Saeed Ahmed

Saeed Ahmed
Boston Medical Center · Addiction Psychiatry

MD

About

90
Publications
22,685
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565
Citations
Introduction
In addition to clinical work, my research interests include substance use disorders, specifically micro-induction of Buprenorphine/Naloxone, Kratom addiction, the therapeutic role of psychedelics in addiction and mental health conditions, off-label medication "repurposing" in substance use disorders, and increasing access to and reducing barriers to the utilization of available treatments for substance use disorders.

Publications

Publications (90)
Article
Background: Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa Korth.) products are increasingly endorsed for self-management of multiple ailments, including as opioid substitution. The FDA has expressed that there is no evidence to indicate that this botanical is safe or effective for any medical use. Objective: We systematically review the current state of the literatur...
Chapter
Human beings are social animals, and social psychiatry is a key discipline within psychiatry around the world. The impact of social factors on the genesis and perpetuation of mental illnesses and maintenance of well-being of individuals and families is well recognized. Exploring social factors is the key to understanding aetiology and developing th...
Article
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The current opioid crisis in the United States has been escalating for the past two decades, and it has only worsened since the emergence of coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19) (1, 2). The COVID-19 pandemic brought up unprecedented challenges in dealing with the opioid crisis, including those falling under the (i) public policy level: disruption...
Article
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Lithium is among the mainstays of treatment for bipolar disorder. Bariatric surgery can considerably change the oral bioavailability of drugs, particularly lithium. In this review, a 36-year-old male patient is described, who presented with lithium toxicity, including neurologic and gastric symptoms after undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The me...
Article
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Electronic cigarettes have grown in popularity due to natural curiosity, novel flavors, and advertising as both a means to aid smoking cessation and a "safe" smoking option. There is a substantial body of research on the harmful physical health effects of vaping, but there are relatively few studies on its mental health effects, particularly in ado...
Article
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Patients with neurocysticercosis, a common infection of the central nervous system caused by Taenia solium, have been reported to develop neuropsychiatric complications. We report a unique case of recurrent psychosis caused by neurocysticercosis in a 37-year-old El Salvador immigrant woman and discuss the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of...
Article
that focused on the psychological health of autistic children and adolescents. Results: All eight studies included in the final review were cross-sectional. Three of the eight studies were conducted in Italy, two in Turkey, and one study each in Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom, with a total of 1,407 participants. All studies used a mixture...
Preprint
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BACKGROUND Over the past few years, digital interventions for substance use disorders have exploded onto the scene. Smartphones are now a vehicle for telepsychiatry visits, measuring health metrics, and communicating with providers. There are also thousands of downloadable mental health applications and many digital psychiatry interventions now in...
Article
Background: In recent years, there has been increasing interest in implementing digital technologies to diagnose, monitor, and intervene in substance use disorders. Smartphones are now a vehicle for facilitating telepsychiatry visits, measuring health metrics, and communicating with health care professionals. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and...
Conference Paper
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Objectives This article reviews and summarizes the evidence for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the psychological health of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Methods The topic of this review was searched in the databases PubMed, ScienceDirect, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Reference lists in relevant pape...
Article
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Background: People with schizophrenia are more likely to develop cannabis use disorder (CUD) and experience worse outcomes with use. Yet as cannabis is legalized for medical and recreational use, there is interest in its therapeutic potential. Objectives: To conduct a systematic review summarizing the design and results of controlled trials using d...
Poster
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The purpose of this review is to examine and highlight the link between acculturation, mental health, and treatment effect.
Article
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ABSTRACT Objectives: An increasing number of Americans are turning to kratom for self-management of various pain, anxiety, and mood states and as an opioid substitute. Addiction to this unique botanical develops and carries a high relapse risk and, to date, there are no guidelines on how to maintain long-term abstinence. The aim of this article is...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: An increasing number of Americans are turning to kratom for self-management of various pain, anxiety, and mood states and as an opioid substitute. Addiction to this unique botanical develops and carries a high relapse risk and, to date, there are no guidelines on how to maintain long-term abstinence. The aim of this article is to compi...
Chapter
International medical graduates (IMGs) provide an invaluable service in many high-income countries. Their migration patterns vary and the post-migration adjustments need to be understood to ensure that they remain well and are looked after. They hail from a variety of medical schools and with varying linguistic skills. Their religious backgrounds v...
Chapter
In high-income countries, international medical graduates (IMGs) constitute 20–31% of medical work force, especially in disciplines like psychiatry. Variations in countries of origin, languages in which they studied medicine, their religious affiliations, gender, sexual orientation, and so on, all tend to play a role in the process of acculturation...
