The latest medical research on Psychiatry

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about psychiatry gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Does a comprehensive service user-led education programme effect more positive attitudes towards recovery and less stigmatising attitudes towards people with lived experience of mental distress in medical students? A comparative cohort study.

Aust N Z

This study sought to investigate the impact of a service user-led anti-stigma and discrimination education programme, encompassing numerous interventions focused on facilitating multiple forms of social contact, the promotion of recovery, and respect for human rights, on medical student attitudes.

A comparison cohort study was used to compare the attitudes of two cohorts of medical students who received this programme as part of their fifth (the fifth-year cohort) or sixth (the sixth-year cohort) year psychological medical education attachment (programme cohorts) with two cohorts of equivalent students who received a standard psychological medical attachment (control cohorts). Attitudes to recovery (using the Recovery Attitudes Questionnaire) and stigma (using the Opening Minds Scale for Healthcare Providers) were measured at the beginning and end of the attachments for each year and compared both within and between the cohorts using Wilcoxon signed-rank or Wilcoxon rank-sum tests.

With sample sizes ranging from 46 to 70 across all cohorts, after their psychological medicine attachment both the programme and control cohorts showed more positive attitudes towards recovery and less stigmatising attitudes towards people with lived experience of mental distress. Significant differences between the programme cohorts and the control cohorts were found for recovery attitudes (median difference of 2, p < 0.05 in both fifth and sixth year), with particularly large differences being found for the 'recovery is possible and needs faith' subdomain of the Recovery Attitudes Questionnaire. There were no significant between cohort differences in terms of stigmatising attitudes as measured by the Opening Minds Scale for Healthcare Providers.

The introduction of a comprehensive service user-led anti-stigma and education programme resulted in significant improvements in recovery attitudes compared to a control cohort. However, it was not found to be similarly superior in facilitating less stigmatising attitudes. Various possible reasons for this are discussed.

Clinicians' perceptions of the Australian Paediatric Mental Health Service System: Problems and solutions.

Aust N Z

Despite substantial investment by governments, the prevalence of mental health disorders in developed countries remains unchanged over the past 20 years. As 50% of mental health conditions present before 14 years of age, access to high-quality mental health care for children is crucial. Barriers to access identified by parents include high costs and long wait times, difficulty navigating the health system, and a lack of recognition of the existence and/or severity of the child's mental health disorder. Often neglected, but equally important, are clinician views about the barriers to and enablers of access to high-quality mental health care. We aimed to determine perspectives of Australian clinicians including child and adolescent psychiatrists, paediatricians, psychologists and general practitioners, on barriers and enablers within the current system and components of an optimal system.

A total of 143 clinicians (approximately 35 each of child and adolescent psychiatrists, paediatricians, child psychologists and general practitioners) from Victoria and South Australia participated in semi-structured phone interviews between March 2018 and February 2019. Inductive content analysis was applied to address the broad study aims.

Clinician-identified barriers included multi-dimensional family factors, service fragmentation, long wait times and inadequate training for paediatricians and general practitioners. Rural and regional locations provided additional challenges but a greater sense of collaboration resulting from the proximity of clinicians in rural areas, creating an opportunity to develop support networks. Suggestions for an optimal system included novel ways to improve access to child psychiatry expertise, training for paediatricians and general practitioners, and co-located multidisciplinary services.

Within the current mental health system for children, structural, training and workforce barriers prevent optimal access to care. Clinicians identified many practical and systemic ideas to improve the system. Implementation and evaluation of effectiveness and cost effectiveness of these ideas is the next challenge for Australia's children's mental health.

Anterior limb of the internal capsule tractography: relationship with capsulotomy outcomes in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Journal Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry

Surgical procedures targeting the anterior limb of the internal capsule (aLIC) can be effective in patients with selected treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The aLIC consists of white-matter tracts connecting cortical and subcortical structures and show a topographical organisation. Here we assess how aLIC streamlines are affected in OCD compared with healthy controls (HCs) and which streamlines are related with post-capsulotomy improvement.

Diffusion-weighted MRI was used to compare white-matter microstructure via the aLIC between patients with OCD (n=100, 40 women, mean of age 31.8 years) and HCs (n=88, 39 women, mean of age 29.6 years). For each individual, the fractional anisotropy (FA) and streamline counts were calculated for each white-matter fibre bundle connecting a functionally defined prefrontal and subcortical region. Correlations between tractography measures and pre-capsulotomy and post-capsulotomy clinical outcomes (in obsessive-compulsive, anxiety and depression scores 6 months after surgery) were assessed in 41 patients with OCD.

