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Child maltreatment (CM) and migrant status are independently associated with psychosis. We examined prevalence of CM by migrant status and tested whether migrant status moderated the association between CM and first-episode psychosis (FEP). We further explored whether differences in CM exposure contributed to variations in the incidence rates of FEP by migrant status.
We included FEP patients aged 18–64 years in 14 European sites and recruited controls representative of the local populations. Migrant status was operationalized according to generation (first/further) and region of origin (Western/non-Western countries). The reference population was composed by individuals of host country's ethnicity. CM was assessed with Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Prevalence ratios of CM were estimated using Poisson regression. We examined the moderation effect of migrant status on the odds of FEP by CM fitting adjusted logistic regressions with interaction terms. Finally, we calculated the population attributable fractions (PAFs) for CM by migrant status.
We examined 849 FEP cases and 1142 controls. CM prevalence was higher among migrants, their descendants and migrants of non-Western heritage. Migrant status, classified by generation (likelihood test ratio:χ2 = 11.3, p = 0.004) or by region of origin (likelihood test ratio:χ2 = 11.4, p = 0.003), attenuated the association between CM and FEP. PAFs for CM were higher among all migrant groups compared with the reference populations.
The higher exposure to CM, despite a smaller effect on the odds of FEP, accounted for a greater proportion of incident FEP cases among migrants. Policies aimed at reducing CM should consider the increased vulnerability of specific subpopulations.
Tobacco use is common in subjects with schizophrenia (SZ) and has sometimes been associated with better functioning in short-term studies. Only few studies embrace an extensive examination of tobacco influence on clinical, cognitive and therapeutic characteristics in stabilized SZ outpatients. The objective of the present study was to assess the association between cognitive performances and smoking status in SZ subjects.
In total, 1233 SZ participants (73.9% men, mean age 31.5) were included and tested with a comprehensive battery. Tobacco status was self-declared (never-, ex-, or current smokers). Multivariable analyses including principal component analyses (PCA) were used.
In total, 53.7% were smokers with 33.7% of them nicotine-dependent. Multiple factor analysis revealed that current tobacco smoking was associated with impaired general intellectual ability and abstract reasoning (aOR 0.60, 95% IC 0.41–0.88, p = 0.01) and with a lifetime alcohol use disorder (p = 0.026) and a lifetime cannabis use disorder (p < 0.001). Ex- and never-smokers differed for age, mean outcome, cannabis history and medication [ex-smokers being older (p = 0.047), likely to have higher income (p = 0.026), a lifetime cannabis use disorder (p < 0.001) and higher CPZeq doses (p = 0.005)]. Premorbid IQ in the three groups significantly differed with, from higher to lower: ex-smokers, never-smoker, current smokers (all p < 0.001).
This study is the largest to date providing strong evidence that chronic smoking is associated with cognitive impairment in SZ, arguing against the self-medication hypothesis as a contributor to the high prevalence of smoking in SZ. Ex-smokers may also represent a specific subgroup. Longitudinal studies are warranted to determine the developmental impact of tobacco on neurocognition.
Response to lithium in patients with bipolar disorder is associated with clinical and transdiagnostic genetic factors. The predictive combination of these variables might help clinicians better predict which patients will respond to lithium treatment.
To use a combination of transdiagnostic genetic and clinical factors to predict lithium response in patients with bipolar disorder.
This study utilised genetic and clinical data (n = 1034) collected as part of the International Consortium on Lithium Genetics (ConLi+Gen) project. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were computed for schizophrenia and major depressive disorder, and then combined with clinical variables using a cross-validated machine-learning regression approach. Unimodal, multimodal and genetically stratified models were trained and validated using ridge, elastic net and random forest regression on 692 patients with bipolar disorder from ten study sites using leave-site-out cross-validation. All models were then tested on an independent test set of 342 patients. The best performing models were then tested in a classification framework.
The best performing linear model explained 5.1% (P = 0.0001) of variance in lithium response and was composed of clinical variables, PRS variables and interaction terms between them. The best performing non-linear model used only clinical variables and explained 8.1% (P = 0.0001) of variance in lithium response. A priori genomic stratification improved non-linear model performance to 13.7% (P = 0.0001) and improved the binary classification of lithium response. This model stratified patients based on their meta-polygenic loadings for major depressive disorder and schizophrenia and was then trained using clinical data.
