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Highlights from the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry (June - December of 2022)


The Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, formerly “Nordisk Psykiatrisk Tidsskrift”, is an international journal that publishes excellent psychiatric research with a broad scope. It is the official journal for the eight psychiatric associations in the Nordic and Baltic countries. It is a main source of information about current Nordic psychiatry and related fields, The journal is distributed to members of the Nordic and Baltic Psychiatric Associations as well as to members of Associations for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. This gives access to all articles published in the journal from 1946.

Malingering in emergency psychiatry

Malingering can be divided into simulation and exaggeration of symptoms. Doctors suspect malingering frequently in psychiatric emergency departments. The authors aim of this study is to survey how often doctors in psychiatric emergency units in a public, free-of-charge, mental health service suspect that patients are malingering, and which diagnoses, symptom complaints and suspected reasons for malingering doctors ascribe to their patients. They distributed questionnaires in three psychiatric emergency departments in Denmark. They found that among 362 questionnaires filled in,25% of patients were suspected of simulating to some degree. 8% of patients were highly suspected or definitely believed to be simulating. Patients complaining of suicidal ideation were most frequently suspected of malingering. 'Attention seeking' was the most common suspected reason for malingering. Patients with diagnoses of substance use and personality disorder were the most suspected of malingering. The authors encourage doctors to act conservatively upon suspicion of malingering in emergency psychiatry.

Mateo Boberg, Ulrik Jeppesen, Sidse Arnfred, Julie Nordgaard. Do we know the mind of others? Suspicion of malingering in emergency psychiatry. Nord J Psychiatry. 2022 Jun 17;1-6. doi: 10.1080/08039488.2022.2083676.Online ahead of print. PMID: 35714972

Oxytocin in anxiety disorder

The authors aimed at studying the association between oxytocin (OXT) plasma levels and clinical and hormonal parameters in panic disorder (PD). Twenty-four consecutively-referred, acutely-ill, medication-free PD patients, completed clinical measures and plasma levels of OXT, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol were evaluated. They found that OXT levels were, negatively associated with anxiety scores and found no correlations between OXT levels and ACTH, and cortisol. They conclude that in acutely-ill, medication-free PD patients, OXT plasma levels may be relevant to the severity of their 'general' anxiety symptoms, but not to the 'specific' panic psychopathology.

Vasilios G Masdrakis, Charalambos Papageorgiou, Manolis Markianos. Correlations of plasma oxytocin with clinical and hormonal parameters in panic disorder. Nord J Psychiatry. 2022 Jun 17;1-6. doi: 10.1080/08039488.2022.2083675.Online ahead of print.PMID: 35714973

A comparison between young males and females with anorexia nervosa

The authors aimed to investigate differences in clinical presentations between males and females with anorexia nervosa (AN). Data were collected from case records for 41 males diagnosed with AN. Data for a comparison group of 41 females with AN were collected. They found no differences between the sexes in the percentage of expected weight at admission or discharge, or in psychiatric comorbidity. Treatment duration was equal for both sexes, but males received fewer treatment sessions than did females. The authors conclude that the clinical presentations of young males and females with AN were very similar.

Karin Wallin, Ulf Wallin, Elisabet Wentz, Maria Råstam, Per Johnsson. A comparison between young males and females with anorexia nervosa in a clinical setting. Nord J Psychiatry. 2022 Oct 22;1-5. doi: 10.1080/08039488.2022.2127883.Online ahead of print. PMID: 36271856

The use of classic psychedelics among adults

Studies report preliminary therapeutic effects of classic psychedelic drugs in several psychiatric conditions and international drug trends show increased use of these compounds. In an anonymous online survey the authors investigated the patterns of use and the subjectively perceived acute and persisting effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin, N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and mescaline, among Danish adults. Five-hundred participants were included. Classic psychedelics were mostly used with therapeutic (28.0%) or spiritual (27.2%) intentions. Sixty-seven per cent used classic psychedelics once a year or less. Most participants (56.4%) preferred using psilocybin. Classic psychedelic use was for some individuals, associated with hazardous use of alcohol (39.4%). Among participants with a psychiatric treatment history, 80.9% reported subjective improvements in symptoms following classic psychedelic use. Participants' most memorable experiences were moderate-to-strong mystical-type experiences and had positive persisting effects on well-being, social relationships meaning of life, and mood. DMT users experienced significantly greater subjective positive effects. The authors conclude that classic psychedelics were mostly used therapeutically or spiritually and had self-reported positive persisting effects, but were also associated with hazardous use of alcohol, among Danish adults. DMT was associated with significantly greater positive effects compared to LSD and psilocybin.

Tobias Søgaard Juul, Mathias Ebbesen Jensen, Anders Fink-Jensen. The use of classic psychedelics among adults: a Danish online survey study. Nord J Psychiatry. 2022 Sep 29;1-12. doi: 10.1080/ 08039488.2022.2125069.Online ahead of print.PMID: 36173202 □


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