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Time to positivity (TTP) of blood cultures can guide antimicrobial therapy. This single-center retrospective cohort study aimed to determine the yield of clinically significant organisms from blood cultures that were initially negative at 24 hours. Clinically significant organisms were uncommon after 24 hours (1.5%) and more common in intensive care unit settings.
Risk of psychosis is defined by the presence of positive psychotic-like symptoms. In clinical examination, easily detectable perceived negative attitude of other people may also indicate risk of psychosis.
A random sample of psychiatric outpatients completed the PROD screen including questions on interpersonal relationships, functioning and subtle specific (psychotic-like) symptoms. Vulnerability to psychosis (VTP) was assessed employing specific symptoms of the PROD screen. Current risk of psychosis (CROP) was assessed using the BSABS and the SIPS/SOPS. The CROP patients were followed up for 18 months and transition to psychosis was detected. The association between perceived negative attitude of others and reported psychotic symptoms was tested in a random sample drawn from the general population.
In all, 790 outpatients were screened. Of them, 219 VTP and 55 CROP patients were identified. By follow-up, six CROP patients (11 %) had made the transition to psychosis. Vulnerability to psychosis associated with all items of interpersonal relationships and functioning. However, current risk and transition to psychosis associated only with subjectively reported negative attitude of others. In a general population sample, negative attitude of others strongly associated with reported life-time psychotic symptoms conforming thus results obtained from a patient sample.
The subjective experience of negative attitude of other people towards oneself associates with experience of psychotic symptoms and may predict more sever psychotic development. The association between perceived negative attitude and occurrence of subtle psychotic symptoms seems to be detectable both in general and patient populations.
The European Prediction of Psychosis Study (EPOS) aimed to study a large sample of young patients who are at risk of psychosis and to estimate their conversion rate to psychosis during 18 months follow-up. This presentation describes quality of life and its changes in patients at risk of psychosis.
In six European centres, 16 to 35 year old psychiatric patients were examined. Risk of psychosis was defined by occurrence of basic symptoms, attenuated psychotic symptoms, brief, limited or intermittent psychotic symptoms or familial risk plus reduced functioning. Quality of life (QoL), measured by the Modular System for Quality of Life, was assessed at baseline and at 9 and 18 months’ follow-ups. Psychiatric patients without prodromal symptoms and healthy subjects were comparison groups.
In all, 245 risk patients were included. At baseline, they reported lower QoL than non-risk patients and healthy controls. Basic symptoms associated negatively with QoL, and there were differences between the study centres. During the follow-up, QoL raised less in risk patients than in non-risk patients. Baseline QoL did not predict transition to psychosis. However, its development was poorer in patients with than in those without transition to psychosis.
Those of the psychiatric patients who are at risk of psychosis have lower QoL than other psychiatric patients or healthy controls. QoL does not predict transition to psychosis, but its changes correlates with changes in clinical state. The results indicate that there is a need for comprehensive intervention with the patients at risk of psychosis.
Both schizophrenia and ultra high risk (UHR) patients show reduced neurocognitive performance compared to matched healthy control subjects. In the current study we compared neurocognitive performance at baseline and follow up between UHR patients who made the transition to psychosis and patients who did not.
Patients were eligible for the study when they met criteria for one or more of the following groups: Attenuated symptoms or brief limited intermitted psychotic symptoms or a first degree family member with a psychotic disorder and reduced functioning or basic symptoms. We assessed 216 UHR patients (166 males, mean age: 22,6 SD 5,2) with a neuropsychological test battery composed of the National adult reading test (premorbid IQ), California verbal memory test (verbal memory), spatial working memory test, verbal fluency first letter and categories (executive functioning), finger tapping test (motor speed) and continuous performance test (sustained attention). Data were collected in 7 participating centres of EPOS. Follow up was at 9 months.
37 UHR patients made the transition to psychosis (25 males, mean age 21,5 SD 4,8). The only test that showed a significant difference between the transition and non transition group at baseline was verbal fluency categories (t= 2.79, p = 0.006).