Using PRS to first stratify patients genetically and then train machine-learning models with clinical predictors led to large improvements in lithium response prediction. When used with other PRS and biological markers in the future this approach may help inform which patients are most likely to respond to lithium treatment.
Suicide is one of the main preventable causes of death. Artificial intelligence (AI) could improve methods for assessing suicide risk. The objective of this review is to assess the potential of AI in identifying patients who are at risk of attempting suicide.
A systematic review of the literature was conducted on PubMed, EMBASE, and SCOPUS databases, using relevant keywords.
Thanks to this research, 296 studies were identified. Seventeen studies, published between 2014 and 2020 and matching inclusion criteria, were selected as relevant. Included studies aimed at predicting individual suicide risk or identifying at-risk individuals in a specific population. The AI performance was overall good, although variable across different algorithms and application settings.
AI appears to have a high potential for identifying patients at risk of suicide. The precise use of these algorithms in clinical situations, as well as the ethical issues it raises, remain to be clarified.
Schizophrenia (SZ), bipolar disorder (BD) and depression (D) run in families. This susceptibility is partly due to hundreds or thousands of common genetic variants, each conferring a fractional risk. The cumulative effects of the associated variants can be summarised as a polygenic risk score (PRS). Using data from the EUropean Network of national schizophrenia networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) first episode case–control study, we aimed to test whether PRSs for three major psychiatric disorders (SZ, BD, D) and for intelligent quotient (IQ) as a neurodevelopmental proxy, can discriminate affective psychosis (AP) from schizophrenia-spectrum disorder (SSD).
Participants (842 cases, 1284 controls) from 16 European EU-GEI sites were successfully genotyped following standard quality control procedures. The sample was stratified based on genomic ancestry and analyses were done only on the subsample representing the European population (573 cases, 1005 controls). Using PRS for SZ, BD, D, and IQ built from the latest available summary statistics, we performed simple or multinomial logistic regression models adjusted for 10 principal components for the different clinical comparisons.
In case–control comparisons PRS-SZ, PRS-BD and PRS-D distributed differentially across psychotic subcategories. In case–case comparisons, both PRS-SZ [odds ratio (OR) = 0.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.54–0.92] and PRS-D (OR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.06–1.61) differentiated AP from SSD; and within AP categories, only PRS-SZ differentiated BD from psychotic depression (OR = 2.14, 95% CI 1.23–3.74).
Combining PRS for severe psychiatric disorders in prediction models for psychosis phenotypes can increase discriminative ability and improve our understanding of these phenotypes. Our results point towards the potential usefulness of PRSs in specific populations such as high-risk or early psychosis phases.
A history of childhood adversity is associated with psychotic disorder, with an increase in risk according to the number of exposures. However, it is not known why only some exposed individuals go on to develop psychosis. One possibility is pre-existing polygenic vulnerability. Here, we investigated, in the largest sample of first-episode psychosis (FEP) cases to date, whether childhood adversity and high polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia (SZ-PRS) combine synergistically to increase the risk of psychosis, over and above the effect of each alone.
We assigned a schizophrenia-polygenic risk score (SZ-PRS), calculated from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC2), to all participants in a sample of 384 FEP patients and 690 controls from the case–control component of the EU-GEI study. Only participants of European ancestry were included in the study. A history of childhood adversity was collected using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Synergistic effects were estimated using the interaction contrast ratio (ICR) [odds ratio (OR)exposure and PRS − ORexposure − ORPRS + 1] with adjustment for potential confounders.
There was some evidence that the combined effect of childhood adversities and polygenic risk was greater than the sum of each alone, as indicated by an ICR greater than zero [i.e. ICR 1.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) −1.29 to 3.85]. Examining subtypes of childhood adversities, the strongest synergetic effect was observed for physical abuse (ICR 6.25, 95% CI −6.25 to 20.88).
Our findings suggest possible synergistic effects of genetic liability and childhood adversity experiences in the onset of FEP, but larger samples are needed to increase precision of estimates.
