It is important for clinicians to assess their patients’ purging behavior. Various methods of purging, such as self-induced vomiting are well-known. Because patients do not always report their purging behavior, knowing the clinical signs that indicate the behavior is useful. However, we have experienced patients who did not have the reported physical signs of self-induced vomiting because they used hoses instead of their fingers to purge their stomach contents, which they call “tube vomiting”. No other previous studies have reported the use of hoses as a purging tool.
We present as our main case a 20-year-old Japanese woman with anorexia nervosa who engaged in “tube vomiting.” Although she recovered well under medical treatment in our hospital, she began to lose weight and blood potassium soon after discharge. We found that she used a garden hose instead of her fingers to perform self-induced vomiting,. She inserted the hose into her stomach and evacuated the stomach contents through it, without pain. She learned this technique through a blog about eating disorders. We also present two other similar cases. In fact, many patients discuss “tube vomiting” on the internet.
Our experience suggests that a sudden decrease in the weight and blood potassium level could indicate “tube vomiting”. In addition, because many information resources are available on the internet, medical practitioners should be aware of these sites.
Anorexia nervosa; Purging; Tube vomiting
In Japan, there is a unique clinical department, “Psychosomatic Medicine”, while there is not a department of behavioral science or behavioral medicine in medical schools. Although only eight medical schools have the department, psychosomatic physicians in the department have been involved with behavioral medicine. In the present manuscript, the author would like to introduce the contribution to behavioral medicine made by psychosomatic physicians in three aspects, education, clinical settings, and research, and propose some strategy for psychosomatic physicians to get more involved with behavioral medicine.
Most people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are physically inactive. An accelerometer worn on the waist has been used to evaluate physical activity in people with chronic conditions. It is useful for evaluating moderate to vigorous activity, although it tends to underestimate light or mild activities such as housework or family duties. An accelerometer worn on the wrist (i.e., actigraph) has recently been used to capture daily physical activity in inactive individuals. The purposes of this study were to investigate physical activity measured by an actigraph in patients with RA and in healthy individuals and to investigate the association between actigraphic data and self-reported physical function.
The subjects were 20 RA patients and 20 healthy individuals. All participants wore an actigraph on their wrist for 6–7 consecutive days. They also completed the Health Assessment Questionnaire disability index (HAQ-DI) and the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) 36-item short form health survey (SF-36). We extracted three parameters from the actigraphic data: mean activity count (MAC), peak activity count (PAC), and low activity ratio (LAR). These three parameters were compared between the RA patients and healthy individuals and with the self-reported questionnaires.
The MAC was significantly lower and the LAR was significantly higher in RA patients than in healthy individuals. The PAC was not different between the two groups. The LAR was negatively correlated with the MAC for the RA patients and for the healthy individuals. The decrease ratio of the LAR with the increase of the MAC for the RA patients was twice that of the healthy participants. In the RA patients, the LAR was significantly and moderately correlated with the HAQ-DI score and two dimensions of the SF-36 (i.e., “physical functioning” and “bodily pain”).
Investigation of the proportion of low activity count using an actigraph may be useful to identify characteristics of the physical function in RA patients.
In-situ real-time monitoring of volatile organic compound (VOC) exposure and heart rate variability (HRV) were conducted for eight multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) patients using a VOC monitor, a Holter monitor, and a time-activity questionnaire for 24 h to identify the relationship between VOC exposure, biological effects, and subjective symptoms in actual life. The results revealed no significantly different parameters for averaged values such as VOC concentration, HF (high frequency), and LF (low frequency) to HF ratio compared with previous data from healthy subjects (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health
2010, 7, 4127–4138). Significant negative correlations for four subjects were observed between HF and amounts of VOC change. These results suggest that some patients show inhibition of parasympathetic activities along with VOC exposure as observed in healthy subjects. Comparing the parameters during subjective symptoms and normal condition, VOC concentration and/or VOC change were high except for one subject. HF values were low for five subjects during subjective symptoms. Examining the time-series data for VOC exposure and HF of each subject showed that the subjective symptoms, VOC exposure, and HF seemed well related in some symptoms. Based on these characteristics, prevention measures of symptoms for each subject may be proposed.
