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Co-use of MDMA with psilocybin/LSD may buffer against challenging experiences and enhance positive experiences

Zeifman, Richard J; Kettner, Hannes; Pagni, Broc A; Mallard, Austin; Roberts, Daniel E; Erritzoe, David; Ross, Stephen; Carhart-Harris, Robin L
Psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) experiences can range from very positive to highly challenging (e.g., fear, grief, and paranoia). These challenging experiences contribute to hesitancy toward psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy among health care providers and patients. Co-use of 3,4-Methylenedioxy methamphetamine (MDMA) with psilocybin/LSD anecdotally reduces challenging experiences and enhances positive experiences associated with psilocybin/LSD. However, limited research has investigated the acute effects of co-use of MDMA and psilocybin/LSD. In a prospective convenience sample (N = 698) of individuals with plans to use psilocybin/LSD, we examined whether co-use of MDMA with psilocybin/LSD (n = 27) is associated with differences in challenging or positive experiences. Challenging experiences were measured using the Challenging Experiences Questionnaire and positive experiences were measured using the Mystical Experience Questionnaire and single-item measures of self-compassion, compassion, love, and gratitude. Potentially confounding variables were identified and included as covariates. Relative to psilocybin/LSD alone, co-use of psilocybin/LSD with a self-reported low (but not medium-high) dose of MDMA was associated with significantly less intense total challenging experiences, grief, and fear, as well as increased self-compassion, love and gratitude. Co-use of psilocybin/LSD and MDMA was not associated with differences in mystical-type experiences or compassion. Findings suggest co-use of MDMA with psilocybin/LSD may buffer against some aspects of challenging experiences and enhance certain positive experiences. Limitations include use of a convenience sample, small sample size, and non-experimental design. Additional studies (including controlled dose-response studies) that examine the effects and safety of co-administering MDMA with psilocybin/LSD (in healthy controls and clinical samples) are warranted and may assist the development of personalized treatments.
PMID: 37608057
ISSN: 2045-2322
CID: 5561742


Kolodziejczak, A; Guerrini-Rousseau, L; Planchon, J M; Ecker, J; Selt, F; Mynarek, M; Obrecht, D; Sill, M; Hirsch, S; Sturm, D; Waszak, S M; Ramaswamy, V; Pentikainen, V; Demir, H A; Clifford, S C; Schwalbe, E; Massimi, L; Snuderl, M; Galbraith, K; Karajannis, M A; Hill, K; Li, B; White, C L; Redmond, S; Loizos, L; Jakob, M; Kordes, U; Schmid, I; Hauer, J; Blattmann, C; Filippidou, M; Scheurlen, W; Kontny, U; Grund, K; Sutter, C; Pietsch, T; Van, Tilburg C M; Frank, S; Schewe, D M; Malkin, D; Taylor, M D; Tabori, U; Bouffet, E; Kool, M; Sahm, F; Von, Deimling A; Korshunov, A; Von, Hoff K; Kratz, C; Jones, D T W; Rutkowski, S; Witt, O; Bougeard, G; Pajtler, K W; Pfister, S M; Bourdeaut, F; Milde, T
PURPOSE: The prognosis for SHH-medulloblastoma (MB) patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) is poor. Due to lack of comprehensive data for these patients, it is challenging to establish effective therapeutic recommendations. We here describe the largest retrospective cohort of pediatric LFS SHH-MB patients to date and their clinical outcomes.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: N=31 patients with LFS SHH-MB were included in this retrospective multicenter study. TP53 variant type, clinical parameters including treatment modalities, event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS), as well as recurrence patterns and incidence of secondary neoplasms, were evaluated.
RESULT(S): All LFS-MBs were classified as SHH subgroup, in 30/31 cases based on DNA methylation analysis. The majority of constitutional TP53 variants (72%) represented missense variants, and all except two truncating variants were located within the DNA-binding domain. 54% were large cell anaplastic, 69% gross totally resected and 81% had M0 status. The 2-(y)ear and 5-(y)ear EFS were 26% and 8,8%, respectively, and 2y- and 5y-OS 40% and 12%. Patients who received post-operative radiotherapy (RT) followed by chemotherapy (CT) showed significantly better outcomes (2y-EFS:43%) compared to patients who received CT before RT (30%) (p<0.05). The 2y-EFS and 2y-OS were similar when treated with protocols including high-dose chemotherapy (EFS:22%, OS:44%) compared to patients treated with maintenance-type chemotherapy (EFS:31%, OS:45%). Recurrence occurred in 73.3% of cases independent of resection or M-status, typically within the radiation field (75% of RT-treated patients). Secondary malignancies developed in 12.5% and were cause of death in all affected patients.
CONCLUSION(S): Patients with LFS-MBs have a dismal prognosis. This retrospective study suggests that upfront RT may increase EFS, while intensive therapeutic approaches including high-dose chemotherapy did not translate into increased survival of this patient group. To improve outcomes of LFS-MB patients, prospective collection of clinical data and development of treatment guidelines are required
ISSN: 1523-5866
CID: 5292022

