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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.
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.
Daily use of high-potency cannabis has been reported to carry a high risk for developing a psychotic disorder. However, the evidence is mixed on whether any pattern of cannabis use is associated with a particular symptomatology in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients.
We analysed data from 901 FEP patients and 1235 controls recruited across six countries, as part of the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study. We used item response modelling to estimate two bifactor models, which included general and specific dimensions of psychotic symptoms in patients and psychotic experiences in controls. The associations between these dimensions and cannabis use were evaluated using linear mixed-effects models analyses.
In patients, there was a linear relationship between the positive symptom dimension and the extent of lifetime exposure to cannabis, with daily users of high-potency cannabis having the highest score (B = 0.35; 95% CI 0.14–0.56). Moreover, negative symptoms were more common among patients who never used cannabis compared with those with any pattern of use (B = −0.22; 95% CI −0.37 to −0.07). In controls, psychotic experiences were associated with current use of cannabis but not with the extent of lifetime use. Neither patients nor controls presented differences in depressive dimension related to cannabis use.
Our findings provide the first large-scale evidence that FEP patients with a history of daily use of high-potency cannabis present with more positive and less negative symptoms, compared with those who never used cannabis or used low-potency types.
Preterm birth, defined as delivery <37 weeks’ gestation, is a major public health issue worldwide. An estimated 15 million babies are born preterm every year . Preterm birth and the associated complications are now the leading cause of mortality in children under the age of 5 worldwide, accounting for 1 million deaths per year . In the US, 11–12% of deliveries occur preterm, and worldwide, this figure is increasing. Babies born at ‘term’ – conventionally designated as 37–42 weeks’ gestation – have consistently better morbidity and mortality outcomes than those born before 37 weeks. In the short term, organ immaturity predisposes the preterm neonate to complications such as intraventricular hemorrhage and periventricular leukomalacia, necrotizing enterocolitis, and respiratory distress syndrome. Immaturity of the immune system increases the risk of neonatal sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia. In the longer term, preterm babies have an increased prevalence of neurodevelopmental delay and chronic lung disease, and later in life, higher rates of adult-onset disease, from diabetes to hypertension and obesity . Whilst extremely preterm (<28 weeks) and very preterm (28–32 weeks) neonates are at the highest risk of complications, studies have demonstrated that even late preterm birth (34 – 36 + 6 weeks) confers an increased risk of morbidity and mortality . These effects appear to be pervasive, and as such premature infants have been shown to have lower educational attainment and employment than those born at term [5, 6].
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
The global population including Canada’s is aging, which demands planning for housing that will support older adults’ quality of life. This mixed-method study is the first Canadian study to examine the impact of cohousing on older adults’ quality of life and involved 23 participants. The older adults rated their quality of life very high, especially in the environmental, physical, and psychological domains of the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL_BREF) survey; quality of life in the social domain was rated low, which was surprising in light of the focus group data findings. Four themes of “belonging in a community”, “life in the community”, “changes associated with aging,” and “aging in place” emerged from the qualitative data to explain factors that influence older adults’ quality of life. This research provides foundational, strong evidence that seniors’ cohousing is an innovative housing solution that can support older adults’ quality of life.
An improved understanding of diagnostic and treatment practices for patients with rare primary mitochondrial disorders can support benchmarking against guidelines and establish priorities for evaluative research. We aimed to describe physician care for patients with mitochondrial diseases in Canada, including variation in care.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey of Canadian physicians involved in the diagnosis and/or ongoing care of patients with mitochondrial diseases. We used snowball sampling to identify potentially eligible participants, who were contacted by mail up to five times and invited to complete a questionnaire by mail or internet. The questionnaire addressed: personal experience in providing care for mitochondrial disorders; diagnostic and treatment practices; challenges in accessing tests or treatments; and views regarding research priorities.
We received 58 survey responses (52% response rate). Most respondents (83%) reported spending 20% or less of their clinical practice time caring for patients with mitochondrial disorders. We identified important variation in diagnostic care, although assessments frequently reported as diagnostically helpful (e.g., brain magnetic resonance imaging, MRI/MR spectroscopy) were also recommended in published guidelines. Approximately half (49%) of participants would recommend “mitochondrial cocktails” for all or most patients, but we identified variation in responses regarding specific vitamins and cofactors. A majority of physicians recommended studies on the development of effective therapies as the top research priority.
While Canadian physicians’ views about diagnostic care and disease management are aligned with published recommendations, important variations in care reflect persistent areas of uncertainty and a need for empirical evidence to support and update standard protocols.
This volume wades into the fertile waters of Augustan Rome and the interrelationship of its literature, monuments, and urban landscape. It focused on a pair of questions: how can we productively probe the myriad points of contact between textual and material evidence to write viable cultural histories of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, and what are the limits of these kinds of analysis? The studies gathered here range from monumental absences to monumental texts, from canonical Roman authors such as Cicero, Livy, and Ovid to iconic Roman monuments such as the Rostra, Pantheon, and Solar Meridian of Augustus. Each chapter examines what the texts in, on, and about the city tell us about how the ancients thought about, interacted with, and responded to their urban-monumental landscape. The result is a volume whose methodological and heuristic techniques will be compelling and useful for all scholars of the ancient Mediterranean world.
Amorphous Mg-Fe silicates are produced from microwave-dried sol-gels and their thermal crystallisation is studied via in situ synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction. Mg-pyroxene crystallised to forsterite, enstatite and cristobalite. The inclusion of 10% Fe formed only forsterite at much higher temperature, while pure Mg-olivine crystallised at a lower temperature than Mg-pyroxene. Cristobalite is observed as a high-temperature crystallite in the pure-Mg compositions. Crystallisation activation energies are derived and discussed in relation to protoplanetary disks.