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There is emerging evidence of heterogeneity within treatment-resistance schizophrenia (TRS), with some people not responding to antipsychotic treatment from illness onset and a smaller group becoming treatment-resistant after an initial response period. It has been suggested that these groups have different aetiologies. Few studies have investigated socio-demographic and clinical differences between early and late onset of TRS.
This study aims to investigate socio-demographic and clinical correlates of late-onset of TRS.
Using data from the electronic health records of the South London and Maudsley, we identified a cohort of people with TRS. Regression analyses were conducted to identify correlates of the length of treatment to TRS. Analysed predictors include gender, age, ethnicity, positive symptoms severity, problems with activities of daily living, psychiatric comorbidities, involuntary hospitalisation and treatment with long-acting injectable antipsychotics.
We observed a continuum of the length of treatment until TRS presentation. Having severe hallucinations and delusions at treatment start was associated shorter duration of treatment until the presentation of TRS.
Our findings do not support a clear cut categorisation between early and late TRS, based on length of treatment until treatment resistance onset. More severe positive symptoms predict earlier onset of treatment resistance.
DFdF, GKS, EF and IR have received research funding from Janssen and H. Lundbeck A/S. RDH and HS have received research funding from Roche, Pfizer, Janssen and Lundbeck. SES is employed on a grant held by Cardiff University from Takeda Pharmaceutical Comp
This article is a clinical guide which discusses the “state-of-the-art” usage of the classic monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants (phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and isocarboxazid) in modern psychiatric practice. The guide is for all clinicians, including those who may not be experienced MAOI prescribers. It discusses indications, drug-drug interactions, side-effect management, and the safety of various augmentation strategies. There is a clear and broad consensus (more than 70 international expert endorsers), based on 6 decades of experience, for the recommendations herein exposited. They are based on empirical evidence and expert opinion—this guide is presented as a new specialist-consensus standard. The guide provides practical clinical advice, and is the basis for the rational use of these drugs, particularly because it improves and updates knowledge, and corrects the various misconceptions that have hitherto been prominent in the literature, partly due to insufficient knowledge of pharmacology. The guide suggests that MAOIs should always be considered in cases of treatment-resistant depression (including those melancholic in nature), and prior to electroconvulsive therapy—while taking into account of patient preference. In selected cases, they may be considered earlier in the treatment algorithm than has previously been customary, and should not be regarded as drugs of last resort; they may prove decisively effective when many other treatments have failed. The guide clarifies key points on the concomitant use of incorrectly proscribed drugs such as methylphenidate and some tricyclic antidepressants. It also illustrates the straightforward “bridging” methods that may be used to transition simply and safely from other antidepressants to MAOIs.
To describe pediatric outpatient visits and antibiotic prescribing during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
An observational, retrospective control study from January 2019 to October 2021.
Outpatient clinics, including 27 family medicine clinics, 27 pediatric clinics, and 26 urgent or prompt care clinics.
Children aged 0–19 years receiving care in an outpatient setting.
Data were extracted from the electronic health record. The COVID-19 era was defined as April 1, 2020, to October 31, 2021. Virtual visits were identified by coded encounter or visit type variables. Visit diagnoses were assigned using a 3-tier classification system based on appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing and a subanalysis of respiratory visits was performed to compare changes in the COVID-19 era compared to baseline.
Through October 2021, we detected an overall sustained reduction of 18.2% in antibiotic prescribing to children. Disproportionate changes occurred in the percentages of antibiotic visits in respiratory visits for children by age, race or ethnicity, practice setting, and prescriber type. Virtual visits were minimal during the study period but did not result in higher rates of antibiotic visits or in-person follow-up visits.
These findings suggest that reductions in antibiotic prescribing have been sustained despite increases in outpatient visits. However, additional studies are warranted to better understand disproportionate rates of antibiotic visits.
