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Biol Psychiatry ; 2020 Feb 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32199607


BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia (SZ) is associated with increased all-cause mortality, smoking, and age-associated proteins, yet multiple previous studies found no association between SZ and biological age using Horvath's epigenetic clock, a well-established aging biomarker based on DNA methylation. However, numerous epigenetic clocks that may capture distinct aspects of aging have been developed. This study tested the hypothesis that altered aging in SZ manifests in these other clocks. METHODS: We performed a comprehensive analysis of 14 epigenetic clocks categorized according to what they were trained to predict: chronological age, mortality, mitotic divisions, or telomere length. To understand the etiology of biological age differences, we also examined DNA methylation predictors of smoking, alcohol, body mass index, serum proteins, and cell proportions. We independently analyzed 3 publicly available multiethnic DNA methylation data sets from whole blood, a total of 567 SZ cases and 594 nonpsychiatric controls. RESULTS: All data sets showed accelerations in SZ for the 3 mortality clocks up to 5 years, driven by smoking and elevated levels of 6 age-associated proteins. The 2 mitotic clocks were decelerated in SZ related to antitumor natural killer and CD8T cells, which may help explain conflicting reports about low cancer rates in epidemiological studies of SZ. One cohort with available medication data showed that clozapine is associated with male-specific decelerations up to 7 years in multiple chronological age clocks. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates the utility of studying the various epigenetic clocks in tandem and highlights potential mechanisms by which mental illness influences long-term outcomes, including cancer and early mortality.

Front Psychiatry ; 10: 150, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30967801


Illness anxiety disorder (IAD, formerly hypochondriasis) is characterized by preoccupation with fear of serious illness despite medical reassurance. IAD is common, debilitating, challenging to treat, and results in high healthcare utilization. Outpatient management of IAD is challenging because patients can compulsively seek reassurance from numerous providers, which interferes with learning more productive coping skills. We present the case of a woman with severe IAD who presented to the emergency room with increasing frequency over several months, despite regular outpatient medical visits and escalating psychiatric care. We made the unusual decision to hospitalize her for IAD for 1 month, in the absence of typical hospitalization criteria. This hospitalization allowed us to consolidate all medical and psychiatric care into a single provider team and train all staff and family to communicate with her in a consistent manner. We successfully treated her by integrating a general cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) protocol into medical care and decision-making. In response to her numerous health concerns, we minimized medical work-up, reassurance, and reactive medication changes, and instead used the concerns as opportunities to reinforce the psychotherapy. This approach allowed us to simplify her medication regimen and manage her co-morbid hypertension and vitamin deficiencies. Though inpatient hospitalization is likely infeasible in most cases of IAD, outpatient providers may create similar treatment plans based on the example of our case report, without needing highly specialized expertise. Such a plan would require a straightforward understanding of IAD psychology, which we review here, combined with readily accessible tools including a universal CBT protocol, online CBT courses, and clinical symptom scales. We discuss our approach for responding to health concerns, maintaining therapeutic alliance, integrating CBT principles into patient interactions, and managing medications. Since patients with IAD share health concerns with all providers, staff, and family, we also include our own IAD communication guide, appropriate for a general audience, that demonstrates how to respond in these conversations.