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Evidence suggests a familial coaggregation of major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Those disorders are further related to suicide and accidental death. However, whether death by suicide may coaggregate with accidental death and major psychiatric disorders within families remains unclear.
To clarify the familial coaggregation of deaths by suicide with accidental death and five major psychiatric disorders.
Using a database linked to the entire Taiwanese population, 68 214 first-degree relatives of individuals who died by suicide between 2003 and 2017 and 272 856 age- and gender-matched controls were assessed for the risks of death by suicide, accidental death and major psychiatric disorders.
A Poisson regression model showed that the first-degree relatives of individuals who died by suicide were more likely to die by suicide (relative risk RR = 4.61, 95% CI 4.02–5.29) or accident (RR = 1.62, 95% CI 1.43–1.84) or to be diagnosed with schizophrenia (RR = 1.53, 95% CI 1.40–1.66), bipolar disorder (RR = 1.99, 95% CI 1.83–2.16), MDD (RR = 1.98, 95% CI 1.89–2.08) or ADHD (RR = 1.34, 95% CI 1.24–1.44).
Our findings identified a familial coaggregation of death by suicide with accidental death, schizophrenia, major affective disorders and ADHD. Further studies would be required to elucidate the pathological mechanisms underlying this coaggregation.
Evidence has suggested that emotional dysregulation is a transdiagnostic feature in schizophrenia and major affective disorders. However, the relationship between emotional dysregulation and appetite hormone disturbance remains unknown in nonobese adolescents with first-episode schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.
In total, 22 adolescents with schizophrenia; 31 with bipolar disorder; 33 with major depressive disorder; and 41 healthy age-, sex-, and body mass index (BMI)/BMI percentile-matched controls were enrolled for assessing levels of appetite hormones, namely leptin, ghrelin, insulin, and adiponectin. Emotional regulation symptoms were measured using the parent-reported Child Behavior Checklist―Dysregulation Profile.
Adolescents with first-episode schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder exhibited greater emotional dysregulation symptoms than the control group (P = .037). Adolescents with bipolar disorder demonstrated higher log-transformed levels of insulin (P = .029) and lower log-transformed levels of leptin (P = .018) compared with the control group. BMI (P < .05) and log-transformed ghrelin levels (P = .028) were positively correlated with emotional dysregulation symptoms.
Emotional dysregulation and appetite hormone disturbance may occur in the early stage of severe mental disorders. Further studies are required to clarify the unidirectional or bidirectional association of emotional dysregulation with BMI/BMI percentile and appetite hormones among patients with severe mental disorder.
The genetic load for major depressive disorder (MDD) may be higher in people who develop MDD earlier in life. This study aimed to investigate whether the parents of adolescents with MDD were more likely to have MDD, bipolar disorder (BD), schizophrenic disorder (SZ), alcohol use disorder, or substance use disorder than the parents of adolescents without MDD. We also examined whether the response to antidepressant treatment predicted the likelihood of parental psychiatric disorders.
In all, 1,758 adolescents aged 12–19 years with antidepressant-resistant depression, 7,032 (1:4) age-/sex-matched adolescents with antidepressant-responsive depression and 7,032 (1:4) age-/sex-matched controls were included. Parental psychiatric disorders of individuals enrolled were assessed.
The parents of the adolescents with MDD were more likely to be diagnosed with MDD, BD, SZ, alcohol use disorder, or substance use disorder than the parents of the control group. The parents of adolescents who were antidepressant resistant and the mothers of adolescents who were either treatment resistant or treatment responsive were more likely to be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.
Our study demonstrated that parents of adolescents with MDD may be more likely to be diagnosed with MDD, BD, SZ, alcohol use disorder, or substance use disorder than parents of adolescents without MDD, suggesting the within-disorder transmission and cross-disorder transmission of these psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, the parent’s sex and the response to antidepressant treatment may affect the within-disorder transmission of MDD.
Emotional dysregulation (ED) is a common characteristic of both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and major depressive disorder (MDD), especially in adolescents. However, whether ADHD and MDD may share the specific ED-related neural networks remains unknown.