Nearly three times as many people detained in a jail have a serious mental illness (SMI) when compared to community samples. Once an individual with SMI gets involved in the criminal justice system, they are more likely than the general population to stay in the system, face repeated incarcerations, and return to prison more quickly when compared to their nonmentally ill counterparts.
The Cal-DSH Diversion Guidelines provide 10 general guidelines that jurisdictions should consider when developing diversion programs for individuals with a serious mental illness (SMI) who become involved in the criminal justice system. Screening for SMI in a jail setting is reviewed. In addition, important treatment interventions for SMI and substance use disorders are highlighted with the need to address criminogenic risk factors highlighted.
Dementia-related psychosis (DRP) is prevalent across dementias and typically manifests as delusions and/or hallucinations. The mechanisms underlying psychosis in dementia are unknown; however, neurobiological and pharmacological evidence has implicated multiple signaling pathways and brain regions. Despite differences in dementia pathology, the neurobiology underlying psychosis appears to involve dysregulation of a cortical and limbic pathway involving serotonergic, gamma-aminobutyric acid ergic, glutamatergic, and dopaminergic signaling. Thus, an imbalance in cortical and mesolimbic excitatory tone may drive symptoms of psychosis. Delusions and hallucinations may result from (1) hyperactivation of pyramidal neurons within the visual cortex, causing visual hallucinations and (2) hyperactivation of the mesolimbic pathway, causing both delusions and hallucinations. Modulation of the 5-HT2A receptor may mitigate hyperactivity at both psychosis-associated pathways. Pimavanserin, an atypical antipsychotic, is a selective serotonin inverse agonist/antagonist at 5-HT2A receptors. Pimavanserin may prove beneficial in treating the hallucinations and delusions of DRP without worsening cognitive or motor function.
Individuals at Ultra High Risk (UHR) for psychosis typically present with attenuated psychotic symptoms. However it is difficult to predict which individuals will later develop frank psychosis when their mental state is rated in terms of individual symptoms.
The objective of the study was to examine the phenomenological structure of the UHR mental state and identify symptom profiles that predict later transition to psychosis.
Psychopathological data from a large sample of UHR subjects were analysed using latent class cluster analysis.
A total of 318 individuals with a UHR for psychosis. Data were collected from two specialised community mental health services for people at UHR for psychosis: OASIS in London and PACE, in Melbourne.
Latent class cluster analysis produced 4 classes: Class 1 - Mild was characterized by lower scores on all the CAARMS items. Subjects in Class 2 - Moderate scored moderately on all CAARMS items and was more likely to be in employment. Those in Class 3 - Moderate-Severe scored moderately-severe on negative symptoms, social isolation and impaired role functioning. Class 4 - Severe was the smallest group and was associated with the most impairment: subjects in this class scored highest on all items of the CAARMS, had the lowest GAF score and were more likely to be unemployed. This group was also characterized by the highest transition rate (41%).
Different constellations of symptomatology are associates with varying levels of risk to of transition to psychosis.
To investigate the effect of past depression, past and current eating disorders (ED) on perinatal anxiety and depression in a large general population cohort of pregnant women, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents And Children (ALSPAC).
Anxiety and depression were measured during and after pregnancy in 10,887 women, using the Crown-Crisp Experiential Inventory and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Women were grouped according to depression and ED history: past ED with (n = 123) and without past depression (n = 50), pregnancy ED symptoms with (n = 77) and without past depression (n = 159), past depression only (n = 818) and controls (n = 9,660). We compared the course of depression and anxiety with linear mixed-effect regression models; and probable depressive and anxiety disorders using logistic regression.
Women with both past depression and past/current ED had high anxiety and depression across time perinatally; this was most marked in the group with pregnancy ED symptoms and past depression (b coefficient:5.1 (95% CI 4.1-6.1), p < 0.0001), especially at 8 months post-partum. At 18 weeks in pregnancy all women (apart from those with past ED only) had a higher risk for a probable depressive and anxiety disorder compared to controls. At 8 months post-partum pregnancy ED symptoms and/or past depression conferred the highest risk for a probable depressive and anxiety disorder.