real-time monitoring; MCS; VOC; HRV
An understanding of eating behaviors is an important element of health education and treatment in clinical populations. To understand the biopsychosocial profile of eating behaviors in an ecologically valid way, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is appropriate because its use is able to overcome the recall bias in patient-reported outcomes (PROs). As appetite is a key PRO associated with eating behaviors, this study was done to develop an EMA scale to evaluate the within-individual variation of momentary appetite and uses this scale to discuss the relationships between appetite and various psychological factors.
Twenty healthy participants (age 23.6 ± 4.2 years old) wore a watch-type computer for a week. Several times a day, including just before and after meals, they recorded their momentary psychological stress, mood states, and ten items related to appetite. In addition, they recorded everything they ate and drank into a personal digital assistant (PDA)-based food diary. Multilevel factor analysis was used to investigate the factor structure of the scale, and the reliability and validity of the scale were also explored.
Multilevel factor analyses found two factors at the within-individual level (hunger/fullness and cravings) and one factor at the between-individual level. Medians for the individually calculated Cronbach’s alphas were 0.89 for hunger/fullness, 0.71 for cravings, and 0.86 for total appetite (the sum of all items). Hunger/fullness, cravings, and total appetite all decreased significantly after meals compared with those before meals, and hunger/fullness, cravings, and total appetite before meals were positively associated with energy intake. There were significant negative associations between both hunger/fullness and total appetite and anxiety and depression as well as between cravings, and depression, anxiety and stress.
The within-individual reliability of the EMA scale to assess momentary appetite was confirmed in most subjects and it was also validated as a useful tool to understand eating behaviors in daily settings. Further refinement of the scale is necessary and further investigations need to be conducted, particularly on clinical populations.
Appetite; Ecological momentary assessment; Food diary; Multilevel factor analysis
Although protracted cognitive impairment has been reported to occur after radiotherapy even when such therapy is not directed to brain areas, the mechanism remains unclear. This study investigated whether breast cancer patients exposed to local radiotherapy showed lower cognitive function mediated by higher plasma interleukin (IL)-6 levels than those unexposed. We performed the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) and measured plasma IL-6 levels for 105 breast cancer surgical patients within 1 year after the initial therapy. The group differences in each of the indices of WMS-R were investigated between cancer patients exposed to adjuvant regional radiotherapy (n = 51) and those unexposed (n = 54) using analysis of covariance. We further investigated a mediation effect by plasma IL-6 levels on the relationship between radiotherapy and the indices of WMS-R using the bootstrapping method. The radiotherapy group showed significantly lower Immediate Verbal Memory Index and Delayed Recall Index (P = 0.001, P = 0.008, respectively). Radiotherapy exerted an indirect effect on the lower Delayed Recall Index of WMS-R through elevation of plasma IL-6 levels (bootstrap 95% confidence interval = −2.6626 to −0.0402). This study showed that breast cancer patients exposed to adjuvant regional radiotherapy in conservation therapy might have cognitive impairment even several months after their treatment. The relationship between the therapy and the cognitive impairment could be partially mediated by elevation of plasma IL-6 levels.
Breast cancer; cognitive impairment; interleukin-6; radiotherapy; Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised
Japan has the highest aging population in the world and promotion of home health services is an urgent policy issue. As home-visit nursing plays a major role in home health services, the Japanese government began promotion of this activity in 1994. However, the scale of home-visit nursing agencies has remained small (the average numbers of nursing staff and other staff were 4.2 and 1.7, respectively, in 2011) and financial performance (profitability) is a concern in such small agencies. Additionally, the factors related to profitability in home-visit nursing agencies in Japan have not been examined multilaterally and in detail. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine the determinants of financial performance of home-visit nursing agencies.