Effects of pre-operative isolation on postoperative pulmonary complications after elective surgery: an international prospective cohort study

COVIDSurg Collaborative; GlobalSurg Collaborative
We aimed to determine the impact of pre-operative isolation on postoperative pulmonary complications after elective surgery during the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We performed an international prospective cohort study including patients undergoing elective surgery in October 2020. Isolation was defined as the period before surgery during which patients did not leave their house or receive visitors from outside their household. The primary outcome was postoperative pulmonary complications, adjusted in multivariable models for measured confounders. Pre-defined sub-group analyses were performed for the primary outcome. A total of 96,454 patients from 114 countries were included and overall, 26,948 (27.9%) patients isolated before surgery. Postoperative pulmonary complications were recorded in 1947 (2.0%) patients of which 227 (11.7%) were associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Patients who isolated pre-operatively were older, had more respiratory comorbidities and were more commonly from areas of high SARS-CoV-2 incidence and high-income countries. Although the overall rates of postoperative pulmonary complications were similar in those that isolated and those that did not (2.1% vs 2.0%, respectively), isolation was associated with higher rates of postoperative pulmonary complications after adjustment (adjusted OR 1.20, 95%CI 1.05-1.36, p = 0.005). Sensitivity analyses revealed no further differences when patients were categorised by: pre-operative testing; use of COVID-19-free pathways; or community SARS-CoV-2 prevalence. The rate of postoperative pulmonary complications increased with periods of isolation longer than 3 days, with an OR (95%CI) at 4-7 days or ≥ 8 days of 1.25 (1.04-1.48), p = 0.015 and 1.31 (1.11-1.55), p = 0.001, respectively. Isolation before elective surgery might be associated with a small but clinically important increased risk of postoperative pulmonary complications. Longer periods of isolation showed no reduction in the risk of postoperative pulmonary complications. These findings have significant implications for global provision of elective surgical care.
PMID: 34371522
ISSN: 1365-2044
CID: 5561732

SARS-CoV-2 vaccination modelling for safe surgery to save lives: data from an international prospective cohort study

COVIDSurg Collaborative, GlobalSurg Collaborative
BACKGROUND:Preoperative SARS-CoV-2 vaccination could support safer elective surgery. Vaccine numbers are limited so this study aimed to inform their prioritization by modelling. METHODS:The primary outcome was the number needed to vaccinate (NNV) to prevent one COVID-19-related death in 1 year. NNVs were based on postoperative SARS-CoV-2 rates and mortality in an international cohort study (surgical patients), and community SARS-CoV-2 incidence and case fatality data (general population). NNV estimates were stratified by age (18-49, 50-69, 70 or more years) and type of surgery. Best- and worst-case scenarios were used to describe uncertainty. RESULTS:NNVs were more favourable in surgical patients than the general population. The most favourable NNVs were in patients aged 70 years or more needing cancer surgery (351; best case 196, worst case 816) or non-cancer surgery (733; best case 407, worst case 1664). Both exceeded the NNV in the general population (1840; best case 1196, worst case 3066). NNVs for surgical patients remained favourable at a range of SARS-CoV-2 incidence rates in sensitivity analysis modelling. Globally, prioritizing preoperative vaccination of patients needing elective surgery ahead of the general population could prevent an additional 58 687 (best case 115 007, worst case 20 177) COVID-19-related deaths in 1 year. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:As global roll out of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination proceeds, patients needing elective surgery should be prioritized ahead of the general population.
PMID: 33761533
ISSN: 1365-2168
CID: 5561812

Timing of surgery following SARS-CoV-2 infection: an international prospective cohort study

COVIDSurg Collaborative; GlobalSurg Collaborative
Peri-operative SARS-CoV-2 infection increases postoperative mortality. The aim of this study was to determine the optimal duration of planned delay before surgery in patients who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection. This international, multicentre, prospective cohort study included patients undergoing elective or emergency surgery during October 2020. Surgical patients with pre-operative SARS-CoV-2 infection were compared with those without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. The primary outcome measure was 30-day postoperative mortality. Logistic regression models were used to calculate adjusted 30-day mortality rates stratified by time from diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection to surgery. Among 140,231 patients (116 countries), 3127 patients (2.2%) had a pre-operative SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. Adjusted 30-day mortality in patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection was 1.5% (95%CI 1.4-1.5). In patients with a pre-operative SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, mortality was increased in patients having surgery within 0-2 weeks, 3-4 weeks and 5-6 weeks of the diagnosis (odds ratio (95%CI) 4.1 (3.3-4.8), 3.9 (2.6-5.1) and 3.6 (2.0-5.2), respectively). Surgery performed ≥ 7 weeks after SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis was associated with a similar mortality risk to baseline (odds ratio (95%CI) 1.5 (0.9-2.1)). After a ≥ 7 week delay in undertaking surgery following SARS-CoV-2 infection, patients with ongoing symptoms had a higher mortality than patients whose symptoms had resolved or who had been asymptomatic (6.0% (95%CI 3.2-8.7) vs. 2.4% (95%CI 1.4-3.4) vs. 1.3% (95%CI 0.6-2.0), respectively). Where possible, surgery should be delayed for at least 7 weeks following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Patients with ongoing symptoms ≥ 7 weeks from diagnosis may benefit from further delay.
PMID: 33690889
ISSN: 1365-2044
CID: 5561802