Pregnancy ED symptoms and past depression have an additive effect in increasing the risk for depression and anxiety perinatally. Screening at risk women for anxiety and depression in the perinatal period might be beneficial.
The increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome in people with severe mental illness (SMI) is well documented. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria for metabolic syndrome are three or more of the following: waist circumference ( 80 cm (females), (94 cm (males) OR BMI (30, triglycerides >1.7 mmol/l or on treatment, raised blood pressure (systolic >130 mg Hg or diastolic >85 mm Hg, OR on treatment for hypertension), raised fasting blood glucose (.5.6 mmol/l) OR diagnosed type II diabetes) and reduced HDL cholesterol (< 1.03 mmol/l) OR on treatment.
The IMPACT RCT is a Department of Health funded trial of a health promotion intervention (HPI) delivered by care co-ordinators to people with SMI across South London, Kent and Sussex. The intervention is focussed on improving health by addressing modifiable lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity, obesity, cigarette smoking, alcohol and substance use.
We investigated the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a sample of 212 patients for whom we had relevant baseline measures.
Data (weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels) were analysed on 212 patients.
45% of the sample met IDF criteria for metabolic syndrome. Mean BMI was 30.6, glucose 6.4 mmol/L, triglycerides 2.0 mmol/L, HDL 1.2 (mmol/L), waist circumference 105.8 cm, and BP 122/82 mm Hg.
Metabolic syndrome was highly prevalent in this sample, significantly increasing the risk of physical morbidity and potentially lowering life expectancy. There is an unmet need for health promotion interventions in order to lower morbidity and mortality risk in these populations.
The long-term clinical validity of the At Risk Mental State (ARMS) for the prediction of non-psychotic mental disorders is unknown.
Clinical register-based cohort study including all non-psychotic individuals assessed by the Outreach And Support in South London (OASIS) service (2002–2015). The primary outcome was risk of developing any mental disorder (psychotic or non-psychotic). Analyses included Cox proportional hazard models, Kaplan–Meier survival/failure function and C statistics.
A total of 710 subjects were included. A total of 411 subjects were at risk (ARMS+) and 299 not at risk (ARMS−). Relative to ARMS−, the ARMS+ was associated with an increased risk (HR = 4.825) of developing psychotic disorders, and a reduced risk (HR = 0.545) of developing non-psychotic disorders (mainly personality disorders). At 6-year, the ARMS designation retained high sensitivity (0.873) but only modest specificity (0.456) for the prediction of psychosis onset (AUC 0.68). The brief and limited intermittent psychotic symptoms (BLIPS) subgroup had a higher risk of developing psychosis, and a lower risk of developing non-psychotic disorders as compared to the attenuated psychotic symptoms (APS) subgroup (P < 0.001).
In the long-term, the ARMS specifically predicts the onset of psychotic disorders, with modest accuracy, but not of non-psychotic disorders. Individuals meeting BLIPS criteria have distinct clinical outcomes.
In the long-term, the ARMS designation is still significantly associated with an increased risk of developing psychotic disorders but its prognostic accuracy is only modest. There is no evidence that the ARMS is associated with an increased risk of developing non-psychotic mental disorders. The BLIPS subgroup at lower risk of developing non-psychotic disorders compared to the APS subgroup.
While incident diagnoses employed in this study are high in ecological validity they have not been subjected to formal validation with research-based criteria.
In recent years the association between sexual dysfunction (SD) and obesity in the general population has drawn major attention. Although sexual dysfunction is common in psychosis, its relationship with weight gain and obesity remains unclear.
To investigate the association between sexual dysfunction and obesity in a cohort of patients with first episode psychosis.
Sexual function was assessed in a cohort of patients with first episode psychosis using the Sexual Function Questionnaire (SFQ). Anthropometric measures, including weight, BMI, waist, waist–hip ratio were investigated. Additionally, leptin and testosterone were investigated in male patients.