Modern agriculture needs proper solutions to face the current trend of pesticides and fertilizers reduction. One of the available leverages to support this transition is the use of bioproducts that are more environmentally friendly and less hazardous for human health. Among them, blue biotechnology and more precisely seaweed and microalgae gain interest every year in the scientific community. In agriculture, seaweeds (Macroalgae) have been used in the production of plant biostimulants while microalgae still remain unexploited. Microalgae are widely described as renewable sources of biofuels, bioingredients and biologically active compounds, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), carotenoids, phycobiliproteins, sterols, vitamins and polysaccharides, which attract considerable interest in both scientific and industrial communities. They affect agricultural crops for enhancement of plant growth, seedling growth. They can also improve nutrient incorporation, fruit setting, resistance properties against pests and diseases, improving stress management (drought, salinity and temperature). The present review aimed at the interest of blue biotechnology in agronomy, with a specific focus on microalgae, their biological activities and their possible application in agriculture as a potentially sustainable alternative for enhanced crop performance, nutrient uptake and resilience to environmental stress. This review does not only present a comprehensive study of microalgae as plant biostimulants but also as biofertilizers, with a particular emphasis on future challenges these solutions will have to deal with, microalgae being able to synthesize secondary metabolites with potential biopesticidal action.
It remains unknown whether coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with bipolar disorders (BDs) are at an increased risk of mortality. We aimed to establish whether health outcomes and care differed between patients infected with COVID-19 with BD and patients without a diagnosis of severe mental illness.
We conducted a population-based cohort study of all patients with identified COVID-19 and respiratory symptoms who were hospitalized in France between February and June 2020. The outcomes were in-hospital mortality and intensive care unit (ICU) admission. We used propensity score matching to control for confounding factors.
In total, 50 407 patients were included, of whom 480 were patients with BD. Patients with BD were 2 years older, more frequently women and had more comorbidities than controls without a diagnosis of severe mental illness. Patients with BD had an increased in-hospital mortality rate (26.6% v. 21.9%; p = 0.034) and similar ICU admission rate (27.9% v. 28.4%, p = 0.799), as confirmed by propensity analysis [odds ratio, 95% confidence interval (OR, 95% CI) for mortality: 1.30 (1.16–1.45), p < 0.0001]. Significant interactions between BD and age and between BD and social deprivation were found, highlighting that the most important inequalities in mortality were observed in the youngest [OR, 95% CI 2.28 (1.18–4.41), p = 0.0015] and most deprived patients with BD [OR, 95% CI 1.60 (1.33–1.92), p < 0.001].
COVID-19 patients with BD were at an increased risk of mortality, which was exacerbated in the youngest and most deprived patients with BD. Patients with BD should thus be targeted as a high-risk population for severe forms of COVID-19, requiring enhanced preventive and disease management strategies.
Perceived discrimination is associated with worse mental health. Few studies have assessed whether perceived discrimination (i) is associated with the risk of psychotic disorders and (ii) contributes to an increased risk among minority ethnic groups relative to the ethnic majority.
We used data from the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions Work Package 2, a population-based case−control study of incident psychotic disorders in 17 catchment sites across six countries. We calculated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the associations between perceived discrimination and psychosis using mixed-effects logistic regression models. We used stratified and mediation analyses to explore differences for minority ethnic groups.
Reporting any perceived experience of major discrimination (e.g. unfair treatment by police, not getting hired) was higher in cases than controls (41.8% v. 34.2%). Pervasive experiences of discrimination (≥3 types) were also higher in cases than controls (11.3% v. 5.5%). In fully adjusted models, the odds of psychosis were 1.20 (95% CI 0.91–1.59) for any discrimination and 1.79 (95% CI 1.19–1.59) for pervasive discrimination compared with no discrimination. In stratified analyses, the magnitude of association for pervasive experiences of discrimination appeared stronger for minority ethnic groups (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.12–2.68) than the ethnic majority (OR = 1.42, 95% CI 0.65–3.10). In exploratory mediation analysis, pervasive discrimination minimally explained excess risk among minority ethnic groups (5.1%).
Pervasive experiences of discrimination are associated with slightly increased odds of psychotic disorders and may minimally help explain excess risk for minority ethnic groups.
Psychosis rates are higher among some migrant groups. We hypothesized that psychosis in migrants is associated with cumulative social disadvantage during different phases of migration.
We used data from the EUropean Network of National Schizophrenia Networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) case–control study. We defined a set of three indicators of social disadvantage for each phase: pre-migration, migration and post-migration. We examined whether social disadvantage in the pre- and post-migration phases, migration adversities, and mismatch between achievements and expectations differed between first-generation migrants with first-episode psychosis and healthy first-generation migrants, and tested whether this accounted for differences in odds of psychosis in multivariable logistic regression models.
