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In This Issue of JAMA Psychiatry
September 2014


JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(9):979. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.2751


LaFrance and colleagues performed a multisite, multiple-modality, and pilot randomized clinical trial for psychogenic nonepileptic (conversion disorder) seizures. Individuals who received the 12-session manualized psychotherapy for psychogenic nonepileptic seizures showed significant reduction in seizures, improvements in comorbidities (depression and anxiety), quality of life, and functioning. Patients who received standard medical care showed no improvements.

Hampton and colleagues used nationally representative public health surveillance data to estimate the numbers and rates of emergency department visits by adults for psychiatric medication adverse events. They found approximately 90 000 annual visits of this nature; 10 drugs were implicated in nearly 60% of visits and zolpidem tartrate was implicated in nearly 12% of visits. Antipsychotics and lithium salts were implicated in the most emergency department visits relative to the number of outpatient visits when they were prescribed.

Using data from a longitudinal birth cohort, of whom 57% had been exposed to the Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquakes that took place in 2010 and 2011, Fergusson and colleagues examined relationships between earthquake exposure and mental health outcomes following the earthquakes, after adjustment for confounding factors. Individuals with high levels of earthquake exposure had rates of mental disorder (including major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, and nicotine dependence) that were 1.4 times (95% confidence interval, 1.1-1.7) higher than those not exposed.

Lagarde and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study of 1 361 patients attending an emergency department for injuries and described symptoms reported 3 months following the trauma. Persistent subjective symptoms frequently reported 3 months after a mild traumatic brain injury do not meet criteria termed as part of a postconcussion syndrome and are already captured by the hyperarousal dimension of posttraumatic stress disorder .

Zavos and colleagues investigated the degree of genetic and environmental influences on specific psychotic experiences assessed dimensionally in adolescents and in individuals with frequent experiences. The same genetic and environmental factors appear to influence extreme frequent psychotic experiences and milder less frequent manifestations. Heritability was highest for paranoia and negative symptoms and lowest for hallucinations. Environmental influences explain more variance in psychotic experiences in adolescence than in schizophrenia liability in adulthood.