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1.  Sleep disturbances, psychiatric disorders, and psychotropic drugs 
Brain neurotransmitter dysfunctions involved in the pathophysiological processes of psychiatric disorders are likely to be reflected by concomitant alterations in sleep continuity and architecture. Since the corrective effects of psychotropic drugs on dysfunctional neurotransmission systems can be evidenced through polysomnographic recordings, one may consider sleep as a kind of “window” on the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders. During the last 10 years, major breakthroughs in our understanding of sleep-wake mechanisms have provided some indications on how psychotropic drugs could influence the sleep-wake cycle. In this review, recent inroads into the understanding of sleep regulatory neural mechanisms are introduced and discussed in terms of the effects of psychotropic drugs. The relationship between the patho-physiological process of a disease, its consequence on sleep, and the corrective effect of a psychotropic drug are exemplified by two psychopathological states: substance withdrawal and major depression. One may conclude that polysomnographic recordings are a unique noninvasive tool to analyze brain functioning, and are particularly well suited to evaluating the objective effects of new psychotropic drugs.
PMCID: PMC3181742  PMID: 16416708
sleep disturbance; polysomnography; psychiatric disorder; sleep-wake mechanism; psychotropic drug; rapid eye movement sleep; non-rapid eye movement sleep; neurotransmitter
2.  Exposure to intimate partner violence and parental depression increases risk of ADHD in preschool children 
QUESTION
Question: Does exposure to parental depression or intimate partner violence (IPV) during the first 3 years of life have an effect on a child's subsequent mental health?
People: A total of 2422 children (52% boys, Hispanic/ Latino 45.5%, Black 40.6%, White 10.5%) visiting health centres served by the Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation (CHICA) paediatric primary care system, from birth to age 3 years, and again when aged between 37 and 72 months.
Setting: Four community health centres, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; November 2004–June 2012.
Risk factors: Exposure to IPV and parental depression within the first 3 years of life. This information was collected using screening questions presented in a prescreener form which parents completed in the clinic waiting rooms. To screen for depression, The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2) was used until 2010, and then replaced by the anxiety subscale of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS-3). IPV was screened using the questions ‘Has your partner kicked, hit or slapped you?’ and ‘Do you feel safe in your home?’
Outcomes: Child mental health diagnosis or psychotropic drug treatment received between the ages of 3 and 3. Diagnoses were identified using International Classification of Diseases-9 codes for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), disruptive behaviour disorder, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance or adjustment disorder. Prescription information was taken from the Indiana Network for Patient Care and Regenstriel Medical Record Systems databases.
METHODS
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Follow-up period: Three years.
MAIN RESULTS
Within the first 3 years of the child's life, 1591 (65.7%) of parents reported neither IPV nor depression, 704 (29.1%) reported depression only, 69 (2.8%) reported IPV only and 58 (2.4%) reported IPV as well as depression. Between ages 3 and 6 years, 48 (2%) of children had received psychotropic medication, 80 children (3.3%) were diagnosed with ADHD, 209 (8.7%) with disruptive behaviour disorder, 9 (0.4%) with depression, 17 (0.7%) with anxiety, 7 (0.3%) with sleep disturbance and 41 (1.7%) with adjustment disorder. Prevalence of ADHD was higher in children exposed to parental depression compared with those not exposed (4.5% vs 2.8%, p≤0.03). Psychotropic drug prescriptions were higher in children exposed to parental depression compared with those who were not exposed (2.9% vs 1.6%, p≤0.03). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that increased exposure to IPV as well as depression was associated with increased risk of ADHD diagnosis compared with non-exposure (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.5 to 10.9; see table). Exposure to parental depression was also associated with increased risk of child psychotropic medication prescription (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.0 to 3.4). There were no significant associations with exposure to IPV only or with both exposures for any other mental health condition.
CONCLUSIONS
Exposure to parental IPV and parental depression within the first 3 years of life is associated with increased risk of ADHD diagnosis prior to 6 years. Early exposure to parental depression is associated with increased risk of psychotropic medication prescription.
doi:10.1136/eb-2013-101411
PMCID: PMC4081449  PMID: 23868927
3.  Pharmacological treatments prescribed to people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in primary health care 
Psychopharmacology  2013;231(6):1011-1021.
Rationale
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affect 1 % of children, having significant impact on health and social outcomes. Psychotropic medication use by individuals with ASD in the USA increased over time, and polypharmacy occurred in >50 % of those prescribed. In the UK, no psychotropic drugs are approved in ASDs, and little is known about patterns of pharmacological treatment in the ASD population and associated co-morbidities.
Methods
We used The Health Improvement Network, a nationally representative primary care database, to assess the prevalence of ASD diagnoses, psychotropic drug prescribing and neuropsychiatric co-morbidities of 0–24 year olds between 1992 and 2008.
Results
ASD prevalence increased 65-fold from 0.01 % (1992) to 0.50 % (2008). Psychotropic drugs were prescribed to 29 % (1,619/5,651) of the ASD cohort; the most prescribed drugs were sleep medication (9.7 % of prescribed patients), psychostimulants (7.9 %) and antipsychotics (7.3 %). More patients were given psychostimulants and sleep medications over time from 1.5–6.3 % and 2.2–5.9 % respectively. Thirty-seven per cent of the cohort had ≥1 record of a neuropsychiatric co-morbidity, the most common being developmental difficulties and learning disabilities (12.6 %), behavioural, conduct and personality disorders (11.1 %) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (7.5 %).
Conclusions
British physicians are more conservative in prescribing practice than American colleagues. However, use of psychostimulants and antipsychotics is much higher in those with ASD than in the general population. Polypharmacy was seen in 34 % of prescribed patients in 2008. Additional studies examining use, efficacy, and long-term safety of antipsychotics and psychostimulants in autistic individuals are warranted.
doi:10.1007/s00213-013-3140-7
PMCID: PMC3932167  PMID: 23681164
Autistic spectrum disorder; Prevalence; Psychotropic drugs; Primary care; Co-morbidity; Children; Adolescents; Young adults
4.  Sleep disorders in children 
Clinical Evidence  2010;2010:2304.
Introduction
Sleep disorders may affect between 20% and 30% of young children, and include problems getting to sleep (dyssomnias), or undesirable phenomena during sleep (parasomnias), such as sleep terrors and sleepwalking. Children with physical or learning disabilities are at increased risk of sleep disorders.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments for dyssomnias in children? What are the effects of treatments for parasomnias in children? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to September 2009 (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 28 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: antihistamines; behavioural therapy plus antihistamines, plus benzodiazepines, or plus chloral and derivatives; benzodiazepines alone; exercise; extinction and graduated extinction; 5-hydroxytryptophan; light therapy; melatonin; safety/protective interventions for parasomnias; scheduled waking (for parasomnias); sleep hygiene; and sleep restriction.
Key Points
Sleep disorders may affect between 20% and 30% of young children, and include problems getting to sleep (dyssomnias) or undesirable phenomena during sleep (parasomnias), such as sleep terrors and sleepwalking. Children with physical or learning disabilities are at increased risk of sleep disorders. Other risk factors include the child being the first born, having a difficult temperament or having had colic, and increased maternal responsiveness.
There is a paucity of evidence about effective treatments for sleep disorders in children, especially parasomnias, but behavioural interventions may be the best first-line approach.
Extinction and graduated extinction in otherwise healthy children with dyssomnia may improve sleep quality and settling, and reduce the number of tantrums and wakenings compared with no treatment. Extinction and graduated extinction in children with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, epilepsy, or attention-deficit disorder with dyssomnia may be more effective at improving settling, reducing the frequency and duration of night wakings, and improving parental sleep compared with no treatment; however, we don't know whether it is more effective in improving sleep duration.Graduated extinction may be less distressing for parents, and therefore may have better compliance.