In total, 43 adolescents with clinical ED (22 adolescents with ADHD and 21 with MDD) were recruited; in addition, 29 sex- and age-matched healthy controls (HCs) were included. Resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) analysis, voxel-based morphometry, and diffusion tensor imaging analysis were performed for each patient. In addition, we determined the significant regions of interest in patients with ED due to ADHD and MDD as compared with HCs and tested their correlations with clinical rating scale scores.
Compared with HCs, patients with ED had greater RSFC in the cerebellum and supramarginal gyrus (SMG), especially between vermis VI and the SMG in the attention networks, and lower RSFC between the right supplementary motor area and right lateral parietal area. Lower gray matter (GM) volume in the SMG was also found. RSFC was significantly correlated with clinical rating scale scores for all patients with ED due to ADHD or MDD. GM change was correlated with ED and MDD rating scale scores.
The cerebellum and attention networks might play major roles in ED pathophysiology in adolescents with ADHD and MDD. Increased connectivity of the vermis to the SMG serves as a possible underlying neural network.
Evidence has demonstrated associations of bipolar disorder (BD) with cognitive impairment, dysregulated proinflammatory cytokines, and appetite hormones.
To compare executive dysfunction, proinflammatory cytokines, and appetite hormones between patients with first-episode and multiple-episode BDs.
This cross-sectional study included young adults aged 18 to 39 years who were diagnosed as having type 1 BD in the first or recurrent episode and a group of age-/sex-matched healthy controls. Data regarding patient characteristics, clinical symptoms, cytokines (C-reactive protein [CRP], interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α), appetite hormones (leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin, and insulin), and executive function evaluated using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) were collected.
A total of 112 participants (38 patients in the multiple-episode BD group, 31 patients in the first-episode BD group, and 43 in the control group) were included. Multivariate analysis revealed that patients in the multiple-episode BD group performed significantly worse in the WCST (P < .05) and had higher levels of ghrelin (P = .002), and lower levels of CRP (P = .040) than those in the first-episode BD group. Patients with BD had significantly higher TNF-α and ghrelin levels compared with the healthy controls. No significant associations of CRP, TNF-α, and ghrelin levels with executive function were observed.
Profiles in proinflammatory cytokines and appetite hormones as well as executive function significantly differed between patients with first-episode and multiple-episode BDs and controls, which may suggest their potential roles in the clinical stages and pathophysiology of type 1 BD.
Support vector machines (SVMs) based on brain-wise functional connectivity (FC) have been widely adopted for single-subject prediction of patients with schizophrenia, but most of them had small sample size. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of SVMs based on a large single-site dataset and investigate the effects of demographic homogeneity and training sample size on classification accuracy.
The resting functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) dataset comprised 220 patients with schizophrenia and 220 healthy controls. Brain-wise FCs was calculated for each participant and linear SVMs were developed for automatic classification of patients and controls. First, we evaluated the SVMs based on all participants and homogeneous subsamples of men, women, younger (18–30 years), and older (31–50 years) participants by 10-fold nested cross-validation. Then, we hold out a fixed test set of 40 participants (20 patients and 20 controls) and evaluated the SVMs based on incremental training sample sizes (N = 40, 80, …, 400).
We found that the SVMs based on all participants had accuracy of 85.05%. The SVMs based on male, female, young, and older participants yielded accuracy of 84.66, 81.56, 80.50, and 86.13%, respectively. Although the SVMs based on older subsamples had better performance than those based on all participants, they generalized poorly to younger participants (77.24%). For incremental training sizes, the classification accuracy increased stepwise from 72.6 to 83.3%, with >80% accuracy achieved with sample size >240.
The findings indicate that SVMs based on a large dataset yield high classification accuracy and establish models using a large sample size with heterogeneous properties are recommended for single subject prediction of schizophrenia.
Few studies have explored the complex relationship of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines with cognitive function in adolescents with first-episode schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder.
