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Impulsive and compulsive problem behaviours are associated with a variety of mental disorders. Latent phenotyping indicates the expression of impulsive and compulsive problem behaviours is predominantly governed by a transdiagnostic ‘disinhibition’ phenotype. In a cohort of 117 individuals, recruited as part of the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network (NSPN), we examined how brain functional connectome and network properties relate to disinhibition. Reduced functional connectivity within a subnetwork of frontal (especially right inferior frontal gyrus), occipital and parietal regions was linked to disinhibition. Findings provide insights into neurobiological pathways underlying the emergence of impulsive and compulsive disorders.
Several recent reports have raised concern that infected co-workers may be an important source of SARS-CoV-2 acquisition by healthcare personnel. In a suspected outbreak among emergency department personnel, sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 confirmed transmission among co-workers. The suspected 6-person outbreak included 2 distinct transmission clusters and 1 unrelated infection.
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is prevalent among adolescents and research is needed to clarify the mechanisms which contribute to the behavior. Here, the authors relate behavioral neurocognitive measures of impulsivity and compulsivity to repetitive and sporadic NSSI in a community sample of adolescents.
Computerized laboratory tasks (Affective Go/No-Go, Cambridge Gambling Task, and Probabilistic Reversal Task) were used to evaluate cognitive performance. Participants were adolescents aged 15 to 17 with (n = 50) and without (n = 190) NSSI history, sampled from the ROOTS project which recruited adolescents from secondary schools in Cambridgeshire, UK. NSSI was categorized as sporadic (1-3 instances per year) or repetitive (4 or more instances per year). Analyses were carried out in a series of linear and negative binomial regressions, controlling for age, gender, intelligence, and recent depressive symptoms.
Adolescents with lifetime NSSI, and repetitive NSSI specifically, made significantly more perseverative errors on the Probabilistic Reversal Task and exhibited significantly lower quality of decision making on the Cambridge Gambling Task compared to no-NSSI controls. Those with sporadic NSSI did not significantly differ from no-NSSI controls on task performance. NSSI was not associated with behavioral measures of impulsivity.
Repetitive NSSI is associated with increased behavioral compulsivity and disadvantageous decision making, but not with behavioral impulsivity. Future research should continue to investigate how neurocognitive phenotypes contribute to the onset and maintenance of NSSI, and determine whether compulsivity and addictive features of NSSI are potential targets for treatment.
Diets varying in SFA and MUFA content can impact glycaemic control; however, whether underlying differences in genetic make-up can influence blood glucose responses to these dietary fatty acids is unknown. We examined the impact of dietary oils varying in SFA/MUFA content on changes in blood glucose levels (primary outcome) and whether these changes were modified by variants in the stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) gene (secondary outcome). Obese men and women participating in the randomised, crossover, isoenergetic, controlled-feeding Canola Oil Multicenter Intervention Trial II consumed three dietary oils for 6 weeks, with washout periods of ˜6 weeks between each treatment. Diets studied included a high SFA/low MUFA Control oil (36·6 % SFA/28·2 % MUFA), a conventional canola oil (6·2 % SFA/63·1 % MUFA) and a high-oleic acid canola oil (5·8 % SFA/74·7 % MUFA). No differences in fasting blood glucose were observed following the consumption of the dietary oils. However, when stratified by SCD genotypes, significant SNP-by-treatment interactions on blood glucose response were found with additive models for rs1502593 (P = 0·01), rs3071 (P = 0·02) and rs522951 (P = 0·03). The interaction for rs3071 remained significant (P = 0·005) when analysed with a recessive model, where individuals carrying the CC genotype showed an increase (0·14 (sem 0·09) mmol/l) in blood glucose levels with the Control oil diet, but reductions in blood glucose with both MUFA oil diets. Individuals carrying the AA and AC genotypes experienced reductions in blood glucose in response to all three oils. These findings identify a potential new target for personalised nutrition approaches aimed at improving glycaemic control.