Sleep hygiene for dyssomnia in otherwise healthy children may be more effective in reducing the number and duration of bedtime tantrums compared with placebo, but we don’t know if it is more effective at reducing night wakenings, improving sleep latency, improving total sleep duration, or improving maternal mood. Sleep hygiene and graduated extinction seem to be equally effective at reducing bedtime tantrums in otherwise healthy children with dyssomnia.We don't know whether sleep hygiene for dyssomnia in children with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, epilepsy, or attention-deficit disorder is effective.
Melatonin for dyssomnia in otherwise healthy children may be more effective at improving sleep-onset time, total sleep time, and general health compared with placebo. Evidence of improvements in dyssomnia with melatonin is slightly stronger in children with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, epilepsy, or attention-deficit disorder.
Little is known about the long-term effects of melatonin, and the quality of the product purchased could be variable as melatonin is classified as a food supplement.
Antihistamines for dyssomnia may be more effective than placebo at reducing night wakenings and decreasing sleep latency, but we don’t know if they are more effective at increasing sleep duration. The evidence for antihistamines in dyssomnia comes from only one small, short-term study.
We don’t know whether behavioural therapy plus antihistamines, plus benzodiazepines, or plus chloral and derivatives, exercise, light therapy, or sleep restriction are effective in children with dyssomnia.
We don’t know whether antihistamines, behavioural therapy plus benzodiazepines or plus chloral and derivatives, benzodiazepines, 5-hydroxytryptophan, melatonin, safety/protective interventions, scheduled waking, sleep hygiene, or sleep restriction are effective in children with parasomnia.
PMCID: PMC3217667  PMID: 21418676
5.  Pharmacological Treatment of Disruptive Behavior in Smith-Magenis Syndrome 
Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) is a complex genetic syndrome caused by an interstitial deletion of chromosome 17p11.2. Children and adults with SMS appear to have unique neurobehavioral problems that include: sleep disturbance, self-injurious and maladaptive behaviors, stereotypies, and sensory integration disorders. We gathered retrospective psychotropic use information from parents or other caregivers of 62 individuals with SMS who were asked about use of psychotropic medication from a list of commonly used psychiatric medications. For those drugs identified, respondents were asked to rate the experience with the particular medication using a likert-type scale. Drugs were grouped into seven main categories: (1) stimulants; (2) antidepressants; (3) antipsychotics; (4) sleep aides; (5) mood stabilizers; (6) alpha 2 agonists; and (7) benzodiazepines. Relative frequencies, means and standard deviations pertaining to age and medication effect were derived for each medication category. Six of the seven medication categories examined showed no meaningful deviations from the “no change” score. The benzodiazepine group showed a mild detrimental effect. There were no gender differences in efficacy. Use of psychotropic medication started early in life (mean age 5 years), particularly with sleep aides. Although no medication category was identified as efficacious in SMS, all the categories reported herein may be considered as an option for brief symptomatic relief.
doi:10.1002/ajmg.c.30282
PMCID: PMC3022344  PMID: 20981776
Smith-Magenis Syndrome; SMS; treatment; pharmacology; genetics; pharmacogenomics; pharmacogenetics; autism; mental retardation; self-injurious behavior; aggression; sleep; melatonin
6.  The Role of Health Systems Factors in Facilitating Access to Psychotropic Medicines: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the WHO-AIMS in 63 Low- and Middle-Income Countries 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(1):e1001166.
In a cross-sectional analysis of WHO-AIMS data, Ryan McBain and colleagues investigate the associations between health system components and access to psychotropic drugs in 63 low and middle income countries.
Background
Neuropsychiatric conditions comprise 14% of the global burden of disease and 30% of all noncommunicable disease. Despite the existence of cost-effective interventions, including administration of psychotropic medicines, the number of persons who remain untreated is as high as 85% in low- and middle-income countries (LAMICs). While access to psychotropic medicines varies substantially across countries, no studies to date have empirically investigated potential health systems factors underlying this issue.
Methods and Findings
This study uses a cross-sectional sample of 63 LAMICs and country regions to identify key health systems components associated with access to psychotropic medicines. Data from countries that completed the World Health Organization Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems (WHO-AIMS) were included in multiple regression analyses to investigate the role of five major mental health systems domains in shaping medicine availability and affordability. These domains are: mental health legislation, human rights implementations, mental health care financing, human resources, and the role of advocacy groups. Availability of psychotropic medicines was associated with features of all five mental health systems domains. Most notably, within the domain of mental health legislation, a comprehensive national mental health plan was associated with 15% greater availability; and in terms of advocacy groups, the participation of family-based organizations in the development of mental health legislation was associated with 17% greater availability. Only three measures were related with affordability of medicines to consumers: level of human resources, percentage of countries' health budget dedicated to mental health, and availability of mental health care in prisons. Controlling for country development, as measured by the Human Development Index, health systems features were associated with medicine availability but not affordability.
Conclusions
Results suggest that strengthening particular facets of mental health systems might improve availability of psychotropic medicines and that overall country development is associated with affordability.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Mental disorders—conditions that involve impairment of thinking, emotions, and behavior—are extremely common. Worldwide, mental illness affects about 450 million people and accounts for 13.5% of the global burden of disease. About one in four people will have a mental health problem at some time in their life. For some people, this will be a short period of mild depression, anxiety, or stress. For others, it will be a serious, long-lasting condition such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. People with mental health problems need help and support from professionals and from their friends and families to help them cope with their illness but are often discriminated against, which can make their illness worse. Treatments include counseling and psychotherapy (talking therapies), and psychotropic medicines—drugs that act mainly on the brain. Left untreated, many people with serious mental illnesses commit suicide.
Why Was This Study Done?
About 80% of people with mental illnesses live in low- and middle-income countries (LAMICs) where up to 85% of patients remain untreated. Access to psychotropic medicines, which constitute an essential and cost-effective component in the treatment of mental illnesses, is particularly poor in many LAMICs. To improve this situation, it is necessary to understand what health systems factors limit the availability and affordability of psychotropic drugs; a health system is the sum of all the organizations, institutions, and resources that act together to improve health. In this cross-sectional study, the researchers look for associations between specific health system components and access to psychotropic medicines by analyzing data collected from LAMICs using the World Health Organization's Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems (WHO-AIMS). A cross-sectional study analyzes data collected at a single time. WHO-AIMS, which was created to evaluate mental health systems primarily in LAMICs, is a 155-item survey that Ministries of Health and other country-based agencies can use to collect information on mental health indicators.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used WHO-AIMS data from 63 countries/country regions and multiple regression analysis to evaluate the role of mental health legislation, human rights implementation, mental health care financing, human resources, and advocacy in shaping medicine availability and affordability. For each of these health systems domains, the researchers developed one or more summary measurements. For example, they measured financing as the percentage of government health expenditure directed toward mental health. Availability of psychotropic medicines was defined as the percentage of mental health facilities in which at least one psychotropic medication for each therapeutic category was always available. Affordability was measured by calculating the percentage of daily minimum wage needed to purchase medicine by the average consumer. The availability of psychotropic medicines was related to features of all five mental health systems domains, report the researchers. Notably, having a national mental health plan (part of the legislation domain) and the participation (advocacy) of family-based organizations in mental health legislation formulation were associated with 15% and 17% greater availability of medicines, respectively. By contrast, only the levels of human resources and financing, and the availability of mental health care in prisons (part of the human rights domain) were associated with the affordability of psychotropic medicines. Once overall country development was taken into account, most of the associations between health systems factors and medicine availability remained significant, while the associations between health systems factors and medicine affordability were no longer significant. In part, this was because country development was more strongly associated with affordability and explained most of the relationships: for example, countries with greater overall development have higher expenditures on mental health and greater medicine affordability compared to availability.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that access to psychotropic medicines in LAMICs is related to key components within the mental health systems of these countries but that availability and affordability are affected to different extents by these components. They also show that country development plays a strong role in determining affordability but has less effect on determining availability. Because cross-sectional data were used in this study, these findings only indicate associations; they do not imply causality. They are also limited by the relatively small number of observations included in this study, by the methods used to collect mental health systems data in many LAMICs, and by the possibility that some countries may have reported biased results. Despite these limitations, these findings suggest that strengthening specific mental health system features may be an important way to facilitate access to psychotropic medicines but also highlight the role that country wealth and development play in promoting the treatment of mental disorders.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001166.
