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Childhood traumatic events are risk factors for psychotic-like experiences (PLEs). However, the mechanisms explaining how trauma may contribute to the development of PLEs are not fully understood. In our study, we investigated whether cannabis use and cognitive biases mediate the relationship between early trauma and PLEs.
A total sample of 6,772 young adults (age 26.6 ± 4.7, 2,181 male and 3,433 female) was recruited from the general population to participate in an online survey. We excluded 1,158 individuals due to a self-reported lifetime diagnosis of any mental disorder. The online survey included selected items from the following questionnaires: Traumatic Experience Checklist (TEC, 3 items), Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse Questionnaire (CECA.Q, 3 items), Cannabis Problems Questionnaire (CPQ, 10 items), Davos Assessment of Cognitive Biases Scale (DACOBS-18, 9 items), and Prodromal Questionnaire-16 (PQ-16). Mediation analyses were performed with respect to different categories of traumatic experiences (emotional, physical and sexual abuse as well as emotional neglect).
Our results showed significant associations of any time of childhood trauma with higher scores of cannabis use (CPQ), cognitive biases (DACOBS), and PLEs (PQ-16) (p < 0.001). We found a direct effect of childhood trauma on PLEs as well as significant indirect effect mediated through cannabis use and cognitive biases. All models tested for the effects of specific childhood adversities revealed similar results. The percentage of variance in PQ-16 scores explained by serial mediation models varied between 32.8 and 34.2% depending on childhood trauma category.
Cannabis use and cognitive biases play an important mediating role in the relationship between childhood traumatic events and the development of PLEs in a nonclinical young adult population.
Non-pharmacological interventions preferably precede pharmacological interventions in acute agitation. Reviews of pharmacological interventions remain descriptive or compare only one compound with several other compounds. The goal of this study is to compute a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect on restoring calmness after a pharmacological intervention, so a more precise recommendation is possible.
A search in Pubmed and Embase was done to isolate RCT’s considering pharmacological interventions in acute agitation. The outcome is reaching calmness within maximum of 2 h, assessed by the psychometric scales of PANSS-EC, CGI or ACES. Also the percentages of adverse effects was assessed.
Fifty-three papers were included for a systematic review and meta-analysis. Most frequent studied drug is olanzapine. Changes on PANNS-EC and ACES at 2 h showed the strongest changes for haloperidol plus promethazine, risperidon, olanzapine, droperidol and aripiprazole. However, incomplete data showed that the effect of risperidon is overestimated. Adverse effects are most prominent for haloperidol and haloperidol plus lorazepam.
Olanzapine, haloperidol plus promethazine or droperidol are most effective and safe for use as rapid tranquilisation. Midazolam sedates most quickly. But due to increased saturation problems, midazolam is restricted to use within an emergency department of a general hospital.
Radicalization is a process, by which individuals adopt extreme political, social and religious ideation that leads to mass violence acts. It has been hypothesized that mental health characteristics might be associated with a risk of radicalization. However, a qualitative synthesis of studies investigating the relationship between mental health and radicalization has not been performed so far. Therefore, we aimed to perform a systematic review of studies examining the association between mental health characteristics and the risk of radicalization. Two reviewers performed an independent search of online databases from their inception until 8th April 2018 and 12 publications met eligibility criteria. There were several methodological limitations across the majority of eligible publications, including doubtful sample representativeness, use of diagnostic procedures without personal assessment of mental health status or lack of standardized tools for assessment of mental health. Representative cross-sectional studies revealed that depressive symptoms might be associated with radicalization proneness. However, it remains unknown whether depressive symptoms are associated with resilience or vulnerability to radicalization. Another finding from our systematic review is that several personality traits might predispose to develop extreme ideation. Finally, there is some evidence that lone-actors might represent a specific subgroup of subjects with extreme beliefs which can be characterized by high prevalence of psychotic and/or mood disorders. In conclusion, this systematic review indicates that caution should be taken on how the association between ‘mental health’ and ‘radicalization’ is being claimed, because of limited evidence so far, and a number of methodological limitations of studies addressing this issue.
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