Despite evidence for the general effectiveness of psychological therapies, there exists substantial heterogeneity in patient outcomes. We aimed to identify factors associated with baseline severity of depression and anxiety symptoms, rate of symptomatic change over the course of therapy, and symptomatic recovery in a primary mental health care setting.
Using data from a service evaluation involving 35 527 patients in England's psychological and wellbeing [Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)] services, we applied latent growth models to explore which routinely-collected sociodemographic, clinical, and therapeutic variables were associated with baseline symptom severity and rate of symptomatic change. We used a multilevel logit model to determine variables associated with symptomatic recovery.
Being female, younger, more functionally impaired, and more socioeconomically disadvantaged was associated with higher baseline severity of both depression and anxiety symptoms. Being older, less functionally impaired, and having more severe baseline symptomatology was associated with more rapid improvement of both depression and anxiety symptoms (male gender and greater socioeconomic disadvantage were further associated with rate of change for depression only). Therapy intensity and appointment frequency seemed to have no correlation with rate of symptomatic improvement. Patients with lower baseline symptom severity, less functional impairment, and older age had a greater likelihood of achieving symptomatic recovery (as defined by IAPT criteria).
We must continue to investigate how best to tailor psychotherapeutic interventions to fit patients’ needs. Patients who begin therapy with more severe depression and/or anxiety symptoms and poorer functioning merit special attention, as these characteristics may negatively impact recovery.
Mental health policy makers require evidence-based information to optimise effective care provision based on local need, but tools are unavailable.
To develop and validate a population-level prediction model for need for early intervention in psychosis (EIP) care for first-episode psychosis (FEP) in England up to 2025, based on epidemiological evidence and demographic projections.
We used Bayesian Poisson regression to model small-area-level variation in FEP incidence for people aged 16–64 years. We compared six candidate models, validated against observed National Health Service FEP data in 2017. Our best-fitting model predicted annual incidence case-loads for EIP services in England up to 2025, for probable FEP, treatment in EIP services, initial assessment by EIP services and referral to EIP services for ‘suspected psychosis’. Forecasts were stratified by gender, age and ethnicity, at national and Clinical Commissioning Group levels.
A model with age, gender, ethnicity, small-area-level deprivation, social fragmentation and regional cannabis use provided best fit to observed new FEP cases at national and Clinical Commissioning Group levels in 2017 (predicted 8112, 95% CI 7623–8597; observed 8038, difference of 74 [0.92%]). By 2025, the model forecasted 11 067 new treated cases per annum (95% CI 10 383–11 740). For every 10 new treated cases, 21 and 23 people would be assessed by and referred to EIP services for suspected psychosis, respectively.
Our evidence-based methodology provides an accurate, validated tool to inform clinical provision of EIP services about future population need for care, based on local variation of major social determinants of psychosis.
Perceived discrimination is associated with worse mental health. Few studies have assessed whether perceived discrimination (i) is associated with the risk of psychotic disorders and (ii) contributes to an increased risk among minority ethnic groups relative to the ethnic majority.
We used data from the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions Work Package 2, a population-based case−control study of incident psychotic disorders in 17 catchment sites across six countries. We calculated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the associations between perceived discrimination and psychosis using mixed-effects logistic regression models. We used stratified and mediation analyses to explore differences for minority ethnic groups.
Reporting any perceived experience of major discrimination (e.g. unfair treatment by police, not getting hired) was higher in cases than controls (41.8% v. 34.2%). Pervasive experiences of discrimination (≥3 types) were also higher in cases than controls (11.3% v. 5.5%). In fully adjusted models, the odds of psychosis were 1.20 (95% CI 0.91–1.59) for any discrimination and 1.79 (95% CI 1.19–1.59) for pervasive discrimination compared with no discrimination. In stratified analyses, the magnitude of association for pervasive experiences of discrimination appeared stronger for minority ethnic groups (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.12–2.68) than the ethnic majority (OR = 1.42, 95% CI 0.65–3.10). In exploratory mediation analysis, pervasive discrimination minimally explained excess risk among minority ethnic groups (5.1%).
