripiprazole, OFC, quetiapine, or risperidone) to placebo (dummy drug) in the treatment of depression that had not responded to antidepressant medication alone. All four drugs had statistically significant effects (effects unlikely to have happened by chance) on remission, which was most commonly defined as a score of less than eight at the study end point on the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale. The researchers calculated the number of patients that would have to be treated for one patient to achieve remission (number needed to treat, or NNT). For OFC, the NNT was 19; for all the other drugs it was nine. All the drugs except OFC also significantly improved response rates (defined as a 50% improvement in depression rating score). However, the medications provided little or no benefit in terms of functioning and quality of life, except for risperidone, which had a small-to-moderate effect on quality of life. Finally, treatment with atypical antipsychotic medications was linked to several adverse effects, including weight gain (all four drugs) and akathisia (aripiprazole).
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results suggest that atypical antipsychotic medications for the adjunctive treatment of depression are efficacious in reducing observer-rated depressive symptoms. However, clinicians should interpret this conclusion cautiously for several reasons. First, adjunctive treatment with atypical antipsychotics provided only small-to-moderate benefits. Moreover, shortcomings in study design and data reporting methods may have inflated the apparent benefits of treatment and reduced the apparent incidence of adverse events. Second, this study provides little evidence that adjunctive treatment with atypical antipsychotics improves patients' quality of life or reduces their functional impairment. Finally, this study highlights abundant evidence of potential treatment-related harm. This evaluation of the safety and efficacy of adjunctive treatments for clinical depression provides critical insights that should help clinicians better understand the risk–benefit profiles of this approach to the treatment of major depressive disorder.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001403.
The US National Institute of Mental Health provides information on all aspects of depression (in English and Spanish); it has a webpage on mental health medications that includes information about atypical antipsychotics
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides detailed information about depression and includes personal stories about depression
More personal stories about depression are available from healthtalkonline.org
The UK charity Mind provides information on depression and on antipsychotic drugs; Mind also includes personal stories about depression on its website
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about depression (in English and Spanish)
Healthy Skepticism is an international nonprofit membership association that aims to improve health by reducing harm from misleading health information
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001403
PMCID: PMC3595214  PMID: 23554581
21.  A Prospective Study on Changes in Health Status Following Flood Disaster 
Psychiatry Investigation  2008;5(3):186-192.
Objective
We examined changes in general health status, the prevalence of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and the existence of pre-trauma contributing factors in an agricultural population following a massive flood.
Methods
Eighty-three of 160 residents of Garisan-ni, Inje-gun, Gangwon-do, were assessed using the Korean version of the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36-K) between April and June 2006, just prior to a massive flood. Among those initially assessed, 58 residents were available for follow-up 18 months after the flood. Participants completed the SF-36-K, Beck Depression Index (BDI), Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)-PTSD, and the Korean version of the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) to detect depression and PTSD. Trauma experiences were also assessed. Factors related to changes in health status were then analyzed.
Results
SF-36-K total scale scores decreased significantly, suggesting a significant reduction in health-related quality of life. The largest reductions were noted in physical and social functioning. Fifty-three percent of the subjects were at least mildly depressed, and 17% had severe depression. In addition, 22% had PTSD on both the IES-R and MMPI-PTSD. Factors that contributed to the deterioration of health status following the flood were the number of disaster events and existence of depression (as assessed by the BDI).
Conclusion
The flood was found to lead to deterioration of health status and to provoke depression and PTSD among the agricultural population in the mountainous region. We suggest that the number of disaster event experiences and existence of depression contriuted to changes in health status after the flood.
doi:10.4306/pi.2008.5.3.186
PMCID: PMC2796032  PMID: 20046364
Disaster; Flood; Depression; Post-traumatic stress disorder
22.  DSM-IV-TR “pain disorder associated with psychological factors” as a nonhysterical form of somatization 
BACKGROUND:
Elevated Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) scores on the hysteria (Hy) scale are reported in several forms of pain. Previous results were possibly biased by diagnostic heterogeneity (psychogenic, somatic and mixed pain syndromes included in the same index sample) or Hy heterogeneity (failure to differentiate Hy scores into clinically meaningful sub-scales, such as admission of symptoms [Ad] and denial of symptoms [Dn]).