The US National Institute of Mental Health provides information on all aspects of mental health (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information on mental health; its Live Well feature provides practical advice on dealing with mental health problems and personal stories
The UK charity Mind provides further information about mental illness, including personal stories
MedlinePlus provides links to many other sources of information on mental health (in English and Spanish)
Information on WHO-AIMS, including versions of the instrument in several languages, and WHO-AIMS country reports are available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001166
PMCID: PMC3269418  PMID: 22303288
7.  Sleep-Disordered Breathing and Mortality: A Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(8):e1000132.
In a cohort of 6,441 volunteers followed over an average of 8.2 years, Naresh Punjabi and colleagues find sleep-disordered breathing to be independently associated with mortality and identify predictive characteristics.
Background
Sleep-disordered breathing is a common condition associated with adverse health outcomes including hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The overall objective of this study was to determine whether sleep-disordered breathing and its sequelae of intermittent hypoxemia and recurrent arousals are associated with mortality in a community sample of adults aged 40 years or older.
Methods and Findings
We prospectively examined whether sleep-disordered breathing was associated with an increased risk of death from any cause in 6,441 men and women participating in the Sleep Heart Health Study. Sleep-disordered breathing was assessed with the apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) based on an in-home polysomnogram. Survival analysis and proportional hazards regression models were used to calculate hazard ratios for mortality after adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking status, body mass index, and prevalent medical conditions. The average follow-up period for the cohort was 8.2 y during which 1,047 participants (587 men and 460 women) died. Compared to those without sleep-disordered breathing (AHI: <5 events/h), the fully adjusted hazard ratios for all-cause mortality in those with mild (AHI: 5.0–14.9 events/h), moderate (AHI: 15.0–29.9 events/h), and severe (AHI: ≥30.0 events/h) sleep-disordered breathing were 0.93 (95% CI: 0.80–1.08), 1.17 (95% CI: 0.97–1.42), and 1.46 (95% CI: 1.14–1.86), respectively. Stratified analyses by sex and age showed that the increased risk of death associated with severe sleep-disordered breathing was statistically significant in men aged 40–70 y (hazard ratio: 2.09; 95% CI: 1.31–3.33). Measures of sleep-related intermittent hypoxemia, but not sleep fragmentation, were independently associated with all-cause mortality. Coronary artery disease–related mortality associated with sleep-disordered breathing showed a pattern of association similar to all-cause mortality.
Conclusions
Sleep-disordered breathing is associated with all-cause mortality and specifically that due to coronary artery disease, particularly in men aged 40–70 y with severe sleep-disordered breathing.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
About 1 in 10 women and 1 in 4 men have a chronic condition called sleep-disordered breathing although most are unaware of their problem. Sleep-disordered breathing, which is commonest in middle-aged and elderly people, is characterized by numerous, brief (10 second or so) interruptions of breathing during sleep. These interruptions, which usually occur when relaxation of the upper airway muscles decreases airflow, lower the level of oxygen in the blood and, as a result, affected individuals are frequently aroused from deep sleep as they struggle to breathe. Symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing include loud snoring and daytime sleepiness. Treatments include lifestyle changes such as losing weight (excess fat around the neck increases airway collapse) and smoking cessation. Affected people can also use special devices to prevent them sleeping on their backs, but for severe sleep-disordered breathing, doctors often recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a machine that pressurizes the upper airway through a face mask to keep it open.
Why Was This Study Done?
Sleep-disordered breathing is a serious condition. It is associated with several adverse health conditions including coronary artery disease (narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the heart, a condition that can cause a heart attack) and daytime sleepiness that can affect an individual's driving ability. In addition, several clinic- and community-based studies suggest that sleep-disordered sleeping may increase a person's risk of dying. However, because these studies have been small and have often failed to allow for other conditions and characteristics that affect an individual's risk of dying (“confounding factors”), they provide inconsistent or incomplete information about the potential association between sleep-disordered breathing and the risk of death. In this prospective cohort study (part of the Sleep Heart Health Study, which is researching the effects of sleep-disordered breathing on cardiovascular health), the researchers examine whether sleep-disordered breathing is associated with all-cause mortality (death from any cause) in a large community sample of adults. A prospective cohort study is one in which a group of participants is enrolled and then followed forward in time (in this case for several years) to see what happens to them.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
At enrollment, the study participants—more than 6,000 people aged 40 years or older, none of whom were being treated for sleep-disordered breathing—had a health examination. Their night-time breathing, sleep patterns, and blood oxygen levels were also assessed and these data used to calculate each participant's apnea-hypopnea index (AHI)—the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour. During the study follow-up period, 1,047 participants died. Compared to participants without sleep-disordered sleeping, participants with severe sleep-disordered breathing (an AHI of ≥30) were about one and a half times as likely to die from any cause after adjustment for potential confounding factors. People with milder sleep-disordered breathing did not have a statistically significant increased risk of dying. After dividing the participants into subgroups according to their age and sex, men aged 40–70 years with severe sleep-disordered breathing had a statistically increased risk of dying from any cause (twice the risk of men of a similar age without sleep-disordered breathing). Finally, death from coronary artery disease was also associated with sleep-disordered breathing in men but not in women.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that sleep-disordered breathing is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, particularly in men aged 40–70 years, even after allowing for known confounding factors. They also suggest that the increased risk of death is specifically associated with coronary artery disease although further studies are needed to confirm this finding because it was based on the analysis of a small subgroup of study participants. Although this study is much larger than previous investigations into the association between sleep-disordered breathing and all-cause mortality, it has several limitations including its reliance on a single night's measurements for the diagnosis of sleep-disordered breathing. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that clinical trials should now be started to assess whether treatment can reduce the increased risk of death that seems to be associated with this common disorder.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000132.
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has information (including a video) about sleep-disordered breathing (sleep apnea) (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Heath Service also provides information for patients about sleep apnea
MedlinePlus provides links to further information and advice about sleep-disordered breathing (in English and Spanish)
More information on the Sleep Heart Health Study is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000132
PMCID: PMC2722083  PMID: 19688045
8.  Sleep disturbances in drug naïve Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and effect of levodopa on sleep 
Context:
Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with sleep disturbances, attributed to the neurodegenerative process and therapeutic drugs. Studies have found levodopa to increase wakefulness in some patients while increasing sleepiness in others.
Aims:
To confirm sleep disturbances in drug naïve PD patients and understand the impact of levodopa on their sleep.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty-three drug naïve PD patients and 31 age-gender matched controls were compared using the Parkinson's Disease Sleep Scale (PDSS) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). A polysomnogram objectively compared sleep quality. Of the 23 patients, the 12 initiated on levodopa were reassessed subjectively and through polysomnography after 2 months of therapy.
Statistical Analysis:
Data was expressed as mean ± standard deviation, median, and range. Continuous variables were analyzed by Student's T test for normally distributed data and Mann–Whitney U test for skewed data. Discrete variables were compared by Chi Square tests (Pearson Chi square Test or Fisher's Exact Test). Wilcoxon signed ranks test was applied in the analysis of paired data pre- and post-levodopa. A P value < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Statistical analysis of the data was done using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 12.
Results:
Drug naïve PD patients had lower PDSS scores than controls. The sleep architecture changes observed on polysomnogram were reduced NREM Stage III and REM sleep and increased sleep latency and wake after sleep onset time. Following levodopa, improved sleep efficiency with reduced sleep latency and wake after sleep onset time was noted, coupled with improved PDSS scores. However, NREM Stage III and REM sleep duration did not increase.
Discussion:
PD patients take longer to fall asleep and have difficulty in sleep maintenance. Sleep maintenance is affected by nocturia, REM behavioral disorder, nocturnal cramps, akinesia, and tremors, as observed in PDSS scores. Levodopa improves sleep efficiency by improving motor scores without altering sleep architecture.
