New Research Session Two: Highlights from the Poster Presentations

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How race, ethnicity, and culture affect bipolar disorder; dental care and L-lysine treatment in schizophrenia.

Highlights of the 79 posters presented during the second New Research session from 12:30-2:00PM on Monday, May 24 included the following.

The Impacts of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture on the Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder: A Review

Poster Number: NR2-23

Researchers: Sophia Haeri, BA, J. Williams, BA, A. Newmark, BA, I.

Kopeykina, BA, L. Cohen, PhD, I. Galynker, MD, PhD

Purpose: To draw “together the disparate strands of information in an up to date, comprehensive and digestible overview of the wide-ranging research base” on the “racial, ethnic and cultural disparities in diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder.”

Results: Haeri says that in “the US,African Americans have been found to be over four times more likely than Caucasians to be diagnosed withschizophrenia rather than with bipolar disorder,” with factors playing into the misdiagnosis that include “clinical presentation andexpression of symptoms (14% of papers), access to care andhelp-seeking behaviors (34% of papers), and culturalbackground and clinical judgment (21% of papers).” She feel that in orderto refine comparison of symptom presentation and localnorms, clinicians must cultivate understanding of the variouscultural contexts pertinent to their patient populations, suchas ethnicity, religiosity, and culture-specific idioms of distress.

Dental Care and Associated Factors among Older Adults with Schizophrenia

Poster Number: NR2-34

Researchers: Thulasiram Janardhanan, MD, StanleyKim, DDS, Jean-Claude Desrosiers, MD, Nikhil Palekar,MD, Susan Pugliese, DDS, Jasvir Singh, MD, Batool F Rizvi,DDS, Paul Ramirez, PhD, Carl I. Cohen, MD

Purpose:To compare the dental well-being of persons aged 55 years or older with schizophrenia to that of a matched group of people in the community.

Results:Although no difference was seen between the groups in regards to the percentage who visited the dentist at least once yearly, significant differences were seen in “the percentage of persons who stated that theyhad problems with their teeth/dentures” (41% of those with schizophrenia, 23% of people in the community). Janardhanan’s group concludes that additional studies are needed to determine why those with schizophrenia are not seeking dental care.

L-lysine Treatment Normalized Subcortical Acoustically Elicited, Masking-response in Patients with Schizophrenia

Poster Number: NR2-66

Researchers: Caroline Wass, PhD, E. Pålsson, PhD, D. Klamer, PhD,K. Fejgin, PhD, L. Svensson, PhD, J. A. Engel, J.Källstrand, MSc, S. Nehlstedt, MSc, B. Rembeck, PhD, MD

Purpose: To test the use of L-lysine in patients with schizophrenia, as available “antipsychotic treatments lack theability to alleviate both sensory information processing andcognitive deficits in patients with schizophrenia;” the“prevailing hypothesis is that these deficits may lead to preattentiveinformation processing and consequent cognitivedeficits;” both “experimental animal studies and clinicalhuman research demonstrate that the brain’s nitric oxidesignaling (NO) system is involved in the pathophysiology ofschizophrenia;” and “sensory information processing and cognitivedeficits are effectively blocked by inhibition of NO-synthesisin rodents” with L-lysine treatment.

Results: Administration of 4 weeks of L-lysine was well tolerated and lead to significant increases in “blood concentration of the amino acid in eight out of ten patients compared to baseline and placebo levels.” Also, normalization in masking was seen with this treatment.

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