In total, 26, 35, and 29 adolescents with first-episode schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder, respectively, and 22 age- and sex-matched controls were included in the current study. Cytokines, namely interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and C-reactive protein (CRP), were assessed. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and the working memory task were administered to assess cognitive function.
Using generalized linear models with adjustment for demographic data and clinical symptoms, patients with bipolar disorder were found to exhibit the highest levels of CRP (P = .023), IL-6 (P = .022), and TNF-α (P = .011), and had the lowest IL-2 levels (P = .034) among the four groups. According to the results of the WCST and working memory task, adolescents with schizophrenia exhibited the lowest performance in cognitive function. In addition, among the assessed cytokines, only CRP levels (P = .027) were negatively associated with WCST scores.
Dysregulated pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and impaired cognitive functioning were observed in first-episode adolescent-onset schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. The altered cytokine profiles may play important roles in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.
Dysregulated proinflammatory cytokines have been shown to be associated with suicidal behavior. Cognitive deficits in working memory and inhibitory control have been demonstrated in depressed patients and people with suicidal ideation (SI). However, the association between proinflammatory cytokines, SI, and cognitive deficits in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) remains unclear.
A total of 77 patients with MDD and age-/sex-matched 60 healthy individuals were recruited. MDD patients were divided into two groups: with SI (n = 36) and no SI (n = 41). SI was defined by a score of ≥2 in item 3 of the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines, including soluble interleukin-6 receptor, soluble tumor necrosis factor-α receptor type 1, and C-reactive protein (CRP), were measured, and cognitive function was assessed using 2-back task and Go/No-Go task.
Patients with SI had higher levels of CRP than those without SI and controls (P = .007). CRP was positively associated with SI (β = 0.21, P = .037), independent of cognitive function and depressive symptoms. Furthermore, SI was associated with cognitive deficits in working memory and inhibitory control after adjusting for confounding factors (P < .05).
Our findings suggest that higher levels of serum CRP and deficits in working memory and inhibitory control may be associated with higher SI among patients with MDD.
Altered immunity and metabolic profiles have been compared between bipolar depression (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). This study aimed at developing a composite predictor of appetite hormones and proinflammatory cytokines to differentiate BD from MDD.
This cross-sectional study enrolled patients with BD and those with MDD aged 20 to 59 years and displaying depressive episodes. Clinical characteristics (age, sex, body mass index, and depression severity), cytokines (C-reactive protein, interleukin [IL]-2, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α, P-selectin, and monocyte chemoattractant protein), and appetite hormones (leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin, and insulin) were assessed as potential predictors using a classification and regression tree (CRT) model for differentiating BD from MDD.
The predicted probability of a composite predictor of ghrelin and TNF-α was significantly greater (for BD: area under curve = 0.877; for MDD: area under curve = 0.914) than that of any one marker (all P > .05) to distinguish BD from MDD. The most powerful predictors for diagnosing BD were high ghrelin and TNF-α levels, whereas those for MDD were low ghrelin and TNF-α levels.
A composite predictor of ghrelin and TNF-α driven by CRT could assist in the differential diagnosis of BD from MDD with high specificity. Further clinical studies are warranted to validate our results and to explore underlying mechanisms.
Recent imaging studies of large datasets suggested that psychiatric disorders have common biological substrates. This study aimed to identify all the common neural substrates with connectomic abnormalities across four major psychiatric disorders by using the data-driven connectome-wide association method of multivariate distance matrix regression (MDMR).
This study analyzed a resting functional magnetic resonance imaging dataset of 100 patients with schizophrenia, 100 patients with bipolar I disorder, 100 patients with bipolar II disorder, 100 patients with major depressive disorder, and 100 healthy controls (HCs). We calculated a voxel-wise 4,330 × 4,330 matrix of whole-brain functional connectivity (FC) with 8-mm isotropic resolution for each participant and then performed MDMR to identify structures where the overall multivariate pattern of FC was significantly different between each patient group and the HC group. A conjunction analysis was performed to identify common neural regions with FC abnormalities across these four psychiatric disorders.
