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Although behavior therapy reduces tic severity, it is unknown whether it improves co-occurring psychiatric symptoms and functional outcomes for adults with Tourette's disorder (TD). This information is essential for effective treatment planning. This study examined the effects of behavior therapy on psychiatric symptoms and functional outcomes in older adolescents and adults with TD.
A total of 122 individuals with TD or a chronic tic disorder participated in a clinical trial comparing behavior therapy to psychoeducation and supportive therapy. At baseline, posttreatment, and follow-up visits, participants completed assessments of tic severity, co-occurring symptoms (inattention, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, anger, anxiety, depression, obsessions, and compulsions), and psychosocial functioning. We compared changes in tic severity, psychiatric symptoms, and functional outcomes using repeated measure and one-way analysis of variance.
At posttreatment, participants receiving behavior therapy reported greater reductions in obsessions compared to participants in supportive therapy (
$\eta _p^2 $
= 0.04, p = 0.04). Across treatments, a positive treatment response on the Clinical Global Impression of Improvement scale was associated with a reduced disruption in family life (
$\eta _p^2 $
= 0.05, p = 0.02) and improved functioning in a parental role (
$\eta _p^2 $
= 0.37, p = 0.02). Participants who responded positively to eight sessions of behavior therapy had an improvement in tic severity (
$\eta _p^2 $
= 0.75, p < 0.001), inattention (
$\eta _p^2 $
= 0.48, p < 0.02), and functioning (
$\eta _p^2 $
= 0.39–0.42, p < 0.03–0.04) at the 6-month follow-up.
Behavior therapy has a therapeutic benefit for co-occurring obsessive symptoms in the short-term, and reduces tic severity and disability in adults with TD over time. Additional treatments may be necessary to address co-occurring symptoms and improve functional outcomes.
Sodium nitroprusside (SNP) has been reported to rapidly reduce psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. This has the potential to revolutionize treatment for schizophrenia. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that SNP leads to a reduction in psychotic symptoms and an improvement in spatial working memory (SWM) performance in patients with schizophrenia.
This was a single-centre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial performed from 27 August 2014 to 10 February 2016 (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02176044). Twenty patients with schizophrenia aged 18–60 years with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were recruited from psychiatric outpatient clinics in the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, London, UK. Baseline symptoms were measured using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the 18-item Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS-18), and SWM was assessed using the CANTAB computerized test. Participants received either an infusion of SNP (0.5 μg/kg per min for 4 h) or placebo and were re-assessed for symptoms and SWM performance immediately after the infusion, and 4 weeks later.
SNP did not lead to any reduction in psychotic symptoms or improvement in SWM performance compared to placebo.
Although this study was negative, it is possible that the beneficial effects of SNP may occur in patients with a shorter history of illness, or with more acute exacerbation of symptoms.
Evidence has accumulated that implicates childhood trauma in the aetiology of psychosis, but our understanding of the putative psychological processes and mechanisms through which childhood trauma impacts on individuals and contributes to the development of psychosis remains limited. We aimed to investigate whether stress sensitivity and threat anticipation underlie the association between childhood abuse and psychosis.
We used the Experience Sampling Method to measure stress, threat anticipation, negative affect, and psychotic experiences in 50 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients, 44 At-Risk Mental State (ARMS) participants, and 52 controls. Childhood abuse was assessed using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire.
Associations of minor socio-environmental stress in daily life with negative affect and psychotic experiences were modified by sexual abuse and group (all pFWE < 0.05). While there was strong evidence that these associations were greater in FEP exposed to high levels of sexual abuse, and some evidence of greater associations in ARMS exposed to high levels of sexual abuse, controls exposed to high levels of sexual abuse were more resilient and reported less intense negative emotional reactions to socio-environmental stress. A similar pattern was evident for threat anticipation.
Elevated sensitivity and lack of resilience to socio-environmental stress and enhanced threat anticipation in daily life may be important psychological processes underlying the association between childhood sexual abuse and psychosis.
Mood instability is an important problem but has received relatively little research attention. Natural language processing (NLP) is a novel method, which can used to automatically extract clinical data from electronic health records (EHRs).
To extract mood instability data from EHRs and investigate its impact on people with mental health disorders.
Data on mood instability were extracted using NLP from 27,704 adults receiving care from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) for affective, personality or psychotic disorders. These data were used to investigate the association of mood instability with different mental disorders and with hospitalisation and treatment outcomes.
