Weekly Mind Reader: Inhalant Screenings Fall Short All Too Often

by Staff Writer
April 26, 2024 at 6:56 AM UTC

This week we report on a bevy of clozapine research, a promising Esmethadone case study, and let our readers take it from there.

This week offers a variety of insightful content – from a tragic case of polysubstance use to the pitfalls of caring for elderly patients. But it also offers hope for patients suffering from depression or struggling to get a good night’s sleep.

Inhalant Screening in Early Adolescence Fails to Prevent Abuse Escalation

Inhalants remain a persistent concern due to their easy accessibility, relatively low cost, and their role as a gateway to further adolescent substance abuse.

A case study in the Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders details the escalation of polysubstance abuse in a teenager, where undetected inhalant use played a pivotal role. Despite regular pediatric check-ups, the patient’s inhalant use remained unnoticed until much later, underscoring the need for more targeted screening protocols.

Inhalant abuse poses significant health risks, including cognitive decline, psychiatric disorders, and – in extreme cases – sudden death. The peak vulnerability for chronic brain damage overlaps the age range when adolescents are most exposed to inhalants. But, today’s screening practices often fail to address inhalant use, leading to missed opportunities for early intervention and prevention of substance abuse-related complications.

Recommendations include incorporating specific questions about inhalant use in screening practices to improve detection rates. Educating healthcare providers about the prevalence and risks associated with inhalant abuse is crucial for improving detection and intervention strategies. By implementing targeted screening measures, healthcare professionals can better identify at-risk kids and provide timely interventions to mitigate the harmful effects of inhalant abuse. This proactive approach could prevent the escalation of substance abuse.

Overall, addressing inhalant abuse in adolescents requires a tailored screening approach that recognizes its unique characteristics and risks. By integrating specific questions about inhalant use into existing screening protocols and raising awareness among healthcare providers, medical professionals can improve early detection and intervention.

IN OTHER PSYCHIATRY AND NEUROLOGY NEWS

  • Intranasal ketamine induced rapid antidepressant effects in one study. And, while it outperformed the placebo, it didn’t significantly improve suicidal ideation scores in patients with alcohol use disorder and suicidal ideation with past attempts.
  • Elderly patients with a history of trauma can suffer elevated anxiety and fear when faced with new or different medical settings, examinations, or treatments.
  • Using new AI technology, a group of researchers proposes a new global standard for evaluating abnormal deviation severity in cervical dystonia.
  • New research shows rapid improvement in depression treated with tACS, particularly for women. Better yet, patients can use tACS treatment at home, with minimal adverse events.
  • Several papers explore the relationship between poor sleep quality and schizophrenia, how sleep affects mania patients, and new hope for veterans.

Original Research

The Relationship of Anxious Arousal With Treatment of Dysphoria Using Virtual Reality Mindfulness and 2 Accelerated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Protocols

Baseline levels of anxious arousal were not predictive of outcomes of treatment with VR or accelerated TMS.

Austin M. Spitz and others

Case Report

The Psychiatric Presentation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

This case highlights the difficulty in controlling symptoms such as agitation and visual hallucinations in patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

Beatrice M. Thungu and others