Conclusions:
Poor sleep quality and sleep architecture changes occur secondary to the neurodegenerative process in PD patients. Though levodopa improves sleep quality by reducing rigidity and tremor, it does not reverse sleep architecture changes.
doi:10.4103/0972-2327.144016
PMCID: PMC4251015  PMID: 25506163
Levodopa on Parkinson's disease sleep; levodopa on sleep; sleep in Parkinson's disease
9.  Ambulatory sleep-wake patterns and variability in young people with emerging mental disorders 
Background
The nature of sleep-wake abnormalities in individuals with mental disorders remains unclear. The present study aimed to examine the differences in objective ambulatory measures of the sleep-wake and activity cycles across young people with anxiety, mood or psychotic disorders.
Methods
Participants underwent several days of actigraphy monitoring. We divided participants into 5 groups (control, anxiety disorder, unipolar depression, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder) according to primary diagnosis.
Results
We enrolled 342 participants aged 12–35 years in our study: 41 healthy controls, 56 with anxiety disorder, 135 with unipolar depression, 80 with bipolar disorder and 30 with psychotic disorders. Compared with the control group, sleep onset tended to occur later in the anxiety, depression and bipolar groups; sleep offset occurred later in all primary diagnosis groups; the sleep period was longer in the anxiety, bipolar and psychosis groups; total sleep time was longer in the psychosis group; and sleep efficiency was lower in the depression group, with a similar tendency for the anxiety and bipolar groups. Sleep parameters were significantly more variable in patient subgroups than in controls. Cosinor analysis revealed delayed circadian activity profiles in the anxiety and bipolar groups and abnormal circadian curve in the psychosis group.
Limitations
Although statistical analyses controlled for age, the sample included individuals from preadolescence to adulthood. Most participants from the primary diagnosis subgroups were taking psychotropic medications, and a large proportion had other comorbid mental disorders.
Conclusion
Our findings suggest that delayed and disorganized sleep offset times are common in young patients with various mental disorders. However, other sleep-wake cycle disturbances appear to be more prominent in broad diagnostic categories.
doi:10.1503/jpn.130247
PMCID: PMC4275328  PMID: 25203899
10.  Sleep disorders in children 
Clinical Evidence  2007;2007:2304.
Introduction
Sleep disorders may affect 20-30% of young children, and include excessive daytime sleepiness, problems getting to sleep (dysomnias), or undesirable phenomena during sleep (parasomnias), such as sleep terrors, and sleepwalking. Children with physical or learning disabilities are at increased risk of sleep disorders.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments for dysomnias in children? What are the effects of treatments for parasomnias in children? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library and other important databases up to September 2006 (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: antihistamines, behavioural therapy plus benzodiazepines, or plus chloral and derivates, exercise, extinction and graduated extinction, light therapy, melatonin, safety/protective interventions for parasomnias, scheduled waking (for parasomnias), sleep hygiene, and sleep restriction.
Key Points
Sleep disorders may affect 20-30% of young children, and include excessive daytime sleepiness, problems getting to sleep (dysomnias), or undesirable phenomena during sleep (parasomnias), such as sleep terrors, and sleepwalking. Children with physical or learning disabilities are at increased risk of sleep disorders. Other risk factors include the child being the first born, having a difficult temperament or having had colic, and increased maternal responsiveness.
There is a paucity of evidence about effective treatments for sleep disorders in children, especially parasomnias, but behavioural interventions may be the best first-line approach.
Extinction and graduated extinction interventions improve settling and reduce night wakes compared with placebo in healthy children, and in children with learning disabilities. Graduated extinction may be less distressing for parents, and therefore may have better compliance.Sleep hygiene interventions may reduce bedtime tantrums in healthy children compared with placebo, with similar effectiveness to graduated extinction.Sleep hygiene plus graduated extinction may reduce bedtime tantrums in children with physical or learning disabilities.We don't know whether combining behavioural therapy with benzodiazepines or with chloral improves sleep or parasomnias.
Melatonin may improve sleep onset and sleep time compared with placebo in healthy children, but we don't know if it is beneficial in children with disabilities, if it improves parasomnias, or what its long-term effects might be. We don't know whether antihistamines, exercise, light therapy, or sleep restriction improve dysomnias or parasomnias in children.We don't know whether safety or protective interventions, scheduled waking, extinction, or sleep hygiene are effective in children with parasomnias.
PMCID: PMC2943792  PMID: 19450298
11.  Influence of chronic barbiturate administration on sleep apnea after hypersomnia presentation: case study. 
When sleepiness is excessive, undesirable, inappropriate or unexplained, it often indicates a clinical disorder that is generically termed hypersomnia. One of the leading causes of hypersomnia is sleep apnea. We present the case of a 44-year-old woman with a history of bipolar spectrum disorder and epilepsy who initially showed evidence of hypersomnia. The hypersomnia settled with changes to her medication, but the patient was subsequently found to have severe obstructive sleep apnea. The relation between the patient's medication and sleep apnea is discussed, and the possible respiratory-suppressant effects of chronic barbiturate treatment are considered. The role of other evoking factors within the context of this case and the mechanisms by which drug interactions and psychotropic treatment may worsen, obscure or perpetuate sleep apnea are also examined.
PMCID: PMC1407734  PMID: 11022396
12.  Polysomnography in Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of this health technology policy assessment was to evaluate the clinical utility and cost-effectiveness of sleep studies in Ontario.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Sleep disorders are common and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the predominant type. Obstructive sleep apnea is the repetitive complete obstruction (apnea) or partial obstruction (hypopnea) of the collapsible part of the upper airway during sleep. The syndrome is associated with excessive daytime sleepiness or chronic fatigue. Several studies have shown that OSA is associated with hypertension, stroke, and other cardiovascular disorders; many researchers believe that these cardiovascular disorders are consequences of OSA. This has generated increasing interest in recent years in sleep studies.
The Technology Being Reviewed
There is no ‘gold standard’ for the diagnosis of OSA, which makes it difficult to calibrate any test for diagnosis. Traditionally, polysomnography (PSG) in an attended setting (sleep laboratory) has been used as a reference standard for the diagnosis of OSA. Polysomnography measures several sleep variables, one of which is the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) or respiratory disturbance index (RDI). The AHI is defined as the sum of apneas and hypopneas per hour of sleep; apnea is defined as the absence of airflow for ≥ 10 seconds; and hypopnea is defined as reduction in respiratory effort with ≥ 4% oxygen desaturation. The RDI is defined as the sum of apneas, hypopneas, and abnormal respiratory events per hour of sleep. Often the two terms are used interchangeably. The AHI has been widely used to diagnose OSA, although with different cut-off levels, the basis for which are often unclear or arbitrarily determined. Generally, an AHI of more than five events per hour of sleep is considered abnormal and the patient is considered to have a sleep disorder. An abnormal AHI accompanied by excessive daytime sleepiness is the hallmark for OSA diagnosis. For patients diagnosed with OSA, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the treatment of choice. Polysomnography may also used for titrating CPAP to individual needs.
In January 2005, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario published the second edition of Independent Health Facilities: Clinical Practice Parameters and Facility Standards: Sleep Medicine, commonly known as “The Sleep Book.” The Sleep Book states that OSA is the most common primary respiratory sleep disorder and a full overnight sleep study is considered the current standard test for individuals in whom OSA is suspected (based on clinical signs and symptoms), particularly if CPAP or surgical therapy is being considered.
Polysomnography in a sleep laboratory is time-consuming and expensive. With the evolution of technology, portable devices have emerged that measure more or less the same sleep variables in sleep laboratories as in the home. Newer CPAP devices also have auto-titration features and can record sleep variables including AHI. These devices, if equally accurate, may reduce the dependency on sleep laboratories for the diagnosis of OSA and the titration of CPAP, and thus may be more cost-effective.
