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There is an increasing prevalence of mental disorders in Malaysia, with a growing need to improve access to timely and efficient mental healthcare to address this burden. This review outlines the current legislative framework and the challenges of delivering mental healthcare and treating mental disorders in Malaysia.
We sought to assess the effectiveness of clozapine augmentation with Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) (C+ECT) in patients with clozapine-resistant schizophrenia.
We conducted a retrospective review of electronic health records to identify patients treated with C+ECT. We determined the response to C+ECT and the rate of rehospitalisation over the year following treatment with C+ECT.
Forty-two patients were treated with C+ECT over a 10-year period. The mean age of the patients at initiation of ECT was 46.3 (SD = 8.2) years (range 27–62 years). The mean number of ECTs given was 10.6 (SD = 5.3) (range 3–25) with the majority receiving twice weekly ECT. Seventy-six per cent of patients (n = 32) showed a Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) score of ≤3 (at least minimally improved) following C+ECT. The mean number of ECT treatments was 10.6 (SD = 5.3) (range 3–25) with the majority receiving twice weekly ECT. Sixty-four per cent of patients experienced no adverse events. Response to C+ECT was not associated with gender, age, duration of illness or duration of clozapine treatment. Seventy-five per cent of responders remained out of hospital over the course of 1-year follow-up, while 70% of those with no response to C+ECT were not admitted to hospital. Three patients received maintenance ECT, one of whom was rehospitalised.
This study lends support to emerging evidence for the effectiveness of C+ECT in clozapine-resistant schizophrenia. These results are consistent with the results of a meta-analysis and the only randomised controlled trial (RCT) of this intervention. Further RCTs are required before this treatment can be confidently recommended.
The first episode of psychosis is a critical period in the emergence of cardiometabolic risk.
We set out to explore the influence of individual and lifestyle factors on cardiometabolic outcomes in early psychosis.
This was a prospective cohort study of 293 UK adults presenting with first-episode psychosis investigating the influence of sociodemographics, lifestyle (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, nutrition, smoking, alcohol, substance use) and medication on cardiometabolic outcomes over the following 12 months.
Rates of obesity and glucose dysregulation rose from 17.8% and 12%, respectively, at baseline to 23.7% and 23.7% at 1 year. Little change was seen over time in the 76.8% tobacco smoking rate or the quarter who were sedentary for over 10 h daily. We found no association between lifestyle at baseline or type of antipsychotic medication prescribed with either baseline or 1-year cardiometabolic outcomes. Median haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) rose by 3.3 mmol/mol in participants from Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, with little change observed in their White counterparts. At 12 months, one-third of those with BME heritage exceeded the threshold for prediabetes (HbA1c >39 mmol/mol).
Unhealthy lifestyle choices are prevalent in early psychosis and cardiometabolic risk worsens over the next year, creating an important window for prevention. We found no evidence, however, that preventative strategies should be preferentially directed based on lifestyle habits. Further work is needed to determine whether clinical strategies should allow for differential patterns of emergence of cardiometabolic risk in people of different ethnicities.
Reducing hospitalisation and length of stay (LOS) in hospital following first episode psychosis (FEP) is important, yet reliable measures of these outcomes and their moderators are lacking. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the proportion of FEP cases who were hospitalised after their first contact with services and the LOS in a hospital during follow-up.
Studies were identified from a systematic search across major electronic databases from inception to October 2017. Random effects meta-analyses and meta-regression analyses were conducted.
81 longitudinal studies encompassing data for 23 280 FEP patients with an average follow-up length of 7 years were included. 55% (95% CI 50.3–60.5%) of FEP cases were hospitalised at least once during follow-up with the pooled average LOS of 116.7 days (95% CI 95.1–138.3). Older age of illness onset and being in a stable relationship were associated with a lower proportion of people who were hospitalised. While the proportion of hospitalised patients has not decreased over time, LOS has, with the sharpest reduction in the latest time period. The proportion of patients hospitalised during follow-up was highest in Australia and New Zealand (78.4%) compared to Europe (58.1%) and North America (48.0%); and lowest in Asia (32.5%). Black ethnicity and longer duration of untreated psychosis were associated with longer LOS; while less severe psychotic symptoms at baseline were associated with shorter LOS.
One in two FEP cases required hospitalisation at least once during a 7-year follow-up with an average length of hospitalisation of 4 months during this period. LOS has declined over time, particularly in those countries in which it was previously longest.
Evidence from preclinical and clinical studies supports a role for vitamin D deficiency in many mental disorders. In this review, we discuss the role of vitamin D in the aetiology and treatment of schizophrenia and depression and their physical health comorbidities. Although observational studies support a potential association between vitamin D and schizophrenia and depression, sufficient high-quality evidence from clinical trials does not yet exist to establish a place for vitamin D supplementation in optimising clinical response or promoting physical health. Completed randomised controlled trials are needed to provide insights into the efficacy and safety of vitamin D in the management of mental disorders.
After reading this article you will be able to:
• outline the epidemiology of vitamin D deficiency in schizophrenia
• describe the associations of vitamin D with schizophrenia and depression
• know how to assess, and consider treatment for, vitamin D deficiency.