In total, 249 cases and 219 controls were assessed. Pre-migration (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.06–2.44, p = 0.027) and post-migration social disadvantages (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.02–3.51, p = 0.044), along with expectations/achievements mismatch (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.03–1.26, p = 0.014) were all significantly associated with psychosis. Migration adversities (OR 1.18, 95% CI 0.672–2.06, p = 0.568) were not significantly related to the outcome. Finally, we found a dose–response effect between the number of adversities across all phases and odds of psychosis (⩾6: OR 14.09, 95% CI 2.06–96.47, p = 0.007).
The cumulative effect of social disadvantages before, during and after migration was associated with increased odds of psychosis in migrants, independently of ethnicity or length of stay in the country of arrival. Public health initiatives that address the social disadvantages that many migrants face during the whole migration process and post-migration psychological support may reduce the excess of psychosis in migrants.
We summarize some of the past year's most important findings within climate change-related research. New research has improved our understanding of Earth's sensitivity to carbon dioxide, finds that permafrost thaw could release more carbon emissions than expected and that the uptake of carbon in tropical ecosystems is weakening. Adverse impacts on human society include increasing water shortages and impacts on mental health. Options for solutions emerge from rethinking economic models, rights-based litigation, strengthened governance systems and a new social contract. The disruption caused by COVID-19 could be seized as an opportunity for positive change, directing economic stimulus towards sustainable investments.
A synthesis is made of ten fields within climate science where there have been significant advances since mid-2019, through an expert elicitation process with broad disciplinary scope. Findings include: (1) a better understanding of equilibrium climate sensitivity; (2) abrupt thaw as an accelerator of carbon release from permafrost; (3) changes to global and regional land carbon sinks; (4) impacts of climate change on water crises, including equity perspectives; (5) adverse effects on mental health from climate change; (6) immediate effects on climate of the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for recovery packages to deliver on the Paris Agreement; (7) suggested long-term changes to governance and a social contract to address climate change, learning from the current pandemic, (8) updated positive cost–benefit ratio and new perspectives on the potential for green growth in the short- and long-term perspective; (9) urban electrification as a strategy to move towards low-carbon energy systems and (10) rights-based litigation as an increasingly important method to address climate change, with recent clarifications on the legal standing and representation of future generations.
Social media summary
Stronger permafrost thaw, COVID-19 effects and growing mental health impacts among highlights of latest climate science.
In Europe, the incidence of psychotic disorder is high in certain migrant and minority ethnic groups (hence: ‘minorities’). However, it is unknown how the incidence pattern for these groups varies within this continent. Our objective was to compare, across sites in France, Italy, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands, the incidence rates for minorities and the incidence rate ratios (IRRs, minorities v. the local reference population).
The European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene–Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study was conducted between 2010 and 2015. We analyzed data on incident cases of non-organic psychosis (International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, codes F20–F33) from 13 sites.
The standardized incidence rates for minorities, combined into one category, varied from 12.2 in Valencia to 82.5 per 100 000 in Paris. These rates were generally high at sites with high rates for the reference population, and low at sites with low rates for the reference population. IRRs for minorities (combined into one category) varied from 0.70 (95% CI 0.32–1.53) in Valencia to 2.47 (95% CI 1.66–3.69) in Paris (test for interaction: p = 0.031). At most sites, IRRs were higher for persons from non-Western countries than for those from Western countries, with the highest IRRs for individuals from sub-Saharan Africa (adjusted IRR = 3.23, 95% CI 2.66–3.93).
Incidence rates vary by region of origin, region of destination and their combination. This suggests that they are strongly influenced by the social context.
Family caregivers (FCs) of cancer patients often experience high distress. This randomized clinical trial assessed the feasibility and preliminary effects of an intervention to improve FC supportive care.
A pragmatic and minimal intervention to improve FC supportive care was developed and pretested with FCs, oncology team, and family physicians to assess its relevance and acceptability. Then, FCs of lung cancer patients were randomized to the intervention or the control group. The intervention included (1) systematic FC distress screening and problem assessment in the first months after their relative cancer diagnosis, and every 2 months after; (2) privileged contact with an oncology nurse to address FC problems, provide emotional support and skills to play their caregiving role; (3) liaison with the family physician of FCs reporting high distress (distress thermometer score ≥4/10) to involve them in the provision of supportive care. Distress, the primary outcome, was measured every 3 months, for 9 months. Secondary outcomes included quality of life, caregiving preparedness, and perceived burden. At the end of their participation, a purposive sample of FC from the experimental group was individually interviewed to assess the intervention usefulness. Content analysis was performed.
