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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Receipt of Telehealth Services, Receipt and Retention of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder, and Medically Treated Overdose Among Medicare Beneficiaries Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

JAMA Psychiatry

Federal emergency authorities were invoked during the COVID-19 pandemic to expand use of telehealth for new and continued care, including provision of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD).

To examine receipt of telehealth services, MOUD (methadone, buprenorphine, and extended-release [ER] naltrexone) receipt and retention, and medically treated overdose before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This exploratory longitudinal cohort study used data from the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from September 2018 to February 2021. Two cohorts (before COVID-19 pandemic from September 2018 to February 2020 and during COVID-19 pandemic from September 2019 to February 2021) of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries 18 years and older with an International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification OUD diagnosis.

Pre-COVID-19 pandemic vs COVID-19 pandemic cohort demographic characteristics, medical and substance use, and psychiatric comorbidities.

Receipt and retention of MOUD, receipt of OUD and behavioral health-related telehealth services, and experiencing medically treated overdose.

The pre-COVID-19 pandemic cohort comprised 105 240 beneficiaries; of these, 61 152 (58.1%) were female, 71 152 (67.6%) were aged 45 to 74 years, and 82 822 (79.5%) non-Hispanic White. The COVID-19 pandemic cohort comprised 70 538 beneficiaries; of these, 40 257 (57.1%) were female, 46 793 (66.3%) were aged 45 to 74 years, and 55 510 (79.7%) were non-Hispanic White. During the study period, a larger percentage of beneficiaries in the pandemic cohort compared with the prepandemic cohort received OUD-related telehealth services (13 829 [19.6%] vs 593 [0.6%]; P < .001), behavioral health-related telehealth services (28 902 [41.0%] vs 1967 [1.9%]; P < .001), and MOUD (8854 [12.6%] vs 11 360 [10.8%]; P < .001). The percentage experiencing a medically treated overdose during the study period was similar (18.5% [19 491 of 105 240] in the prepandemic cohort vs 18.4% [13 004 of 70 538] in the pandemic cohort; P = .65). Receipt of OUD-related telehealth services in the pandemic cohort was associated with increased odds of MOUD retention (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.27; 95% CI, 1.14-1.41) and lower odds of medically treated overdose (aOR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.63-0.71). Among beneficiaries in the pandemic cohort, those receiving MOUD from opioid treatment programs only (aOR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.47-0.63) and those receiving buprenorphine from pharmacies only (aOR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.84-0.98) had lower odds of medically treated overdose compared with beneficiaries who did not receive MOUD.

Emergency authorities to expand use of telehealth and provide flexibilities for MOUD provision during the pandemic were used by Medicare beneficiaries initiating an episode of OUD-related care and were associated with improved retention in care and reduced odds of medically treated overdose. Strategies to expand provision of MOUD and increase retention in care are urgently needed.

Genetic Liabilities Differentiating Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Major Depressive Disorder, and Phenotypic Heterogeneity in Bipolar Disorder.

JAMA Psychiatry

Understanding the origins of clinical heterogeneity in bipolar disorder (BD) will inform new approaches to stratification and studies of underlying mechanisms.

To identify components of genetic liability that are shared between BD, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder (MDD) and those that differentiate each disorder from the others and to examine associations between heterogeneity for key BD symptoms and each component.

Using data from the Bipolar Disorder Research Network in the United Kingdom, components of liability were identified by applying genomic structural equation modeling to genome-wide association studies of schizophrenia, BD, and MDD. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) representing each component were tested for association with symptoms in an independent BD data set. Adults with DSM-IV BD or schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type, were included. Data were collected from January 2000 to December 2013, and data were analyzed from June 2020 to February 2022.

PRS representing the components of liability were tested for association with mania and depression, psychosis, and mood incongruence of psychosis in participants with BD, measured using the Bipolar Affective Disorder Dimensional Scale.