A total of 116 patients (61 males and 55 females) were included. Of these 59% of males and 67.3% of females showed sexual dysfunction (SD) according to the SFQ. In males, higher SFQ scores were significantly correlated with higher BMI (Std. β = 0.36, P = 0.01), higher leptin levels (Std. β = 0.34, P = 0.02), higher waist–hip ratio (Std. β = 0.32, P = 0.04) and lower testosterone levels (Std. β = −0.44, P = 0.002). In contrast, in females, SFQ scores were not associated with any of these factors.
While sexual dysfunction is present in both female and male patients with their first episode of psychosis, only in males is sexual dysfunction associated with increased BMI and waist–hip ratio. The association between SD, BMI, low levels of testosterone and high levels of leptin suggest that policies that lead to healthier diets and more active lifestyles can be beneficial at least, to male patients.
During the past two decades, it has been amply documented that neuropsychiatric disorders (NPDs) disproportionately account for burden of illness attributable to chronic non-communicable medical disorders globally. It is also likely that human capital costs attributable to NPDs will disproportionately increase as a consequence of population aging and beneficial risk factor modification of other common and chronic medical disorders (e.g., cardiovascular disease). Notwithstanding the availability of multiple modalities of antidepressant treatment, relatively few studies in psychiatry have primarily sought to determine whether improving cognitive function in MDD improves patient reported outcomes (PROs) and/or is cost effective. The mediational relevance of cognition in MDD potentially extrapolates to all NPDs, indicating that screening for, measuring, preventing, and treating cognitive deficits in psychiatry is not only a primary therapeutic target, but also should be conceptualized as a transdiagnostic domain to be considered regardless of patient age and/or differential diagnosis.
Most studies underline the contribution of heritable factors for psychiatric disorders. However, heritability estimates depend on the population under study, diagnostic instruments, and study designs that each has its inherent assumptions, strengths, and biases. We aim to test the homogeneity in heritability estimates between two powerful, and state of the art study designs for eight psychiatric disorders.
We assessed heritability based on data of Swedish siblings (N = 4 408 646 full and maternal half-siblings), and based on summary data of eight samples with measured genotypes (N = 125 533 cases and 208 215 controls). All data were based on standard diagnostic criteria. Eight psychiatric disorders were studied: (1) alcohol dependence (AD), (2) anorexia nervosa, (3) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), (4) autism spectrum disorder, (5) bipolar disorder, (6) major depressive disorder, (7) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and (8) schizophrenia.
Heritability estimates from sibling data varied from 0.30 for Major Depression to 0.80 for ADHD. The estimates based on the measured genotypes were lower, ranging from 0.10 for AD to 0.28 for OCD, but were significant, and correlated positively (0.19) with national sibling-based estimates. When removing OCD from the data the correlation increased to 0.50.
Given the unique character of each study design, the convergent findings for these eight psychiatric conditions suggest that heritability estimates are robust across different methods. The findings also highlight large differences in genetic and environmental influences between psychiatric disorders, providing future directions for etiological psychiatric research.
False positive findings in science are inevitable, but are they particularly common in psychology and psychiatry? The evidence that we review suggests that while not restricted to our field, the problem is acute. We describe the concept of researcher ‘degrees-of-freedom’ to explain how many false-positive findings arise, and how the various strategies of registration, pre-specification, and reporting standards that are being adopted both reduce and make these visible. We review possible benefits and harms of proposed statistical solutions, from tougher requirements for significance, to Bayesian and machine learning approaches to analysis. Finally we consider the organisation and methods for replication and systematic review in psychology and psychiatry.
Recent theories suggest that poor working memory (WM) may be the cognitive underpinning of negative symptoms in people with schizophrenia. In this study, we first explore the effect of cognitive remediation (CR) on two clusters of negative symptoms (i.e. expressive and social amotivation), and then assess the relevance of WM gains as a possible mediator of symptom improvement.
