New Insights in Psychiatric Disorder Psychopharmacology

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychiatric Diseases".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 28653

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Unit of Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Neurosciences/DIMSC, Polytechnic University of Marche, 60126 Ancona, Italy
Interests: digital psychiatry; digital phenotyping; youth mental health; web-based psychopathology; techno-addictions; behavioural addictions; gaming disorder; internet addiction; social media addiction; eating disorders; youth psychopathology
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Co-Guest Editor
School of Medicine (IUMS), Tehran, Iran
Interests: psychopharmacology; neuropsychopharmacology; clinical psychiatry; mental illness; treatment; psychoeducation; clinical neuroscience; psychological assessment; rehabilitation psychology and psychiatry; therapeutic outcomes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The development of a plethora of new therapeutic psychopharmacological targets as well as advances in the clinical and research in the field of psychopharmacology has allowed the implementation of new research trajectories and facilitated advances toward a more personalized and patient-tailored psychopharmacology. 

In this Special Issue, preclinical and clinical studies specifically focusing on new insights and recent advances in psychopharmacology are welcome, including safety, tolerability, efficacy studies, focusing on special populations (e.g., pregnant and/or breastfed women, the elderly, youths) as well as studies coming from the real-world clinical experiences (e.g., case report, case series, and naturalistic observational studies), meta-analyses, and systematic reviews in the field.   

Dr. Laura Orsolini
Dr. Mohammadreza Shalbafan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Brain Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • psychopharmacology
  • psychiatry psychopharmacology
  • youth psychopharmacology
  • new treatment targets in psychiatry
  • personalized psychiatry