Of 4429 included participants, 3012 (68.0%) were female, and the mean (SD) age was 46.2 (12.3) years. Mania and psychosis were associated with the shared liability component (mania β = 0.29; 95% CI, 0.23-0.34; P = 3.04 × 10-25; psychosis β = 0.05; 95% CI, 0.04-0.07; P = 2.33 × 10-13) and the components that differentiate each of schizophrenia (mania β = 0.08; 95% CI, 0.03-0.14; P = .002; psychosis β = 0.03; 95% CI, 0.01-0.04; P = 1.0 × 10-4) and BD (mania β = 0.14; 95% CI, 0.09-0.20; P = 1.99 × 10-7; psychosis β = 0.02; 95% CI, 0.01-0.03; P = .006) from the other disorders. The BD differentiating component was associated with mania independently of effects on psychosis (β = 0.14; 95% CI, 0.08-0.20; P = 4.32 × 10-6) but not with psychosis independently of mania. Conversely, the schizophrenia differentiating component was associated with psychosis independently of effects on mania (β = 0.01; 95% CI, 0.003-0.03; P = .02), but not with mania independently of psychosis. Mood incongruence of psychosis was associated only with the schizophrenia differentiating component (β = 0.03; 95% CI, 0.01-0.05; P = .005). Depression was associated with higher MDD differentiating component (β = 0.07; 95% CI, 0.01-0.12; P = .01) but lower BD differentiating component (β = -0.11; 95% CI, -0.17 to -0.06; P = 7.06 × 10-5).

In this study of BD, clinical heterogeneity reflected the burden of liability to BD and the contribution of alleles that have differentiating effects on risk for other disorders; mania, psychosis, and depression were associated with the components of genetic liability differentiating BD, MDD, and schizophrenia, respectively. Understanding the basis of this etiological heterogeneity will be critical for identifying the different pathophysiological processes underlying BD, stratifying patients, and developing precision therapeutics.

Association of 24-Hour Activity Pattern Phenotypes With Depression Symptoms and Cognitive Performance in Aging.

JAMA Psychiatry

Evidence regarding the nature and prevalence of 24-hour activity pattern phenotypes in older adults, especially those related to depression symptoms and cognition, is needed to guide the development of targeted mechanism research and behavioral interventions.

To identify subgroups of older adults with similar 24-hour activity rhythm characteristics and characterize associated depression symptoms and cognitive performance.

From January to March 2022, a cross-sectional analysis of the 2011-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination and Survey (NHANES) accelerometer study was conducted. The NHANES used a multistage probability sample that was designed to be representative of noninstitutionalized adults in the US. The main analysis included participants 65 years or older who had accelerometer and depression measures weighted to represent approximately 32 million older adults.

Latent profile analysis identified subgroups with similar 24-hour activity pattern characteristics as measured using extended-cosine and nonparametric methods.

Covariate-adjusted sample-weighted regressions assessed associations of subgroup membership with (1) depression symptoms defined as 9-Item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) scores of 10 or greater (PHQ-9) and (2) having at least psychometric mild cognitive impairment (p-MCI) defined as scoring less than 1 SD below the mean on a composite cognitive performance score.

The actual clustering sample size was 1800 (weighted: mean [SD] age, 72.9 [7.3] years; 57% female participants). Clustering identified 4 subgroups: (1) 677 earlier rising/robust (37.6%), (2) 587 shorter active period/less modelable (32.6%), (3) 177 shorter active period/very weak (9.8%), and (4) 359 later settling/very weak (20.0%). The prevalence of a PHQ-9 score of 10 or greater differed significantly across groups (cluster 1, 3.5%; cluster 2, 4.7%; cluster 3, 7.5%; cluster 4, 9.0%; χ2 P = .004). The prevalence of having at least p-MCI differed significantly across groups (cluster 1, 7.2%; cluster 2, 12.0%; cluster 3, 21.0%; cluster 4, 18.0%; χ2 P < .001). Five of 9 depression symptoms differed significantly across subgroups.

In this cross-sectional study, findings indicate that approximately 1 in 5 older adults in the US may be classified in a subgroup with weak activity patterns and later settling, and approximately 1 in 10 may be classified in a subgroup with weak patterns and shorter active duration. Future research is needed to investigate the biologic processes related to these behavioral phenotypes, including why earlier and robust activity patterns appear protective, and whether modifying disrupted patterns improves outcomes.