Patients who later make the transition to psychosis perform significantly worse on verbal fluency categories than patients who do not make the transition to psychosis. Verbal fluency may contribute to an improved prediction of psychosis in UHR patients. Follow up results will also be presented.
The European Prediction of Psychosis Study (EPOS) involved a large (n=245) sample of young individuals at high-risk of developing psychosis. Participants appraisals of criticism and emotional over-involvement were described employing the Level of Expressed Emotion (LEE) measure. This presentation explores results and implications over an 18 month follow-up period.
Across six European centres, n=245 patients aged 16 – 35 years and ascertained to be at high-risk of developing psychosis were assessed over a period of eighteen months. Risk of psychosis was defined by occurrence of basic symptoms, attenuated psychotic symptoms, brief, limited or intermittent psychotic symptoms or familial risk plus reduced functioning. Appraisals of familial expressed emotion from participants towards key family members were examined for relationships to risk of transition to psychosis, psychotic symptomatology and demographical data.
Individuals at high-risk of psychosis were included and compared on the five sub-scales of LEE. Levels of Criticism, Irritability, Intrusiveness and Lack of emotional support were examined with significant correlations found between patient-perceived intrusive over-involvement and depression as well as between sub-scales of LEE and positive symptoms of psychosis. Transition to psychosis was not predicted by LEE in participants.
Perceived LEE of significant others by individuals at high-risk of developing psychosis may have a role in the maintenance of both affective and positive psychotic symptoms prior to the onset of full psychosis. Further explorations of the impact of EE appraisal on developing psychotic symptoms may inform potential targets for therapeutic intervention in both at-risk individuals and family members.
In the European Prediction of Psychosis Study (EPOS) a large sample of young patients at high risk of psychosis (HR) were examined and their conversion rate to psychosis during 18 months follow-up was estimated. This presentation describes quality of life (QoL) and its changes in patients at risk of psychosis who did or did not convert to psychosis.
In all, 245 young HR patients were recruited and followed for 9 and 18 months. Risk of psychosis was defined by occurrence of basic symptoms (BS), attenuated psychotic symptoms (ATP), brief, limited or intermittent psychotic symptoms (BLIPS) or familial risk plus reduced functioning (FR-RF). QoL was assessed at baseline and at 9 and 18 months’ follow-ups, and analysed in the HR-patients who converted (HR-P; n = 40) or did not converted to psychosis (HR-NP; n = 205).
There were no differences in the course of QoL between the HR-P and HR-NP patients. Of the inclusion criteria, only BS associated with poor QoL at baseline. Among HR-NP subjects, depressive symptoms associated with QoL at baseline and predicted poor QoL at 9 and 18 month follow-ups.
QoL of the HR-NP patients is as poor as that of the HR-P. From the QoL point of view, all HR patients require intensive treatment intervention from the first contact on. Especially, depressive disorders need to be treated vigorously.
The main aim of the European Prediction of Psychosis Study (EPOS) is to study a large sample of young patients who are at risk of psychosis and to estimate their conversion rate to psychosis during 18 months follow-up. The present presentation aims to describe premorbid adjustment in the patients at risk of psychosis.
In six European centres (Cologne, Berlin, Turku, Amsterdam, Birmingham, Manchester), 246 psychiatric patients at risk of psychosis were examined. Risk of psychosis was defined by occurrence of basic symptoms, attenuated psychotic symptoms, brief, limited or intermittent psychotic symptoms or familial risk plus reduced functioning during the past three months. Premorbid adjustment was measures by the Premorbid Adjustment Scale (PAS) and correlated with patient's baseline and outcome measures. Psychiatric patients without prodromal symptoms (not at risk) and healthy subjects, studied in one centre, acted as comparison groups.
PAS scores were poorer in the patients at risk of psychosis than in patients without prodromal symptoms or in healthy controls. In adolescence, differences in PAS scores were greater than in childhood or in adulthood. Within patients at risk of psychosis, men had poorer PAS scores than women. Childhood, adolescent and adulthood PAS scores associated extensively with patient's clinical and functional state at baseline examination. Adolescent and adulthood PAS scores correlated also with conversion to psychosis.