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 1586 KiB  
Article
Safety and Efficacy of Drug Holidays for Women with Sexual Dysfunction Induced by Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) Other than Fluoxetine: An Open-Label Randomized Clinical Trial
by Elham Lalegani, Negin Eissazade, Mohammadreza Shalbafan, Razieh Salehian, Seyed Vahid Shariat, Sanaz Askari, Laura Orsolini and Shiva Soraya
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(10), 1397; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13101397 - 30 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1037
Abstract
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the cornerstone of psychopharmacology. However, they cause side effects such as sexual dysfunction, leading to the discontinuation of treatment. We aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of drug holidays for women experiencing sexual dysfunction Induced by [...] Read more.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the cornerstone of psychopharmacology. However, they cause side effects such as sexual dysfunction, leading to the discontinuation of treatment. We aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of drug holidays for women experiencing sexual dysfunction Induced by SSRIs other than fluoxetine. This study was an 8-week randomized, open-label, controlled trial including married women aged between 18 and 50 years who had experienced sexual dysfunction while undergoing treatment with SSRIs. The intervention group implemented drug holidays by not taking medications on Thursdays and Fridays, while the control group continued regular medication use. The female sexual function index (FSFI) and the 28-question general health questionnaire (GHQ-28) were administered to assess sexual function and mental health, respectively. A total of 50 participants completed the trial. The drug holidays’ group showed significant improvements in arousal (p < 0.001), desire (p = 0.001), orgasm (p < 0.001), satisfaction (p < 0.001), lubrication (p = 0.021), and overall sexual health (p < 0.001). The between-group difference of pain was significant (p < 0.001), despite no significant within-group change. Mental health improved in both groups, despite no significant between-group difference. No major adverse effects were reported. Drug holidays did not introduce immediate safety concerns or significant adverse effects during the timeframe of eight weeks, suggesting that it may be a safe and effective strategy for managing SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction in women, alongside improving mental health. Further research is needed to reach a definitive conclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Psychiatric Disorder Psychopharmacology)
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13 pages, 1004 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of SGA-LAIs on Clinical, Cognitive, and Social Domains in Schizophrenia: Results from a Prospective Naturalistic Study
by Renato de Filippis, Filippo Antonio Staltari, Matteo Aloi, Elvira Anna Carbone, Marianna Rania, Laura Destefano, Luca Steardo Jr., Cristina Segura-Garcia and Pasquale De Fazio
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(4), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13040577 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1662
Abstract
We hypothesized that shifting from oral second-generation antipsychotics (SGA) to their long-acting injectable (LAI) counterpart would be beneficial for the psychopathological, cognitive, social, and general health domains in outpatients suffering from schizophrenia. We aimed to evaluate the prospective usefulness of SGA-LAI treatment by [...] Read more.
We hypothesized that shifting from oral second-generation antipsychotics (SGA) to their long-acting injectable (LAI) counterpart would be beneficial for the psychopathological, cognitive, social, and general health domains in outpatients suffering from schizophrenia. We aimed to evaluate the prospective usefulness of SGA-LAI treatment by carrying out a head-to-head comparison of two different medications (i.e., aripiprazole monohydrate (Ari-LAI) and paliperidone palmitate 1 and 3 month (PP1M, PP3M)) in a real-world setting, assessing the effectiveness and tolerability of Ari-LAI and PP1M/PP3M over a 15 month follow-up. A total of 69 consecutive individuals affected by schizophrenia were screened for eligibility. Finally, 46 outpatients (29 treated with Ari-LAI, 13 with PP1M, and four with PP3M) were evaluated through clinical, functional, and neuropsychological assessment administrated at baseline and after 3-, 12-, and 15-month follow-up periods. Moreover, periodic general medical evaluations were carried out. We estimated an overall improvement over time on the explored outcomes, without differences with respect to the type of LAI investigated, and with a global 16.4% dropout rate. Our findings suggest that switching from oral SGA to SGA-LAIs represents a valid and effective treatment strategy, with significant improvements on psychopathological, cognitive, social, and clinical variables for patients suffering from schizophrenia, regardless of the type of molecule chosen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Psychiatric Disorder Psychopharmacology)
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13 pages, 1500 KiB  
Article
Current Opinions about the Use of Duloxetine: Results from a Survey Aimed at Psychiatrists
by M. A. Alvarez-Mon, Cielo García-Montero, Oscar Fraile-Martinez, Javier Quintero, Sonia Fernandez-Rojo, Fernando Mora, Luis Gutiérrez-Rojas, Rosa M. Molina-Ruiz, Guillermo Lahera, Melchor Álvarez-Mon and Miguel A. Ortega
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(2), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13020333 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5009
Abstract
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a complex psychiatric disorder that, presented alone or with other comorbidities, requires different adjustments of antidepressant treatments. Some investigations have demonstrated that psychoactive drugs, such as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), can exert more effective and faster [...] Read more.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a complex psychiatric disorder that, presented alone or with other comorbidities, requires different adjustments of antidepressant treatments. Some investigations have demonstrated that psychoactive drugs, such as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), can exert more effective and faster antidepressant effects than other common medications used, such as serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), although these differences are still controversial. During the last five years, the SNRI duloxetine has shown favorable results in clinical practice for the treatment of MDD, anxiety, and fibromyalgia. Through an online self-completed survey, in the present article, we collected information from 163 psychiatrists regarding the use of duloxetine and its comparison with other psychiatric drugs, concerning psychiatrists’ knowledge and experience, as well as patients’ preferences, symptoms, and well-being. We discussed and contrasted physicians’ reports and the scientific literature, finding satisfactory concordances, and finally concluded that there is agreement regarding the use of duloxetine, not only due to its tolerability and effectiveness but also due to the wide variety of situations in which it can be used (e.g., somatic symptoms in fibromyalgia, diabetes) as it relieves neuropathic pain as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Psychiatric Disorder Psychopharmacology)
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Review