DECLARATION OF INTEREST
F.G. has received support or honoraria for CME, advisory work and lectures from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen, Lundbeck, Otsuka, Roche and Sunovion, and has a family member with professional links to Lilly and GSK, including shares. She is in part funded by the National Institute for Health Research's (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London and the South London Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care Funding scheme, and by the Maudsley Charity. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
National information on mental health services in the Philippines indicates that there are substantial gaps and inconsistencies in the delivery of mental healthcare. The recently enacted Mental Health Act legislation provides a platform for the delivery of comprehensive and integrated mental health services. However, there remain many challenges in the provision of accessible and affordable mental healthcare.
The first mental health act legislation in the history of the Philippines has been officially signed into law and was enacted as the Republic Act no. 11036 on 21 June 2018. It provides a rights-based mental health bill and a comprehensive framework for the implementation of optimal mental healthcare in the Philippines. We review the principles and provisions of the Mental Health Act of 2017 and the implications for mental healthcare in the Philippines.
International scientific institutions are preferred settings to explore prominent topics in the transnational approaches to the recent history of science. These include: the dichotomy between universalism and contextualism in the historical evolution of exact sciences; the historical transformation of the ideals of scientific internationalism; the tensions between these historically changing ideals and scientists’ national allegiances; the balance between scientific and diplomatic activities of such institutions; and the issue of how the complex ideological, socio-political roles these institutions play affected the actual evolution of science.
Inspired by these overreaching themes, the paper presents a conceptual framework for pursuing a comparative analysis of IAU and IUPAP. A bird’s-eye view of the parallel historical developments of these two unions shows that, in spite of their common origins in the highly politicized context of the post-WWI reconstruction of international cooperation, IAU and IUPAP followed diverging trajectories in many respects. It is argued that a deeper study of these differences might give important insights to properly understand the relevance of specific disciplines’ scientific needs in the way the ideals and practices of scientific internationalism were actualized through the 20th century.
We aimed to examine clinical and risk outcomes at follow-up, and reoffending and readmission rates, for a sample of 50 admissions to a female medium secure unit (MSU). Demographic, clinical risk assessment (HCR-20 and HoNOS-Secure) and quality of life data were collected using validated measures for all admissions to a female MSU ward in London, UK, between April 2008 and November 2014.
All clinical and risk assessment scale scores had improved at follow-up. Quality of life compared favourably to community samples and was good for physical, social and environmental factors and acceptable for psychological health. Twenty-six per cent had at least one readmission, while 17.5% reoffended in the period studied. A longer duration of admission and use of restrictions on discharge was associated with reduced reoffending, but not readmission.
Admission is associated with improvement on clinical risk assessment at follow-up. Longer hospital admissions and use of restrictions on discharge may be necessary to prevent reoffending in this group.
A case is presented of a 30-year-old female with treatment-resistant schizoaffective disorder who was referred to a tertiary-level specialist psychosis service. We describe the history of clozapine trials and associated episodes of agranulocytosis and neutropenia, followed by the successfully tolerated third clozapine re-challenge within our service.
Remission and recovery rates for people with first-episode psychosis (FEP) remain uncertain.
To assess pooled prevalence rates of remission and recovery in FEP and to investigate potential moderators.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess pooled prevalence rates of remission and recovery in FEP in longitudinal studies with more than 1 year of follow-up data, and conducted meta-regression analyses to investigate potential moderators.
Seventy-nine studies were included representing 19072 patients with FEP. The pooled rate of remission among 12301 individuals with FEP was 58% (60 studies, mean follow-up 5.5 years). Higher remission rates were moderated by studies from more recent years. The pooled prevalence of recovery among 9642 individuals with FEP was 38% (35 studies, mean follow-up 7.2 years). Recovery rates were higher in North America than in other regions.
Remission and recovery rates in FEP may be more favourable than previously thought. We observed stability of recovery rates after the first 2 years, suggesting that a progressive deteriorating course of illness is not typical. Although remission rates have improved over time recovery rates have not, raising questions about the effectiveness of services in achieving improved recovery.
There has been much recent excitement about the possibility that some cases of psychosis may be wholly due to brain-reactive antibodies, with antibodies to N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) and the voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC)-complex reported in a few patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Participants were recruited from psychiatric services in South London, UK, from 2009 to 2011 as part of the Genetics and Psychosis study. We conducted a case–control study to examine NMDAR and VGKC-complex antibody levels and rates of antibody positivity in 96 patients presenting with FEP and 98 controls matched for age and sex. Leucine-rich glioma inactiviated-1 (LGI1) and contactin-associated protein (CASPR) antibodies were also measured. Notably, patients with suspicion of organic disease were excluded.
VGKC-complex antibodies were found in both cases (n = 3) and controls (n = 2). NMDAR antibody positivity was seen in one case and one control. Either LGI1-Abs or CASPR2-Abs were found in three cases and three controls. Neuronal antibody staining, consistent with the above results or indicating potential novel antigens, was overall positive in four patients but also in six controls. Overall, antibody positivity was at low levels only and not higher in cases than in controls.