Disturbed premorbid psychosocial development, especially from adolescence on, may indicate vulnerability to and onset of psychosis.
One aim of the European prediction of psychosis study (EPOS) has been to evaluate the clinical course of putatively prodromal patients in terms of psychopathology.
245 patients at risk for psychosis defined by attenuated positive symptoms, brief limited psychotic symptoms, a state/ trait combination or cognitive-perceptive basic symptoms was recruited in six centres in four countries. The Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS) and the Bonn Scale for the Assessment of Basic Symptoms – Prediction List (BSABS-P) were employed. Follow-up was scheduled after 9 months (t1) and 18 months.
In total, 40 patients developed a psychosis (P). Compared to those without a transition (NP), P showed significantly higher SIPS scores at baseline. The same applied to the BSABS-P sub-scores 'cognitive perception disturbances' and 'cognitive motor disturbances'. The P sub-group developing psychosis after t1 showed no significant change of the SIPS positive (SIPS-P) sub-score or of any BSABS-P score from baseline to t1, whereas all scores improved in the NP group. At t1, SIPS-P and BSABS-P sub-score 'cognitive thought disturbances' were significantly lower in those later becoming psychotic.
Patients at risk showing a transition to psychosis during exhibited a pronounced psychopathology at baseline. Also, the positive symptom scores did not significantly improve during 1st follow-up, whereas those patients with no transition during the complete follow-up showed an improvement of all scores. As EPOS is a naturalistic study, different treatments have been performed in a considerable portion of the patients and association with course awaits further analysis.
Schizotypal features indicate proneness to psychosis in the general population. It is also possible that they increase transition to psychosis (TTP) among clinical high-risk patients (CHR). Our aim was to investigate whether schizotypal features predict TTP in CHR patients.
In the EPOS (European Prediction of Psychosis Study) project, 245 young help-seeking CHR patients were prospectively followed for 18 months and their TTP was identified. At baseline, subjects were assessed with the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). Associations between SPQ items and its subscales with the TTP were analysed in Cox regression analysis.
The SPQ subscales and items describing ideas of reference and lack of close interpersonal relationships were found to correlate significantly with TTP. The co-occurrence of these features doubled the risk of TTP.
Presence of ideas of reference and lack of close interpersonal relations increase the risk of full-blown psychosis among CHR patients. This co-occurrence makes the risk of psychosis very high.
A considerable number of patients at clinical high risk of psychosis (CHR) are found to meet criteria for co-morbid clinical psychiatric disorders.
It is not known how clinical diagnoses correspond to transitions to psychosis (TTP).
We aimed to examine distributions of life-time and current Axis I diagnoses, and their association with TTP in CHR patients.
In the European Prediction of Psychosis Study project, 245 young help-seeking CHR patients were examined, and their baseline and life-time diagnoses were assessed by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I). TTP was defined by continuation of BLIPS for more than seven days.
Altogether, 71 % of the CHR patients had one or more life-time and 62 % one or more current SCID-I diagnosis; about a half in each category received a diagnosis of life-time depressive and anxiety disorder. Currently, 34 % suffered from depressive, 39 % from anxiety disorder, 4 % from bipolar and 6.5 % from somatoform disorder. During follow-up, 37 (15.1 %) TTPs were identified. In multivariate Cox regression analyses, current bipolar disorder, somatoform and unipolar depressive disorders associated positively, and anxiety disorders negatively, with TTP.
Both life-time and current mood and anxiety disorders are highly prevalent among help-seeking CHR patients and need to be carefully evaluated. Among them, occurrence of bipolar, somatoform and depressive disorders seem to predict TTP, while anxiety disorder may predict non-transition to psychosis. Treatment of bipolar, somatoform and depressive disorders may prevent CHR patients from developing full-blown psychotic disorders.
The link between depression and paranoia has long been discussed in the psychiatric literature. Because this association is difficult to study in patients with full-blown psychosis, we investigated clinical high-risk (CHR) patients.
