A Review of the Interplay between Tuberculosis and Mental Health
Tuberculosis and mental illness share common risk factors including homelessness, HIV positive serology, alcohol/substance abuse and migrant status leading to frequent comorbidity (Authors).
Tuberculosis and mental illness share common risk factors including homelessness, HIV positive serology, alcohol/substance abuse and migrant status leading to frequent comorbidity. We sought to generate a comprehensive literature review that examines the complex relationship between tuberculosis and mental illness.
A literature search was conducted in MedLine, Ovid and Psychinfo, with further examination of the references of these articles. In total 316 articles were identified. It was not possible to conduct a formal meta-analysis due to the absence of randomised controlled data.
Rates of mental illness of up to 70% have been identified in tuberculosis patients. Medications used in the treatment of common mental illnesses, such as depression, may have significant interactions with anti-tuberculosis agents, especially isoniazid and increasingly linezolid. Many medications used in the treatment of tuberculosis can have significant adverse psychiatric effects and some medications such as rifampicin may reduce the effective doses of anti-psychotics y their enzyme induction actions. Treatment with agents such as cycloserine has been associated with depression, and there have been reported cases of psychosis with most anti-tuberculous agents. Mental illness and substance abuse may also affect compliance with treatment, with attendant public health concerns.
As a result of the common co-morbidity of mental illness and tuberculosis, it is probable that physicians will encounter previously undiagnosed mental illness among patients with tuberculosis. Similarly, psychiatrists are likely to meet tuberculosis among their patients. It is important that both psychiatrists and physicians are aware of the potential for interactions between the drugs used to treat tuberculosis and psychiatric conditions (Authors).
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