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23 pages, 375 KiB  
Review
Novel Compounds in the Treatment of Schizophrenia—A Selective Review
by Evangelia Maria Tsapakis, Kalliopi Diakaki, Apostolos Miliaras and Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(8), 1193; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13081193 - 11 Aug 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4246
Abstract
Schizophrenia is a chronic neuropsychiatric syndrome that significantly impacts daily function and quality of life. All of the available guidelines suggest a combined treatment approach with pharmacologic agents and psychological interventions. However, one in three patients is a non-responder, the effect on negative [...] Read more.
Schizophrenia is a chronic neuropsychiatric syndrome that significantly impacts daily function and quality of life. All of the available guidelines suggest a combined treatment approach with pharmacologic agents and psychological interventions. However, one in three patients is a non-responder, the effect on negative and cognitive symptoms is limited, and many drug-related adverse effects complicate clinical management. As a result, discovering novel drugs for schizophrenia presents a significant challenge for psychopharmacology. This selective review of the literature aims to outline the current knowledge on the aetiopathogenesis of schizophrenia and to present the recently approved and newly discovered pharmacological substances in treating schizophrenia. We discuss ten novel drugs, three of which have been approved by the FDA (Olanzapine/Samidorphan, Lumateperone, and Pimavanserin). The rest are under clinical trial investigation (Brilaroxazine, Xanomeline/Trospium, Emraclidine, Ulotaront, Sodium Benzoate, Luvadaxistat, and Iclepertin). However, additional basic and clinical research is required not only to improve our understanding of the neurobiology and the potential novel targets in the treatment of schizophrenia, but also to establish more effective therapeutical interventions for the syndrome, including the attenuation of negative and cognitive symptoms and avoiding dopamine blockade-related adverse effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Psychiatric Disorder Psychopharmacology)
14 pages, 702 KiB  
Review
Is It Time for a Paradigm Shift in the Treatment of Schizophrenia? The Use of Inflammation-Reducing and Neuroprotective Drugs—A Review
by Antonino Messina, Carmen Concerto, Alessandro Rodolico, Antonino Petralia, Filippo Caraci and Maria Salvina Signorelli
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(6), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13060957 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3015
Abstract
Comprehending the pathogenesis of schizophrenia represents a challenge for global mental health. To date, although it is evident that alterations in dopaminergic, serotonergic, and glutamatergic neurotransmission underlie the clinical expressiveness of the disease, neuronal disconnections represent only an epiphenomenon. In recent years, several [...] Read more.
Comprehending the pathogenesis of schizophrenia represents a challenge for global mental health. To date, although it is evident that alterations in dopaminergic, serotonergic, and glutamatergic neurotransmission underlie the clinical expressiveness of the disease, neuronal disconnections represent only an epiphenomenon. In recent years, several clinical studies have converged on the hypothesis of microglia hyperactivation and a consequent neuroinflammatory state as a pathogenic substrate of schizophrenia. Prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal factors can cause microglia to switch from M2 anti-inflammatory to M1 pro-inflammatory states. A continuous mild neuroinflammatory state progressively leads to neuronal loss, a reduction in dendritic spines, and myelin degeneration. The augmentation of drugs that reduce neuroinflammation to antipsychotics could be an effective therapeutic modality in managing schizophrenia. This review will consider studies in which drugs with anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties have been used in addition to antipsychotic treatment in patients with schizophrenia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Psychiatric Disorder Psychopharmacology)
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29 pages, 466 KiB  
Review
Current Perspectives on Pharmacological and Non-Pharmacological Interventions for the Inflammatory Mechanism of Unipolar Depression
by Ioana-Alexandra Dogaru, Maria Gabriela Puiu, Mirela Manea and Vlad Dionisie
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(10), 1403; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12101403 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3040
Abstract
Since depression remains a major public health issue there is a constant need for new and more efficient therapeutic strategies based on the mechanisms involved in the aetiology of depression. Thus, the pathogenic link between depression and inflammation is considered to play a [...] Read more.