We performed a nationwide survey of 2,912 randomly selected home-visit nursing agencies in Japan. Multinomial logistic regression was used to clarify the determinants of profitability of the agency (profitable, stable or unprofitable) based on variables related to management of the agency (operating structure, management by a nurse manager, employment, patient utilization, quality control, regional cooperation, and financial condition).
Among the selected home-visit nursing agencies, responses suitable for analysis were obtained from 1,340 (effective response rate, 46.0%). Multinomial logistic regression analysis showed that both profitability and unprofitability were related to multiple variables in management of the agency when compared to agencies with stable financial performance. These variables included the number of nursing staff/rehabilitation staff/patients, being owned by a hospital, the number of cooperative hospitals, home-death rate among terminal patients, controlling staff objectives by nurse managers, and income going to compensation.
The results suggest that many variables in management of a home-visit nursing agency, including the operating structure of the agency, regional cooperation, staff employment, patient utilization, and quality control of care, have an influence in both profitable and unprofitable agencies. These findings indicate the importance of consideration of management issues in achieving stable financial performance in home-visit nursing agencies in Japan. The findings may also be useful in other countries with growing aging populations.
Home-visit nursing agency; Financial performance; Profit; Management
The aims of this study were to identify the associations with the Japanese population's preferences for the place of end-of-life care and their need for receiving health care services.
A secondary analysis of a cross-sectional nationwide survey was conducted for 2000 randomly selected Japanese people aged 40–79 years.
A total of 1042 people (55%) responded. Regarding preferred place of care, we set the place within the choices of “Home” (preferred by 44% of respondents), “Acute Hospital” (15%), “Palliative Care Unit” (19%), “Public Nursing Home” (10%), and “Private Nursing Home” (2%). Multinomial logistic regression analysis revealed that the people who preferred “Acute Hospital” tended to have the following need compared to those who preferred “Home,” “Palliative Care Unit,” or “Nursing Home”: higher need for receiving end-of-life care not from its experienced professionals but from the same staff; higher need for using health care services in highly supported environment such as the need for being near health care staff whenever and for receiving treatment possibly until the end; and higher need for consulting nurses whenever. They had lower need for using home care services and daycare services and also lower need for instructing families about how to use insurance/public health services.
The present findings may help to develop an effective end-of-life care system in Japan considering Japanese people's need for health care services. Also, the results of this study may underscore the importance of education on receiving home care services especially for the people who presently prefer the hospital for end-of-life care.
Discrepancy between preferred and actual place of death is common in cancer patients. While previous research has elucidated the factors associated with congruence between patients' preferred and actual place of death, it is not known how the perspective of the family influences the place of death. This study examined whether family preference for place of death mediates the relationship between patient preference and actual place of death.
A total of 258 cancer patients (home death, n = 142; hospital death, n = 116) who had received terminal care in Japan were analyzed. Measures included patients' demographic variables, patient and family preferences for place for death, actual place of death, patients' functional status, use and intensity of home care, availability of inpatient bed, living arrangement, and amount of extended family support.
Patient-family congruence on preferred place of death was 66% in patients who died at home and 47% in patients who died at other places (kappa coefficient: 0.20 and 0.25, respectively). In a multiple logistic regression model, patients were more likely to die at home when patients were male (odds ratio [OR], 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.53, 1.06–6.05) and when their family preferred death at home (OR, 95% CI: 37.37, 13.82–101.03). A Sobel test revealed that family preference mediated the relationship between patient preference and place of death (p<0.05).
This study is, to our knowledge, the first to unveil the role of the family in the relationship between patient preference and place of death in Japan. In order to honor patients' wishes to die at home, supporting caregivers in the family may be an essential component of terminal care.