Mood instability was documented in 12.1% of people included in the study. It was most frequently documented in people with bipolar disorder (22.6%), but was also common in personality disorder (17.8%) and schizophrenia (15.5%). It was associated with a greater number of days spent in hospital (B coefficient 18.5, 95% CI 12.1–24.8), greater frequency of hospitalisation (incidence rate ratio 1.95, 1.75–2.17), and an increased likelihood of prescription of antipsychotics (2.03, 1.75–2.35).
Using NLP, it was possible to identify mood instability in a large number of people, which would otherwise not have been possible by manually reading clinical records. Mood instability occurs in a wide range of mental disorders. It is generally associated with poor clinical outcomes. These findings suggest that clinicians should screen for mood instability across all common mental health disorders. The data also highlight the utility of NLP for clinical research.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The definition of ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis was derived from community-based help-seeking populations. Prisoners have high rates of psychosis and other severe mental health (MH) problems. They also have high rates of risk factors for psychiatric morbidity and yet they are among the populations who are less likely to seek help in the community. Despite a policy of equivalence of care for individuals in prison there are no early intervention services for psychosis in prisons in the UK. This was a study exploring feasibility of introducing such a service into a local London prison. This paper discusses the differences in MH profile of prisoners who met criteria for at-risk mental state compared with those who did not.
A two-stage procedure was used. Participants in a local London prison were routinely screened in the first week of arrival in prison with the Prodrome Questionnaire – Brief Version (PQ-B; Loewy et al. 2011). Those that screened positive as well as a small sample of those who screened negative underwent a further semi-structured assessment to see whether they met criteria for UHR state. Data on self-harm and suicide attempt, family psychiatric history, and anxiety and depression was also collected.
A total of 891 prisoners were screened, 44% of whom screened positive. A total of 354 underwent second stage assessment, 60 of whom had screened negative. Four groups were identified: those that had no MH problems, a group experiencing First Episode Psychosis, those at UHR of psychosis and a group with other MH problems. The UHR state and Psychotic groups had very similar MH profiles of symptoms and distress. Prisoners with no MH problems were at the other end of the spectrum with few symptoms and little distress. The Other group fell in between this group and the psychotic spectrum group in terms of symptomology and distress.
This study is the first to examine risk for psychosis in an adult male prison population. We identified a broad spectrum of MH disorder for which there is little current service provision in prisons. Screening early in the custodial process has the potential to identify unmet MH need and has implications for keeping individuals safe in custody. A long-term strategic approach is required to address MH need in prisons.
The heritability of the brain’s structure and function in schizophrenia remains elusive
To assess the influence of genetic and environmental factors on executive function in schizophrenia.
A twin-sibling study of 206 subjects; 163 twins, varying in their zygosity and concordance for schizophrenia, and 43 singletons from sibling clusters varying in their concordance for schizophrenia. We assessed performance and regional brain activation using functional magnetic resonance imaging, during a phonological verbal fluency task.
Patients and their unaffected relatives developed greater activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus, and greater deactivation in the middle temporal gyri bilaterally. These features were maximally evident in subjects with schizophrenia. When the analysis was restricted to the unaffected relatives and healthy controls, a similar pattern was evident. Heritability was greatest in the left hippocampus and the right middle temporal gyrus. Genetic modelling indicated a phenotypic correlation between schizophrenia and increased activity in the inferior frontal gyrus and reduced activity in the left middle temporal gyrus and left hippocampus, which appeared principally due to shared genetic effects.
Both schizophrenia and its familial vulnerability were associated with altered frontal, parahippocampal and temporal activation during verbal fluency. The altered left inferior frontal activity was particularly associated with schizophrenia, while altered left medial temporal and right middle temporal activity were more heritable. The latter was more intimately linked to the genetic risk for schizophrenia, and thus the better candidate intermediate phenotype.
Medication adherence is a matter of relevance for early treatment of psychotic disorder.
To understand pattern of medication adherence in this population and factors influencing.
To understand the antipsychotic adherence pattern in early stages of psychotic disorder and to identify factors that influence.
Natural observation study of 136 patients of first-episode psychosis presenting to Early intervention service in multicultural South London. Data derived from case notes and interviews using standard rating scales for first 18 months.
Only 39% of patients (n=50) were 100% time adherent with antipsychotic medication in the first month (rest were 83%). Patients using illicit substances were less likely 100% adherent (Pearson χ2= 13.1, df=1,p=0.001). Caucasian patients were more likely to be fully adherent in the first month than Ethnic minority patients (Pearson χ2= 7.5, df=1, p=0.009). During the follow-up period about 57% patients had weeks of not taking antipsychotic, mostly after recovery from first episode. Ethnicity (Pearson χ2=4.5, df=1, p=0.05) and experience of extrapyramidal side-effect (Pearson χ2= 5.6, df=1, p=0.02) were associated with this gap. Involvement of a carer in treatment was associated with better (100%) adherence during follow-up (Pearson χ2= 4.9, df=1,p=0.03).