Difficulties arise, however, when trying to assess and compare the diagnostic efficacy of in-home PSG versus in-lab. The AHI measured from portable devices in-home is the sum of apneas and hypopneas per hour of time in bed, rather than of sleep, and the absolute diagnostic efficacy of in-lab PSG is unknown. To compare in-home PSG with in-lab PSG, several researchers have used correlation coefficients or sensitivity and specificity, while others have used Bland-Altman plots or receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves. All these approaches, however, have potential pitfalls. Correlation coefficients do not measure agreement; sensitivity and specificity are not helpful when the true disease status is unknown; and Bland-Altman plots measure agreement (but are helpful when the range of clinical equivalence is known). Lastly, receiver operating characteristics curves are generated using logistic regression with the true disease status as the dependent variable and test values as the independent variable. Thus, each value of the test is used as a cut-point to measure sensitivity and specificity, which are then plotted on an x-y plane. The cut-point that maximizes both sensitivity and specificity is chosen as the cut-off level to discriminate between disease and no-disease states. In the absence of a gold standard to determine the true disease status, ROC curves are of minimal value.
At the request of the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC), MAS has thus reviewed the literature on PSG published over the last two years to examine new developments.
Methods
Review Strategy
There is a large body of literature on sleep studies and several reviews have been conducted. Two large cohort studies, the Sleep Heart Health Study and the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, are the main sources of evidence on sleep literature.
To examine new developments on PSG published in the past two years, MEDLINE, EMBASE, MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Cochrane CENTRAL, INAHTA, and websites of other health technology assessment agencies were searched. Any study that reported results of in-home or in-lab PSG was included. All articles that reported findings from the Sleep Heart Health Study and the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study were also reviewed.
Diffusion of Sleep Laboratories
To estimate the diffusion of sleep laboratories, a list of sleep laboratories licensed under the Independent Health Facility Act was obtained. The annual number of sleep studies per 100,000 individuals in Ontario from 2000 to 2004 was also estimated using administrative databases.
Summary of Findings
Literature Review
A total of 315 articles were identified that were published in the past two years; 227 were excluded after reviewing titles and abstracts. A total of 59 articles were identified that reported findings of the Sleep Heart Health Study and the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study.
Prevalence
Based on cross-sectional data from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study of 602 men and women aged 30 to 60 years, it is estimated that the prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing is 9% in women and 24% in men, on the basis of more than five AHI events per hour of sleep. Among the women with sleep disorder breathing, 22.6% had daytime sleepiness and among the men, 15.5% had daytime sleepiness. Based on this, the prevalence of OSA in the middle-aged adult population is estimated to be 2% in women and 4% in men.
Snoring is present in 94% of OSA patients, but not all snorers have OSA. Women report daytime sleepiness less often compared with their male counterparts (of similar age, body mass index [BMI], and AHI). Prevalence of OSA tends to be higher in older age groups compared with younger age groups.
Diagnostic Value of Polysomnography
It is believed that PSG in the sleep laboratory is more accurate than in-home PSG. In the absence of a gold standard, however, claims of accuracy cannot be substantiated. In general, there is poor correlation between PSG variables and clinical variables. A variety of cut-off points of AHI (> 5, > 10, and > 15) are arbitrarily used to diagnose and categorize severity of OSA, though the clinical importance of these cut-off points has not been determined.
Recently, a study of the use of a therapeutic trial of CPAP to diagnose OSA was reported. The authors studied habitual snorers with daytime sleepiness in the absence of other medical or psychiatric disorders. Using PSG as the reference standard, the authors calculated the sensitivity of this test to be 80% and its specificity to be 97%. Further, they concluded that PSG could be avoided in 46% of this population.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Obesity
Obstructive sleep apnea is strongly associated with obesity. Obese individuals (BMI >30 kg/m2) are at higher risk for OSA compared with non-obese individuals and up to 75% of OSA patients are obese. It is hypothesized that obese individuals have large deposits of fat in the neck that cause the upper airway to collapse in the supine position during sleep. The observations reported from several studies support the hypothesis that AHIs (or RDIs) are significantly reduced with weight loss in obese individuals.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Cardiovascular Diseases
Associations have been shown between OSA and comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension, which are known risk factors for myocardial infarction and stroke. Patients with more severe forms of OSA (based on AHI) report poorer quality of life and increased health care utilization compared with patients with milder forms of OSA. From animal models, it is hypothesized that sleep fragmentation results in glucose intolerance and hypertension. There is, however, no evidence from prospective studies in humans to establish a causal link between OSA and hypertension or diabetes mellitus. It is also not clear that the associations between OSA and other diseases are independent of obesity; in most of these studies, patients with higher values of AHI had higher values of BMI compared with patients with lower AHI values.
A recent meta-analysis of bariatric surgery has shown that weight loss in obese individuals (mean BMI = 46.8 kg/m2; range = 32.30–68.80) significantly improved their health profile. Diabetes was resolved in 76.8% of patients, hypertension was resolved in 61.7% of patients, hyperlipidemia improved in 70% of patients, and OSA resolved in 85.7% of patients. This suggests that obesity leads to OSA, diabetes, and hypertension, rather than OSA independently causing diabetes and hypertension.
Health Technology Assessments, Guidelines, and Recommendations
In April 2005, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the United States published its decision and review regarding in-home and in-lab sleep studies for the diagnosis and treatment of OSA with CPAP. In order to cover CPAP, CMS requires that a diagnosis of OSA be established using PSG in a sleep laboratory. After reviewing the literature, CMS concluded that the evidence was not adequate to determine that unattended portable sleep study was reasonable and necessary in the diagnosis of OSA.
In May 2005, the Canadian Coordinating Office of Health Technology Assessment (CCOHTA) published a review of guidelines for referral of patients to sleep laboratories. The review included 37 guidelines and associated reviews that covered 18 applications of sleep laboratory studies. The CCOHTA reported that the level of evidence for many applications was of limited quality, that some cited studies were not relevant to the recommendations made, that many recommendations reflect consensus positions only, and that there was a need for more good quality studies of many sleep laboratory applications.
Diffusion
As of the time of writing, there are 97 licensed sleep laboratories in Ontario. In 2000, the number of sleep studies performed in Ontario was 376/100,000 people. There was a steady rise in sleep studies in the following years such that in 2004, 769 sleep studies per 100,000 people were performed, for a total of 96,134 sleep studies. Based on prevalence estimates of the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, it was estimated that 927,105 people aged 30 to 60 years have sleep-disordered breathing. Thus, there may be a 10-fold rise in the rate of sleep tests in the next few years.
Economic Analysis
In 2004, approximately 96,000 sleep studies were conducted in Ontario at a total cost of ~$47 million (Cdn). Since obesity is associated with sleep disordered breathing, MAS compared the costs of sleep studies to the cost of bariatric surgery. The cost of bariatric surgery is $17,350 per patient. In 2004, Ontario spent $4.7 million per year for 270 patients to undergo bariatric surgery in the province, and $8.2 million for 225 patients to seek out-of-country treatment. Using a Markov model, it was concluded that shifting costs from sleep studies to bariatric surgery would benefit more patients with OSA and may also prevent health consequences related to diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. It is estimated that the annual cost of treating comorbid conditions in morbidly obese patients often exceeds $10,000 per patient. Thus, the downstream cost savings could be substantial.
Considerations for Policy Development
Weight loss is associated with a decrease in OSA severity. Treating and preventing obesity would also substantially reduce the economic burden associated with diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and OSA. Promotion of healthy weights may be achieved by a multisectorial approach as recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario. Bariatric surgery has the potential to help morbidly obese individuals (BMI > 35 kg/m2 with an accompanying comorbid condition, or BMI > 40 kg/m2) lose weight. In January 2005, MAS completed an assessment of bariatric surgery, based on which OHTAC recommended an improvement in access to these surgeries for morbidly obese patients in Ontario.
Habitual snorers with excessive daytime sleepiness have a high pretest probability of having OSA. These patients could be offered a therapeutic trial of CPAP to diagnose OSA, rather than a PSG. A majority of these patients are also obese and may benefit from weight loss. Individualized weight loss programs should, therefore, be offered and patients who are morbidly obese should be offered bariatric surgery.
