The autobiographic relation illustrateshow the patient experiences her mentaldisorders.
Since evidence of this type mayplay an important role in the training of mentalhealth professionals, the Editors would like toencourage and invite potential authors to publishtheir relations in Postępy(the invitation isextended also to those in possession of such materials,naturally, provided that the author'spermission is obtained).
A number of laboratory techniqueshave been developed in molecular genetics, allowingto look for new genes and then to examinetheir structure. Some of these methods are used inmedical genetics to discover molecular propertiesunderlying many genetically determined diseases.It is the task of more and more numerous DNAanalysis laboratories supporting genetic counselingto devise effective methods that would provide a cheap and fast confirmation of clinical diagnoses,identify carriers of pathogenic mutations, and performprenatal diagnostics. Examination techniquesare selected on the grounds of both the mutationtype and the way of its inheritance. Examples of application of hybridization techniques, PCR, SSCP and sequencing in medical genetics arepresented in the paper.
Relationships between cognitive processesimpairment and cerebral dysfunction occurringin mental disorders are outlined. This isfollowed by a presentation of major tests servingto identify such deficits in functions of the frontallobes, subcortical structures and their connections,as well as in disorders of the cerebral hemispheresactivation. Moreover, the application of neuropsychologicalmethods in psychopharmacologicalresearch is discussed. (Ed.)
The aim of the study was to comparean instrument for depression severity assessment– the Melancholia Scale by Bech-Rafaelsen – which has not been used in Poland so far, withtwo other more popular depression scales, developedby Hamilton and Montgomery-Åsberg. Subjectsin the study were 34 patients with different categoriesof depressive disorder. Their state was assessedby two clinicians using the three above-mentioned tools and a simple GCJ scale. Both theMelancholia Scale and the other two instrumentswere found to be reliable, but differing in internalconsistency.
The paper present results of validationof three instruments for the assessment of depressionseverity: the Hamilton Depression Scaleapplied in Poland for many years now, the somewhatless popular Montgomery-Åsberg scale, and theBech-Rafaelsen Melancholia Scale, so far unknownin our country. Validation ofthese instruments wascarried out on a group of 100 patients with depressivedisorders. Their scores on each of the three scaleswere correlated with these on the CGI scale for a general assessment of depression. Also intercorrelations between the three scales were calculated. The highest correlation with the CGI and intercorrelationswere obtainedfor the Bech-Rafaelsen and theMontgomery-Åsberg scales, while the HDS turnedout to differ from both these instruments, and indicatedlower correlation with the CGI.
Dimensional studies based on factoranalysis represent one of the most often used approachesin contemporary psychopathology. As regardsschizophrenia, the initial concept of the positive-negative differentiation turned out to be oversimplified,disregarding the presence of variousphenomena subsequently described by the multidimensionalapproach. Schizophrenic symptomsmay be ordered as a group of mutually non-exclusive factors. Hypotheses about etiological orpathophysiological affinity of symptoms, syndromesor particular disorders from the schizophreniaspectrum cannot be univocally verified interms of current factor models. Dimensional studiesare connected with variability of complexmethodological procedures and clinical choices.Statistical grouping of subjective and objectivesymptoms is closely related to methods of selectionand assessment of patients, as well as to the choiceof statistical procedures. Identification or eliminationoffurther "significant", clinically important factors may result from unspecific methodologicaldecisions, which leads to discrepancies in findingsof dimensional studies.
Results of dimensional studies onschizophrenia remain significantly inconsistent. Ina validation study 200 patients with paranoid schizophrenia(mean age: 34.3; 120 males, 80 females)were examined using two instruments: theCASS (Clinical Assessment of Schizophrenic Syndromes)and P ANSS (Positive and Negative SyndromeScale). Factor analysis (the main componentsmethod with the Varimax rotation) yieldedtwo 7-factor models explaining 66.54% (CASS)and 69.03% (PANSS) of the global variation.The following five main factors recurrent in bothmodels produced a clear syndrome easy for interpretation:negative symptoms, disorganization,positive symptoms, cognitive impairment, andmaladaptive behavior. In both models the highestfactor loadings were obtained for negative symptomsand disorganization, with a strong representationof communication disorders in the CASS,despite of the assumed selection criterion excludingfrom the study any cases of simple and residualschizophrenia. Specific characteristics of theCASS scale were confirmed, and particularly thevalidity of this 31-symptom scale administrationin the diagnostics of communication disorders andinsight impairment. Differentiation in the proposeddimensional models of schizophrenia was foundto result to a large extent from the methodologicaldecisions.
A case of a patient with early childhoodautism is presented. The patient was treatedover 12 years with a variety of methods and therapeuticinterventions: biological, educational andpsychosocial.
On the grounds of relations and theexisting documents the author presents the history of the College ofMental Hygiene establishment, developmentand its closing after World War II. Specialattention is given to motives of decisions made at thattime, both these concerning the merits of the case andthose completely irrelevant, as well as to the choice of a future model of education of psychologists.(Eds.)