The conjunction of the MDMR maps revealed that the four groups of patients shared connectomic abnormalities in distributed cortical and subcortical structures, which included bilateral thalamus, cerebellum, frontal pole, supramarginal gyrus, postcentral gyrus, lingual gyrus, lateral occipital cortex, and parahippocampus. The follow-up analysis based on pair-wise FC of these regions demonstrated that these psychiatric disorders also shared similar patterns of FC abnormalities characterized by sensory/subcortical hyperconnectivity, association/subcortical hypoconnectivity, and sensory/association hyperconnectivity.
These findings suggest that major psychiatric disorders share common connectomic abnormalities in distributed cortical and subcortical regions and provide crucial support for the common network hypothesis of major psychiatric disorders.
Studies have suggested an association between metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the risk of metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases in the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD remains uncertain. Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 22,438 unaffected siblings of patients with MDD and 89,752 age-/sex-matched controls were selected and followed up from 1996 to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases during the follow-up period were identified. Compared with the controls, the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD had a higher prevalence of metabolic diseases, such as hypertension (5.0% vs. 4.5%, p = 0.007), dyslipidemia (5.6% vs. 4.8%, p < 0.001), and obesity (1.7% vs. 1.5%, p = 0.028), and cerebrocardiovascular diseases, such as ischemic stroke (0.6% vs. 0.4%, p < 0.005) and ischemic heart disease (2.1% vs. 1.7%, p < 0.001). Logistic regression analyses revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD were more likely to develop hypertension, dyslipidemia, ischemic stroke, and ischemic heart diseases during the follow-up period than the controls. Our study revealed a familial coaggregation between MDD and metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of MDD and metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases.
Family coaggregation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia have been presented in previous studies. The shared genetic and environmental factors among psychiatric disorders remain elusive.
This nationwide population-based study examined familial coaggregation of major psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives (FDRs) of individuals with ASD. Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database was used to identify 26 667 individuals with ASD and 67 998 FDRs of individuals with ASD. The cohort was matched in 1:4 ratio to 271 992 controls. The relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of ADHD, ASD, BD, MDD and schizophrenia were assessed among FDRs of individuals with ASD and ASD with intellectual disability (ASD-ID).
FDRs of individuals with ASD have higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders compared with controls: ASD 17.46 (CI 15.50–19.67), ADHD 3.94 (CI 3.72–4.17), schizophrenia 3.05 (CI 2.74–3.40), BD 2.22 (CI 1.98–2.48) and MDD 1.88 (CI 1.76–2.00). Higher RRs of schizophrenia (4.47, CI 3.95–5.06) and ASD (18.54, CI 16.18–21.23) were observed in FDRs of individuals with both ASD-ID, compared with ASD only.
The risk for major psychiatric disorders was consistently elevated across all types of FDRs of individuals with ASD. FDRs of individuals with ASD-ID are at further higher risk for ASD and schizophrenia. Our results provide leads for future investigation of shared etiologic pathways of ASD, ID and major psychiatric disorders and highlight the importance of mental health care delivered to at-risk families for early diagnoses and interventions.
Studies have suggested the detrimental effects of obesity and systemic inflammation on the cognitive function of patients with bipolar or major depressive disorder. However, the complex associations between affective disorder, obesity, systemic inflammation, and cognitive dysfunction remain unclear.
Overall, 110 patients with affective disorder (59 with bipolar I disorder and 51 with major depressive disorder) who scored ≥61 on the Global Assessment of Functioning and 51 age- and sex-matched controls were enrolled. Body mass index ≥25 kg/m2 was defined as obesity or overweight. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines—including interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and C-reactive protein (CRP)—were measured, and cognitive function was assessed using various methods, including the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and go/no-go task.
Patients with bipolar I disorder or major depressive disorder were more likely to be obese or overweight, had higher CRP and TNF-α levels, and had greater executive dysfunction in the WCST than the controls. TNF-α level (P < .05) but not affective disorder diagnosis or obesity/overweight was significantly associated with cognitive function deficits, although obesity/overweight and diagnosis were significantly associated with increased TNF-α level.
