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author:("kanara, Kenji")
1.  Psychological characteristics of Japanese patients with chronic pain assessed by the Rorschach test 
The increasing number of patients with chronic pain in Japan has become a major issue in terms of the patient's quality of life, medical costs, and related social problems. Pain is a multi-dimensional experience with physiological, affective, cognitive, behavioral and social components, and recommended to be managed via a combination of bio-psycho-social aspects. However, a biomedical approach is still the dominant method of pain treatment in Japan. The current study aimed to evaluate comprehensive psychological functions and processes in Japanese chronic pain patients.
The Rorschach Comprehensive System was administered to 49 in-patients with non-malignant chronic pain. Major variables and frequencies from the test were then compared to normative data from non-patient Japanese adults by way of the t-test and chi-square test.
Patients exhibited high levels of emotional distress with a sense of helplessness with regard to situational stress, confusion, and ambivalent feelings. These emotions were managed by the patients in an inappropriate manner. Cognitive functions resulted in moderate dysfunction in all stages. Information processing tended to focus upon minute features in an inflexible manner. Mediational dysfunction was likely to occur with unstable affective conditions. Ideation was marked by pessimistic and less effective thinking. Since patients exhibited negative self-perception, their interpersonal relationship skills tended to be ineffective. Originally, our patients displayed average psychological resources for control, stress tolerance, and social skills for interpersonal relationships. However, patient coping styles were either situation- or emotion-dependent, and patients were more likely to exhibit emotional instability influenced by external stimuli, resulting in increased vulnerability to pain.
Data gathered from the Rorschach test suggested psychological approaches to support chronic pain patients that are likely to be highly beneficial, and we thus recommend their incorporation into the course of current pain treatments.
PMCID: PMC3016376  PMID: 21110860
2.  Depression and Anxiety Correlate Differently with Salivary Free Cortisol in the Morning in Patients with Functional Somatic Syndrome 
Patients presenting with functional somatic syndrome (FSS) are common, and the symptoms are persistent and difficult to treat for doctors and costly for society. The aim of this study was to clarify the common pathophysiology of FSS, especially the relationship between hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function and psychological characteristics of patients with FSS. The subjects were 45 patients with FSS and 29 healthy controls. Salivary free cortisol was measured in the morning, and psychological tests examining depression, anxiety and quality of life (QOL) were performed on the same day. In patients with FSS, depressive scores showed a significant negative correlation with salivary free cortisol in the morning, although in healthy controls, cortisol showed a significant positive correlation with depressive scores. In addition, the correlation between other psychological test scores and cortisol secretion in patients with FSS contrasted with that of controls. The relationship between cortisol and depression, anxiety or QOL, suggests that the HPA axis of patients with FSS is dysfunctional and does not function properly when patients with FSS are under stress. This dysfunction may explain the pathology of medically unexplained persistent symptoms of patients with FSS.
PMCID: PMC2782128  PMID: 19662526
Functional somatic syndrome (FSS); Salivary free cortisol; Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; Depression; Anxiety
3.  Biopsychosocial approaches to a patient with vomiting of 10 years' duration – a case of temporal lobe epilepsy 
Vomiting is commonly encountered in clinical medicine. When organic gastrointestinal, metabolic, and brain diseases are ruled out, many cases are considered to be functional. We experienced an adult patient with epilepsy whose main symptom was vomiting. Biopsychosocial approaches were needed to control the symptoms.
Case presentation
A 26-year-old female with a 10-year history of persistent vomiting was found to have temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Throughout this time, during which the vomiting had become part of a vicious cycle, her epilepsy was poorly controlled by medication. Biopsychosocial approaches were employed successfully and the patient subsequently undertook training to become a home-helper, started a job, and was able to leave her parents' house and live independently. All of her symptoms resolved after she became self-sufficient.
Vomiting without impaired consciousness is seldom considered to be a manifestation of epilepsy. Difficulty in recording an electroencephalogram (EEG) because of the presence of persistent vomiting delayed the diagnosis. The improvement of symptoms was thought to have been due to the patient's emotional stabilization and physical improvement, which may have stabilized the limbic system.
When an illness persists for many years and conditioning and a vicious cycle occur secondarily, systematic biopsychosocial approaches are needed in addition to general treatment. Also, secondary symptoms make the diagnosis more difficult when efforts at treatment are ineffective.
PMCID: PMC2642859  PMID: 19166585
4.  Anti-Human Immunodeficiency Virus Activity of YK-FH312 (a Betulinic Acid Derivative), a Novel Compound Blocking Viral Maturation 
Betulinic acid, a triterpenoid isolated from the methyl alcohol extract of the leaves of Syzigium claviflorum, was found to have a potent inhibitory activity against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Betulinic acid derivatives were synthesized to enhance the anti-HIV activity. Among the derivatives, 3-O-(3′,3′-dimethylsuccinyl) betulinic acid, designated YK-FH312, showed the highest activity against HIV-induced cytopathic effects in HIV-1-infected MT-4 cells. To determine the step(s) of HIV replication affected by YK-FH312, a syncytium formation inhibition assay in MOLT-4/HIV-1IIIB and MOLT-4 coculture, a multinuclear-activation-of-galactosidase-indicator (MAGI) assay in MAGI-CCR5 cells, electron microscopic observation, and a time-of-addition assay were performed. In the syncytium formation inhibition assay or in the MAGI assay for de novo infection, the compound did not show inhibitory effects against HIV replication. Conversely, no virions were detected in HIV-1-infected cell cultures treated with YK-FH312 either by electron microscopic observation or by viral yield in the supernatant. In accordance with a p24 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of culture supernatant in the time-of-addition assay, YK-FH312 inhibited virus expression in the supernatant when it was added 18 h postinfection. However, Western blot analysis of the cells in the time-of-addition assay revealed that the production of viral proteins in the cells was not inhibited completely by YK-FH312. These results suggest that YK-FH312 might affect the step(s) of virion assembly and/or budding of virions, and this is a novel mechanism of action of an anti-HIV compound.
PMCID: PMC90447  PMID: 11257038
5.  T134, a Small-Molecule CXCR4 Inhibitor, Has No Cross-Drug Resistance with AMD3100, a CXCR4 Antagonist with a Different Structure 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(2):1719-1723.
T22, an analog of polyphemusin II (18 amino acid residues), was found to block T-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry into target cells as a CXCR4 inhibitor. We synthesized T134, a small analog (14 amino acid residues) of T22 with reduced positive charges. T134 exhibited highly potent activity and significantly less cytotoxicity in comparison to that of T22. T134 prevents the anti-CXCR4 monoclonal antibody from binding to peripheral blood mononuclear cells but has no effect on the binding of anti-CCR5 monoclonal antibodies. Since T134 inhibits the binding of stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) to MT-4 cells, it seems that T134 prevents HIV-1 entry by binding to CXCR4. The bicyclam AMD3100 has also been shown to block HIV-1 entry via CXCR4 but not via CCR5. Both T134 and AMD3100 are CXCR4 antagonists and low-molecular-weight compounds but have different structures. Our results indicate that T134 is active against wild-type T-tropic HIV-1 strains and against AMD3100-resistant strains.
PMCID: PMC104006  PMID: 9882387

Results 1-5 (5)