Pervasive experiences of discrimination are associated with slightly increased odds of psychotic disorders and may minimally help explain excess risk for minority ethnic groups.
Psychosis rates are higher among some migrant groups. We hypothesized that psychosis in migrants is associated with cumulative social disadvantage during different phases of migration.
We used data from the EUropean Network of National Schizophrenia Networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) case–control study. We defined a set of three indicators of social disadvantage for each phase: pre-migration, migration and post-migration. We examined whether social disadvantage in the pre- and post-migration phases, migration adversities, and mismatch between achievements and expectations differed between first-generation migrants with first-episode psychosis and healthy first-generation migrants, and tested whether this accounted for differences in odds of psychosis in multivariable logistic regression models.
In total, 249 cases and 219 controls were assessed. Pre-migration (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.06–2.44, p = 0.027) and post-migration social disadvantages (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.02–3.51, p = 0.044), along with expectations/achievements mismatch (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.03–1.26, p = 0.014) were all significantly associated with psychosis. Migration adversities (OR 1.18, 95% CI 0.672–2.06, p = 0.568) were not significantly related to the outcome. Finally, we found a dose–response effect between the number of adversities across all phases and odds of psychosis (⩾6: OR 14.09, 95% CI 2.06–96.47, p = 0.007).
The cumulative effect of social disadvantages before, during and after migration was associated with increased odds of psychosis in migrants, independently of ethnicity or length of stay in the country of arrival. Public health initiatives that address the social disadvantages that many migrants face during the whole migration process and post-migration psychological support may reduce the excess of psychosis in migrants.
The clinical course of psychotic disorders is highly variable. Typically, researchers have captured different course types using broad pre-defined categories. However, whether these adequately capture symptom trajectories of psychotic disorders has not been fully assessed. Using data from AESOP-10, we sought to identify classes of individuals with specific symptom trajectories over a 10-year follow-up using a data-driven approach.
AESOP-10 is a follow-up, at 10 years, of 532 incident cases with a first episode of psychosis initially identified in south-east London and Nottingham, UK. Using extensive information on fluctuations in the presence of psychotic symptoms, we fitted growth mixture models to identify latent trajectory classes that accounted for heterogeneity in the patterns of change in psychotic symptoms over time.
We had sufficient data on psychotic symptoms during the follow-up on 326 incident patients. A four-class quadratic growth mixture model identified four trajectories of psychotic symptoms: (1) remitting-improving (58.5%); (2) late decline (5.6%); (3) late improvement (5.4%); (4) persistent (30.6%). A persistent trajectory, compared with remitting-improving, was associated with gender (more men), black Caribbean ethnicity, low baseline education and high disadvantage, low premorbid IQ, a baseline diagnosis of non-affective psychosis and long DUP. Numbers were small, but there were indications that those with a late decline trajectory more closely resembled those with a persistent trajectory.
Our current approach to categorising the course of psychotic disorders may misclassify patients. This may confound efforts to elucidate the predictors of long-term course and related biomarkers.
To assess the contribution of different food groups to total salt purchases and to evaluate the estimated reduction in salt purchases if mandatory maximum salt limits in South African legislation were being complied with.
This study conducted a cross-sectional analysis of purchasing data from Discovery Vitality members. Data were linked to the South African FoodSwitch database to determine the salt content of each food product purchased. Food category and total annual salt purchases were determined by summing salt content (kg) per each unit purchased across a whole year. Reductions in annual salt purchases were estimated by applying legislated maximum limits to product salt content.
The study utilised purchasing data from 344 161 households, members of Discovery Vitality, collected for a whole year between January and December 2018.