Article
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Wernicke encephalopathy (WE) is an acute reaction to thiamine deficiency, which presents with the classic triad of ocular findings, cerebellar dysfunction, and confusion. However, thiamine deficiency can also present with several neuropsychiatric signs and symptoms other than the classical triad. We report a patient who presented with catatonia as...
Article
Background and objectives: Buprenorphine's high-binding affinity as a partial µ-opioid agonist displaces preexisting full agonists causing precipitated withdrawal, which requires most individuals starting buprenorphine to endure moderate withdrawal prior to induction to avoid precipitated withdrawal. A novel approach called microinduction has emer...
Article
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Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) occurs when an individual who is alcohol-dependent suddenly stops or significantly reduces his/her alcohol intake.1 Symptoms of AWS, which can be fatal, include anxiety, restlessness, seizures, confusion, and delirium.1 Because benzodiazepines have been proven effective in improving symptoms of AWS, they are consid...
Poster
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Background and Objectives Buprenorphine's high‐binding affinity as a partial µ‐opioid agonist displaces preexisting full agonists causing precipitated withdrawal, which requires most individuals starting buprenorphine to endure moderate withdrawal prior to induction to avoid precipitated withdrawal. A novel approach called microinduction has emerge...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a form of behavioral therapy that teaches people to learn to accept rather than avoid challenging situations in their lives. ACT has shown to be an intervention with great success in the reduction of various mental disorders and substance use disorders (SUDs). The core of ACT when used in SUD...
Article
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Objective: To identify clinical characteristics common among epileptic patients prescribed levetiracetam who report suicidal ideation or who exhibit suicidal behavior. A case is also provided that highlights the need for increased vigilance for neuropsychiatric sequelae in fragile epileptic patients prescribed levetiracetam, especially post dosage...
Article
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This is a time of heightened anxiety for all of us. Patients and frontline health care workers are dying from COVID-19, while some of the latter are also dying from its mental toll, case in point, the suicide of Dr Lorna Breen, a veteran emergency department (ED) physician. The frontline residents and fellows that I am personally in touch with or t...
Article
Huntington's disease (HD) is a rare, autosomal dominant, neurodegenerative disorder with an estimated worldwide prevalence of approximately 5 per 100,000 people.1 The expansion of cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) trinucleotide repeats in the Huntingtin gene (IT15) results in cognitive decline, behavioral changes, and motor abnormalities such as chore...
Article
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In this Career Choices, Saeed Ahmed, MD, Addiction Psychiatry Fellow at Boston University, talked with William Pirl, MD, MPH, FACLP, FAPOS. Dr. Pirl is Associate Professor, Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. He joined Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2018 as Vice Chair for Psychosocial Oncology, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Ca...
Article
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Background Racial and ethnic minorities (such as Chinese-speaking (CS)) are known to have less equitable access to mental health services than Caucasians. These disparities have a powerful influence on minority groups that already endure a greater burden from mental health needs. Aim The aim was to identify perceived provider barriers to care for...
Article
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In this Career Choices, Saeed Ahmed, MD, Addiction Psychiatry Fellow at Boston University Medical Center/Boston University School of Medicine, talked with Paul S. Appelbaum, MD, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Law, and Director, Center for Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Vagelos...
Article
Objective: The current meta-analysis synthesizes previous findings on the effect of gabapentin on alcohol withdrawal and craving. Data Sources: Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) methodology, a search for relevant English-language literature published between January 1999 and February 2019 was con...
Chapter
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Despite their global threat, all infectious outbreaks initially occur in localized parts of the world. The culture of an affected society, therefore, plays an integral role in the perceptions of illness and societal willingness implementing measures to counter an outbreak. Cultural beliefs and values can significantly contribute to either the sprea...
Article
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Objective: Gabapentin (GBP) is an anticonvulsant medication that is also used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS) and posttherapeutic neuralgia. GBP is commonly prescribed off-label for psychiatric disorders despite the lack of strong evidence. However, there is growing evidence that GBP may be effective and clinically beneficial in both psychiat...
Article
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Objective: To gain insight into the current prevalence of tobacco consumption in various forms among female psychiatric inpatients and their visiting female relatives in Mumbai, India. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, survey questionnaires were administered to 127 female inpatients and 110 of their visiting female relatives from July to O...
Article
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Dr. Ahmed: What attracted you to pursue subspecialty training in addictive disorders? Dr. Stanciu: In the early stages of my training, I frequently encountered individuals with medical and mental health disorders whose treatment was impacted by underlying substance use. I soon came to realize any attempts at (for example) managing hypertension in...
Article
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Recent years have seen a widespread increase in kratom use, not just for the purpose of easing opioid withdrawal, but also for management of emotional and mental health concerns by individuals without histories of opioid use. Chronic use can lead to dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal on cessation, and clinicians are seeing an increasing number o...