Tension-type headache is a common psychosomatic disease. However, diurnal variation of headache is yet to be clarified, perhaps due to the lack of an appropriate method to investigate it. Like other painful diseases, it would be helpful to know if there is diurnal variation in tension-type headaches, both for managing headaches and understanding their pathophysiology. The aim of this study was to determine if there is diurnal variation in the intensity and exacerbation of tension-type headache.
Patients (N = 31) with tension-type headache recorded for one week their momentary headache intensity several times a day and their acute headache exacerbations using a watch-type computer as an electronic diary (computerized ecological momentary assessment). Multilevel modeling was used to test the effects of time of day on momentary headache intensity and on the occurrence of acute exacerbations.
A significant diurnal variation in momentary headache intensity was shown (P = 0.0005), with the weakest headaches in the morning and a peak in the late afternoon. A between-individual difference in the diurnal pattern was suggested. On-demand medication use was associated with a different diurnal pattern (P = 0.025), suggesting that headache intensity decreases earlier in the evening in subjects who used on-demand medication, while headache subtype, prophylactic medication use, and sex were not associated with the difference. The occurrence of acute headache exacerbation also showed a significant diurnal variation, with a peak after noon (P = 0.0015).
Tension-type headache was shown to have a significant diurnal variation. The relation to pathophysiology and psychosocial aspects needs to be further explored.
Tension-type headache; Ecological momentary assessment; Electronic diary; Diurnal variation
Patients with schizophrenia frequently exhibit behavioral abnormalities associated with its pathological symptoms. Therefore, a quantitative evaluation of behavioral dynamics could contribute to objective diagnoses of schizophrenia. However, such an approach has not been fully established because of the absence of quantitative biobehavioral measures. Recently, we studied the dynamical properties of locomotor activity, specifically how resting and active periods are interwoven in daily life. We discovered universal statistical laws (“behavioral organization”) and their alterations in patients with major depressive disorder. In this study, we evaluated behavioral organization of schizophrenic patients (n = 19) and healthy subjects (n = 11) using locomotor activity data, acquired by actigraphy, to investigate whether the laws could provide objective and quantitative measures for a possible diagnosis and assessment of symptoms. Specifically, we evaluated the cumulative distributions of resting and active periods, defined as the periods with physical activity counts successively below and above a predefined threshold, respectively. Here we report alterations in the laws governing resting and active periods; resting periods obeyed a power-law cumulative distribution with significantly lower parameter values (power-law scaling exponents), whereas active periods followed a stretched exponential distribution with significantly lower parameter values (stretching exponents), in patients. Our findings indicate enhanced persistency of both lower and higher locomotor activity periods in patients with schizophrenia, probably reflecting schizophrenic pathophysiology.
Both insufficient sleep and oversleeping have been reported as precipitating and aggravating factors of tension-type headache (TTH). However, previous studies relied on recalled self-reports, and the relationship has not been confirmed prospectively and objectively in a daily life situation. Recently, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) using electronic diaries, i.e., computerized EMA, is used to record subjective symptoms with the advantages of avoiding recall bias and faked compliance in daily settings. In addition, actigraphy has become an established method to assess sleep outside laboratories. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the within-individual effect of sleep on the following momentary headache intensity in TTH patients during their daily lives utilizing EMA and actigraphy.
Twenty-seven patients with TTH wore watch-type computers as electronic diaries for seven consecutive days and recorded their momentary headache intensity using a visual analog scale of 0-100 approximately every six hours, on waking up, when going to bed, and at the time of headache exacerbations. They also recorded their self-report of sleep quality, hours of sleep and number of awakenings with the computers when they woke up. Physical activity was continuously recorded by an actigraph inside the watch-type computers. Activity data were analyzed by Cole's algorithm to obtain total sleep time, sleep efficiency, sleep latency, wake time after sleep onset and number of awakenings for each night. Multilevel modeling was used to test the effect of each subjective and objective sleep-related variable on momentary headache intensity on the following day.