To clarify the causal connection between depression and paranoia.
To investigate how clinical depression relates to presence and new occurrence of paranoid symptoms in CHR patients.
Altogether, 245 young help-seeking CHR patients were assessed for suspiciousness/paranoid symptoms with the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes at baseline, 9-month and 18-month follow-up. At baseline, clinical diagnoses were assessed by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, childhood stressful experiences by the Trauma and Distress Scale, trait of suspiciousness by the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire, and anxiety and depressive symptoms by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale.
At baseline, 54.3 % of CHR patients reported at least moderate paranoid symptoms. At 9- and 18-month follow-ups, the corresponding figures were 28.3 % and 24.4 %. Depressive disorder, sexual abuse and anxiety symptoms associated with paranoid symptoms. Depressive, obsessive-compulsive and somatoform disorders, sexual abuse, and anxiety predicted occurrence of paranoid symptoms.
Depressive disorder is one of the major clinical factors associating with and predicting paranoid symptoms in CHR patients; also childhood sexual abuse and anxiety symptoms associate with paranoia. In addition, obsessive-compulsive and somatoform disorders seem to predict paranoid symptoms. Low self-esteem may be a common mediator between affective disorders and paranoia. Effective treatment of these disorders may alleviate paranoid symptoms and improve interpersonal functioning in CHR patients.
Depressive and anxiety disorders are the most common clinical diagnoses in patients at clinical high-risk (CHR) of psychosis (1).
Clinical disorders and functioning in CHR patients.
To study how depressive and anxiety disorders associate with patients’ functioning at baseline and follow-ups in CHR patients.
In the EPOS project, 245 young help-seeking CHR patients were examined, and their baseline diagnoses were assessed by the SCID-I. The patients were interviewed with the SIPS/SOPS, including assessments of positive and negative symptoms and the Global Assessment of Function (GAF), at baseline and at 9 and 18 months follow-ups.
At baseline and follow-ups, the patients without depressive or anxiety disorders had highest GAF scores. At baseline, the patients with depressive disorders had lower GAF scores than the patients with anxiety disorders. At follow-ups, there were no differences in GAF scores between the patients with depressive or anxiety disorders. In modelling, negative symptoms associated with low GAF scores at baseline and follow-ups, positive symptoms only at baseline and anxiety disorders at 18 months follow-up.
Depressive and anxiety disorders associate with poor functional outcome, and require thus special attention when intervention for the CHR patients is carried out. Positive symptoms predict transition to psychosis (2), but their role in predicting functional outcome is not as great. Instead, negative symptoms associate with poor functional outcome and require intensive intervention.
(1) Salokangas RKR et al. Schizophr Res 2012, doi:10.1016/j.schres.2012.03.008.
(2) Ruhrmann S et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2010;67:241-251.
Children of parents with mood and psychotic disorders are at elevated risk for a range of behavioral and emotional problems. However, as the usual reporter of psychopathology in children is the parent, reports of early problems in children of parents with mood and psychotic disorders may be biased by the parents' own experience of mental illness and their mental state.
Independent observers rated psychopathology using the Test Observation Form in 378 children and youth between the ages of 4 and 24 (mean = 11.01, s.d. = 4.40) who had a parent with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or no history of mood and psychotic disorders.
Observed attentional problems were elevated in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (effect sizes ranging between 0.31 and 0.56). Oppositional behavior and language/thought problems showed variable degrees of elevation (effect sizes 0.17 to 0.57) across the three high-risk groups, with the greatest difficulties observed in offspring of parents with bipolar disorder. Observed anxiety was increased in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder (effect sizes 0.19 and 0.25 respectively) but not in offspring of parents with schizophrenia.
Our results suggest that externalizing problems and cognitive and language difficulties may represent a general manifestation of familial risk for mood and psychotic disorders, while anxiety may be a specific marker of liability for mood disorders. Observer assessment may improve early identification of risk and selection of youth who may benefit from targeted prevention.