Data were accessed for 309 people with schizophrenia from the NIMH Database of Cognitive Training and Remediation Studies and a separate study. Approximately half the participants received CR and the rest were allocated to a control condition. All participants were assessed before and after therapy and at follow-up. Expressive negative symptoms and social amotivation symptoms scores were calculated from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. WM was assessed with digit span and letter-number span tests.
Participants who received CR had a significant improvement in WM scores (d = 0.27) compared with those in the control condition. Improvements in social amotivation levels approached statistical significance (d = −0.19), but change in expressive negative symptoms did not differ between groups. WM change did not mediate the effect of CR on social amotivation.
The results suggest that a course of CR may benefit behavioural negative symptoms. Despite hypotheses linking memory problems with negative symptoms, the current findings do not support the role of this cognitive domain as a significant mediator. The results indicate that WM improves independently from negative symptoms reduction.
We examined longitudinally the course and predictors of treatment resistance in a large cohort of first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients from initiation of antipsychotic treatment. We hypothesized that antipsychotic treatment resistance is: (a) present at illness onset; and (b) differentially associated with clinical and demographic factors.
The study sample comprised 323 FEP patients who were studied at first contact and at 10-year follow-up. We collated clinical information on severity of symptoms, antipsychotic medication and treatment adherence during the follow-up period to determine the presence, course and predictors of treatment resistance.
From the 23% of the patients, who were treatment resistant, 84% were treatment resistant from illness onset. Multivariable regression analysis revealed that diagnosis of schizophrenia, negative symptoms, younger age at onset, and longer duration of untreated psychosis predicted treatment resistance from illness onset.
The striking majority of treatment-resistant patients do not respond to first-line antipsychotic treatment even at time of FEP. Clinicians must be alert to this subgroup of patients and consider clozapine treatment as early as possible during the first presentation of psychosis.
A significant minority of people presenting with a major depressive episode (MDE) experience co-occurring subsyndromal hypo/manic symptoms. As this presentation may have important prognostic and treatment implications, the DSM–5 codified a new nosological entity, the “mixed features specifier,” referring to individuals meeting threshold criteria for an MDE and subthreshold symptoms of (hypo)mania or to individuals with syndromal mania and subthreshold depressive symptoms. The mixed features specifier adds to a growing list of monikers that have been put forward to describe phenotypes characterized by the admixture of depressive and hypomanic symptoms (e.g., mixed depression, depression with mixed features, or depressive mixed states [DMX]). Current treatment guidelines, regulatory approvals, as well the current evidentiary base provide insufficient decision support to practitioners who provide care to individuals presenting with an MDE with mixed features. In addition, all existing psychotropic agents evaluated in mixed patients have largely been confined to patient populations meeting the DSM–IV definition of “mixed states” wherein the co-occurrence of threshold-level mania and threshold-level MDE was required. Toward the aim of assisting clinicians providing care to adults with MDE and mixed features, we have assembled a panel of experts on mood disorders to develop these guidelines on the recognition and treatment of mixed depression, based on the few studies that have focused specifically on DMX as well as decades of cumulated clinical experience.
Psychiatric research has entered the age of ‘Big Data’. Datasets now routinely involve thousands of heterogeneous variables, including clinical, neuroimaging, genomic, proteomic, transcriptomic and other ‘omic’ measures. The analysis of these datasets is challenging, especially when the number of measurements exceeds the number of individuals, and may be further complicated by missing data for some subjects and variables that are highly correlated. Statistical learning-based models are a natural extension of classical statistical approaches but provide more effective methods to analyse very large datasets. In addition, the predictive capability of such models promises to be useful in developing decision support systems. That is, methods that can be introduced to clinical settings and guide, for example, diagnosis classification or personalized treatment. In this review, we aim to outline the potential benefits of statistical learning methods in clinical research. We first introduce the concept of Big Data in different environments. We then describe how modern statistical learning models can be used in practice on Big Datasets to extract relevant information. Finally, we discuss the strengths of using statistical learning in psychiatric studies, from both research and practical clinical points of view.