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Simultaneous PET/MR/EEG (Positron Emission Tomography – Magnetic Resonance – Electroencephalography), a new tool for the investigation of neuronal networks in the human brain, is presented here within the framework of the European Union Project TRIMAGE. The trimodal, cost-effective PET/MR/EEG imaging tool makes use of cutting edge technology both in PET and in MR fields. A novel type of magnet (1.5T, non-cryogenic) has been built together with a PET scanner that makes use of the most advanced photodetectors (i.e., SiPM matrices), scintillators matrices (LYSO) and digital electronics. The combined PET/MR/EEG system is dedicated to brain imaging and has an inner diameter of 260 mm and an axial Field-of-View of 160 mm.
It enables the acquisition and assessment of molecular metabolic information with high spatial and temporal resolution in a given brain simultaneously. The dopaminergic system and the glutamatergic system in schizophrenic patients are investigated via PET, the same physiological/pathophysiological conditions with regard to functional connectivity, via fMRI, and its electrophysiological signature via EEG. In addition to basic neuroscience questions addressing neurovascular-metabolic coupling, this new methodology lays the foundation for individual physiological and pathological fingerprints for a wide research field addressing healthy aging, gender effects, plasticity and different psychiatric and neurological diseases.
The preliminary performances of two components of the imaging tool (PET and MR) are discussed. Initial results of the search of possible candidates for suitable schizophrenia biomarkers are also presented as obtained with PET/MR systems available to the collaboration.
The most effective rehabilitation model for job (re-)entry of people with mental illness is supported employment. A barrier to introducing supported employment into standard care is its temporally unlimited provision, which conflicts with health and social legislation in many European countries.
To test the impact of different ‘placement budgets’, i.e. a predefined maximum time budget for job seeking until take-up of competitive employment.
Participants (116) were randomly assigned to 25 h, 40 h or 55 h placement budgets in an intent-to-treat analysis. We applied the individual placement and support model over 24 months, following participants for 36 months. Primary outcome was employment in the labour market for at least 3 months.
The proportion of participants obtaining competitive employment was 55.1% in the 25 h group, 37.8% in the 40 h group and 35.8% in the 55 h group. In a Cox regression analysis, time to employment was slightly lower in the 25 h group relative to the 40 h (hazard ratio 1.78, 95% CI 0.88–3.57, P = 0.107) and 55 h groups (hazard ratio 1.74, 95% CI 0.86–3.49, P = 0.122), but this was not statistically significant. The vast majority of all participants who found a job did so within the first 12 months (80.4%).
A restricted time budget for job finding and placement does not affect the rate of successful employment. In accordance with legislation, a restriction of care provision seems justified and enhances the chances of supported employment being introduced in statutory services.
Home treatment has been proposed as an alternative to acute in-patient care for mentally ill patients. However, there is only moderate evidence in support of home treatment.
To test whether and to what degree home treatment services would enable a reduction (substitution) of hospital use.
A total of 707 consecutively admitted adult patients with a broad spectrum of mental disorders (ICD-10: F2–F6, F8–F9, Z) experiencing crises that necessitated immediate admission to hospital, were randomly allocated to either a service model including a home treatment alternative to hospital care (experimental group) or a conventional service model that lacked a home treatment alternative to in-patient care (control group) (trial registration at ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02322437).
The mean number of hospital days per patient within 24 months after the index crisis necessitating hospital admission (primary outcome) was reduced by 30.4% (mean 41.3 v. 59.3, P<0.001) when a home treatment team was available (intention-to-treat analysis). Regarding secondary outcomes, average overall treatment duration (hospital days + home treatment days) per patient (mean 50.4 v. 59.3, P = 0.969) and mean number of hospital admissions per patient (mean 1.86 v. 1.93, P = 0.885) did not differ statistically significantly between the experimental and control groups within 24 months after the index crisis. There were no significant between-group differences regarding clinical and social outcomes (Health of the Nation Outcome Scales: mean 9.9 v. 9.7, P = 0.652) or patient satisfaction with care (Perception of Care questionnaire: mean 0.78 v. 0.80, P = 0.242).
Home treatment services can reduce hospital use among severely ill patients in acute crises and seem to result in comparable clinical/social outcomes and patient satisfaction as standard in-patient care.
It is unclear whether there is a direct link between economic crises and changes in suicide rates.
The Lopez-Ibor Foundation launched an initiative to study the possible impact of the economic crisis on European suicide rates.
Data was gathered and analysed from 29 European countries and included the number of deaths by suicide in men and women, the unemployment rate, the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, the annual economic growth rate and inflation.
There was a strong correlation between suicide rates and all economic indices except GPD per capita in men but only a correlation with unemployment in women. However, the increase in suicide rates occurred several months before the economic crisis emerged.
Overall, this study confirms a general relationship between the economic environment and suicide rates; however, it does not support there being a clear causal relationship between the current economic crisis and an increase in the suicide rate.
Facing frequent stigma and discrimination, many people with mental illness have to choose between secrecy and disclosure in different settings. Coming Out Proud (COP), a 3-week peer-led group intervention, offers support in this domain in order to reduce stigma's negative impact.
To examine COP's efficacy to reduce negative stigma-related outcomes and to promote adaptive coping styles (Current Controlled Trials number: ISRCTN43516734).
In a pilot randomised controlled trial, 100 participants with mental illness were assigned to COP or a treatment-as-usual control condition. Outcomes included self-stigma, empowerment, stigma stress, secrecy and perceived benefits of disclosure.
Intention-to-treat analyses found no effect of COP on self-stigma or empowerment, but positive effects on stigma stress, disclosure-related distress, secrecy and perceived benefits of disclosure. Some effects diminished during the 3-week follow-up period.
Coming Out Proud has immediate positive effects on disclosure- and stigma stress-related variables and may thus alleviate stigma's negative impact.
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