That said, and in view of the still evolving understanding of the causes, consequences and optimal treatment of OSA, further research is warranted to identify which patients should be screened for OSA.
PMCID: PMC3379160  PMID: 23074483
13.  Effectiveness of Physio Acoustic Sound (PAS) therapy in demented nursing home residents with nocturnal restlessness: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2012;13:34.
Background
Many older people with neuropsychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia suffer from sleeping problems and often show nocturnal restlessness. Professionals and informal carers face considerable problems in solving these problems. Attempts to diminish these problems with medication in a safe and responsible manner have proven hardly effective or not effective at all. Therefore, nowadays the focus lies more on non-pharmacological solutions, for example by influencing environmental factors. There are indications that treatment with low-frequency acoustic vibrations, that is Physio Acoustic Sound (PAS) therapy, has a positive effect on sleeping problems. Therefore we study the effectiveness of PAS therapy in demented patients with nocturnal restlessness.
Methods
In a randomized clinical trial, 66 nursing home patients will be divided into two groups: an intervention group and a control group. For both groups nocturnal restlessness will be measured with actiwatches during a period of six weeks. In addition, a sleep diary will be filled in.
For the intervention group the baseline will be assessed, in the first two weeks, reflecting the existing situation regarding nocturnal restlessness. In the next two weeks, this group will sleep on a bed identical to their own, but with a mattress containing an in-built PAS device. As soon as the patient is lying in bed, the computer programme inducing the vibrations will be switched on for the duration of 30 min. In the last two weeks, the wash-out period, the measurements of the intervention group are continued, without the PAS intervention.
During the total study period, other relevant data of all the implied patients will be recorded systematically and continuously, for example patient characteristics (data from patient files), the type and seriousness of the dementia, occurrence of neuropsychiatric symptoms during the research period, and the occurrence of intermittent co-morbidity.
Discussion
If PAS therapy turns out to be effective, it can be of added value to the treatment of nocturnal restlessness in demented patients. Non-pharmacological PAS therapy is not only safe and patient-friendly, but it can also be widely used in a simple and relatively inexpensive way, both in institutions such as nursing homes and residential homes for the elderly, and at home. Ultimately, this may lead to a decrease in the frequent and still common use of psychotropic drugs. In addition, care needs of demented patients also may decrease as well as the number of preventable admissions to care institutions.
Trial registration
Netherlands Trial Register (NTR): NTR3242
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-13-34
PMCID: PMC3349520  PMID: 22495093
Dementia; Sleep; Actiwatch; Physio acoustic sound; Nursing home; Nocturnal restlessness
14.  Who seeks primary care for sleep, anxiety and depressive disorders from physicians prescribing homeopathic and other complementary medicine? Results from the EPI3 population survey 
BMJ Open  2012;2(6):e001498.
Objectives
To describe and compare patients seeking treatment for sleep, anxiety and depressive disorders (SADD) from physicians in general practice (GPs) with three different practice preferences: strictly conventional medicine (GP-CM), mixed complementary and conventional medicine (GP-Mx) and certified homeopathic physicians (GP-Ho).
Design and setting
The EPI3 survey was a nationwide, observational study of a representative sample of GPs and their patients, conducted in France between March 2007 and July 2008.
Participants
1572 patients diagnosed with SADD.
Primary and secondary outcomes
The patients’ attitude towards complementary and alternative medicine; psychotropic drug utilisation.
Results
Compared to patients attending GP-CM, GP-Ho patients had healthier lifestyles while GP-Mx patients showed similar profiles. Psychotropic drugs were more likely to be prescribed by GP-CM (64%) than GP-Mx (55.4%) and GP-Ho (31.2%). The three groups of patients shared similar SADD severity.
Conclusion
Our results showed that patients with SADD, while differing principally in their sociodemographic profiles and conventional psychotropic prescriptions, were actually rather similar regarding the severity of SADD in terms of comorbidities and quality of life. This information may help to better plan resource allocation and management of these common health problems in primary care.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001498
PMCID: PMC3532988  PMID: 23180389
Epidemiology
15.  Psychotropic medication in the French child and adolescent population: prevalence estimation from health insurance data and national self-report survey data 
BMC Psychiatry  2009;9:72.
Background
The aim of this work is to estimate the French frequencies of dispensed psychotropic prescriptions in children and adolescents. Prevalence estimations of dispensed prescriptions are compared to the frequencies of use of psychotropic reported by 17 year-old adolescents.
Methods
Prescription data is derived from national health insurance databases. Frequencies of dispensed prescriptions are extrapolated to estimate a range for the 2004 national rates. Self-report data is derived from the 2003 and 2005 ESCAPAD study, an epidemiological study based on a questionnaire focused on health and drug consumption.
Results
The prevalence estimation shows that the prevalence of prescription of a psychotropic medication to young persons between 3 and 18 years is about 2.2%.
In 2005, the self-report study (ESCAPAD) shows that 14.9% of 17 year-old adolescents took medication for "nerves" or "to sleep" during the previous 12 months. The same study in 2003 also shows that 62.3% of adolescents aged 17 and 18 reporting psychotropic use, took the medication for anxiety and 56.8% to sleep. Only 49.7% of these medications are suggested by a doctor.
Conclusion
This study underlines a similar range of prevalence of psychotropic prescriptions in France to that observed in other European countries. Nevertheless, the proportion of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines seems to be higher, whereas the proportion of methylphenidate is lower.
Secondly, a disparity between the prevalence of dispensed prescriptions and the self-report of actual use of psychotropics has been highlighted by the ESCAPAD study which shows that these treatments are widely used as "self-medication".
doi:10.1186/1471-244X-9-72
PMCID: PMC2781809  PMID: 19919701
16.  Epidemiology of Psychotropic Drug Use in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Gaps in Mental Illness Treatments 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e62270.
Objective
Estimate the prevalence of psychotropic drugs use in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and establish its relationship with the presence of mental disorders.
Methods
A probabilistic sample of non-institutionalized individuals, from the general population of Rio de Janeiro (n = 1208;turn out:81%), 15 years or older, who were interviewed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview 2.1 (depression, anxiety-phobia, OCD\PTSD, alcoholism sections), and asked about their psychotropic use during a 12 and one-month period before the interview. Data were collected between June/2007-February/2008.The prevalence was estimated with a confidence interval of 95%. The associations between psychotropics use and mental disorders were analyzed through a logistic regression model (Odds Ration – OR).
Results
The one-month prevalence of psychotropic drug use was 6.55%, 3.19% for men and 9.13% for women. Antidepressants were the most frequently used drug (2.78%), followed by anorectics (1.65%), tranquilizers (1.61%) and mood stabilizers (1.23%). General practitioners issued the highest number of prescriptions (46.3%), followed by psychiatrists (29.3%); 86.6% of the psychotropic drugs used were paid for by the patient himself. Individuals with increased likelihood of using psychotropic drugs were those that had received a psychiatric diagnosis during a one-month period before the study (OR:3.93), females (OR:1.82), separated/divorced (OR:2.23), of increased age (OR:1.03), with higher income (OR:2.96), and family history of mental disorder (OR:2.59); only 16% of the individuals with a current DSM IV diagnosis were using a psychotropic drug; 17% among individuals with a depression-related diagnosis and 8% with Phobic Anxiety Disorders-related diagnosis used psychotropics.
Conclusion
Approximately 84% of individuals displaying some mental disorder did not use psychotropic drugs, which indicates an important gap between demand and access to treatment. A significant failure is evident in the health system for patients with mental disorders; this could be due to health workers' inability to recognize mental disorders among individuals.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062270
PMCID: PMC3653914  PMID: 23690934
17.  An investigation on sleep behaviors of the elderly hospitalized in Zahedan 
Background:
Sleep is an essential need in every individual's life. A disorder in the natural sleep can cause physical and mental problems. The elderly are usually faced with more sleep problems. Therefore, the present study aimed to define sleep behavior among the elderly hospitalized in Zahedan.