Brain Biopsy Findings Link Major Depressive Disorder to Neuroinflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Neurovascular Dysfunction: A Case Report [Letter]

Najjar, Souhel; Pearlman, Daniel M; Hirsch, Scott; Friedman, Kent; Strange, John; Reidy, Jason; Khoukaz, Maya; Ferrell, Richard B; Devinsky, Orrin; Najjar, Amanda; Zagzag, David
PMID: 24075735
ISSN: 0006-3223
CID: 688022

Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures and chronic pain: A retrospective case-controlled study

Gazzola, Deana M; Carlson, Chad; Rugino, Angela; Hirsch, Scott; Starner, Karen; Devinsky, Orrin
PURPOSE: Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) can be challenging to diagnose, but certain clinical features can help to distinguish PNES from epileptic seizures. The purpose of this study is to assess chronic pain and prescribed pain medication use in PNES patients. METHODS: A case-controlled, retrospective analysis was performed examining pain medication use in 85 PNES patients versus an active control group of 85 patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE). RESULTS: Chronic pain was more frequent among PNES patients (N=40) than active controls (N=10) (p<0.0001). Reported use of prescription pain medication was higher among PNES patients (N=20) versus active controls (N=6) (p=0.0048). The Positive Predictive Value of prescription pain medications for PNES patients was 76.9%. Opioid use in the PNES population was higher compared with active controls (p=0.0096). When excluding patients with a dual diagnosis of PNES and epilepsy from the latter two analyses and comparing these results to those that included this patient population, no statistically significant difference in results was found. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with PNES are more likely than those with IGE to report chronic pain disorders. A history of chronic pain and opioid use among patients with seizures raises the possibility of PNES. Among patients with PNES and chronic pain, a psychogenic etiology for pain and non-opiate pain management strategies should be considered.
PMID: 23165141
ISSN: 1525-5050
CID: 197382

Aripiprazole in children and adolescents with Tourette's disorder: an open-label safety and tolerability study

Lyon, Gholson J; Samar, Stephanie; Jummani, Rahil; Hirsch, Scott; Spirgel, Arie; Goldman, Rachel; Coffey, Barbara J
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to conduct a prospective safety and tolerability study of aripiprazole for the treatment of tics in children and adolescents with Tourette's disorder (TD). METHOD: Eleven subjects (10 males) with TD (age 9-19 years, mean 13.36, standard deviation [SD] 3.33) who did not respond or were unable to tolerate previous tic medication were treated with aripiprazole in an open-label, flexible-dosing study over 10 weeks. Tic severity was rated using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS) and the Clinical Global Impressions Scale for tics (CGI-Tics) at baseline and at follow-up. RESULTS: The mean (+/-SD) daily dose for aripiprazole was 4.5 +/- 3.0 mg. Mean (+/-SD) YGTSS Global Severity scores reduced from 61.82 +/- 13.49 at baseline to 33.73 +/- 15.18 at end point; mean YGTSS total tic scores reduced from 28.18 +/- 7.74 at baseline to 16.73 +/- 7.54 at end point. Mean (+/-SD) CGI-Tic severity scores reduced from 4.45 +/- 0.52 (moderate-marked) at baseline to 3.18 +/- 0.60 (mild) at end point. On the CGI-Tic improvement scale, 10 (91%) subjects achieved 1 ('very much improved') or 2 ('much improved') at end point. Most common adverse effects included appetite increase and weight gain in 5 subjects, mild extrapyramidal effects in 7 subjects, and headaches and tiredness/fatigue in 7 subjects; 1 subject experienced akathisia and muscle cramps. CONCLUSION: Aripiprazole appears to be a safe and tolerable treatment in children and adolescents with TD that appears to reduce tics; it should be further investigated as a treatment option in controlled trials
PMID: 20035580
ISSN: 1557-8992
CID: 105994

Relationship between apathy and cognitive abilities in depressed PD patients [Meeting Abstract]

Morrison, C.; Varanese, S.; Hirsch, S.; Howard, J.; Hamid, H.; Di Rocco, A.
ISSN: 0885-3185
CID: 591382

Limitations of traditional screening tools to detect depression in Parkinson's disease [Meeting Abstract]

Howard, J. F.; Varanese, S.; Penesetti, D.; Morrison, C.; Hirsch, S.; Brown, R.; DiRocco, A.
ISSN: 0885-3185
CID: 591402