Poster
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Onset of a depressive disorder following a viral, bacterial or parasitic infectious disease episode has been reported in the literature. We present the case of an episode of major depressive disorder occurring for the first time in a middle-aged female following upper respiratory tract infection (URI). She presented against the backdrop of an unusu...
Poster
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In clinical practice, blood dyscrasias have resulted from the use of atypical antipsychotics in the treatment of patients with psychiatric disorders, clozapine being a well-known example. Risperidone has been reported as a cause of hematologic abnormalities including neutropenia, lymphopenia, and thrombocytopenia (1, 2).
Article
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Objective: Smoking represents a major public health problem among patients with schizophrenia. To this end, some studies have investigated the efficacy of varenicline for facilitating smoking cessation in schizophrenia patients. The present review seeks to synthesize the results of these studies as well as document the reported side effects of usin...
Article
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Background It remains unclear if naltrexone combined with psychotherapy is superior to naltrexone alone in treating alcohol use disorders (AUD). The current meta-analysis examined the hypothesis that psychotherapy is a significant moderator that influences AUD-related outcomes and that naltrexone combined with psychotherapy is associated with signi...
Article
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Ecstasy, a popular drug among the younger generation, the primary psychoactive component of which is 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), is rarely known to have acute psychiatric effects and when it does, it is usually short term. We describe a patient who presented to the emergency room in a psychotic state after using ecstasy recreationally...
Article
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This column describes the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP), New York State's prescription monitoring program, and its compatibility with HIPAA and Part 2 of Volume 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The authors review use of information that is permitted by I-STOP and CFR for health care operations, including disclos...
Article
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This article reviews the association between substance use and suicidality. A review of relevant literature was conducted and clinical pearls are provided on appropriate risk assessment and management of affected individuals.
Article
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Psychiatrists often fail to adequately address their patients’ smoking, and often underestimate the impact of ongoing tobacco use. Evidence suggests that heavy smoking is a risk factor for major depressive disorder; it also is associated with increased suicidal ideations and attempts.1,2 Tobacco use also has a mood-altering impact that can change t...
Poster
Full-text available
It remains unclear if naltrexone combined with psychotherapy is superior to naltrexone alone in treating alcohol use disorders (AUD). The current meta-analysis examined the hypothesis that psychotherapy is a significant moderator that influences AUD-related outcomes and that naltrexone combined with psychotherapy is associated with significantly be...
Poster
Full-text available
Although prior research has examined the efficacy of gabapentin in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal and cravings, the findings were not conclusive. To this end, the current meta-analysis synthesized previous findings and examined the overall effect of gabapentin on alcohol withdrawal and craving.
Article
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Dextromethorphan (DXM) is commonly found in over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough preparations. When used at the therapeutic doses DXM has cough-suppressant properties through its action on the medulla. However, OTC preparations containing DXM are being increasingly used recreationally for the drug’s psychoactive effects, a practice referred to as...
Article
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Forced normalization
Article
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Forced normalization is the emergence of psychoses following stabilization of seizures in an uncontrolled epileptic patient. The current study is a case of forced normalization, a phenomenon characterized by normalization of electroencephalogram (EEG) findings and resolution of seizures. This case report is unique and rare because the patient meets...
Poster
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The Primary objective of this meta-analysis is to compare the efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in alleviating post-traumatic symptoms. The secondary objective is to compare the efficacy of CBT and EMDR in alleviating anxiety and depression among PTSD patients.
Article
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http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/substance-use-disorder/opioid-overdoses-and-naloxone-what-everyone-needs-know
Article
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Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, with 44,193 suicides occurring each year, or 121 completed suicides per day. Approximately 494,169 individuals present to hospitals each year because of self-harm (1). Globally, it is estimated that about one million people die annually from suicide, equivalent to one death every 40...
Article
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Aim To assess the relative efficacies of clozapine plus Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) compared against non-clozapine typical and atypical antipsychotics plus ECT for the treatment of “Treatment Resistant Schizophrenia” (TRS). Primarily to assess if clozapine delivers a significant improvement over other antipsychotics when combined with ECT. Des...
Poster
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This case study of Huntington’s Disease with neuropsychiatric complications: This is novel in the literature; we discuss the clinical challenges faced by clinicians while managing such cases in the absence of clear treatment guidelines.
Poster
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To highlight the diagnostic and treatment challenges and the clinical implications of abuse of an over-the-counter ingredient of cough syrup Dextromethorphan (DXM)
Article
Objectives: The goal of this session is to evaluate whether mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) during pregnancy. Literature searches were performed on the following databases: PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, and Google Scholar. The searches were done using the following keywords: “C-reactive prot...
