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Studies about brain structure in bipolar disorder have reported conflicting findings. These findings may be explained by the high degree of heterogeneity within bipolar disorder, especially if structural differences are mapped to single brain regions rather than networks.
We aim to complete a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify brain networks underlying structural abnormalities observed on T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans in bipolar disorder across the lifespan. We also aim to explore how these brain networks are affected by sociodemographic and clinical heterogeneity in bipolar disorder.
We will include case–control studies that focus on whole-brain analyses of structural differences between participants of any age with a standardised diagnosis of bipolar disorder and controls. The electronic databases Medline, PsycINFO and Web of Science will be searched. We will complete an activation likelihood estimation analysis and a novel coordinate-based network mapping approach to identify specific brain regions and brain circuits affected in bipolar disorder or relevant subgroups. Meta-regressions will examine the effect of sociodemographic and clinical variables on identified brain circuits.
Findings from this systematic review and meta-analysis will enhance understanding of the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. The results will identify brain circuitry implicated in bipolar disorder, and how they may relate to relevant sociodemographic and clinical variables across the lifespan.
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of psilocybin have reported large antidepressant effects in adults with major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Given psilocybin's psychedelic effects, all published studies have included psychological support. These effects depend on serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptor activation, which can be blocked by 5-HT2A receptor antagonists like ketanserin or risperidone. In an animal model of depression, ketanserin followed by psilocybin had similar symptomatic effects as psilocybin alone.
To conduct a proof-of-concept RCT to (a) establish feasibility and tolerability of combining psilocybin and risperidone in adults with TRD, (b) show that this combination blocks the psychedelic effects of psilocybin and (c) provide pilot data on the antidepressant effect of this combination (compared with psilocybin alone).
In a 4-week, three-arm, ‘double dummy’ trial, 60 adults with TRD will be randomised to psilocybin 25 mg plus risperidone 1 mg, psilocybin 25 mg plus placebo, or placebo plus risperidone 1 mg. All participants will receive 12 h of manualised psychotherapy. Measures of feasibility will include recruitment and retention rates; tolerability and safety will be assessed by rates of drop-out attributed to adverse events and rates of serious adverse events. The 5-Dimensional Altered States of Consciousness Rating Scale will be a secondary outcome measure.
This trial will advance the understanding of psilocybin's mechanism of antidepressant action.
This line of research could increase acceptability and access to psilocybin as a novel treatment for TRD without the need for a psychedelic experience and continuous monitoring.
There has been increased interest in repurposing anti-inflammatories for the treatment of bipolar depression. Evidence from high-income countries suggests that these agents may work best for specific depressive symptoms in a subset of patients with biochemical evidence of inflammation but data from lower-middle income countries (LMICs) is scarce. This secondary analysis explored the relationship between pretreatment inflammatory markers and specific depressive symptoms, clinical measures, and demographic variables in participants with bipolar depression in Pakistan.
The current study is a cross-sectional secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial of two anti-inflammatory medications (minocycline and celecoxib) for bipolar depression (n = 266). A series of logistic and linear regression models were completed to assess the relationship between C-reactive protein (CRP) (CRP > or < 3 mg/L and log10CRP) and clinical and demographic features of interest and symptoms of depression. Baseline clinical trial data was used to extract clinical and demographic features and symptoms of depression were assessed using the 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.
The prevalence of low-grade inflammation (CRP > 3 mg/L) in the sample was 70.9%. After adjusting for baseline body mass index, socioeconomic status, age, gender, symptoms related to anhedonia, fatigue, and motor retardation were most associated with low-grade inflammation.
Bipolar disorder (BD) patients from LMICs may experience higher rates of peripheral inflammation than have been reported in Western populations with BD. Future trials of repurposed anti-inflammatory agents that enrich for participants with these symptom profiles may inform the development of personalized treatment for bipolar depression in LMICs.
Protected areas are under immense pressure to safeguard much of the remaining global biodiversity and can be strained by unpredicted events such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Understanding the extent of the effects of the pandemic on protected area management and conservation outcomes is critical for recovery and future planning to buffer against these types of events. We used survey and focus group data to measure the perceived impact of the pandemic on protected areas in Mexico and outline the pathways that led to these conservation outcomes. Across 62 protected areas, we found substantial changes in management capacity, monitoring and tourism, and a slight increase in non-compliant activities. Our findings highlight the need to integrate short-term relief plans to support communities dependent on tourism, who were particularly vulnerable during the pandemic, and to increase access to technology and technical capacity to better sustain management activities during future crises.
Neuroprogressive models of the trajectory of cognitive dysfunction in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) have been proposed. However, few studies have explored the relationships among clinical characteristics of BD, cognitive dysfunction, and aging.
We conducted a cross-sectional analysis in euthymic participants with the MATRICS Cognitive Consensus Battery, the Trail Making Test B, the Stroop Test, and the Wechsler Test of Adult Reading. Age- and gender-equated control participants without a mental disorder [‘Healthy Controls’ – HC)] were assessed similarly. We compared cognitive performance both globally and in seven domains in four groups: younger BD (age ⩽49 years; n = 70), older BD (age ⩾50 years; n = 48), younger HC (n = 153), and older HC (n = 44). We also compared the BD and HC groups using age as a continuous measure. We controlled for relevant covariates and applied a Bonferroni correction.
Our results support both an early impairment (‘early hit’) model and an accelerated aging model: impairment in attention/vigilance, processing speed, and executive function/working memory were congruent with the accelerated aging hypothesis whereas impairment in verbal memory was congruent with an early impairment model. BD and HC participants exhibited similar age-related decline in reasoning/problem solving and visuospatial memory. There were no age- or diagnosis-related differences in social cognition.
Our findings support that different cognitive domains are affected differently by BD and aging. Longitudinal studies are needed to explore trajectories of cognitive performance in BD across the lifespan.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
The human head was a potent symbol for many South American cultures. Isolated heads were often included in mortuary contexts, representing captured enemies, revered persons, and symbolic “seeds.” At Salango, a ritual complex on the central coast of Ecuador, excavations revealed two burial mounds dated to approximately 100 BC. Among the 11 identified burials, two infants were interred with “helmets” made from the cranial vaults of other juveniles. The additional crania were placed around the heads of the primary burials, likely at the time of burial. All crania exhibited lesions associated with bodily stress. In this report, we present the only known evidence of using juvenile crania as mortuary headgear, either in South America or globally.
Systematic investigations indicate that some of the recognized psychiatric disorders can be identified among those with mental retardation due to chromosomal abnormalities. We report a psychotic patient with mild mental retardation (intelligence quotient: 68) and minor anomalies that had a chromosomal aberration not previously described in a psychotic patient. Our patient highlights the importance of the cytogenetic study in psychiatric patients with comorbid mental retardation or minor anomalies. In addition, her psychosis symptoms may be helpful to propose a new candidate gene for psychosis.
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