METHODS:
To overcome this drawback, 48 patients diagnosed as having a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edn, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) diagnosis of “pain disorder associated with psychological factors” were compared with 48 patients experiencing somatic pain excluding psychological factors, and 42 somatic controls without pain.
RESULTS:
MMPI Hy and hypochondriasis (Hs) scores were significantly higher in the pain disorder group than in control groups, who scored similarly. MMPI correction (K) scores and Dn scores were similar in the three groups, whereas Ad was significantly higher in the pain disorder group and lower and similar in the two control groups, respectively. In the pain disorder group, Ad and Dn were negatively correlated, whereas in control groups they were unrelated.
CONCLUSIONS:
These findings suggest that whereas a pattern of high Hs and Hy scores together with a normal K score might characterize patients with a pain disorder associated with psychological factors, elevated Hy scores per se do not indicate hysterical traits. In the pain disorder group, elevated Hy scores reflected the Ad subscale alone, indicating a strikingly high frequency of distressing somatic symptoms. They tend not to repress or deny the emotional malaise linked to symptoms, as the hysterical construct expects. The pain disorder designation should be considered a nonhysterical form of somatization.
PMCID: PMC2670805  PMID: 18301811
Chronic pain; Hysteria; Idiopathic pain; Psychogenesis; Psychogenic pain; Somatoform pain
23.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, and Heart-Rate Variability among North Korean Defectors 
Psychiatry Investigation  2011;8(4):297-304.
Objective
This study evaluated the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among North Korean defectors and their level of suicidal ideation and the correlation between these and heart-rate variability (HRV) to explore the possibility of using HRV as an objective neurobiological index of signs of autonomic nervous system disorder.
Methods
A total of 32 North Korean defectors (nine men, 23 women) were selected as subjects, and their HRV was measured after they completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-PTSD (MMPI-PTSD) scale and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
Results
1) Low-frequency (LF)/high-frequency (HF) ratios in the HRV index and MMPI-PTSD scores were correlated (r=0.419, p<0.05), as were BDI item 9 (suicidal ideation) and MMPI-PTSD scores (r=0.600, p<0.01). 2) A regression analysis of LF/HF ratios and MMPI-PTSD scores revealed an R-value of 13.8% (Adj. R2=0.138, F=4.695, p=0.041), and a regression analysis of BDI item 9 and MMPI-PTSD scores showed an R-value of 32.8% (Adj. R2=0.328, F=11.234, p=0.003). In other words, the LF/HF ratio (β=0.419) and BDI item 9 (β=0.600) appear to be risk factors in predicting MMPI-PTSD scores.
Conclusion
The LF/HF ratio, a standard index of autonomic nervous system activity, can be used as an objective neurobiological index to analyze PTSD among North Korean defectors presenting with various mental and physical symptoms, and the approximate level of suicide -ideation can act as a predicting factor for PTSD.
doi:10.4306/pi.2011.8.4.297
PMCID: PMC3246136  PMID: 22216038
North Korean defectors; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Suicide; Heart rate variability; Depression
24.  Comparative Efficacy of Seven Psychotherapeutic Interventions for Patients with Depression: A Network Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(5):e1001454.
Jürgen Barth and colleagues use network meta-analysis - a novel methodological approach - to reexamine the comparative efficacy of seven psychotherapeutic interventions for adults with depression.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Previous meta-analyses comparing the efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions for depression were clouded by a limited number of within-study treatment comparisons. This study used network meta-analysis, a novel methodological approach that integrates direct and indirect evidence from randomised controlled studies, to re-examine the comparative efficacy of seven psychotherapeutic interventions for adult depression.
