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With technologies advancing at a rapid pace, research exploring the potential impact of technologies on work (see Frey & Osborne, 2013, 2017) sparked widespread interest in the topic. This chapter reviews the emerging future-of-work domain with a focus on research efforts and key trends. This includes an overview of key future-of-work concepts, a brief review of historical examples of technological job disruption concerns, an exploration of the technological forces driving current work changes, a review of studies exploring the potential for automation, and an overview of opportunities for understanding and shaping the future of work.
Approximately 40–70% of treatment-resistant schizophrenic patients fail to benefit from clozapine monotherapy or are partial responders. During the last years several clozapine adjunctive agents have come into clinical practice. This study aims to critically review all published randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials (RCTs) regarding the efficacy and safety of adjunctive agents in clozapine-resistant schizophrenic or schizoaffective patients. A MEDLINE search for RCTs on clozapine adjunctive agents published from January 1980 to February 2004 was conducted. All identified papers were critically reviewed and examined against several methodological features as well as clinical and pharmacological parameters. Eleven trials including 270 patients, partial or non-responders to clozapine, assessed the efficacy of sulpiride, lithium, lamotrigine, fluoxetine, glycine, d-serine, d-cycloserine and ethyl-eicosapentanoate (E-EPA) as clozapine adjuncts. There were eight parallel-group and three crossover trials. The inclusion criteria varied widely. The duration as well as the dosage of clozapine monotherapy were reported adequate in only one trial. Plasma clozapine levels were assessed in only three trials. Main side-effects reported were hypersalivation, sedation, diarrhea, nausea, hyperprolactinaemia. The outcome favored clozapine augmentation with sulpiride, lamotrigine and E-EPA. Lithium was shown to benefit only schizoaffective patients. However, the methodological shortcomings of trials analyzed limit the impact of evidence provided.
While the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is well established, the debate is still open in relation to bipolar depression and to a possible different effectiveness of high vs. low stimulation. The present study was aimed to assess and compare the efficacy and tolerability of different protocols of augmentative rTMS in a sample of patients with current Major Depressive Episode (MDE), poor drug response/treatment resistance and a diagnosis of MDD or bipolar disorder.
Thirty-three patients were recruited in a 4-week, blind-rater, rTMS trial and randomised to the following three groups of stimulation: (1) (n = 10) right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) 1 HZ, 110% of the motor threshold (MT), 420 stimuli/day; (2) (n = 10) right DLPFC, 1 Hz, 110% MT, 900 stimuli/day; (3) (n = 13) left DLPFC, 10 Hz, 80% MT, 750 stimuli/day.
Twenty-nine patients completed the treatment, showing a significant reduction of primary outcome measures (HAM-D, MADRS and CGI-S total scores: t = 8.1, P < 0.001; t = 8.6, P < 0.001; t = 4.6, P < 0.001 respectively). No significant differences in terms of efficacy and tolerability were found between high vs. low frequency and between unipolar and bipolar patients. Side effects were reported by 21% of the sample. One of the 4 dropouts was caused by a hypomanic switch.
Augmentative rTMS appeared to be effective and well tolerated for the acute treatment of unipolar and bipolar depression with features of poor drug response/treatment resistance, showing a comparable effectiveness profile between protocols of high and low frequency stimulation.
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a selective, painless, brain stimulation technique that allows the electric stimulation of specific cortical regions. TDCS has been recently used as investigational intervention for major depression and treatment resistant depression (TRD) with encouraging results. The present study was aimed to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of tDCS in major depressives with poor response to pharmacological treatment. Twenty-three depressed patients, with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, were treated with augmentative tDCS for 5 days, two sessions per day in a blind-rater trial. The course of depressive symptoms was analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA for HAM-D and MADRS total scores. A qualitative analysis on the basis of the HAM-D response was performed as well. Both analyses were conducted at three time-points: T0 (baseline), T1 (endpoint tDCS) and T2 (end of the first week of follow-up). All patients completed the trial without relevant side-effects. A significant reduction of HAM-D and MADRS total scores was observed during the study (P<0.0001). Treatment response (endpoint HAM-D reduction ≥50%) was obtained by four patients (17.4%) at T1 and by seven patients (30.4%) at T2 and remission (endpoint HAM-D<8) by three patients (13.0%) at T1 and by four subjects (17.4%) at T2. Present findings support the efficacy and good tolerability of tDCS in the acute treatment of patients with TRD with clinical benefit being progressive and extended to the first week of follow-up. Further sham-controlled trials with longer follow-up are needed to confirm present results.
Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) has been sanctioned by the United States Food and Drug Administration for treatment-resistant depression. In a retrospective cohort study, we evaluated response and effectiveness of dTMS in real-world practice, as an add-on treatment for resistant depression.
Forty adult outpatients suffering from depression, all taking psychiatric medications, underwent 20 dTMS treatments over a 4–6 week period. At baseline (T0), visit 10 (T1), and visit 20 (T2), the Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S) scale was administered, and the Clinical Global Impression Improvement (CGI-I) scale was completed at T1 and T2; the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-21) was administrated at T0 and T2 only. The patients also completed the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptoms–Self-Report (QIDS-SR) at T0, T1, and T2.
Depressive symptoms (HDRS-21 total score) decreased significantly following treatment. The HDRS total score decreased from an average of 21.22 (± 6.09) at T0, to 13.95 (± 7.24) at T2. Correspondingly, at T2, 32.5% were responders to the treatment and 20% were in remission, based on the HDRS-21. Treatment was well tolerated, with a discontinuation rate of 7.5%. While depressive symptoms at baseline did not predict remission/response at T2, higher HDRS scores at T0 were associated with a larger decrease in depressive symptoms during the study.
Significant antidepressant effects were seen following 20 dTMS treatments, given as augmentation to ongoing medications in treatment-resistant depression. The findings suggest that among patients with TRD, the severity of the depressive episode (and not necessarily the number of failed antidepressant medication trials) is associated with a positive therapeutic effect of dTMS. Hence, the initial severity of the depressive episode may guide clinicians in referring patients for dTMS.
Outpatient interventions for adult anorexia nervosa typically have a modest impact on weight and eating disorder symptomatology. This study examined whether adding a brief online intervention focused on enhancing motivation to change and the development of a recovery identity (RecoveryMANTRA) would improve outcomes in adults with anorexia nervosa.
Participants with anorexia nervosa (n = 187) were recruited from 22 eating disorder outpatient services throughout the UK. They were randomised to receiving RecoveryMANTRA in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 99; experimental group) or TAU only (n = 88; control group). Outcomes were measured at end-of-intervention (6 weeks), 6 and 12 months.
Adherence rates to RecoveryMANTRA were 83% for the online guidance sessions and 77% for the use of self-help materials (workbook and/or short video clips). Group differences in body mass index at 6 weeks (primary outcome) were not significant. Group differences in eating disorder symptoms, psychological wellbeing and work and social adjustment (at 6 weeks and at follow-up) were not significant, except for a trend-level greater reduction in anxiety at 6 weeks in the RecoveryMANTRA group (p = 0.06). However, the RecoveryMANTRA group had significantly higher levels of confidence in own ability to change (p = 0.02) and alliance with the therapist at the outpatient service (p = 0.005) compared to the control group at 6 weeks.
Augmenting outpatient treatment for adult anorexia nervosa with a focus on recovery and motivation produced short-term reductions in anxiety and increased confidence to change and therapeutic alliance.
It is becoming clear that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not simply a psychiatric disorder, but one that involves pervasive physiological impairments as well. These physiological disturbances deserve attention in any attempt at integrative treatment of PTSD that requires a focus beyond the PTSD symptoms themselves. The physiological disturbances in PTSD range over many systems, but a common thread thought to underlie them is that the chronic effects of PTSD involve problems with allostatic control mechanisms that result in an excess in what has been termed “allostatic load” (AL). A pharmacological approach to reducing AL would be valuable, but, because of the large range of physiological issues involved – including metabolic, inflammatory, and cardiovascular systems – it is unclear whether there exists a simple comprehensive way to address the AL landscape. In this paper, we propose that the cannabinoid system may offer just such an approach, and we outline evidence for the potential utility of cannabinoids in reducing many of the chronic physiological abnormalities seen in PTSD which are thought to be related to excess AL.
Depression is considered to have the highest disability burden of all conditions. Although treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is a key contributor to that burden, there is little understanding of the best treatment approaches for it and specifically the effectiveness of available augmentation approaches.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to search and quantify the evidence of psychological and pharmacological augmentation interventions for TRD.
Participants with TRD (defined as insufficient response to at least two antidepressants) were randomised to at least one augmentation treatment in the trial. Pre-post analysis assessed treatment effectiveness, providing an effect size (ES) independent of comparator interventions.