Article
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Borderline personality disorder (BPD) patients, when in crisis, are frequent visitors of emergency departments (EDs). When these patients exhibit symptoms such as aggressiveness, impulsivity, intense anxiety, severe depression, self-harm, and suicidal attempts or gestures, diagnosis, and treatment of the BPD becomes challenging for ED doctors. This...
Article
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What I thought would be a typical morning at the major county hospital-if that were ever possible on a psychiatric emergency unit (EU)-quickly turned atypical when I encountered a patient whom I will call Olivia. Olivia is a 51-year-old male-to-female transgender woman who has not yet undergone gender reassignment surgery. She was brought to the EU...
Poster
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Case Study: This is a 71-year-old male with H/O Hypertension, unknown prior Psychiatric history who sustained a traumatic brain injury six months prior to his admission. The patient reported that his vehicle was struck by another one, and although there was no direct blow to the head, he developed whiplash injury due to acceleration-deceleration, c...
Poster
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Baclofen is an analog of the gamma-aminobutyric acid neurotransmitter (GABA) which acts on GABA-B receptors. Abrupt withdrawal can present with disorientation, agitation, confusion, insomnia, anxiety, hallucinations, delusions and perceptual disturbances. [1] More severe cases of Baclofen withdrawal have an agitated delirium and can have new-onset...
Article
Psychiatric disorders exert a considerable toll on society in various ways. Approximately 450 million people suffer from such conditions, which places mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. The core definition of a psychiatric disorder is based on subjective symptoms/manifestations and/or behavioral criter...
Article
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating injury results in damage to the brain. It is the most frequent cause of hospitalization in young people with a higher prevalence in men. TBI is the leading cause of disability and mortality between the ages 1 and 45. TBI can be caused either by the direct result of...
Article
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Background: The increasing number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) constitutes a growing global concern. At present, nearly 44 million people suffer from AD worldwide, and these numbers are expected almost to double every 20 years. Given its high prevalence and growing incidence, AD is one of the top causes of disabilities in later li...
Article
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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of dopamine in the substantia nigra. It is predominantly a motor disorder but has shown to present with psychosis in few cases. Psychotic symptoms result from chronic treatment with few anti- Parkinson’s medications, ranging from depression, delusions to visu...
Article
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Do we stand by our Hippocratic Oath when providing physician-assisted suicide? Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is a form of euthanasia in which a physician provides the patient with the pertinent information, and, in certain cases, a prescription for the necessary lethal drugs, so that the individual can willingly and successfully terminate his or...
Article
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Suicide is the seventh leading cause of death in the US. An estimate of 37,000 people dies every year by suicide in the US, of which 6 percent are attributed to inpatient suicide. Despite taking certain measures to prevent inpatient suicide like assessing the risk factors and treating the underlying psychiatric condition appropriately, continuous m...
Article
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. According to research in 2016, the suicide rate has increased substantially both in the United States and worldwide. Most people who commit suicide are found to suffer from psychiatric illnesses like depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, and posttraumatic...
Article
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Worldwide, suicide remains a huge public health and social dilemma resulting in the loss of approximately one million lives each year. It is one of the three leading causes of death among the most economically productive age group, i.e., 15-44 years and the second leading cause among the youth. The greatest burden is borne by the low and middle-inc...
Conference Paper
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Stress is one of the major problems in modern times which we face every second. As a result several ways of coping up with stress are evolved. We here describe the study of effects of one such popular non pharmacological measure, “Yoga” on the mental health of its practitioners. Both, the subjective and physiological parameters were considering whi...
Article
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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in the HIV-positive population. For long periods of time, MDD has been treated with conventional antidepressant therapy in these patients. Novel Antidepressant Therapy for Major Depression in HIV-infected adults is associated with various side effects such as sleep d...
Article
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This article reviews literature regarding smoking cessation in Schizophrenia population, its harmful effects on health, finances, role of mental health care providers and better available options for treatment as are in general population. This population not only smokes at higher rates, but also has higher nicotine dependence with lower cessation...
Article
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Over the past two decades, opioid medication abuse among the U.S. population has expanded to a scourge extent. While the U.S. only accommodates 4% of the world's population, Americans consume 86% of the world's opioids, 99% of the worldwide hydrocodone supply, and 66% of the world's illegal drugs. Prescription opioids, which are currently the secon...
Article
Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and dyslipidemia, which may be related to decrease androgen levels found in OSA patients. Dyslipidemia may contribute to atherosclerosis leading to increasing risk of heart disease. Methods: Systematic review was conducted using PubMed and Cochrane library...
Article
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Despite some success in combating cigarette smoking in the general population, there has been little effort toward decreasing the rates of cigarette smoking in people with schizophrenia and other chronic mental illnesses. In addition to the financial burden on people with mental illness who tend to live on a limited fixed income, there is also a co...
Article
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