In politically contested health debates, stakeholders on both sides present arguments and evidence to influence public opinion and the political agenda. The present study aimed to examine whether stakeholders in the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) debate sought to establish or undermine the acceptability of this policy through the news media and how this compared with similar policy debates in relation to tobacco and alcohol industries.
Quantitative and qualitative content analysis of newspaper articles discussing sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxation published in eleven UK newspapers between 1 April 2015 and 30 November 2016, identified through the Nexis database. Direct stakeholder citations were entered in NVivo to allow inductive thematic analysis and comparison with an established typology of industry stakeholder arguments used by the alcohol and tobacco industries.
Proponents and opponents of SSB tax/SDIL cited in UK newspapers.
Four hundred and ninety-one newspaper articles cited stakeholders’ (n 287) arguments in relation to SSB taxation (n 1761: 65 % supportive and 35 % opposing). Stakeholders’ positions broadly reflected their vested interests. Inconsistencies arose from: changes in ideological position; insufficient clarity on the nature of the problem to be solved; policy priorities; and consistency with academic rigour. Both opposing and supportive themes were comparable with the alcohol and tobacco industry typology.
Public health advocates were particularly prominent in the UK newspaper debate surrounding the SDIL. Advocates in future policy debates might benefit from seeking a similar level of prominence and avoiding inconsistencies by being clearer about the policy objective and mechanisms.
Psychotic symptoms are common in children and adolescents and may be early manifestations of liability to severe mental illness (SMI), including schizophrenia. SMI and psychotic symptoms are associated with impairment in executive functions. However, previous studies have not differentiated between ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ executive functions. We hypothesized that the propensity for psychotic symptoms is specifically associated with impairment in ‘hot’ executive functions, such as decision-making in the context of uncertain rewards and losses.
In a cohort of 156 youth (mean age 12.5, range 7–24 years) enriched for familial risk of SMI, we measured cold and hot executive functions with the spatial working memory (SWM) task (total errors) and the Cambridge Gambling Task (decision-making), respectively. We assessed psychotic symptoms using the semi-structured Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia interview, Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes, Funny Feelings, and Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument – Child and Youth version.
In total 69 (44.23%) youth reported psychotic symptoms on one or more assessments. Cold executive functioning, indexed with SWM errors, was not significantly related to psychotic symptoms [odds ratio (OR) 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85–2.17, p = 0.204). Poor hot executive functioning, indexed as decision-making score, was associated with psychotic symptoms after adjustment for age, sex and familial clustering (OR 2.37, 95% CI 1.25–4.50, p = 0.008). The association between worse hot executive functions and psychotic symptoms remained significant in sensitivity analyses controlling for general cognitive ability and cold executive functions.
Impaired hot executive functions may be an indicator of risk and a target for pre-emptive early interventions in youth.
The CANGAROO project incorporates two Čerenkov imaging telescopes at Woomera to obtain stereo images of very high-energy gamma-ray (and cosmic-ray) showers. The first stereo observations, with one imaging system, were made in March 1992, and preliminary stereo imaging observations began in July 1992. This paper describes the stereo imaging technique, the sources under investigation, and the indications from the first data sets.
The design and construction of the 30 m2 Bicentennial Gamma Ray Telescope at Woomera South Australia is described. This novel instrument is now completed and commissioning is underway. It is designed to observe astronomical sources at energies greater than ∼ 500 GeV by means of atmospheric Cerenkov light. It contains 55 spherical, glass mirrors of focal length 2.66 m arranged in three groups of 10 m2, to focus the light onto three sets of detectors operated in fast co-incidence. The recording electronics includes a rubidium clock to enable pulsars to be studied.
In this paper the Very High Energy (VHE) gamma-ray astronomy program at the University of Adelaide is described. VHE gamma rays with energies above ~5 × 1011eV are observed using the atmospheric Cerenkov technique. Results from the first three years observations at Woomera and the current upgrading of the telecope are described. The CANGAROO project, a collaboration between the University of Adelaide and a number of Japanese institutions, is also introduced.