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Commentary: Role of the Endogenous Opiate System in Psychiatric Disorders Other Than Addiction

KAHN, DAVID A., MD

Journal of Psychiatric Practice®: November 2018 - Volume 24 - Issue 6 - p 432–433
doi: 10.1097/PRA.0000000000000342
CLINICAL CASE DISCUSSIONS

Two case reports explore opiate use in relation to 2 different psychiatric disorders. In the first case report, the authors reported the finding that opiate abuse appeared to mitigate premorbid Tourette syndrome in a small series of patients with opiate addiction and that this benefit was maintained with medically supervised opiate agonist therapy. In the second case report, the authors noted a significant correlation between prescription opiate use and delusions of infestation in a large psychodermatology clinic (as well as a separate, stronger correlation with stimulant use). These reports highlight the importance of the opiate system in a range of psychiatric disorders, suggesting that there is much more to learn about the role of the endogenous opiate system in brain functioning, and its potential as a target for therapeutic intervention in psychiatric disorders other than addiction.

KAHN: Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Please send correspondence to: David A. Kahn, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 601 West 168th Street, Unit 31, New York, NY 10032 (e-mail: dak1@columbia.edu).

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