Objectively measured total sleep time was significantly positively associated with momentary headache intensity on the following day, while self-reported sleep quality was significantly negatively associated with momentary headache intensity on the following day.
Using computerized EMA and actigraphy, longer sleep and worse sleep quality were shown to be related to more intense headache intensity on within-individual basis and they may be precipitating or aggravating factors of TTH.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 23, a circulating 26-kDa peptide produced by osteogenic cells, is a novel phosphaturic factor. In our previous study, binge-eating/purging type anorexia nervosa (AN-BP) patients had elevated plasma intact FGF23 (iFGF23) levels, while restricting type (AN-R) patients had plasma iFGF23 levels similar to healthy controls. Although bulimia nervosa (BN) patients as well as some patients with AN-BP regularly engage in binge eating, there have been no studies regarding plasma iFGF23 levels in BN patients. Therefore, this study was performed to determine plasma iFGF23 concentrations in BN patients and healthy controls. The study population consisted of 13 female BN patients and 11 healthy female controls. Blood samples were collected from all subjects after overnight fasting. Plasma iFGF23 was measured using an ELISA kit in a cross-sectional manner. The two-tailed Mann-Whitney U-test was used to assess differences between BN patients and healthy controls. In addition, BN patients were divided into two groups based on questionnaire-reported binge eating frequency immediately prior to participation in this study: high frequency of binge eating (once a week or more; HF group; n = 8) and low frequency of binge eating (less than once a week; LF group; n = 5). Two-tailed Mann-Whitney U-test with Bonferroni's correction was performed after the Kruskal-Wallis test to assess differences between HF group, LF group, and healthy controls. Median (quartiles) plasma iFGF23 levels were greater in BN patients (35.5 [14.8-65.0] pg/ml) than in controls (3.8 [not detected-5.3] pg/ml; p = 0.002). In addition, median (quartiles) plasma iFGF23 levels were greater in the HF group (62.3 [44.4-73.4] pg/ml) than in controls (p < 0.001) and in the LF group (12.9 [not detected-30.3] pg/ml; p = 0.011), while there were no differences between the LF group and controls (p = 0.441). This is the first study to show that BN patients have elevated plasma iFGF23 levels. Moreover, this study showed that BN patients with a high frequency of binge eating have elevated plasma iFGF23 levels, while iFGF23 levels are similar to healthy controls in those with a low frequency of binge eating. Plasma iFGF23 level may be a suitable indicator of binge eating in BN patients.
fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23); intact fibroblast growth factor 23 (iFGF23); eating disorders; bulimia nervosa (BN); binge eating; frequency of binge eating; dietary phosphate; plasma phosphate; 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25-(OH)2D)
While various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are known to show neurotoxic effects, the detailed mechanisms of the action of VOCs on the autonomic nervous system are not fully understood, partially because objective and quantitative measures to indicate neural abnormalities are still under development. Nevertheless, heart rate variability (HRV) has been recently proposed as an indicative measure of the autonomic effects. In this study, we used HRV as an indicative measure of the autonomic effrects to relate their values to the personal concentrations of VOCs measured by a real-time VOC monitor. The measurements were conducted for 24 hours on seven healthy subjects under usual daily life conditions. The results showed HF powers were significantly decreased for six subjects when the changes of total volatile organic compound (TVOC) concentrations were large, indicating a suppression of parasympathetic nervous activity induced by the exposure to VOCs. The present study indicated these real-time monitoring was useful to characterize the trends of VOC exposures and their effects on autonomic nervous system.