Materials and Methods:
This is a descriptive analytical study conducted on 300 elderly people aged 60 years and over who were hospitalized in Zahedan. In this research convenience sampling method was used and the research tool was a questionnaire. The data were collected through interviews. Descriptive (frequency distribution) and inferential (X2) statistical tests were employed to analyze the data.
Findings:
The results showed that 62% of the hospitalized elderly people (total of 300) had sleep disorder. About 44.7%took sleep medication in order to sleep, and only 16.7% did not take sleeping medications. About 44.7% had no special schedule for the time of their sleeping and waking up, and 4.3% were involved in drug abuse and smoking, and had a big dinner before sleeping. There was a significant association between sleep disorder, gender, education, living in urban or rural areas, the cause of hospitalization, and suffering from a chronic disease
Conclusions:
Sleep disorder and inappropriate sleep related behaviors had a high prevalence among the elderly. With regard to the important role of sleep in the quality of life of the elderly, detection of the reasons of sleep disorder, motivating them to practice an appropriate sleep behavior, and preventing them from having inappropriate sleep related behaviors are crucial issues.
PMCID: PMC3590697  PMID: 23493461
Sleep behavior; elderly; hospitalized elderly
18.  Sleep and psychiatry  
Psychiatric disorders constitute 15.4% of the disease burden in established market economies. Many psychiatric disorders are associated with sleep disturbances, and the relationship is often bidirectional. This paper reviews the prevalence of various psychiatric disorders, their clinical presentation, and their association with sleep disorders. Among the psychiatric disorders reviewed are affective disorders, psychosis, anxiety disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder), substance abuse disorders, eating disorders, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders. The spectrum of associated sleep disorders includes insomnia, hypersomnia, nocturnal panic, sleep paralysis, hypnagogic hallucinations, restless legs/periodic limb movements of sleep, obstructive sleep apnea, and parasomnias. The effects on sleep of various psychotropic medications utilized to treat the above psychiatric disorders are summarized.
PMCID: PMC3181745  PMID: 16416705
sleep disorder; psychiatric disorder; depression; psychosis; anxiety; sleep
19.  Prevalence and comorbidity of nocturnal wandering in the US adult general population 
Neurology  2012;78(20):1583-1589.
Objective:
To assess the prevalence and comorbid conditions of nocturnal wandering with abnormal state of consciousness (NW) in the American general population.
Methods:
Cross-sectional study conducted with a representative sample of 19,136 noninstitutionalized individuals of the US general population ≥18 years old. The Sleep-EVAL expert system administered questions on life and sleeping habits; health; and sleep, mental, and organic disorders (DSM-IV-TR; International Classification of Sleep Disorders, version 2; International Classification of Diseases–10).
Results:
Lifetime prevalence of NW was 29.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 28.5%–29.9%). In the previous year, NW was reported by 3.6% (3.3%–3.9%) of the sample: 1% had 2 or more episodes per month and 2.6% had between 1 and 12 episodes in the previous year. Family history of NW was reported by 30.5% of NW participants. Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (odds ratio [OR] 3.9), circadian rhythm sleep disorder (OR 3.4), insomnia disorder (OR 2.1), alcohol abuse/dependence (OR 3.5), major depressive disorder (MDD) (OR 3.5), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (OR 3.9), or using over-the-counter sleeping pills (OR 2.5) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants (OR 3.0) were at higher risk of frequent NW episodes (≥2 times/month).
Conclusions:
With a rate of 29.2%, lifetime prevalence of NW is high. SSRIs were associated with an increased risk of NW. However, these medications appear to precipitate events in individuals with a prior history of NW. Furthermore, MDD and OCD were associated with significantly greater risk of NW, and this was not due to the use of psychotropic medication. These psychiatric associations imply an increased risk due to sleep disturbance.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182563be5
PMCID: PMC3467644  PMID: 22585435
20.  Parental attitudes and opinions on the use of psychotropic medication in mental disorders of childhood 
Background
The limited number of systematic, controlled studies that assess the safety and efficacy of psychotropic medications for children reinforce the hesitation and reluctance of parents to administer such medications. The aim of this study was to investigate the attitudes of parents of children with psychiatric disorders, towards psychotropic medication.
Methods
A 20-item questionnaire was distributed to 140 parents during their first contact with an outpatient child psychiatric service. The questionnaire comprised of questions regarding the opinions, knowledge and attitudes of parents towards children's psychotropic medication. Sociodemographic data concerning parents and children were also recorded. Frequency tables were created and the chi-square test and Fisher's exact tests were used for the comparison of the participants' responses according to sex, educational level, age and gender of the child and use of medication.
Results
Respondents were mostly mothers aged 25–45 years. Children for whom they asked for help with were mostly boys, aged between 6 and 12 years old. A total of 83% of the subjects stated that they knew psychotropic drugs are classified into categories, each having a distinct mechanism of action and effectiveness. A total of 40% believe that there is a proper use of psychotropic medication, while 20% believe that psychiatrists unnecessarily use high doses of psychotropic medication. A total of 80% fear psychotropic agents more than other types of medication. Most parents are afraid to administer psychotropic medication to their child when compared to any other medication, and believe that psychotherapy is the most effective method of dealing with every kind of mental disorders, including childhood schizophrenia (65%). The belief that children who take psychotropic medication from early childhood are more likely to develop drug addiction later is correlated with the parental level of education.
Conclusion
Parents' opinions and beliefs are not in line with scientific facts. This suggests a need to further inform the parents on the safety and efficacy of psychotropic medication in order to improve treatment compliance.
doi:10.1186/1744-859X-6-32
PMCID: PMC2206023  PMID: 18005445
21.  A preliminary study of sleep in adolescents with bipolar disorder, ADHD, and non-patient controls 
Bipolar disorders  2011;13(4):425-432.
Objectives
To compare the sleep of adolescents with bipolar disorder (BD) to groups of adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder–combined type (ADHD-C) and those without psychopathology.
Methods
A sample of 13 adolescents diagnosed with BD who were not in the midst of a mood episode, 14 adolescents with ADHD-C, and 21 healthy controls, all between the ages of 11 and 17 years served as participants. They were psychiatrically evaluated using a structured diagnostic interview and completed four nights of in-home sleep monitoring using actigraphy and sleep diaries.
Results
Sleep diary estimates of sleep indicated that participants with BD experienced more awakenings than their peers with ADHD, whereas actigraphic estimates revealed that participants with BD slept longer and with less wakefulness than their peers.
Conclusions
In between mood episodes, adolescents with BD experience their sleep as more fragmented than that of their peers but do not exhibit more disturbed sleep as estimated by actigraphy. The possible influence of psychotropic medication is an important consideration when assessing sleep in the context of BD.
doi:10.1111/j.1399-5618.2011.00933.x
PMCID: PMC3158129  PMID: 21843282
actigraphy; ADHD; adolescent; bipolar disorder; sleep
22.  Drug use during early pregnancy: Cross-sectional analysis from the Childbirth and Health Study in Primary Care in Iceland 
Abstract
Objective. To analyse drug use in early pregnancy with special focus on socio-demographic factors associated with psychotropic and analgesic drug use. Design. Cross-sectional study. Setting and subjects. A total of 1765 women were invited via their local health care centres, and 1111 participated at 11–16 weeks of pregnancy by filling out a postal questionnaire concerning socio-demographic and obstetric background, stressful life events, and drug use. Main outcome measures. Drug use prior to and early on in pregnancy, socio-demographic factors, smoking, and adverse life events were investigated. Drug categories screened for were psychotropics (collective term for antidepressants, relaxants, and sleep medication), analgesics, hormones, nicotine, vitamins/minerals, and homeopathic medicine. Results. Drug use from the aforementioned drug categories, excluding vitamins/minerals and homeopathic medicine, was reduced by 18% during early pregnancy, compared with six months prior to conception (49% vs. 60%). Psychotropic drug use during early pregnancy was associated with elementary maternal education (p < 0.5), being unemployed (p < 0.001), being single/divorced/separated (p < 0.01), smoking prior to or during pregnancy (p < 0.01), forced to change job/move house (p < 0.001), and psychotropic drug use six months prior to pregnancy (p < 0.001). No items on the stressful life events scale were associated with increased analgesic use, which increased only with multiparity. Conclusions. Use of analgesics and psychotropic drugs seems common in pregnancy. Our results indicate that lack of a support network, stressful life events, and lower status in society may predispose women to more drug use. GPs and midwives responsible for maternity care could take this into account when evaluating risk and gain for women and foetuses in the primary care setting.
doi:10.3109/02813432.2014.965884
PMCID: PMC4206559  PMID: 25299613
Childbirth and health; drug use; general practice; Iceland; maternity care; pregnancy; primary health care; psychotropic drugs
23.  Treatment resistant adolescent depression with upper airway resistance syndrome treated with rapid palatal expansion: a case report 
Introduction
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a case of treatment-resistant depression in which the patient was evaluated for sleep disordered breathing as the cause and in which rapid palatal expansion to permanently treat the sleep disordered breathing produced a prolonged symptom-free period off medication.
