Intellectual disability and nutrition-related health.
EMBO molecular medicine. 2020;12(10):e12899
Plain language summary
Certain inborn errors of metabolism have been linked to several conditions with intellectual disability (ID). Treating these preventable or treatable forms of ID require the support of experts in nutrition and medicine. However, nutritional measures and diet must be adjusted to the different syndromes and their inherent implications, which requires knowledge of ID in general, and of specific diagnosis groups in particular. In addition, challenging behaviour, lower cognitive functions, and capacity in daily-life activities translate into nutritional problems such as shopping, cooking and eating patterns, including snacking, that require systematic professional support. This study shows that the development of adapted mobile phone programs and apps will be of great value in interventions, educational studies and for persons with ID to help them manage their daily chores and their diet, particularly those with moderate and light ID. Addressing the multifaceted challenges of nutrition and health in persons with ID requires more research and increased priority from funding agencies, along with increased visibility and knowledge of the various forms of ID in general.
Intellectual disability (ID) is a condition that affects approximately 1% of the population (Maulik et al, 2011). The numbers may differ across nations, owing to different systems and diagnosis entries or lack of such, but usually range between 0.6 and 3% (Stromme & Valvatne, 1998). Persons with ID are a heterogeneous group with different diagnoses and different levels of intellectual ability. These range from profound (IQ < 20) and serious ID (IQ 20-34) to moderate (IQ 35-49) and light ID (IQ 50-69); this roughly translates into the intellectual capacity of children between 3-12 years of age. More than 75% of persons with ID have the mild form and their intellectual capacity and potential may be underestimated in some cases if IQ is the only diagnostic criteria. However, the range in itself is an important factor to take into account when addressing nutrition and health issues. It is further important to recognize that ID is also a feature of several rare disorders, and many disorders not yet identified, adding to the complexity of this group.
Metabolic and Microbiota Measures as Peripheral Biomarkers in Major Depressive Disorder.
Frontiers in psychiatry. 2018;9:513
Plain language summary
Though the connection between the gut microbiome, physical health and mental health is becoming more established, there remains a lack of understanding around the underlying cause of major depressive disorder (MDD). There is a need to identify biomarkers in MDD in order to help identify individual differences and improve treatment outcomes. The aim of this review is to investigate the link between metabolic biomarkers and the gut microbiota in individuals experiencing MDD. The current literature points to two potential biomarkers, leptin and ghrelin, which play a role in both metabolic disease and depression. Based on these findings, the authors conclude these biomarkers may help researchers and clinicians establish subgroups in depressed individuals in order to better predict treatment responses and develop more targeted therapies.
Advances in understanding the role of the microbiome in physical and mental health are at the forefront of medical research and hold potential to have a direct impact on precision medicine approaches. In the past 7 years, we have studied the role of microbiota-brain communication on behavior in mouse models using germ-free mice, mice exposed to antibiotics, and healthy specific pathogen free mice. Through our work and that of others, we have seen an amazing increase in our knowledge of how bacteria signal to the brain and the implications this has for psychiatry. Gut microbiota composition and function are influenced both by genetics, age, sex, diet, life experiences, and many other factors of psychiatric and bodily disorders and thus may act as potential biomarkers of the gut-brain axis that could be used in psychiatry and co-morbid conditions. There is a particular need in major depressive disorder and other mental illness to identify biomarkers that can stratify patients into more homogeneous groups to provide better treatment and for development of new therapeutic approaches. Peripheral outcome measures of host-microbe bidirectional communication have significant translational value as biomarkers. Enabling stratification of clinical populations, based on individual biological differences, to predict treatment response to pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. Here we consider the links between co-morbid metabolic syndrome and depression, focusing on biomarkers including leptin and ghrelin in combination with assessing gut microbiota composition, as a potential tool to help identify individual differences in depressed population.
Mindfulness Is Associated with the Metabolic Syndrome among Individuals with a Depressive Symptomatology.
Plain language summary
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors including obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and a poor lipid profile. Dispositional mindfulness is a psychological trait that is defined as a non-judgemental awareness of the present moment. While mindfulness has been shown to produce beneficial effects on physical and mental health, no study has examined the associated between mindfulness and the metabolic syndrome risk factors. The aim of this cross-sectional web-based study was to explore the relationship between mindfulness and metabolic syndrome in modifying depressive symptomology across 17,490 individuals. Participants attended a clinical exam and completed the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire to assess dispositional mindfulness. Depressive symptomology was measured through self-administered online questionnaires at the beginning of the study and each year of follow-up. This study found that individuals with higher levels of overall mindfulness were less likely to present with metabolic syndrome, but only among individuals showing depressive symptomology. Based on these results, the authors conclude it is important to encourage mindfulness practices in patients at risk of metabolic syndrome, particularly among those with depressive symptomology. More longitudinal studies are required to better understand mindfulness-based interventions in the clinical setting.
The Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a major public health burden. Dispositional mindfulness has recently been associated with eating disorders, being overweight, and could therefore be associated with the MetS. We aimed to examine in a cross-sectional design the relationship between mindfulness, the MetS, and its risk factors in a large sample of the adult general population and the influence of depressive symptomatology on this association. Adults participating in the NutriNet-Santé study who had completed the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire and attended a clinical and biological examination were available for inclusion. Multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for socio-demographic and lifestyle factors were performed. A total of 17,490 individuals were included. Among individuals with a depressive symptomatology, those with higher mindfulness were less likely to have a MetS (OR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.57-0.93), a high waist circumference, a low HDL-cholesterol level and an elevated fasting blood glucose level (all p <0.05). In those without depressive symptomatology, individuals with higher mindfulness were less likely to have a high waist circumference (p <0.01). In conclusion, higher mindfulness was associated with lower odds of developing a MetS only among individuals with a depressive symptomatology.
Intestinal microbiome-gut-brain axis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Wiener medizinische Wochenschrift (1946). 2018;168(3-4):62-66
Plain language summary
The gut-brain-microbiota axis connects the nervous system with the metabolic, hormonal and immune functions of the intestines. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gut disorder that commonly presents with psychological co-morbidities, and while animal studies show strong associations between stress and gut microbiota, studies in humans are rare. This review assesses the current literature on intestinal microbiome and its association with stress, anxiety and depression in patients with IBS. Based on existing studies, the authors found the gut microbiota forms a crucial link between the intestine and nervous system. Therapies targeted at both modulating the gut microbiome and psychological interventions are recommended. The authors conclude further randomised clinical trials are needed to better understand which therapies work best for patients with IBS.
Psychological comorbidity is highly present in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Recent research points to a role of intestinal microbiota in visceral hypersensitivity, anxiety, and depression. Increased disease reactivity to psychological stress has been described too. A few clinical studies have attempted to identify features of dysbiosis in IBS. While animal studies revealed strong associations between stress and gut microbiota, studies in humans are rare. This review covers the most important studies on intestinal microbial correlates of psychological and clinical features in IBS, including stress, anxiety, and depression.
Prevalence and determinants of physical activity in a mixed sample of psychiatric patients in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi medical journal. 2018;39(4):401-411
Plain language summary
Physical activity has been shown to considerably reduce the burden of several non-communicable disorders (are diseases of long duration and generally slow progression), such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and breast and colon cancers. The aim of the study is to estimate the prevalence of physical activity among a mixed group of patients with psychiatric illnesses in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the study sought to evaluate the associations between physical activity, patients with different psychiatric diagnoses and the use of psychotropic medications. The study is a cross-sectional observational study that recruited 1185 patients seeking psychiatric advice, with an average age of 38.0±13.0 years. Results indicate a low prevalence of physical activity in a large, mixed sample of patients with psychiatric illnesses in both inpatient and outpatient settings in Saudi Arabia. Authors conclude that physical activity levels vary according to the type of psychiatric disease and the medications used. They outline that it is important to assess the physical activity status in patients with psychiatric illnesses and promote physical activity programs among psychiatric patients.
OBJECTIVES To estimate prevalence of physical activity and its associations with various psychiatric disorders and the use of psychotropic medications. METHODS A cross-sectional observational study was carried out between July 2012 and June 2014. Patients were enrolled from a number of hospitals located in 5 regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. RESULTS A total of 1185 patients were included in current analysis: 796 were outpatients, and 389 were inpatients. Out of 1,185 patients, 153 (12.9%) were physically active. Much higher rates of physical activity were reported among males than females (15.9% versus 9.6%, p less than 0.001). According to the univariate analysis, higher rates of physical activity were positively correlated with primary bipolar disorders, the use of antianxiety medications and, to a lesser extent, use of antipsychotic medications, but they were negatively correlated with primary anxiety disorders, use of antidepressant medications, and use of multiple psychotropic medications. The associations between physical activity and primary bipolar disorders (odds ratio [OR]=2.47, p=0.002), use of antianxiety medications (OR=3.58, p=0.003), and use of multiple psychotropic medications (OR=0.33, p less than 0.001) remained significant after adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics. CONCLUSION We report a variable but generally low prevalence of physical activity among a large, mixed sample of psychiatric patients in Saudi Arabia. These findings may highlight the importance of assessing physical activity status of psychiatric patients and the critical need for physical activity promotion programs among this group of disadvantaged patients.