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Research has shown that 20–30% of prisoners meet the diagnostic criteria for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methylphenidate reduces ADHD symptoms, but effects in prisoners are uncertain because of comorbid mental health and substance use disorders.
To estimate the efficacy of an osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate (OROS-methylphenidate) in reducing ADHD symptoms in young adult prisoners with ADHD.
We conducted an 8-week parallel-arm, double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial of OROS-methylphenidate versus placebo in male prisoners (aged 16–25 years) meeting the DSM-5 criteria for ADHD. Primary outcome was ADHD symptoms at 8 weeks, using the investigator-rated Connors Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS-O). Thirteen secondary outcomes were measured, including emotional dysregulation, mind wandering, violent attitudes, mental health symptoms, and prison officer and educational staff ratings of behaviour and aggression.
In the OROS-methylphenidate arm, mean CAARS-O score at 8 weeks was estimated to be reduced by 0.57 points relative to the placebo arm (95% CI −2.41 to 3.56), and non-significant. The responder rate, defined as a 20% reduction in CAARS-O score, was 48.3% for the OROS-methylphenidate arm and 47.9% for the placebo arm. No statistically significant trial arm differences were detected for any of the secondary outcomes. Mean final titrated dose was 53.8 mg in the OROS-methylphenidate arm.
ADHD symptoms did not respond to OROS-methylphenidate in young adult prisoners. The findings do not support routine treatment with OROS-methylphenidate in this population. Further research is needed to evaluate effects of higher average dosing and adherence to treatment, multi-modal treatments and preventative interventions in the community.
The sense of ‘loss of control’ (LOC), or a feeling of being unable to stop eating or control what or how much one is eating, is the most salient aspect of binge eating. However, the neural alterations that may contribute to this experience and eating behavior remain poorly understood.
We used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure activation in the prefrontal cortices of 23 women with bulimia nervosa (BN) and 23 healthy controls (HC) during two tasks: a novel go/no-go task requiring inhibition of eating responses, and a standard go/no-go task requiring inhibition of button-pressing responses.
Women with BN made more commission errors on both tasks. BN subgroups with the most severe LOC eating (n = 12) and those who felt most strongly that they binge ate during the task (n = 12) showed abnormally reduced bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC) activation associated with eating-response inhibition. In the entire BN sample, lower eating-task activation in right vlPFC was related to more frequent and severe LOC eating, but no group differences in activation were detected on either task when this full sample was compared with HC. BN severity was unrelated to standard-task activation.
Results provide initial evidence that diminished PFC activation may directly contribute to more severe eating-specific control deficits in BN. Our findings support vmPFC and vlPFC dysfunction as promising treatment targets, and indicate that eating-specific tasks and fNIRS may be useful tools for identifying neural mechanisms underlying dysregulated eating.
Reimbursement agencies are increasingly using patient preference data to evaluate health technologies. Discrete choice experiments (DCE) are commonly used to elicit patient preferences, but they require large sample sizes to obtain meaningful results. For this reason, it is often not possible to use DCE to elicit patient preferences in rare diseases. This study assessed a swing weighting method for eliciting preferences from a small sample: patients with immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) in the United States (US) and China.
Attributes and levels were selected based on a review of clinical studies and qualitative research on patients. Computer-assisted, interview-based swing weighting exercises were piloted in a focus group with five participants each from the US and China. Preferences were then elicited in interviews with twenty-five patients in the US and fifteen patients in China. Consistency tests were used to assess internal validity. Qualitative data were collected on the reasons for patients’ preferences.
Preference consistency: The weights for one attribute were elicited twice. The difference between initial and consistency test weights was not statistically significant (p < 0.1), although this may partly reflect the small sample sizes. Trade-offs: Qualitative data were used to demonstrate the validity of interpreting participants’ ratings as trade-offs. Using the partial value function for end-stage renal disease as an example, qualitative data demonstrated that patients were able to provide face-valid reasons for different shaped, non-linear preference functions. Robustness of treatment evaluation: Three hypothetical treatment profiles (using the attribute swings) were constructed. Preferences for these treatment profiles were robust to variations in patients’ preferences; all patients preferred one specific profile. This finding was not sensitive to changes in weights.
This study supports the feasibility of collecting valid and robust preference data from small groups of patients using swing weighting. Further work could be done to test the performance of swing weighting in larger sample sizes.
Nanospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry was developed as a tool for examining the dissolved organic matter (DOM) present in ice cores, significantly reducing the sample volume required for extraction compared with previous studies. Using smaller sample volumes is important for resolving temporal changes in ice-core DOM. We demonstrate that a small volume of ice-core meltwater can be extracted and analyzed with sufficient mass spectral sensitivity to describe the molecular composition of the DOM. Two different solid-phase extraction resins (PPL and C18) were compared to examine potential fractionation of the DOM. Over 2500 unique molecular formulas isolated from two different Greenland ice-core samples, dated to approximately AD 1660 and AD 1360, were obtained from the analyses. Method and sensitivity improvements provide an opportunity for organic matter characterization at higher temporal resolution than our previous analyses afforded and allows for examination of ice cores containing low levels of organic carbon.