real-time monitoring; VOCs; heart rate variability (HRV); Holter monitor
Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) report substantial symptom worsening after exercise. However, the time course over which this develops has not been explored. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the influence of exercise on subjective symptoms and on cognitive function in CFS patients in natural settings using a computerized ecological momentary assessment method, which allowed us to track the effects of exercise within and across days. Subjects were 9 female patients with CFS and 9 healthy women. A watch-type computer was used to collect real time data on physical and psychological symptoms and cognitive function for one week before and two weeks after a maximal exercise test. For each variable, we investigated temporal changes after exercise using multilevel modeling. Following exercise, physical symptoms did get worse but not until a five-day delay in CFS patients. Despite this, there was no difference in the temporal pattern of changes in psychological symptoms or in cognitive function after exercise between CFS patients and controls. In conclusion, physical symptoms worsened after a several day delay in patients with CFS following exercise while psychological symptoms or cognitive function did not change after exercise.
chronic fatigue syndrome; ecological momentary assessment; multilevel modeling
Although hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) can potentially cure some hematological malignancies, patients who undergo HSCT experience psychological distress. However, there have been few studies on the short-term influence of HSCT on psychological distress.
The subjects were 71 patients with hematological malignancies who underwent HSCT: 33 with acute leukemia, 19 with chronic leukemia, nine with myelodysplastic syndrome, and 10 with malignant lymphoma. Psychological distress was assessed prior to HSCT and on the seventh day after HSCT using the Profile of Mood States (POMS).
With regard to Anger-Hostility, the interaction of time (pre- and post-HSCT) and group (the four groups) was significant in male patients (p = 0.04), but not in female patients. With regard to the other subscales of POMS, there was no significant main effect or interaction in male or female patients.
It may be important to provide psychological support to patients throughout the period of HSCT in consideration of differences in mood changes associated with the underlying disease and patient sex in order to provide efficient psychiatric intervention for both better psychiatric and survival outcomes.
Panic disorder is one of the anxiety disorders, and anxiety is associated with some locomotor activity changes such as "restlessness". However, there have been few studies on locomotor activity in panic disorder using actigraphy, although many studies on other psychiatric disorders have been reported using actigraphy. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between panic disorder and locomotor activity pattern using a wrist-worn activity monitor. In addition, an ecological momentary assessment technique was used to record panic attacks in natural settings.
Sixteen patients with panic disorder were asked to wear a watch-type computer as an electronic diary for recording panic attacks for two weeks. In addition, locomotor activity was measured and recorded continuously in an accelerometer equipped in the watch-type computer. Locomotor activity data were analyzed using double cosinor analysis to calculate mesor and the amplitude and acrophase of each of the circadian rhythm and 12-hour harmonic component. Correlations between panic disorder symptoms and locomotor activity were investigated.
There were significant positive correlations between the frequency of panic attacks and mesor calculated from double cosinor analysis of locomotor activity (r = 0.55) and between HAM-A scores and mesor calculated from double cosinor analysis of locomotor activity (r = 0.62).
Panic disorder patients with more panic attacks and more anxiety have greater objectively assessed locomotor activity, which may reflect the "restlessness" of anxiety disorders.
The objective of this study is to examine the stress and mood changes of Japanese subjects over the 1–3 days before a migraine headache.
The study participants were 16 patients with migraines who consented to participate in this study. Each subject kept a headache diary four times a day for two weeks. They evaluated the number of stressful events, daily hassles, domestic and non-domestic stress, anxiety, depressive tendency and irritability by visual analog scales. The days were classified into migraine days, pre-migraine days, buffer days and control days based on the intensity of the headaches and accompanying symptoms, and a comparative study was conducted for each factor on the migraine days, pre-migraine days and control days.
The stressful event value of pre-migraine days showed no significant difference compared to other days. The daily hassle value of pre-migraine days was the highest and was significantly higher than that of buffer days. In non-domestic stress, values on migraine days were significantly higher than on other days, and there was no significant difference between pre-migraine days and buffer days or between pre-migraine days and control days. There was no significant difference in the values of domestic stress between the categories. In non-domestic stress, values on migraine days were significantly higher than other days, and there was no significant difference between pre-migraine days and buffer days or between pre-migraine days and control days.