A total of 109 FCs participated in the trial. FC distress decreased over time, but this reduction was observed in both groups. Similar results were found for secondary outcomes. However, FCs who received the intervention felt better prepared in caregiving than controls (p = 0.05). All 10 interviewed FCs valued the intervention, even though they clearly underused it. Knowing they could contact the oncology nurse served as a security net.
Significance of results
Although the intervention was not found effective, some of its aspects were positively perceived by FCs. As many of them experience high distress, an improved intervention should be developed to better support them.
Palliative care providers may face questions from patients and relatives regarding the heritability of cancers. Implications of such discussions for providers have been little explored. This study aimed to gather palliative care providers’ views on their main needs, roles, and ethical concerns regarding cancer family history discussions.
The palliative care providers who participated in the 2015 and 2017 annual meetings of the Quebec Palliative Care Association were approached to complete a web-based questionnaire. Study participants answered the questionnaire between November 2016 and July 2017. They were asked to identify the most facilitating factor for cancer family history discussions, as well as their most important knowledge needs, potential role, and ethical concerns. Descriptive analyses were conducted.
Ninety-four palliative care providers answered the questionnaire. Access to specialized resources to obtain information and protocols or guidelines were considered the most facilitating factors for cancer family history discussions by 32% and 20% of providers, respectively. Knowledge of hereditary cancers was the most relevant educational need for 53%. Thirty-eight per cent considered essential to be informed about their rights and duties regarding cancer family history discussions. Being attentive to patients’ concerns and referring families to appropriate resources were identified as the most relevant roles for palliative care providers by 47% and 34% of respondents, respectively. Fifty-eight per cent agreed that cancer family history discussions should be initiated only if beneficial to family members.
Significance of results
Education on hereditary cancers made consensus among palliative care providers as the most important knowledge need regarding discussing cancer family history at the end of life. Nonetheless, other less commonly expressed needs, including access to genetics specialists, protocols, or guidelines, and awareness of provider rights and duties concerning such discussions, deserve attention. Answering providers’ needs might help optimize cancer predisposition management in palliative care.
In this study, we aimed to capture perspectives of healthcare workers (HCWs) on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures implemented during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A cross-sectional survey of HCWs.
HCWs from the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.
A self-administered survey was distributed to HCWs. We analyzed factors influencing HCW knowledge and self-reported use of personal protective equipment (PPE), concerns about contracting COVID-19 and acceptance of the recommended IPAC precautions for COVID-19.
In total, 175 HCWs completed the survey between March 6 and March 10: 35 staff physicians (20%), 24 residents or fellows (14%), 72 nurses (41%), 14 respiratory therapists (8%), 14 administration staff (8%), and 14 other employees (8%). Most of the respondents were from the emergency department (n = 58, 33%) and the intensive care unit (n = 58, 33%). Only 86 respondents (50%) identified the correct donning order; only 60 (35%) identified the correct doffing order; but the majority (n = 113, 70%) indicated the need to wash their hands immediately prior to removal of their mask and eye protection. Also, 91 (54%) respondents felt comfortable with recommendations for droplet and/or contact precautions for routine care of patients with COVID-19. HCW occupation and concerns about contracting COVID-19 outside work were associated with nonacceptance of the recommendations (P = .016 and P = .036 respectively).
As part of their pandemic response plans, healthcare institutions should have ongoing training for HCWs that focus on appropriate PPE doffing and discussions around modes of transmission of COVID-19.