Hierarchical clustering dendrograms show an aLIC organisation clustering lateral and dissociating ventral and dorsal prefrontal-thalamic streamlines, findings highly relevant to surgical targeting. Compared with HCs, patients with OCD had lower aLIC FA across multiple prefrontal cortical-subcortical regions (p<0.0073, false discovery rate-adjusted). Greater streamline counts of the dorsolateral prefrontal-thalamic tracts in patients with OCD predicted greater post-capsulotomy obsessive-compulsive improvement (p=0.016). In contrast, greater counts of the dorsal cingulate-thalamic streamlines predicted surgical outcomes mediated by depressive and anxiety improvements.

These findings shed light on the critical role of the aLIC in OCD and may potentially contribute towards precision targeting to optimise outcomes in OCD.

Structural brain imaging studies offer clues about the effects of the shared genetic etiology among neuropsychiatric disorders.

Molecular Psychiatry

Genomewide association studies have found significant genetic correlations among many neuropsychiatric disorders. In contrast, we know much less ab...

Altered temporal, but intact spatial, features of transient network dynamics in psychosis.

Molecular Psychiatry

Contemporary models of psychosis suggest that a continuum of severity of psychotic symptoms exists, with subthreshold psychotic experiences (PEs) p...

Modelling the cascade of biomarker changes in GRN-related frontotemporal dementia.

Journal Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry

Progranulin-related frontotemporal dementia (FTD-GRN) is a fast progressive disease. Modelling the cascade of multimodal biomarker changes aids in understanding the aetiology of this disease and enables monitoring of individual mutation carriers. In this cross-sectional study, we estimated the temporal cascade of biomarker changes for FTD-GRN, in a data-driven way.

We included 56 presymptomatic and 35 symptomatic GRN mutation carriers, and 35 healthy non-carriers. Selected biomarkers were neurofilament light chain (NfL), grey matter volume, white matter microstructure and cognitive domains. We used discriminative event-based modelling to infer the cascade of biomarker changes in FTD-GRN and estimated individual disease severity through cross-validation. We derived the biomarker cascades in non-fluent variant primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA) and behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD) to understand the differences between these phenotypes.

Language functioning and NfL were the earliest abnormal biomarkers in FTD-GRN. White matter tracts were affected before grey matter volume, and the left hemisphere degenerated before the right. Based on individual disease severities, presymptomatic carriers could be delineated from symptomatic carriers with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 96.1%. The estimated disease severity strongly correlated with functional severity in nfvPPA, but not in bvFTD. In addition, the biomarker cascade in bvFTD showed more uncertainty than nfvPPA.

Degeneration of axons and language deficits are indicated to be the earliest biomarkers in FTD-GRN, with bvFTD being more heterogeneous in disease progression than nfvPPA. Our data-driven model could help identify presymptomatic GRN mutation carriers at risk of conversion to the clinical stage.

Basolateral amygdala CB1 receptors gate HPA axis activation and context-cocaine memory strength during reconsolidation.


Re-exposure to a cocaine-associated context triggers craving and relapse through the retrieval of salient context-drug memories. Upon retrieval, co...

Long-term alcohol consumption alters dorsal striatal dopamine release and regulation by D2 dopamine receptors in rhesus macaques.


The dorsal striatum (DS) is implicated in behavioral and neural processes including action control and reinforcement. Alcohol alters these processe...

Dopamine release and its control over early Pavlovian learning differs between the NAc core and medial NAc shell.


Dopamine neurons respond to cues to reflect the value of associated outcomes. These cue-evoked dopamine responses can encode the relative rate of r...

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are associated with opposite brain reward anticipation-associated response.


Blunted and exaggerated neuronal response to rewards are hypothesized to be core features of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SZ) and bipolar diso...

Prediction of short-term antidepressant response using probabilistic graphical models with replication across multiple drugs and treatment settings.


Heterogeneity in the clinical presentation of major depressive disorder and response to antidepressants limits clinicians' ability to accurately pr...

Efficacy and safety of transcranial direct current stimulation as an add-on treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a randomized, sham-controlled trial.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a frequent, disabling disorder with high rates of treatment resistance. Transcranial direct current stimulat...