There was little difference in sleep quality on migraine and pre-migraine days, but other psychological factors were higher on migraine days than on pre-migraine days.
Psychosocial stress preceding the onset of migraines by several days was suggested to play an important role in the occurrence of migraines. However, stress 2–3 days before a migraine attack was not so high as it has been reported to be in the United States and Europe. There was no significant difference in the values of psychological factors between pre-migraine days and other days.
Many physical diseases have been reported to be associated with psychosocial factors. In these diseases, assessment relies mainly on subjective symptoms in natural settings. Therefore, it is important to assess symptoms and/or relationships between psychosocial factors and symptoms in natural settings. Symptoms are usually assessed by self-report when patients visit their doctors. However, self-report by recall has an intrinsic problem; "recall bias". Recently, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) has been proposed as a reliable method to assess and record events and subjective symptoms as well as physiological and behavioral variables in natural settings. Although EMA is a useful method to assess stress-related diseases, it has not been fully acknowledged, especially by clinicians. Therefore, the present brief review introduces the application and future direction of EMA for the assessment and intervention for stress-related diseases.
Mental or cognitive brain functions, and the effect on them of abnormal psychiatric diseases, are difficult to approach through molecular biological techniques due to the lack of appropriate assay systems with objective measures. We therefore study laws of behavioral organization, specifically how resting and active periods are interwoven throughout daily life, using objective criteria, and first discover that identical laws hold both for healthy humans subject to the full complexity of daily life, and wild-type mice subject to maximum environmental constraints. We find that active period durations with physical activity counts successively above a predefined threshold, when rescaled with individual means, follow a universal stretched exponential (gamma-type) cumulative distribution, while resting period durations below the threshold obey a universal power-law cumulative distribution with identical parameter values for both of the mammalian species. Further, by analyzing the behavioral organization of mice with a circadian clock gene (Period2) eliminated, and humans suffering from major depressive disorders, we find significantly lower parameter values (power-law scaling exponents) for the resting period durations in both these cases. Such a universality and breakdown of the behavioral organization of mice and humans, revealed through objective measures, is expected to facilitate the understanding of the molecular basis of the pathophysiology of neurobehavioral diseases, including depression, and lay the foundations for formulating a range of neuropsychiatric behavioral disorder models.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)23 is a novel phosphaturic factor associated with inorganic phosphate homeostasis. Previous human studies have shown that serum FGF23 levels increase in response to a high phosphate diet. For anorexia nervosa (AN) patients, inorganic phosphate homeostasis is important in the clinical course, such as in refeeding syndrome. The purpose of this study was to determine plasma levels of intact FGF23 (iFGF23) in restricting-type AN (AN-R) patients, binge-eating/purging-type AN (AN-BP) patients, and healthy controls.
The subjects consisted of 6 female AN-R patients, 6 female AN-BP patients, and 11 healthy female controls; both inpatients and outpatients were included. Plasma iFGF23, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25-(OH)2D), and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels were measured. Data are presented as the median and the range. A two-tailed Mann-Whitney U-test with Bonferroni correction was used to assess differences among the three groups, and a value of p < 0.017 was considered statistically significant.
There were no differences between AN-R patients and controls in the iFGF23 and 1,25-(OH)2D levels. In AN-BP patients, the iFGF23 level (41.3 pg/ml; range, 6.1–155.5 pg/ml) was significantly higher than in controls (3.8 pg/ml; range, not detected-21.3 pg/ml; p = 0.001), and the 1,25-(OH)2D was significantly lower in AN-BP patients (7.0 pg/ml; range, 4.2–33.7 pg/ml) than in controls (39.7 pg/ml; range, 6.3–58.5 pg/ml; p = 0.015). No differences in plasma 25-OHD levels were observed among the groups.
This preliminary study is the first to show that plasma iFGF23 levels are increased in AN-BP patients, and that these elevated plasma FGF23 levels might be related to the decrease in plasma 1,25-(OH)2D levels.