Rodents can be important in seed dispersal through their scatterhoarding behaviour, yet, the seed traits that are most influential in seed removal by Afrotropical scatterhoarding rodents remains unclear. Here, we investigated the effect of seed size and nutrient content of four seed species on the scatterhoarding behaviour of rodents in an Afromontane forest, Ngel Nyaki forest, Nigeria. To do this we marked with thread-tags the seeds of Santiria trimera, Beilschmedia mannii, Carapa oreophila and Anthonotha noldeae and observed their fate. We predicted that (1) caching frequency would be higher for larger than smaller seed species; (2) caching frequency would be higher for nutrient-rich than nutrient-poor seeds; (3) larger seeds would be taken across farther distances; and (4) survival of cached seeds would be higher for nutrient-rich seeds. In contrast to studies elsewhere we found no difference in caching probabilities based on seed size, although nutrient-rich (high fat content) seeds had a higher probability of being predated than seeds with lower fat content. Larger and smaller seeds were dispersed over the same distances and nutrient-poor (high fibre content) seeds survived longer in seed caches. Overall, our findings suggest that large, nutrient-rich seed species are less likely to be dispersed by rodents.
This paper presents a theoretical and experimental analysis of the capabilities of the dual-input Doherty power amplifier (DPA) architecture to mitigate efficiency and output power degradations when used in a mismatched load environment. Following a simplified linear piecewise approach, an analytical demonstration is proposed to derive optimal radio frequency drives applied to the Auxiliary path of the DPA to restore power performances while avoiding large signal voltage clipping of active cells. The proposed analytical study is corroborated with harmonic balance simulated results of a C-band, 20-W GaN DPA prototype. The fabricated dual-input DPA prototype has been measured under 1.5-VSWR mismatch configurations to validate the proposed analysis.
Functional capacity (FC) has been identified as a key outcome to improve real-world functioning in schizophrenia. FC is influenced by cognitive impairments, negative symptoms, self-stigma and reduced physical activity (PA). Psychosocial interventions targeting FC are still under-developed.
we conducted a quasi-experimental study evaluating the effects of an exercise-enriched integrated social cognitive remediation (SCR) intervention (RemedRugby [RR]) compared with an active control group practicing Touch Rugby (TR). To our knowledge, this is the first trial to date evaluating the effectiveness of such a program provided in a real-life environment.
Eighty-seven people with schizophrenia were included and allocated to either the RR group (n = 57) or the TR group (n = 30) according to the routine clinical practice of the recruiting center. Outcomes were evaluated at baseline and post-treatment in both groups and after 6 months of follow-up in the RR group using standardized scales for symptom severity, social functioning, self-stigma, and a large cognitive battery. After treatment we observed moderate to large improvements in social function (Personal and Social Performance Scale [PSP], p < 0.001, d = 1.255), symptom severity (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale [PANSS] negative, p < 0.001, d = 0.827; PANSS GP, p < 0.001, d = 0.991; PANSS positive, p = 0.009, d = 0.594), verbal abstraction (p = 0.008, d = 0.554), aggression bias (p = 0.008, d = 0.627), and self-stigma (stereotype endorsement, p = 0.019, d = 0.495; discrimination experiences, p = 0.047; d = 0.389) that were specific to the RR group and were not observed in participants playing only TR. Effects were persistent over time and even larger between post-treatment and follow-up.
Exercise-enriched integrated SCR appears promising to improve real-life functioning in schizophrenia. Future research should investigate the potential effects of this intervention on neuroplasticity and physical fitness.
The ‘jumping to conclusions’ (JTC) bias is associated with both psychosis and general cognition but their relationship is unclear. In this study, we set out to clarify the relationship between the JTC bias, IQ, psychosis and polygenic liability to schizophrenia and IQ.
A total of 817 first episode psychosis patients and 1294 population-based controls completed assessments of general intelligence (IQ), and JTC, and provided blood or saliva samples from which we extracted DNA and computed polygenic risk scores for IQ and schizophrenia.
The estimated proportion of the total effect of case/control differences on JTC mediated by IQ was 79%. Schizophrenia polygenic risk score was non-significantly associated with a higher number of beads drawn (B = 0.47, 95% CI −0.21 to 1.16, p = 0.17); whereas IQ PRS (B = 0.51, 95% CI 0.25–0.76, p < 0.001) significantly predicted the number of beads drawn, and was thus associated with reduced JTC bias. The JTC was more strongly associated with the higher level of psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) in controls, including after controlling for IQ (B = −1.7, 95% CI −2.8 to −0.5, p = 0.006), but did not relate to delusions in patients.
Our findings suggest that the JTC reasoning bias in psychosis might not be a specific cognitive deficit but rather a manifestation or consequence, of general cognitive impairment. Whereas, in the general population, the JTC bias is related to PLEs, independent of IQ. The work has the potential to inform interventions targeting cognitive biases in early psychosis.