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Concept: Generalized anxiety disorder

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There are relatively few existing studies examining neuropsychological functioning in social phobia (SP), which collectively yield mixed results. Interpretation of results is further complicated by a number of methodological inconsistencies across studies, including the examination of neuropsychological domains in relative isolation from one another. The present study utilized a broader collection of neuropsychological tests to assess nine domains of functioning in 25 individuals diagnosed with generalized SP and 25 nonpsychiatric controls (NC). A mixed ANOVA revealed neither a significant group by domain interaction, nor a significant main effect of group. Furthermore, no significant group differences emerged between the SP and NC groups within each specific neuropsychological domain. These findings suggest that underlying neuropsychological deficits are not likely to account for the information processing biases observed in the empirical literature, and appear to be consistent with current theoretical models which argue for the specificity of these biases to social information.

Concepts: Scientific method, Generalized anxiety disorder, Fear, Fight-or-flight response, Social anxiety disorder, Panic attack, Phobias, Specific social phobia

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Cognitive theorists relate anxiety disorders to the way in which emotional information is processed. The existing research suggests that patients with anxiety disorders tend to allocate their attention toward threat-related information selectively, and this may differ among different types of anxious subjects. The aim of this study was to explore attentional bias in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder (PD) using the emotional Stroop task and compare the differences between them.

Concepts: Psychology, Anxiety disorder, Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, Alprazolam, Fear, Anxiety disorders, Social anxiety disorder

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Studies have shown that area-level deprivation measured by factors, such as non-home ownership, non-car ownership and household overcrowding, can increase the risk for mental disorders over and above individual-level circumstances, such as education and social class. Whether area-level deprivation is associated with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) independent of personal circumstances, and whether this association is different between British women and men is unknown.

Concepts: Sociology, Mental disorder, Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, Alprazolam, Anxiety disorders, Social anxiety disorder, Insomnia

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Cannabidiol (CBD), a Cannabis sativa constituent, is a pharmacologically broad-spectrum drug that in recent years has drawn increasing interest as a treatment for a range of neuropsychiatric disorders. The purpose of the current review is to determine CBD’s potential as a treatment for anxiety-related disorders, by assessing evidence from preclinical, human experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies. We found that existing preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder when administered acutely; however, few studies have investigated chronic CBD dosing. Likewise, evidence from human studies supports an anxiolytic role of CBD, but is currently limited to acute dosing, also with few studies in clinical populations. Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, with need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations.

Concepts: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Anxiety disorder, Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, Alprazolam, Anxiety disorders, Social anxiety disorder

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BACKGROUND: Religious participation or belief may predict better mental health but most research is American and measures of spirituality are often conflated with well-being. AIMS: To examine associations between a spiritual or religious understanding of life and psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses. METHOD: We analysed data collected from interviews with 7403 people who participated in the third National Psychiatric Morbidity Study in England. RESULTS: Of the participants 35% had a religious understanding of life, 19% were spiritual but not religious and 46% were neither religious nor spiritual. Religious people were similar to those who were neither religious nor spiritual with regard to the prevalence of mental disorders, except that the former were less likely to have ever used drugs (odds ratio (OR) = 0.73, 95% CI 0.60-0.88) or be a hazardous drinker (OR = 0.81, 95% CI 0.69-0.96). Spiritual people were more likely than those who were neither religious nor spiritual to have ever used (OR = 1.24, 95% CI 1.02-1.49) or be dependent on drugs (OR = 1.77, 95% CI 1.20-2.61), and to have abnormal eating attitudes (OR = 1.46, 95% CI 1.10-1.94), generalised anxiety disorder (OR = 1.50, 95% CI 1.09-2.06), any phobia (OR = 1.72, 95% CI 1.07-2.77) or any neurotic disorder (OR = 1.37, 95% CI 1.12-1.68). They were also more likely to be taking psychotropic medication (OR = 1.40, 95% CI 1.05-1.86). CONCLUSIONS: People who have a spiritual understanding of life in the absence of a religious framework are vulnerable to mental disorder.

