Browsing Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior: Faculty Research and Presentations by Title
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Pharmacogenetics of antipsychotic adverse effects: Case studies and a literature review for clinicians.There is a growing body of literature supporting the contribution of genetic variability to the mechanisms responsible for the adverse effects of antipsychotic medications particularly movement disorders and weight gain. Despite the current gap between research studies and the practical tools available to the clinician to identify such risks, it is hoped that in the foreseeable future, pharmacogenetics will become a critical aid to guide the development of personalized therapeutic regimes with fewer adverse effects. We provide a summary of two cases that are examples of using cytochrome P450 pharmacogenetics in an attempt to guide treatment in the context of recent literature concerning the role of pharmacogenetics in the manifestation of adverse effects of antipsychotic therapies. These examples and the review of recent literature on pharmacogenetics of antipsychotic adverse effects illustrate the potential for applying the principles of predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine to the therapy of psychotic disorders.
Plasma BDNF Levels Vary in Relation to Body Weight in FemalesBrain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression as well as neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Recent studies show a role of BDNF in energy metabolism and body weight regulation. We examined BDNF levels in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from age matched elderly depressed and control subjects. Also, the association of BDNF levels with age, gender, body weight, body mass index (BMI), and cognitive performance was evaluated. We did not find any significant differences in plasma and CSF BDNF levels between depressed and control subjects. Plasma BDNF levels were negatively correlated with age (but not with BMI and body weight), when analyses were performed including both depressed and control subjects. A significant reduction in plasma BDNF levels was observed in females as compared to male subjects, and the change in BDNF levels were significantly and positively related to body weight in females. Furthermore, significant increases in Total Recall and Delayed Recall values were found in females as compared to males. In conclusion, the lower BDNF levels observed in females suggest that changes in peripheral BDNF levels are likely secondary to an altered energy balance. However, further studies using larger sample size are warranted.
Questionnaire Design and Responsiveness in a Data Capture Tool for Student Sharing of Experiences of Statewide Clerkship SitesPositive clerkship experiences and student performance in the clinical years has been correlated to perceived quality of education and specialty choice amongst medical students [1-3]. The Medical College of Georgia uses a distributed campus model with more than 250 clerkship rotation sites across the state and beyond, making student clerkship choices imperative to their development as physicians. We developed a survey to collect both quantitative and qualitative data from students during their clerkship years and a system to distribute that information to students. The data allowed us to evaluate the effectiveness of various question formats through responsiveness, the length of responses, and time spent on the survey. In addition to this, we looked at the number of responses per clerkship in order to see whether or not our survey was getting information about all of the 3rd year rotations. We aspire to take these findings and utilize them to expand t he program and improve the questionnaire in order to yield more responsiveness from students.