Interventions in early stages of psychosis should focus on therapies involving carers/ families and giving attention to illicit substances use and delivered in way relevant to the local ethnic population. Also antipsychotics chosen carefully, using a lower dose and actively looking for emergence of side-effects.
Alterations in gray matter (GM) are commonly observed in schizophrenia. Accumulating studies suggest that the brain changes associated with schizophrenia are distributed rather than focal, involving interconnected networks of areas as opposed to single regions. In the current study we aimed to explore GM volume (GMV) changes in a relatively large sample of treatment-naive first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients using optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and covariation analysis.
High-resolution T1-weighted images were obtained using 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from 86 first-episode drug-naive patients with schizophrenia and 86 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Symptom severity was evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). GMV was assessed using optimized VBM and in 16 regions of interest (ROIs), selected on the basis of a previous meta-analysis. The relationships between GMVs in the ROIs were examined using an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
The VBM analysis revealed that first-episode patients showed reduced GMV in the hippocampus bilaterally. The ROI analysis identified reductions in GMV in the left inferior frontal gyrus, bilateral hippocampus and right thalamus. The ANCOVA revealed different patterns of regional GMV correlations in patients and controls, including of inter- and intra-insula, inter-amygdala and insula–postcentral gyrus connections.
Schizophrenia involves regional reductions in GMV and changes in GMV covariance in the insula, amygdala and postcentral gyrus. These findings were evident at the onset of the disorder, before treatment, and therefore cannot be attributable to the effects of chronic illness progression or medication.
Schizophrenia is an aetiologically complex disorder associated with significant familial risk. It is marked also by reductions in whole brain, grey and possibly white matter volumes. How these pathological abnormalities are influenced by schizophrenia's genetic and environmental risk remains uncertain.
We investigated the relationship between familial and environmental risk on brain volume in twin pairs varying in their zygosity and concordance for schizophrenia, and healthy control twins, using a variety of complementary imaging strategies. These included region of interest and automated tissue segmentation volumes and voxel based morphometry.
We found that whole brain, grey, white, frontal and right hippocampal volumes were smaller in probands with schizophrenia compared to healthy controls. Well co-twins from MZ discordant pairs showed a trend towards lower white matter volume compared to the healthy controls. Well co-twins from DZ discordant pairs had smaller hippocampal volumes compared to the healthy controls. The patients with schizophrenia and their well co-twins from MZ discordant pairs differed in the superior frontal cortex using both region of interest and VBM techniques. Lower birth weight and hypoxia were both associated with lower whole brain volumes, and with lower white and grey matter volumes respectively.
Our data suggest that total brain and grey matter volume reductions in schizophrenia, possibly focused in part in the frontal cortex, are related primarily to unique environmental factors, including perinatal complications. The white matter and local hippocampal volume reductions suggest an additional vulnerability to genetic risk effects.
Current guidelines on management of first-episode mania recommend augmenting with Valproate or other mood-stabilisers if antipsychotic proves ineffective.
To study if timing of starting mood-stabiliser augmentation would influence recovery outcomes in first-episode mania with psychosis.
To study how ‘time to start augmentation’ is related to ‘time to recovery’ and ‘hospital stay’
11 patients with first-episode mania with psychosis (FEM-P) presenting to a specialist early-intervention service in South London, part of naturalistic study of 150 cases of first-episode psychosis. Patients interviewed using the standard rating scales. Other details of treatment obtained from systematic review of case-notes covering 18 months. Operational criteria defined recovery. Correlation and regression analysis carried out to test hypotheses using SPSS-19. Set of predictor variables such as age, DUP, type of antipsychotic, substance misuse used in regression.
All 11 patients started on atypical-antipsychotic (Olanzapine 5, Risperidone 6). 9 patients required augmentation with Valproate, with a mean time of 74 days (s.d.=91) to start augmentation. The mean time to first recovery was 86 days (s.d.=39). Regression analysis with ‘time to recovery’ as dependant variable and ‘time to start augmentation’ as covariate with other predictor variables yielded significant relationship (F=9.2, t=3.1, p=0.02, CI 0.07-0.56). Also time to ‘start augmentation’ showed correlation at trend-level with ‘hospital stay’ (mean= 40, s.d.= 40.3) (Pearson correlation =0.57, p=0.09).