Methods and Findings
We conducted systematic literature searches in PubMed, PsycINFO, and Embase up to November 2012, and identified additional studies through earlier meta-analyses and the references of included studies. We identified 198 studies, including 15,118 adult patients with depression, and coded moderator variables. Each of the seven psychotherapeutic interventions was superior to a waitlist control condition with moderate to large effects (range d = −0.62 to d = −0.92). Relative effects of different psychotherapeutic interventions on depressive symptoms were absent to small (range d = 0.01 to d = −0.30). Interpersonal therapy was significantly more effective than supportive therapy (d = −0.30, 95% credibility interval [CrI] [−0.54 to −0.05]). Moderator analysis showed that patient characteristics had no influence on treatment effects, but identified aspects of study quality and sample size as effect modifiers. Smaller effects were found in studies of at least moderate (Δd = 0.29 [−0.01 to 0.58]; p = 0.063) and large size (Δd = 0.33 [0.08 to 0.61]; p = 0.012) and those that had adequate outcome assessment (Δd = 0.38 [−0.06 to 0.87]; p = 0.100). Stepwise restriction of analyses by sample size showed robust effects for cognitive-behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, and problem-solving therapy (all d>0.46) compared to waitlist. Empirical evidence from large studies was unavailable or limited for other psychotherapeutic interventions.
Conclusions
Overall our results are consistent with the notion that different psychotherapeutic interventions for depression have comparable benefits. However, the robustness of the evidence varies considerably between different psychotherapeutic treatments.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Depression is a very common condition. One in six people will experience depression at some time during their life. People who are depressed have recurrent feelings of sadness and hopelessness and might feel that life is no longer worth living. The condition can last for months and often includes physical symptoms such as headaches, sleeping problems, and weight gain or loss. Treatment of depression can include non-drug treatments (psychotherapy), antidepressant drugs, or a combination of the two. Especially for people with mild or intermediate depression, psychotherapy is often considered the preferred first option. Psychotherapy describes a range of different psychotherapies, and a number of established types of psychotherapies have all shown to work for at least some patients.
Why Was This Study Done?
While it is broadly accepted that psychotherapy can help people with depression, the question of which type of psychotherapy works best for most patients remains controversial. While many scientific studies have compared one psychotherapy with control conditions, there have been few studies that directly compared multiple treatments. Without such direct comparisons, it has been difficult to establish the respective merits of the different types of psychotherapy. Taking advantage of a recently developed method called “network meta-analysis,” the authors re-examine the evidence on seven different types of psychotherapy to see how well they have been shown to work and whether some work better than others.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers looked at seven different types of psychotherapy, which they defined as follows. “Interpersonal psychotherapy” is short and highly structured, using a manual to focus on interpersonal issues in depression. “Behavioral activation” raises the awareness of pleasant activities and seeks to increase positive interactions between the patient and his or her environment. “Cognitive behavioral therapy” focuses on a patient's current negative beliefs, evaluates how they affect current and future behavior, and attempts to restructure the beliefs and change the outlook. “Problem solving therapy” aims to define a patient's problems, propose multiple solutions for each problem, and then select, implement, and evaluate the best solution. “Psychodynamic therapy” focuses on past unresolved conflicts and relationships and the impact they have on a patient's current situation. In “social skills therapy,” patients are taught skills that help to build and maintain healthy relationships based on honesty and respect. “Supportive counseling” is a more general therapy that aims to get patients to talk about their experiences and emotions and to offer empathy without suggesting solutions or teaching new skills.
The researchers started with a systematic search of the medical literature for relevant studies. The search identified 198 articles that reported on such clinical trials. The trials included a total of 15,118 patients and compared one of the seven psychotherapies either with another one or with a common “control intervention”. In most cases, the control (no psychotherapy) was deferral of treatment by “wait-listing” patients or continuing “usual care.” With network meta-analysis they were able to summarize the results of all these trials in a meaningful way. They did this by integrating direct comparisons of several psychotherapies within the same trial (where those were available) with indirect comparisons across all trials (using no psychotherapy as a control intervention).
