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Clozapine is a dopamine receptor antagonist that blocks a range of other monoamine receptors and may have some effects on the glutamatergic system. There is evidence that it has better efficacy and effectiveness than other dopamine antagonists in treating schizophrenia that has failed to respond to other dopamine receptor antagonists. It appears to reduce impulsive behaviours such as violence (Frogley et al., 2011), self-harm (Meltzer et al., 2003) and substance misuse (Lalanne et al., 2016) and to have mood-stabilizing properties (Chang et al., 2006). In the UK it is licensed for three indications: (i) treatment-resistant schizophrenia, (ii) for treating schizophrenia when other antipsychotics have led to severe neurological adverse reactions and (iii) treating psychosis associated with Parkinson’s disease where standard treatment has failed (electronic Medicines Compendium, 2019).
Over the past decade, a growing interest has developed on the archaeology, palaeontology, and palaeoenvironments of the Arabian Peninsula. It is now clear that hominins repeatedly dispersed into Arabia, notably during pluvial interglacial periods when much of the peninsula was characterised by a semiarid grassland environment. During the intervening glacial phases, however, grasslands were replaced with arid and hyperarid deserts. These millennial-scale climatic fluctuations have subjected bones and fossils to a dramatic suite of environmental conditions, affecting their fossilisation and preservation. Yet, as relatively few palaeontological assemblages have been reported from the Pleistocene of Arabia, our understanding of the preservational pathways that skeletal elements can take in these types of environments is lacking. Here, we report the first widespread taxonomic and taphonomic assessment of Arabian fossil deposits. Novel fossil fauna are described and overall the fauna are consistent with a well-watered semiarid grassland environment. Likewise, the taphonomic results suggest that bones were deposited under more humid conditions than present in the region today. However, fossils often exhibit significant attrition, obscuring and fragmenting most finds. These are likely tied to wind abrasion, insolation, and salt weathering following fossilisation and exhumation, processes particularly prevalent in desert environments.
To investigate the percentage of patients who commenced smoking after transferring out of a non-smoking forensic psychiatric unit, the corresponding clozapine dose adjustments, the effects on plasma clozapine/norclozapine concentrations and observed changes in mental state. We reviewed the notes and plasma clozapine/norclozapine concentrations of 46 patients transferred to medium secure units between July 2008 and December 2013.
Thirty-five patients commenced smoking. Their median clozapine dose was increased by 50 mg/d. In the non-smokers, the median clozapine dose remained unchanged. Plasma clozapine/norclozapine concentrations were significantly reduced in smokers despite dosage adjustment. Eighteen patients experienced deterioration in mental state after transfer; almost all these patients were smokers.
Approximately three-quarters of patients who were non-smokers by virtue of being in a secure non-smoking environment commenced smoking after transfer. Monitoring of clozapine serum levels and assessment of mental state in the immediate period after a change in smoking status is indicated.
Despite policy and practice mandates for patient involvement, people with serious mental illness often feel marginalised in decisions about antipsychotic medication.
To examine stakeholder perspectives of barriers and facilitators to involving people with serious mental illness in antipsychotic prescribing decisions.
Systematic thematic synthesis.
Synthesis of 29 studies identified the following key influences on involvement: patient's capability, desire and expectation for involvement, organisational context, and the consultation setting and processes.
Optimal patient involvement in antipsychotic decisions demands that individual and contextual barriers are addressed. There was divergence in perceived barriers to involvement identified by patients and prescribers. For example, patients felt that lack of time in consultations was a barrier to involvement, something seldom raised by prescribers, who identified organisational barriers. Patients must understand their rights to involvement and the value of their expertise. Organisational initiatives should mandate prescriber responsibility to overcome barriers to involvement.
We present preliminary results from MUSE on the Lyα luminosity function in the Hubble Deep Field South (HDFS). Using a large homogeneous sample of LAEs selected through blind spectroscopy, we utilise the unprecedented detection power of MUSE to study the progenitors of L* galaxies back to when the Universe was just ~2 Gyr old. We present these results in the context of the current literature, and highlight the importance of the forthcoming Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) study with MUSE, which will increase the size of our sample by a factor of ~ 10.
It is uncertain whether antipsychotic long-acting injection (LAI) medication in schizophrenia is associated with better clinical outcomes than oral preparations.
To examine the impact of prior treatment delivery route on treatment outcomes and whether any differences are moderated by adherence.
Analysis of data from two pragmatic 1-year clinical trials in which patients with schizophrenia were randomised to either an oral first-generation antipsychotic (FGA), or a non-clozapine second-generation antipsychotic (SGA, CUtLASS 1 study), or a non-clozapine SGA or clozapine (CUtLASS 2 study).
Across both trials, 43% (n = 155) of participants were prescribed an FGA-LAI before randomisation. At 1-year follow-up they showed less improvement in quality of life, symptoms and global functioning than those randomised from oral medication. This difference was confined to patients rated as less than consistently adherent pre-randomisation. The relatively poor improvement in the patients prescribed an LAI pre-randomisation was ameliorated if they had been randomised to clozapine rather than another SGA. There was no advantage to being randomly assigned from an LAI at baseline to a non-clozapine oral SGA rather than an oral FGA.
A switch at randomisation from an LAI to an oral antipsychotic was associated with poorer clinical and functional outcomes at 1-year follow-up compared with switching from one oral antipsychotic to another. This effect appears to be moderated by adherence, and may not extend to switching to clozapine. This has implications for clinical trial design: the drug from which a participant is randomised may have a greater effect than the drug to which they are randomised.
Background: There is a strong evidence base for psychological treatments in younger adults with schizophrenia, but limited work has been done on adapting these interventions for older people. Aims: We describe a study of a pilot psychosocial intervention group specifically designed to meet the needs of older people with schizophrenia in NHS settings. Method: We used a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the group. We assessed feasibility and acceptability by monitoring uptake and retention in the study. We used a within groups design comparing participants on a range of potentially relevant outcomes at baseline and posttreatment. Treatment acceptability was also assessed by semi-structured interviews conducted at the end of treatment. Results: We recruited 11 participants to the study and 7 of these completed the majority of the group sessions. At a group level participants made improvements in self-esteem and negative symptoms that were statistically significant even in this small sample. Feedback interviews suggested that participants valued the social contact provided by the group and made actual changes in their day-to-day lives as a result of attending. Conclusion: The intervention could offer help with some of the secondary disability associated with the diagnosis of schizophrenia and is acceptable to older adults. Further evaluation is, however, warranted.
After his diplomatic sojourn in Syria as consul in Damascus, Richard Francis Burton (1821–90) published, in 1872, this two-volume account of nineteenth-century Syria. It is the result of collaboration with several partners with specific expertise, primarily Charles Frederick Tyrwhitt Drake (1846–74) but also Burton's wife. Throughout his life Burton immersed himself in as many different cultures as possible. His natural aptitude for languages and disguise allowed him to frequently pass himself off as a native. The two years he was consul were eventful, including local uprisings, an assassination attempt and religious strife. This work reveals the unknown and extraordinary side of Syria. In Volume 1, Burton and Drake use their experiences of living and travelling in the country, and those of friends and colleagues, to explore the geography, natural history, politics and culture of remote provinces.