Since depression remains a major public health issue there is a constant need for new and more efficient therapeutic strategies based on the mechanisms involved in the aetiology of depression. Thus, the pathogenic link between depression and inflammation is considered to play a potential key role in the development of such therapies. This review summarizes the results of various pharmacological (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, cyclooxygenase inhibitors, cytokine inhibitors, corticosteroids, statins, minocycline, N-acetyl cysteine, omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics) and non-pharmacological interventions (electroconvulsive therapy, physical exercise and psychological therapy) and outlines their efficacy and discusses potential challenges. Both conventional and non-conventional anti-inflammatory drugs showed promising results according to the specific group of patients. The pre-existing pro-inflammatory status was, in most cases, a predictor for clinical efficacy and, in some cases, a correlation between clinical improvement and changes in various biomarkers was found. Some of the non-pharmacological interventions (physical exercise and electroconvulsive therapy) have also showed beneficial effects for depressive patients with elevated inflammatory markers. Treatments with anti-inflammatory action may improve clinical outcomes in depression, at least for some categories of patients, thus opening the way for a future personalised approach to patients with unipolar depression regarding the inflammation-related mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Psychiatric Disorder Psychopharmacology)
14 pages, 352 KiB  
Review
Ketamine as a Novel Psychopharmacotherapy for Eating Disorders: Evidence and Future Directions
by Anya Ragnhildstveit, Matthew Slayton, Laura Kate Jackson, Madeline Brendle, Sachin Ahuja, Willis Holle, Claire Moore, Kellie Sollars, Paul Seli and Reid Robison
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030382 - 12 Mar 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 7182
Abstract
Eating disorders (EDs) are serious, life-threatening psychiatric conditions associated with physical and psychosocial impairment, as well as high morbidity and mortality. Given the chronic refractory nature of EDs and the paucity of evidence-based treatments, there is a pressing need to identify novel approaches [...] Read more.
Eating disorders (EDs) are serious, life-threatening psychiatric conditions associated with physical and psychosocial impairment, as well as high morbidity and mortality. Given the chronic refractory nature of EDs and the paucity of evidence-based treatments, there is a pressing need to identify novel approaches for this population. The noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) antagonist, ketamine, has recently been approved for treatment-resistant depression, exerting rapid and robust antidepressant effects. It is now being investigated for several new indications, including obsessive–compulsive, post-traumatic, and substance use disorder, and shows transdiagnostic potential for EDs, particularly among clinical nonresponders. Hence, the aim of this review is to examine contemporary findings on the treatment of EDs with ketamine, whether used as a primary, adjunctive, or combination psychopharmacotherapy. Avenues for future research are also discussed. Overall, results are encouraging and point to therapeutic value; however, are limited to case series and reports on anorexia nervosa. Further empirical research is thus needed to explore ketamine efficacy across ED subgroups, establish safety profiles and optimize dosing, and develop theory-driven, targeted treatment strategies at the individual patient level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Psychiatric Disorder Psychopharmacology)

Other

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9 pages, 809 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Systematic Review on the Potential of Aspirin to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk in Schizophrenia
by Joseph Dao, Savreen Saran, Melody Wang, Christina Michael, Nhu-y Phan and Alfredo Bellon
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(2), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13020368 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2047
Abstract
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide. Patients with mental health disorders, including schizophrenia (SCZ) are known to have an increased risk for CVD. Given the association with metabolic syndrome, patients with SCZ [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide. Patients with mental health disorders, including schizophrenia (SCZ) are known to have an increased risk for CVD. Given the association with metabolic syndrome, patients with SCZ are often prescribed metformin and statins but its impact remains unsatisfactory. The use of aspirin (ASA) to decrease cardiovascular risk in the general population has been thoroughly investigated and clear guidelines are currently in place. Since adjuvant treatment with ASA could possibly decrease CVD risk and mortality in SCZ, we conducted a systematic review of the literature to determine the state of the current literature on this subject. Our systematic review points to gaps in the literature on CVD prevention in SCZ and illustrates an obvious need for further research. Although several studies have shown increased CVD risk in SCZ, to date, no research has been conducted on the utilization of CVD preventative treatment such as ASA for SCZ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Psychiatric Disorder Psychopharmacology)
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