Vitality members purchased R12·8 billion worth of food products in 2018, representing 9562 products from which 264 583 kg of salt was purchased. The main contributors to salt purchases were bread and bakery products (23·3 %); meat and meat products (19 %); dairy (12·2 %); sauces, dressings, spreads and dips (11·8 %); and convenience foods (8·7 %). The projected total quantity of salt that would be purchased after implementation of the salt legislation was 250 346 kg, a reduction of 5·4 % from 2018 levels.
A projected reduction in salt purchases of 5·4 % from 2018 levels suggests that meeting the mandatory maximum salt limits in South Africa will make a meaningful contribution to reducing salt purchases.
Calcareous loess in North Canterbury, eastern South Island, New Zealand (NZ), preserves subfossil bird bone, terrestrial gastropods, and eggshell, whose abundances and radiocarbon ages allowed us to reconstruct aspects of palaeoenvironment at high resolution through 25 to 21 cal ka BP. This interval includes millennial-scale climatic variability during the extended last glacial maximum (30–18 ka) of Australasia. Our loess palaeoclimatic record shows good correspondence with stadial and interstadial climate events of the NZ Climate Event Stratigraphy, which were defined from a pollen record on the western side of South Island. An interstade from 25.4 to 24 cal ka BP was warm but also relatively humid on eastern South Island, and loess grain size may indicate reduced vigour of the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds. The subsequent stade (24–22.6 cal ka BP) was drier, colder, and probably windier. The next interstade remained relatively dry on eastern South Island, and westerly winds remained vigorous. The 25.4–24 ka interstade is synchronous with Heinrich stade 2, which may have driven a southward migration of the subtropical front, leading to warming and wetting of northern and central South Island and retreat of Southern Alps glaciers at ca. 26.5 ka.
Year-round monitoring of Erebus volcano (Ross Island) has proved challenging due to the difficulties of maintaining continuous power for scientific instruments, especially through the Antarctic winter. We sought a potential solution involving the harvesting of thermal energy dissipated close to the summit crater of the volcano in a zone of diffuse hot gas emissions. We designed, constructed and tested a power generator based on the Seebeck effect, converting thermal energy to electrical power, which could, in principle, be used to run monitoring devices year round. We report here on the design of the generator and the results of an 11 day trial deployment on Erebus volcano in December 2014. The generator produced a mean output power of 270 mW, although we identified some technical issues that had impaired its efficiency. Nevertheless, this is already sufficient power for some monitoring equipment and, with design improvements, such a generator could provide a viable solution to powering a larger suite of instrumentation.
Exploring the range of circumstances in which medieval Christians laughed with, against, at, and through religious topics, this article investigates four objects: an ivory cross, an ampulla of a saint's blood, a preaching codex, and a pilgrim's badge. While these objects are taken to illustrate a diversity of attitudes to religious humor, they are also, in light of recent work citing the productive power of medieval matter, scrutinized as agents in their own right. The article suggests two significant patterns. On the one hand, the objects point to laughter's use as a unique mode of spiritual practice. Through amusing miracles, through the provocative work of comic sermons, and through the playful humor of pilgrimage badges, Christians from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries were able to use humor to relate to their faith in sophisticated and often counterintuitive ways. Yet as the four objects and their use also attest, these modes of comic relation were also subjected to clerical reduction and regulation. Harnessing the pedagogical potential of laughter especially, preachers, hagiographers, and clerics all worked to redirect more anarchic forms of religious humor toward functional ends. While tracing how laughter with Christian topics was increasingly encouraged, the article suggests that the price of this encouragement was that laughter was often brought into a more policed domain of orthodox Christian practice.
Childhood infections are associated with adult psychosis and depression, but studies of psychotic experiences (PEs) and depressive symptoms in childhood, adolescence, and early-adulthood are scarce. Previous studies have typically examined severe infections, but studies of common infections are also scarce.
Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth cohort, we examined associations of the number of infections in childhood from age 1.5 to 7.5 years with depressive symptom scores at age 10, 13, 14, 17, 18, and 19 years, and with PEs at 12 and 18 years. We performed additional analysis using infection burden (‘low’ = 0–4 infections, ‘medium’ = 5–6, ‘high’ = 7–9, or ‘very high’ = 10–22 infections) as the exposure.
The risk set comprised 11 786 individuals with childhood infection data. Number of childhood infections was associated with depressive symptoms from age 10 (adjusted beta = 0.14; standard error (s.e.) = 0.04; p = <0.01) to 17 years (adjusted beta = 0.17; s.e. = 0.08; p = 0.04), and with PEs at age 12 (suspected/definite PEs: adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.18; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.09–1.27). These effect sizes were larger when the exposure was defined as very high infection burden (depressive symptoms age 17: adjusted beta = 0.79; s.e. = 0.29; p = 0.01; suspected/definite PEs at age 12: adjusted OR = 1.60; 95% CI = 1.25–2.05). Childhood infections were not associated with depressive/psychotic outcomes at age 18 or 19.
Common early-childhood infections are associated with depressive symptoms up to mid-adolescence and with PEs subsequently in childhood, but not with these outcomes in early-adulthood. These findings require replication including larger samples with outcomes in adulthood.
Psychotic experiences may emerge in more severe cases of common mental disorders (CMD). Previous work identified that 30% of patients treated by mental health services in primary healthcare, specifically the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme in England, reported psychotic experiences, began treatment with more severe CMD and were less likely to reach recovery.
To replicate our previous assessment of psychotic experiences in the IAPT programme using a more sensitive threshold and determine its impact on the prevalence of psychotic experience and likelihood of recovery. Additionally, to compare recovery rates between patients with and without psychotic experiences at the end of therapy.
The Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE-P15) with a cut-off of 1.30 was used to determine the prevalence of psychotic experiences. Recovery rates were determined using measures collected in the IAPT programme for depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-7). Multi-group growth models estimated improvement trajectories.
In total, 2042 patients with CMD completed the CAPE-P15. The mean age was 39.8. The prevalence of psychotic experiences was 18% higher when using a lower threshold. The recovery rate for patients with psychotic experiences was lower (36%) than for those without (64%). Despite sharing similar improvement trajectories, the higher initial severity of CMD among patients with psychotic experiences impeded likelihood of recovery.
As psychotic experiences may be a marker of severity in CMD, the benefits of identifying these in IAPT populations may also apply to patients with milder experiences. Further investigation of the consequential demands on service provision and how this would affect clinical practice is recommended.
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.
Treatment resistance causes significant burden in psychosis. Clozapine is the only evidence-based pharmacologic intervention available for people with treatment-resistant schizophrenia; current guidelines recommend commencement after two unsuccessful trials of standard antipsychotics.
This paper aims to explore the prevalence of treatment resistance and pathways to commencement of clozapine in UK early intervention in psychosis (EIP) services.
Data were taken from the National Evaluation of the Development and Impact of Early Intervention Services study (N = 1027) and included demographics, medication history and psychosis symptoms measured by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline, 6 months and 12 months. Prescribing patterns and pathways to clozapine were examined. We adopted a strict criterion for treatment resistance, defined as persistent elevated positive symptoms (a PANSS positive score ≥16, equating to at least two items of at least moderate severity), across three time points.
A total of 143 (18.1%) participants met the definition of treatment resistance of having continuous positive symptoms over 12 months, despite treatment in EIP services. Sixty-one (7.7%) participants were treatment resistant and eligible for clozapine, having had two trials of standard antipsychotics; however, only 25 (2.4%) were prescribed clozapine over the 12-month study period. Treatment-resistant participants were more likely to be prescribed additional antipsychotic medication and polypharmacy, instead of clozapine.
Prevalent treatment resistance was observed in UK EIP services, but prescription of polypharmacy was much more common than clozapine. Significant delays in the commencement of clozapine may reflect a missed opportunity to promote recovery in this critical period.