Of 28 trials, 3 investigated psychological treatments and 25 examined pharmacological interventions. Pre-post analyses demonstrated N-methyl-d-aspartate-targeting drugs to have the highest ES (ES = 1.48, 95% CI 1.25–1.71). Other than aripiprazole (four studies, ES = 1.33, 95% CI 1.23–1.44) and lithium (three studies, ES = 1.00, 95% CI 0.81–1.20), treatments were each investigated in less than three studies. Overall, pharmacological (ES = 1.19, 95% CI 1.08–1.30) and psychological (ES = 1.43, 95% CI 0.50–2.36) therapies yielded higher ESs than pill placebo (ES = 0.78, 95% CI 0.66–0.91) and psychological control (ES = 0.94, 95% CI 0.36–1.52).
Despite being used widely in clinical practice, the evidence for augmentation treatments in TRD is sparse. Although pre-post meta-analyses are limited by the absence of direct comparison, this work finds promising evidence across treatment modalities.
Declaration of interest
In the past 3 years, A.H.Y. received honoraria for speaking from AstraZeneca, Lundbeck, Eli Lilly and Sunovion; honoraria for consulting from Allergan, Livanova and Lundbeck, Sunovion and Janssen; and research grant support from Janssen. In the past 3 years, A.J.C. received honoraria for speaking from AstraZeneca and Lundbeck; honoraria for consulting with Allergan, Janssen, Livanova, Lundbeck and Sandoz; support for conference attendance from Janssen; and research grant support from Lundbeck. B.B. has recently been (soon to be) on the speakers/advisory board for Hexal, Lilly, Lundbeck, Mundipharma, Pfizer, and Servier. No other conflicts of interest.
Given the advanced breakthroughs in the field of supportive robotic technologies, interest in the integration of the human body and a robot into a single system has rapidly increased. The aim of this work is to provide an overview of empowering lower limbs exoskeletons. Along with lower exoskeleton limbs, their unique design concepts, operator–exoskeleton interactions and control strategies are described. Although many problems have been solved in recent development, many challenges remain. Especially in the context of infantry soldiers, fire fighters and rescuers, the challenges of empowering exoskeletons are discussed, and improvements are outlined and described. This study is not only a summary of the current state, but also points to weaknesses of empowering lower limbs exoskeletons and outlines possible improvements.
The potential of the mirid predator Dicyphus hesperus Knight (Heteroptera: Miridae) as a biological control agent of the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and the potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli Sulcer (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) in tomato was investigated in two experiments. The first experiment focused on the study of the life history traits of D. hesperus when fed on nymphs of the potato psyllid compared with the factitious prey Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyrallidae) eggs. Although reproductive and development rates were higher on E. kuehniella eggs, the predator exhibited a good intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm) when feeding on B. cockerelli nymphs (rm: B. cockerelli 0.069 ± 0.0001; E. kuehniella 0.078 ± 0.0001), thus reflecting good potential as a biocontrol agent of this pest. The second experiment focused on the efficacy of D. hesperus as a biocontrol agent of the potato psyllid and the sweetpotato whitefly in a tomato greenhouse. Prey species were offered individually or together in a series of five treatments in greenhouse cages. Results showed that the predator was able to establish and suppress populations of both pests inhabiting tomato plants when pests occurred alone or together. Thus, D. hesperus was demonstrated to be a suitable biocontrol agent of these two important pests that could be used in tomato greenhouses.
Pulmonary valvular stenosis is a relatively common disorder, accounting for approximately 10% of all CHDs. Pulmonic valvular disease can get clinically detected at different ages of life. The more severe the obstruction, the earlier detected the valvular abnormality. Surgical pulmonary valvotomy has been available as a treatment since 1956. This article is about a case of pulmonary annular and valvular stenosis in a 1-year-old child, and it also explores surgical operation of this condition. Transannular patches are usually used within the 1st year of age in pulmonary annular and valvular stenosis. In recent years, anterior leaflet augmentation has been preferred for annulus enlargements. In our 1-year-old case, we expanded the annulus by the anterior leaflet expansion technique and we also augmented other leaflets by polytetrafluoroethylene patch.
