I Herman

Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma, Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, Israel

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Publications (7)28.62 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated the effect of DHEA complementary treatment in opiate addicts undergoing detoxification. DHEA (100 mg/day) or placebo was added to the routine medication protocol in a randomized, double blind controlled study. Follow-up for 12 months was conducted. Two separate DHEA-treated subgroups were identified by the Fuzzy clustering method: one showed statistically significant improvement in the severity of withdrawal symptoms, depression and anxiety scores (n=34; p<0.001 for all) and the other subgroup deteriorated in all measures (n=15). DHEA at the end of the detoxification program showed a tendency towards correlation with the duration of abstinence (r=0.6843; p>0.05; n=6), while a negative correlation was obtained with the cortisol level (r=-0.900; p=0.005, n=8). The completion-rate of the DHEA-improved subgroup was greater than in the DHEA-deteriorated subgroup (64.7% vs. 33.3%, respectively). The influence of supplementary DHEA treatment was mostly effective in heroin addicts who had not previously used either cocaine or benzodiazepines and who had experienced only few withdrawal programs.
    European Neuropsychopharmacology 06/2008; 18(6):406-13. DOI:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2007.12.003 · 5.40 Impact Factor
  • European Psychiatry 04/2008; 23. DOI:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2008.01.059 · 3.21 Impact Factor
  • European Neuropsychopharmacology 10/2007; 17. DOI:10.1016/S0924-977X(07)70853-2 · 5.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The brain vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT2) is essential for neuronal monoamine storage and regulation of monoaminergic neurotransmission. We demonstrated previously a high degree of similarity between the pharmacodynamic characteristics of platelet and brain VMAT2. Opioids induce increase of dopamine release in limbic structures. In the present study we assessed the VMAT2 pharmacodynamic characteristics using high affinity [(3)H]dihydrotetrabenazine (TBZOH) binding to platelets of former male heroin addicts maintained on methadone (n = 12) compared to age-matched healthy controls (n = 13). A significant increase (19%, p < 0.05) in platelet VMAT2 density (Bmax) was observed in the methadone treated patients compared to controls. There was no significant difference in the affinity of [(3)H]TBZOH to its platelet binding site. The increased VMAT2 density may reflect a compensatory attempt to prevent vesicular depletion due to chronic methadone exposure.
    Journal of Neural Transmission 02/2007; 114(2):281-4. DOI:10.1007/s00702-006-0527-1 · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Based on pre-clinical studies regarding the interaction of various antidepressant drugs with the opioid system, we designed a clinical study to be carried out in the 'in-patient detoxification unit' within a large community centre for treatment of drugs dependent people. We evaluated the effect of mianserin add-on, on the intensity of opioid withdrawal symptoms in opiate dependent subjects undergoing medication-supported physical detoxification and integrated psychosocial and psychotherapeutic intervention for the treatment of dependence. Mianserin (or placebo) was added to the routine medication protocol, during the 3-week in-patient phase of detoxification in a prospective, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study. Mianserin (or placebo) was continued after discharge and patients were followed up for 3 months in order to evaluate relapse rates. Opiate withdrawal symptoms were assessed during the first 10 days, while depression and anxiety were assessed throughout the 3 months of study. From day 2 onward, patients in the study group showed significantly lower withdrawal symptoms than the control group patients and reached this peak faster (study group 2.8 days, control group 3.2 days, p<0.001). However, drop out rates were higher in the study group throughout the study period and only 13% of the study group patients, compared to 30% of the control group patients reached the end point. Though adding mianserin to the medication treatment during detoxification of opiate-dependent persons attenuated significantly both the intensity and the duration of withdrawal symptoms, the overall drop out rate was negatively influenced in the study group compared to the control group and fewer patients completed the study. Further study is needed in order to establish the origin of the paradox of higher drop out rates in the presence of attenuated intensity and duration of opiate withdrawal symptoms in the study group, and the clinical implications that should be drown.
    Addictive Behaviors 07/2005; 30(6):1154-67. DOI:10.1016/j.addbeh.2004.12.004 · 2.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to evaluate the effects of trazodone and mianserin on opioid-withdrawal symptoms in morphine-dependent mice. We used a comparative study of the effect of each drug on withdrawal symptoms in one model of acutely high-dose morphine-dependent mice, and two models (high-dose and lu-dose) of chronically morphine-dependent mice at the Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine's laboratory.Trazodone, mianserin or both were given to the morphine-dependent mice together with a high dose of naloxone. Intensity of withdrawal symptoms was evaluated by tail-flick assay latencies and three behavioural measurements (rearing, jumping and grooming) in each group. Trazodone and mianserin, each separately,significantly attenuated withdrawal symptoms in all three models. However, the combined treatment of trazodone together with mianserin was not superior to each drug alone. The combination of trazodone and mianserin has no additive value to each drug alone in the control of withdrawal symptoms in opiate-dependent mice undergoing detoxification. When used in clinical settings, caution is needed in order to prevent the unknown influence of opioid-like drugs in medication-assisted detoxification programmes if complete opiate detoxification is the aim.
    Addiction Biology 04/2003; 8(1):107-14. · 5.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The antinociceptive effects of trazodone (a triazolopyridine derivative with antidepressant activity) and its interaction with various opioid, noradrenaline and serotonin receptor subtypes were evaluated. Mice were tested with a hotplate analgesia meter. Trazodone induced a dose-dependent antinociceptive effect following i.p. administration. The ED(50) for mice in the hotplate assay for trazodone was 24.8 mg/kg (9.8; 67.4; 95% CL). The effect of opioid, adrenergic and serotonergic receptor antagonists was examined as to their ability to block trazodone antinociception. Trazodone-induced antinociception was significantly inhibited by naloxone, beta-FNA and naloxonazine, but not by nor-BNI or naltrindole, implying involvement of mu1- and mu2-opioid mechanisms. When adrenergic and serotonergic antagonists were used, metergoline (p<0.05) but not phentolamine or yohimbine, decreased antinociception elicited by trazodone, implying a clear 5-HT mechanism of antinociception. When trazodone was administered together with various agonists of the opioid receptor subtypes, it significantly potentiated antinociception mediated by mu1- and mu2- opioid receptor subtypes. Summing up these results, we conclude that the antinociceptive effect of trazodone is mainly influenced by the mu1- +mu2-opioid receptor subtype combined with the serotonergic receptor. These results explain the diffuse clinical use of trazodone in the management of some pain syndromes, and in opioid- and alcohol-detoxification programs, but raise questions regarding a possible 'indirect' opioid-dependence induced by trazodone itself.
    Behavioural Brain Research 09/2000; 114(1-2):51-6. · 3.39 Impact Factor