Case presentation
An 18-year-old Caucasian man presented to our sleep disorders center with chronic severe depression that was no longer responsive to medication but that had recently responded to electroconvulsive therapy. Ancillary, persistent symptoms included mild insomnia, moderate to severe fatigue, mild sleepiness and severe anxiety treated with medication. Our patient had no history of snoring or witnessed apnea, but polysomnography was consistent with upper airway resistance syndrome. Although our patient did not have an orthodontic indication for rapid palatal expansion, rapid palatal expansion was performed as a treatment of his upper airway resistance syndrome. Following rapid palatal expansion, our patient experienced a marked improvement of his sleep quality, anxiety, fatigue and sleepiness. His improvement has been maintained off all psychotropic medication and his depression has remained in remission for approximately two years following his electroconvulsive therapy.
Conclusions
This case report introduces the possibility that unrecognized sleep disordered breathing may play a role in adolescent treatment-resistant depression. The symptoms of upper airway resistance syndrome are non-specific enough that every adolescent with depression, even those responding to medication, may have underlying sleep disordered breathing. In such patients, rapid palatal expansion, by widening the upper airway and improving airflow during sleep, may produce a prolonged improvement of symptoms and a tapering of medication. Psychiatrists treating adolescents may benefit from having another treatment option for treatment-resistant depression.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-415
PMCID: PMC3542016  PMID: 23210848
24.  Modifiable Factors Associated with Sleep Dysfunction in Adults with Heart Failure 
Background
Sleep dysfunction contributes to poor quality of life in adults with heart failure (HF). The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with sleep dysfunction that may be modifiable.
Methods
Data were collected from 266 subjects enrolled from three sites in the U.S. Sleep dysfunction was measured over the past month with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, using a score >10 to indicate sleep dysfunction. Potentially modifiable clinical, behavioral, and psychological factors thought to be associated with sleep dysfunction were analyzed with hierarchical logistic regression analysis.
Results
When covariates of age, gender, race, data collection site, and New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class were entered on the first step, only NYHA was a significant correlate of sleep dysfunction. When the clinical, behavioral, and psychological factors were entered, correlates of sleep dysfunction were the number of drugs known to cause daytime somnolence (OR = 2.08), depression (OR = 1.83), worse overall perceived health (OR = 1.64), and better sleep hygiene (OR = 1.40). Although most (54%) subjects had sleep disordered breathing (SDB), SDB was not a significant predictor of sleep dysfunction.
Discussion
Factors associated with sleep dysfunction in HF include medications with sleepiness as a side-effect, depression, poorer health perceptions, and better sleep hygiene. Sleep dysfunction may motivate HF patients to address sleep hygiene. Eliminating medications with sleepiness as a side-effect, treating depression and perceptions of poor health may improve sleep quality in HF patients.
doi:10.1016/j.ejcnurse.2011.02.001
PMCID: PMC3106140  PMID: 21353642
heart failure; sleep; sleep dysfunction; perceived health; medications; sleep hygiene; depression
25.  Childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnea Associates with Neuropsychological Deficits and Neuronal Brain Injury 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(8):e301.
Background
Childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with neuropsychological deficits of memory, learning, and executive function. There is no evidence of neuronal brain injury in children with OSA. We hypothesized that childhood OSA is associated with neuropsychological performance dysfunction, and with neuronal metabolite alterations in the brain, indicative of neuronal injury in areas corresponding to neuropsychological function.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a cross-sectional study of 31 children (19 with OSA and 12 healthy controls, aged 6–16 y) group-matched by age, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. Participants underwent polysomnography and neuropsychological assessments. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging was performed on a subset of children with OSA and on matched controls. Neuropsychological test scores and mean neuronal metabolite ratios of target brain areas were compared.
Relative to controls, children with severe OSA had significant deficits in IQ and executive functions (verbal working memory and verbal fluency). Children with OSA demonstrated decreases of the mean neuronal metabolite ratio N-acetyl aspartate/choline in the left hippocampus (controls: 1.29, standard deviation [SD] 0.21; OSA: 0.91, SD 0.05; p = 0.001) and right frontal cortex (controls: 2.2, SD 0.4; OSA: 1.6, SD 0.4; p = 0.03).
Conclusions
Childhood OSA is associated with deficits of IQ and executive function and also with possible neuronal injury in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. We speculate that untreated childhood OSA could permanently alter a developing child's cognitive potential.
Childhood obstructive sleep apnea is associated with deficits of IQ and executive function and also with possible neuronal injury in the hippocampus and frontal cortex.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Sleep is essential for health, and in children it is crucial to normal development. Symptomatic childhood sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is the name for a range of conditions in which children have difficulties with breathing when they are asleep. The conditions range from simple snoring to the most severe condition, known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Apnea means a temporary absence of breathing, and in OSA this is caused by a temporary but repeated blockage of the flow of air to the lungs. In children, OSA occurs for a number of reasons including enlarged tonsils, long-term allergy, and obesity. About two in every hundred children have OSA. The symptoms of OSA are loud snoring at night, disrupted, restless sleep, undue tiredness, and difficulties in concentration. The main test for it is a sleep study (polysomnography). If untreated, researchers believe that it may lead to a number of long-term problems with health and learning; children with disorders of sleep have been shown to have memory problems, lower general intelligence, and worse executive function (the ability to adapt to new situations), and may have behavioral problems similar to those of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Why Was This Study Done?
Adults with sleep apnea have been shown to have abnormalities of parts of their brain, specifically the frontal cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus, but so far there are no data on whether there are similar changes in children. Children with sleep apnea may have cognitive deficits, but the research on this topic is limited.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers wanted to investigate the brains of children with OSA to see if there was any evidence of changes in the brain and if these changes were associated with any learning problems. They studied 31 children (19 with OSA and 12 healthy controls, aged 6–16 y). Participants underwent polysomnography and neuropsychological assessments, such as IQ tests and tests of their ability to perform tasks involving decision making. Some of the children also had specialized scans of their brains (known as proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging) that can measure the levels of certain metabolites—substances that are produced as a result of brain activity. The researchers then compared the neuropsychological test scores with the levels of the metabolites. They found that relative to controls, children with severe OSA had lower IQ and ability to perform tasks involving decision making. Children with OSA also had changes in metabolites in the brain similar to those seen in diseases in which there is damage to brain cells.
What Do These Findings Mean?
It seems clear that OSA in children is associated with learning problems, and that these learning problems may in turn be associated with changes in brain metabolites. The changes in metabolites are not necessarily permanent—in other diseases where changes have been found they can be reversed with treatment. If these results are confirmed in other children with OSA, it will highlight the importance of treating children for OSA as soon as possible. In addition, the measurement of metabolites may be a way of measuring how well children are responding to treatment.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030301.
MedlinePlus's encyclopedia has an entry on sleep apnea
The American Sleep Apnea Association has information about having a child investigated for sleep apnea
The National Sleep Foundation also provides information about sleep disorders
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030301
PMCID: PMC1551912  PMID: 16933960

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