Pragmatic studies indicate that a substantial number of depressed patients do not remit with current first-line antidepressant treatments and after two failed treatment steps the chance of remission with subsequent therapies is around 15%. This paper focuses on current evidence for pharmacological treatments in resistant depression as well as possible future developments. For patients who have failed to respond to two antidepressant trials, augmentation with atypical antipsychotic drugs, specifically quetiapine and aripiprazole, has the best evidence for efficacy, though older treatments such as lithium and triiodothyronine still have utility. The striking antidepressant effect of ketamine in resistant depression has stimulated research into glutamatergic compounds; however, capturing the efficacy of ketamine with drugs suitable for continuous use has proved challenging. Growing knowledge of the pathophysiological role of inflammation in depression offers great opportunities for future treatment in terms of repurposing anti-inflammatory agents from general medicine and pre-treatment stratification of those depressed patients in whom such interventions are likely to be beneficial. Finally an older drug, the dopamine receptor agonist pramipexole, if used carefully may well improve the prospects of depressed patients who are refractory to current approaches.
To determine the effectiveness of augmentation surgery using polydimethylsiloxane elastomer injection for the management of patulous eustachian tube.
All patients were treated with eustachian tube injection augmentation performed via a combined transnasal-transoral endoscopic approach. Clinical presentation, volume of injection, complications and initial response were all prospectively recorded. Longer-term follow up was conducted through structured telephone interviews using previously described patient-reported outcome measures.
Overall, 8 of 11 patients (73 per cent) derived complete or significant symptom improvement; 1 patient had significant improvements but was dissatisfied, and in 2 patients the symptoms were unchanged. The eight satisfied patients showed improvement in their quality-of-life scores.
This study describes an effective treatment option for patulous eustachian tube. Unlike many prior published reports, previously described patient-reported outcome measures were utilised in order to allow more direct comparison.
Augmentative biological control is not commonly used in commercial orchards. We used an exclusion system to evaluate the potential of early-season releases of the European earwig (Forficula auricularia L., Dermaptera: Forficulidae) for control of the rosy apple aphid (Dysaphis plantaginea Passerini, Hemiptera: Aphididae) in the spring of 2009 in two pesticide-free apple orchards. In order to conduct this experiment we successfully reared earwigs with a high survival rate of nymphs (more than 96%) which may have commercial application. There were three treatments in the study: (i) a ‘release treatment’ where we confined the released earwigs in the canopy by using a barrier system; (ii) an ‘exclusion treatment’ where we blocked free access of earwigs into the canopy using the same barrier system; and (iii) a ‘control treatment’ that represented the natural situation. Contrary to expectations, earwig releases did not reduce D. plantaginea populations. In general, the abundance of natural enemies and their groups did not differ significantly among treatments, except for earwigs. We observed that the exclusion systems we used successfully kept both earwigs and ants away from tree canopies; total numbers on trees in the ‘exclusion treatment’ were significantly lower than on the other two treatments. Due to the complexity and difficulty of evaluating augmentative releases of natural enemies in open orchard conditions, we conclude that new technical approaches to control site conditions are needed when conducting such studies.
This paper aims to review the available evidence for the use of clozapine and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in combination.
Electronic searches were carried out to identify reports describing the combined use of clozapine and ECT.
Forty reports including 208 patients were identified. The majority of reports were in the form of case reports and case series, with few retrospective and open-label studies. The majority of patients were aged between 18 and 65 years and diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Most of the patients refractory to clozapine were started on ECT as an augmentation therapy; however, in some reports, both ECT and clozapine were started concurrently, and in few cases clozapine was started after ECT. In terms of effectiveness, 37.5–100% patients improved in short-term, and sustained long-term improvement (3 weeks to 24 months) was described in few studies. In terms of the side-effect profile, five patients each had delirium and tachycardia and only four patients were described to have prolonged seizures. Overall, the combination was considered effective and safe.
There is evidence for the effectiveness and safety of the clozapine–ECT combination and it should be used in patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia who do not respond to clozapine.
To evaluate to what extent a twice daily dose of Transcranial Pulsating ElectroMagnetic Fields (T-PEMF) was superior to once daily in patients with treatment-resistant depression as to obtaining symptom remission after 8 weeks of augmentation therapy.
A self-treatment set-up of the T-PEMF device was used allowing self-administration by patients in own homes. All patients were treated for 30 min per T-PEMF session. The antidepressant medication the patients were receiving at baseline remained unchanged during the trial. The patients were randomised to either one T-PEMF dose (active dose in the morning and sham in the afternoon) or two T-PEMF doses (active dose both morning and afternoon) in a double-blind procedure. A score of 7 or less on the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D17) was the criterion of remission.