When there is insufficient response with antipsychotic in treatment of FEM-P, augmentation with mood-stabiliser such as Valproate without delay can shorten time to recovery and hospital stay.
This cross-sectional study seeks to (a) describe developmental correlates of sensory hyporesponsiveness to social and nonsocial stimuli, (b) determine whether hyporesponsiveness is generalized across contexts in children with autism relative to controls, and (c) test the associations between hyporesponsiveness and social communication outcomes. Three groups of children ages 11–105 months (N = 178; autism = 63, developmental delay = 47, typical development = 68) are given developmental and sensory measures including a behavioral orienting task (the Sensory Processing Assessment). Lab measures are significantly correlated with parental reports of sensory hyporesponsiveness. Censored regression models show that hyporesponsiveness decreased across groups with increasing mental age (MA). Group differences are significant but depend upon two-way interactions with MA and context (social and nonsocial). At a very young MA (e.g., 6 months), the autism group demonstrates more hyporesponsiveness to social and nonsocial stimuli (with larger effects for social) than developmental delay and typically developing groups, but at an older MA (e.g., 60 months) there are no significant differences. Hyporesponsiveness to social and nonsocial stimuli predicts lower levels of joint attention and language in children with autism. Generalized processes in attention disengagement and behavioral orienting may have relevance for identifying early risk factors of autism and for facilitating learning across contexts to support the development of joint attention and language.
Discontinuation of antipsychotic medication occurs in 40-55% of patients following first episode psychosis. It is only recently that the impacts of short periods of nonadherence in first episode psychosis are being understood.
To study the impact of short periods of interruptions in antipsychotic treatment in first episode psychosis.
127 consecutive cases of first episode non-affective psychosis (F20-29 ICD-10) presenting to a specialist first episode psychosis service in South East London. Patients were interviewed at baseline by a researcher using the PANSS and other symptom scales at the start and at 18 months. Clinical notes were analysed using operational criteria set for recovery, exacerbation and relapse. Medication utilisation assessed using patient report and clinical notes to identify interruptions of ≥ 1 month in treatment.
58% (n = 73) patients had a treatment break due to non-adherence in the follow up period. 18 patients had treatment break before first recovery and their time to recovery was significantly prolonged than those without a break (mean 210 days Vs 127 days, t = 2.9, P = 0.01). The odds of relapse was 5.4 for those with treatment break (≥ 1 month) compared to those without break (p = 0.0001, CI 2.1–11). About 40% relapses occurred in first month of treatment break and mean time to relapse was 3 months.
Antipsychotic treatment should be uninterrupted in the early stages of psychosis and periods of even short breaks in treatment carries risk of adverse outcome like longer time to recover and high risk of immediate relapse.
Researchers have increasingly promoted an emerging paradigm of Indigenous archaeology, which includes an array of practices conducted by, for, and with Indigenous communities to challenge the discipline's intellectual breadth and political economy. McGhee (2008) argues that Indigenous archaeology is not viable because it depends upon the essentialist concept of “Aboriginalism.” In this reply, we correct McGhee's description of Indigenous Archaeology and demonstrate why Indigenous rights are not founded on essentialist imaginings. Rather, the legacies of colonialism, sociopolitical context of scientific inquiry, and insights of traditional knowledge provide a strong foundation for collaborative and community-based archaeology projects that include Indigenous peoples.
Altered neurocognitive function in schizophrenia could reflect both genetic and illness-specific effects.
To use functional magnetic resonance imaging to discriminate between the influences of the genetic risk for schizophrenia and environmental factors on the neural substrate of verbal fluency, a candidate schizophrenia endophenotype using a case control twin design.
We studied 23 monozygotic twin pairs: 13 pairs discordant for schizophrenia and 10 pairs of healthy volunteer twins. Groups were matched for age, gender, handedness, level of education, parental socio-economic status, and ethnicity. Behavioural performance and regional brain activation during a phonological verbal fluency task were assessed.
Relative to healthy control twins, both patients and their non-psychotic co-twins produced fewer correct responses and showed less activation in the medial temporal region and inferior frontal gyrus. Twins with schizophrenia showed greater activation than both their non-psychotic co-twins and controls in right lateral temporal cortex, reflecting reduced deactivation during word generation while their non-psychotic co-twins showed greater activation in the left temporal cortex.
Both genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia and schizophrenia were associated with impaired verbal fluency performance, reduced engagement of the medial temporal region and dorsal inferior frontal gyrus. Schizophrenia was specifically associated with an additional reduction in deactivation in the right temporal cortex.