This case–control study of the prevalence of antibodies in FEP does not provide evidence to support the hypothesis that FEP is associated with an immune-mediated process in a subgroup of patients. Nevertheless, as other bio-clinical factors may influence the effect of such antibodies in a given individual, and patients with organic neurological disease may be misdiagnosed as FEP, the field requires more research to put these findings in context.
The traditional approach to selecting antipsychotic medication involves little more than trial and error. Recent advances in genetics and molecular science offer the hope of a ‘personalised medicine’ approach to antipsychotic development and prescribing in schizophrenia. Personalised medicine is the practice of tailoring medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient. In schizophrenia, this will involve the identification of more homogeneous subsets of patients through the application of genetics, epigenetics, proteomics and metabolomics, neuroimaging and other biomarkers, and the use of these findings to stratify patients according to their response to treatment. In this article, we focus on the emerging evidence in pharmacogenetics and biomarkers for assessing individual response and tolerability of antipsychotic medication in schizophrenia.
N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R) autoantibodies have
been reported in people with acute psychosis. We hypothesised that their
presence may be implicated in the aetiology of treatment-refractory
psychosis. We sought to ascertain the point prevalence of NMDA-R antibody
positivity in patients referred to services for treatment-refractory
psychosis. We found that 3 (7.0%) of 43 individuals had low positive NMDA-R
antibody titres. This suggests that NMDA-R autoantibodies are unlikely to
account for a large proportion of treatment-refractory psychosis.
To measure patient satisfaction with psychiatric outpatient care in a university hospital setting. We wished to ascertain whether there was an association between increased patient satisfaction and background factors such as demographic details, diagnosis and patient preference for outpatient treatment in a hospital or a community setting.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey of individuals’ satisfaction levels with their outpatient treatment. Outpatients were invited to complete the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire-8 (CSQ-8), a well validated self-report instrument, along with some additional questions on their attitudes to the service.
One hundred and sixty-two respondents had a mean total CSQ-8 score of 26.7 (s.d. = 4.6) indicating a moderate to high level of satisfaction with outpatient care. Ninety percent of patients were satisfied with their psychiatric outpatient care. There were no significant sociodemographic or clinical associations with satisfaction levels identified. Sixty one percent of patients were in favour of retaining outpatient care in the university hospital.
This study demonstrates high satisfaction levels with psychiatric outpatient care in a university hospital setting. The majority of patients expressed a preference for maintaining outpatient care in the general hospital setting, rather than transferring to a stand-alone mental health facility in a suburban setting.
A cross-sectional study to ascertain levels of personal and perceived public mental illness stigma in a university student population and the association between the respective levels of stigma and help-seeking intention. An adaptation of the Discrimination-Devaluation scale was used.
A total of 735 students participated in the study (response rate 77%). There were higher mean perceived public stigma levels than personal stigma levels. Perceived public stigma was not significantly associated with future non-help-seeking intention (odds ratio (OR) = 0.871, P = 0.428). Personal stigma was significantly associated with a decreased likelihood of future help-seeking intention (OR = 1.44, P = 0.043). Being younger than 25, having no history of or treatment for mental illness and having no personal contact with someone with a history of mental illness were all associated with higher personal stigma levels.
This study indicates that personal stigma as distinct from perceived public stigma is a significant barrier to mental health utilisation for a student population and future stigma reduction campaigns could strategically focus on this.
To examine the prevalence of head shop drug usage in individuals attending a range of adult mental health services. We examined the effect of head shop drug usage on the mental state of individuals with a range of mental health disorders. Clinical data were obtained from 608 consecutively reviewed individuals attending adult mental health services in relation to their use of head shop and psychoactive drugs and the putative effects of head shop drugs on their mental state.
The prevalence of head shop drug use was 13% (n= 78), with a higher prevalence of usage noted in individuals younger than 35 years of age (25%). A large proportion of individuals (n= 41, 54%) reported adverse effects of these agents on their mental state, with psychotic symptoms being the most prevalent.
Head shop drug usage was associated with a reported deleterious effect on mental state, which was particularly evident for individuals with a history of psychosis.
To ascertain the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in individuals with chronic enduring mental illness attending community psychiatric day centres, and to identify the prevalence of individual cardiometabolic risk factors and the rate of screening for these abnormalities. One hundred participants with chronic enduring mental illness were recruited and investigated using physical assessments and comprehensive laboratory testing.
Of the 100 participants recruited, 55% met the criteria for metabolic syndrome. There were similar prevalence rates between those with psychotic and non-psychotic disorders. Forty-four per cent of the patients had not been screened for metabolic parameters in the previous 12 months, and 43% of these met criteria for metabolic syndrome.
Chronic enduring mental illness is associated with high prevalence rates of metabolic syndrome regardless of diagnosis or use of antipsychotic medication. A substantial proportion of this standard cohort of patients attending day centres carry cardiovascular risk factors that remain unidentified, but should be screened for and intensively managed.
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