In total 34 patients received active T-PEMF once a day and 31 patients twice daily. After 5 weeks of therapy remission was obtained in 26.5% and 32.3% on one dose and two doses of T-PEMF, respectively. After 8 weeks the rate of remission was 73.5% and 67.7%, respectively. The side effects as measured by the Udvalget for Kliniske Undersøgelser scale showed a better toleration of the antidepresssive medication in both treatment groups, which was reflected by the WHO-5 well-being scale with increased scores in both groups of patients.
The high remission rate obtained by the T-PEMF augmentation was not a dose effect (one versus two daily T-PEMF sessions) but was explained by the extension of the treatment period from 5 to 8 weeks.
Clozapine is used in the management of treatment-resistant schizophrenia and is effective in reducing aggression; however a subgroup of patients is poorly responsive. For violent patients in this group, there is limited literature on the use of strategies to augment clozapine with other agents. Here we present a case series of 6 schizophrenia patients, within a high-security hospital, who have a history of serious violence and who were treated with clozapine augmented with amisulpride.
We reviewed case notes and health records for evidence of violence/aggression and positive factors such as engagement in activities, and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scores were formulated. We also examined metabolic parameters before and after augmentation.
All 6 of the patients showed clinical improvement in symptoms and a reduction in their risk of violence to others. Five patients had a reduction in number of violent/aggressive incidents, and all patients showed improvement in engagement in occupational, vocational, and/or psychological work. Metabolic parameters were largely unchanged except for 1 patient whose Body Mass Index (BMI) increased. Five patients reported side effects as unchanged or improved.
These schizophrenia patients with a history of violence showed clinical improvement and reduced aggression and violence with amisulpride augmentation of clozapine. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an antiaggressive benefit of this combination in forensic psychiatric patients. Further studies are warranted to establish the efficacy and anti-aggressive effects of amisulpride augmentation of clozapine.
Sleep disturbances are persistent residual symptoms following remission of major depressive disorder (MDD) and are associated with an increased risk of MDD recurrence. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effect of exercise augmentation on self-reported sleep quality in participants with non-remitted MDD.
Participants were randomized to receive selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) augmentation with one of two doses of exercise: 16 kilocalories per kilogram of body weight per week (KKW) or 4 KKW for 12 weeks. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the clinician-rated Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS-C). The four sleep-related items on the IDS-C (Sleep Onset Insomnia, Mid-Nocturnal Insomnia, Early Morning Insomnia, and Hypersomnia) were used to assess self-reported sleep quality.
Significant decreases in total insomnia (p < 0.0001) were observed, along with decreases in sleep onset, mid-nocturnal and early-morning insomnia (p's <0.002). Hypersomnia did not change significantly (p = 0.38). Changes in total, mid-nocturnal and early-morning insomnia were independent of changes in depressive symptoms. Higher baseline hypersomnia predicted a greater decrease in depression severity following exercise treatment (p = 0.0057). No significant moderating effect of any baseline sleep on change in depression severity was observed. There were no significant differences between exercise treatment groups on total insomnia or any individual sleep item.
Exercise augmentation resulted in improvements in self-reported sleep quality in patients with non-remitted MDD. Given the prevalence of insomnia as a residual symptom following MDD treatment and the associated risk of MDD recurrence, exercise augmentation may have an important role in the treatment of MDD.
The thyroid hormone, triiodothyronine (T3), is used as a supplement to antidepressant treatment of major depression, to accelerate and enhance response and as an augmenter in patients who have not responded. While there is support from controlled trials and meta-analyses for the use of T3 in conjunction with tricyclic antidepressants, the evidence base for supplementation of specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) with T3 is more limited. We reviewed the available literature on T3 supplementation of SSRIs including open-label studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Five RCTs were identified. Three were enhancement studies in which T3 was administered concurrently with the antidepressant from the start of treatment and two were augmentation studies in which T3 was added to the antidepressant treatment of patients who had not responded. Three open augmentation studies were identified. The RCTs were too disparate in methodology to allow a meta-analysis to be performed. The enhancement studies are inconclusive in that one showed strongly positive effects of T3, one showed no effect and one showed a trend. The open augmentation studies supported an effect of T3 in SSRI non-responsive patients with some support from a large RCT; a smaller, underpowered RCT did not show efficacy. T3 was well tolerated in most of the studies and adverse effects do not seem to be an impediment to clinical use. Some of the studies identified clinical and thyroid function correlates of response that require further investigation. Further research is needed before it can be definitively established whether T3 is an effective supplement to SSRIs in patients with MDD. The appropriate timing of T3 supplementation needs to be explored and also the dose and length of treatment.