Our findings may indicate that proinflammatory cytokines, but not obesity or overweight, have crucial effects on cognitive function in patients with bipolar I disorder or major depressive disorder, although proinflammatory cytokines and obesity or overweight were found to be strongly associated. The complex relationships between affective disorder diagnosis, proinflammatory cytokine levels, obesity or overweight, and cognitive function require further investigation.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable mental illness that transmits intergeneratively. Previous studies supported that first-degree relatives (FDRs), such as parents, offspring, and siblings, of patients with bipolar disorder, had a higher risk of bipolar disorder. However, whether FDRs of bipolar patients have an increased risk of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains unclear.
Among the entire population in Taiwan, 87 639 patients with bipolar disorder and 188 290 FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were more likely to have a higher risk of major psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder (RR 6.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.95–6.30), MDD (RR 2.89, 95% CI 2.82–2.96), schizophrenia (RR 2.64, 95% CI 2.55–2.73), ADHD (RR 2.21, 95% CI 2.13–2.30), and ASD (RR 2.10, 95% CI 1.92–2.29), than the total population did. These increased risks for major psychiatric disorders were consistent across different familial kinships, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins. A dose-dependent relationship was also found between risk of each major psychiatric disorder and numbers of bipolar patients.
Our study was the first study to support the familial coaggregation of bipolar disorder with other major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, MDD, ADHD, and ASD, in a Taiwanese (non-Caucasian) population. Given the elevated risks of major psychiatric disorders, the public health government should pay more attention to the mental health of FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases the risk of suicidal behaviours through psychiatric comorbidities; however, a significant direct association has not been observed between ADHD and suicide attempts.
To evaluate the risk of suicide attempt in adolescents and young adults with ADHD.
Using a nationwide, population-based insurance claims database, this longitudinal cohort study enrolled 20 574 adolescents and young adults with ADHD and 61 722 age- and gender-matched controls between 2001 and 2009. Any suicide attempt was identified from enrolment to 31 December 2011. The association between ADHD medications and the likelihood of suicide attempt was assessed.
ADHD was an independent risk factor for any suicide attempt (hazard ratio = 3.84, 95% CI = 3.19–4.62) and repeated suicide attempts (hazard ratio = 6.52, 95% CI = 4.46–9.53). Subgroup analyses of men, women, adolescents and young adults demonstrated the same trend. Methylphenidate or atomoxetine treatment did not increase the risk of suicide attempt or repeated suicide attempts. Long-term methylphenidate treatment was associated with a significantly decreased risk of repeated suicide attempts in men (hazard ratio = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.22–0.97).
ADHD was a risk factor for suicide attempt and a stronger predictor of repeated suicide attempts, independent of comorbidities. Further investigation is warranted to explore the mechanism underlying the association between ADHD and suicidal behaviours.
Previous evidence has shown positive associations between post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) and hypertension, dyslipidaemia and diabetes
mellitus, which are all risk factors for stroke, but the role of PTSD in
the subsequent development of stroke is still unknown.
To investigate the temporal association between PTSD and the development
Identified from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database,
5217 individuals aged 18 years, with PTSD but with no history of stroke,
and 20 868 age- and gender-matched controls were enrolled between 2002
and 2009, and followed up until the end of 2011 to identify the
development of stroke.
Individuals with PTSD had an increased risk of developing any stroke
(hazard ratio (HR) 3.37, 95% CI 2.44–4.67) and ischaemic stroke (HR =
3.47, 95% CI 2.23–5.39) after adjusting for demographic data and medical
comorbidities. Sensitivity tests showed consistent findings (any stroke
HR = 3.02, 95% CI 2.13–4.28; ischaemic stroke HR = 2.89, 95% CI
1.79–4.66) after excluding the first year of observation.
Individuals with PTSD have an increased risk of developing any stroke and
ischaemic stroke. Further studies are required to investigate the
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