Concepts: Mental health, Mental disorder, Abnormal psychology, Psychiatry, Generalized anxiety disorder, Psychiatric medication, Insomnia, Spirituality

31

During Flotation-REST a person is floating inside a quiet and dark tank, filled with heated salt saturated water. Deep relaxation and beneficial effects on e.g. stress, sleep difficulties, anxiety and depression have been documented in earlier research. Despite that treatments for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are effective; it is till the least successfully treated anxiety disorder, indicating that treatment protocols can be enhanced. The use of Flotation-REST as a treatment of GAD has not been researched. The aim of the present study was to conduct an initial evaluation of the effects in a self-diagnosed GAD sample.

Concepts: Anxiety, Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic disorder

30

Abstract Objective - Silexan is a lavender oil preparation in gelatine capsules containing 80 mg. We review clinical trials investigating the anxiolytic efficacy and tolerability of Silexan as well as its safety and potential for drug interactions. Methods - 7 trials were included. 4 therapeutic trials had a treatment duration of 6 or 10 weeks. Results - In patients with subsyndromal anxiety or generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) an anxiolytic effect of Silexan was evident after 2 weeks. Patients treated with Silexan showed Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) total score decreases by between 10.4 ? 7.1 and 12.0 ? 7.2 points at Week 6 and between 11.8 ? 7.7 and 16.0 ? 8.3 points at Week 10. HAMA total score reductions between baseline and end of treatment were significantly superior to placebo in patients with subsyndromal anxiety and comparable to lorazepam in its starting dose in patients with GAD. Conclusions - Silexan had beneficial effects on typical co-morbidity symptoms of anxiety disorders, e. g., disturbed sleep, somatic complaints, or decreased quality of life. Except for mild gastrointestinal symptoms the drug was devoid of adverse effects and did not cause drug interactions or withdrawal symptoms at daily doses of 80 or 160 mg.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, Alprazolam, Anxiety disorders, Social anxiety disorder, Insomnia, Anxiolytic

29

Mindfulness-Based interventions have increased in popularity in psychiatry, but the impact of these treatments on disorder-relevant biomarkers would greatly enhance efficacy and mechanistic evidence. If Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is successfully treated, relevant biomarkers should change, supporting the impact of treatment and suggesting improved resilience to stress. Seventy adults with GAD were randomized to receive either Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or an attention control class; before and after, they underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Area-Under-the-Curve (AUC) concentrations were calculated for adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and pro-inflammatory cytokines. MBSR participants had a significantly greater reduction in ACTH AUC compared to control participants. Similarly, the MBSR group had a greater reduction in inflammatory cytokines' AUC concentrations. We found larger reductions in stress markers for patients with GAD in the MBSR class compared to control; this provides the first combined hormonal and immunological evidence that MBSR may enhance resilience to stress.

Concepts: Cytokine, Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic disorder

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PURPOSE: Pregabalin (PRG) is approved for the treatment of neuropathic pain, partial seizures and generalised anxiety disorder in many countries and currently under study for other indications. Supported by case reports and the results of a limited number of studies there is an ongoing debate on the potential of PRG to cause addictive behaviours. However, currently available evidence on this issue is sparse, and any definitive assessment of PRG’s potential for abuse and dependence is not yet in sight. The aim of our study was to identify the number of cases of PRG abuse or dependence reported to the database of a German medical regulatory body and to obtain insights into further usage-specific parameters. METHODS: We conducted a query of the entire database of the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) regarding reports of PRG abuse or dependence and analysed these cases on the basis of several parameters. RESULTS: A total of 55 reports of PRG abuse or dependence were identified (mean age 36 years, 64 % of reports involved males). The first reports were submitted to BfArM in 2008, and the reporting frequency has increased up to the present. Mean daily PRG dosage was 1424 mg. Current or previous polytoxicomania was present in 40 and 42 % of cases, respectively. Psychiatric diagnoses other than substance-related disorders were reported in 13 (24 %) cases. In about one-third of the patients withdrawal syndromes subsequent to discontinuation of PRG were reported. CONCLUSIONS: Cases of PRG abuse or dependence have been reported to the BfArM since 2008, with a marked increase of such reports in subsequent years. Male sex and a history of polytoxicomania may be possible risk factors for the development of addictive behaviours related to PRG.

Concepts: Drug addiction, Addiction, Antidepressant, Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, Physical dependence, Withdrawal, Pregabalin

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To compare the efficacy of telephone-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia to an information pamphlet control on sleep and daytime functioning at pretreatment, posttreatment, and 12-wk follow-up.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Clinical psychology, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Psychotherapy, Generalized anxiety disorder, Behaviour therapy, Zopiclone