Based on the combined trial results, all seven psychotherapies tested were better than wait-listing or usual care, and the differences were moderate to large, meaning that the average person in the group that received therapy was better off than about half of the patients in the control group. When comparing the therapies with each other, the researchers saw small or no differences, meaning that none of them really stood out as much better or much worse than the others. They also found that the treatments worked equally well for different patient groups with depression (younger or older patients, or mothers who had depression after having given birth). Similarly, they saw no big differences when comparing individual with group therapy, or person-to-person with internet-based interactions between therapist and patient.
However, they did find that smaller and less rigorous studies generally found larger benefits of psychotherapies, and most of the studies included in the analysis were small. Only 36 of the studies had at least 50 patients who received the same treatment. When they restricted their analysis to those studies, the researchers still saw clear benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and problem-solving therapy, but not for the other four therapies.
What Do these Findings Mean?
Similar to earlier attempts to summarize and make sense of the many study results, this one finds benefits for all of the seven psychotherapies examined, and none of them stood as being much better than some or all others. The scientific support for being beneficial was stronger for some therapies, mostly because they had been tested more often and in larger studies.
Treatments with proven benefits still do not necessarily work for all patients, and which type of psychotherapy might work best for a particular patient likely depends on that individual. So overall this analysis suggests that patients with depression and their doctors should consider psychotherapies and explore which of the different types might be best suited for a particular patient.
The study also points to the need for further research. Whereas depression affects large numbers of people around the world, all of the trials identified were conducted in rich countries and Western societies. Trials in different settings are essential to inform treatment of patients worldwide. In addition, large high-quality studies should further explore the potential benefits of some of therapies for which less support currently exists. Where possible, future studies should compare psychotherapies with one another, because all of them have benefits, and it would not be ethical to withhold such beneficial treatment from patients.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001454.
The US National Institute of Mental Health provides information on all aspects of depression (in English and Spanish); information on psychotherapy includes information on its most common forms
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides detailed information about depression and includes personal stories about depression
The UK nonprofit Mind provides information on depression, including an explanation of the most common psychotherapies in the UK
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about depression (in English and Spanish)
The UK nonprofit healthtalkonline.org has a unique database of personal and patient experiences on depression
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001454
PMCID: PMC3665892  PMID: 23723742
25.  Anxious Personality Predicts an Increased Risk of Parkinson’s Disease 
We studied the association of three personality traits related to neuroticism with the subsequent risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD) using a historical cohort study. We included 7,216 subjects who resided within the 120-mile radius centered in Rochester, MN, at the time they completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) for research at the Mayo Clinic from 1962–1965. We considered three MMPI personality scales (pessimistic, anxious, and depressive traits). A total of 6,822 subjects (94.5%) were followed over 4 decades either actively or passively. During follow-up, 227 subjects developed parkinsonism (156 developed PD). An anxious personality was associated with an increased risk of PD (hazard ratio [HR], 1.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16–2.27). A pessimistic personality trait was also associated with an increased risk of PD but only in men (HR = 1.92; 95% CI = 1.20–3.07). By contrast, a depressive trait was not associated with increased risk. Analyses combining scores from the three personality scales into a composite neuroticism score showed an association of neuroticism with PD (HR = 1.54; 95% CI = 1.10–2.16). The association with neuroticism remained significant even when the MMPI was administered early in life (ages 20–39 years). By contrast, none of the three personality traits was associated with the risk of non-PD types of parkinsonism grouped together. Our long-term historical cohort study suggests that an anxious personality trait may predict an increased risk of PD developing many years later.
doi:10.1002/mds.23230
PMCID: PMC3089895  PMID: 20669309
Parkinson’s disease; parkinsonism; anxious personality; pessimistic personality; neuroticism; Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory

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