Maternal Mental Health and Infant Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

JAMA Psychiatry

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an unprecedented need to rapidly investigate the potential consequences for maternal mental health, infant and child development, and the mother-infant relationship.

Globally, the mental health of pregnant and postpartum individuals has worsened during the pandemic regardless of infection status, and these concerning changes have disproportionally affected racial and ethnic minoritized people from underserved populations. Early indicators of infant neurobehavioral outcomes suggest that while in utero exposure to a maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection is likely negligible, limited data are available regarding the neurodevelopmental consequences for the generation of infants born during the pandemic. High maternal depression and grief during the COVID-19 pandemic are associated with lower levels of self-reported maternal-infant bonding. Yet nearly all published reports of child neurodevelopmental outcomes and dyadic functioning in the context of the pandemic rely on self-reported and parent-reported measures, which are subject to bias.

In the context of prior research, and considering the paucity of research on infant neurodevelopment following prenatal SARS-CoV-2 exposure and birth during the pandemic, robust scientific investigation is needed to detect indicators of compromised early outcomes that could inform widespread assessment and accessible intervention. We simultaneously caution against reflexive apprehension regarding the generation of children born during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Associations Between Genetic Risk for Adult Suicide Attempt and Suicidal Behaviors in Young Children in the US.

JAMA Psychiatry

Suicide rates have been increasing among youth in the US. While the heritability of suicide risk is well established, there is limited understanding of how genetic risk is associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors in young children.

To examine whether genetic susceptibility to suicide attempts (SAs) is associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children.

This case-control study examined data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a population-based longitudinal study of 11 878 US children enrolled at age 9 and 10 years from September 2016 to November 2018. Youth reports of suicidal ideation (SI) and SAs were obtained from the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia at baseline and 2 subsequent years. After conservative quality control of genotype data, this analysis focused on 4344 unrelated individuals of European ancestry. Data analysis was conducted from November 2020 to February 2022.

Children's lifetime experiences of SI and SAs were assessed each year from ages 9 to 10 years to ages 11 to 12 years. Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for SAs were calculated for ABCD study participants based on the largest genome-wide association study of SA cases and controls of European ancestry (total sample n = 518 612).

Of 4344 children of European ancestry (2045 [47.08%] female; mean [SD] age, 9.93 [0.62] years), significant associations were found between children's SA PRSs and their lifetime SAs with the most robust association in the follow-up year 2 (odds ratio, 1.43 [95% CI, 1.18-1.75]; corrected P = 1.85 × 10-3; Nagelkerke pseudo R2 = 1.51%). These associations remained significant after accounting for children's sociodemographic backgrounds, psychopathology symptoms, parental histories of suicide and mental health, and PRSs for major depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (likelihood ratio test P < .05). Children's depressive mood and aggressive behavior were the most significant partial mediators of SA genetic risk on SAs (mediation analysis P < 1 × 10-16). Children's behavioral problems, such as attention problems, rule-breaking behavior, and social problems, also partially mediated the association of SA PRSs with SAs (mediation analysis false discover rate < 0.05).

This study's findings indicate that there may be genetic factors associated with SA risk across the life span and suggest behaviors and conditions through which the risk could be mediated in childhood. Further research is warranted to examine whether incorporating genetic data could improve the identification of children at risk for suicide.

Altered neuronal activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex drives nicotine intake escalation.


Nicotine addiction develops after prolonged drug use and escalation of drug intake. However, because of difficulties in demonstrating escalation of...

Paternal age and 13 psychiatric disorders in the offspring: a population-based cohort study of 7 million children in Taiwan.

Molecular Psychiatry

Although paternal age has been linked to certain psychiatric disorders, the nature of any causal relationship remains elusive. Here, we aimed to co...

Multicentre, England-wide randomised controlled trial of the 'Foundations' smartphone application in improving mental health and well-being in a healthcare worker population.

Br J Psychiatry

Healthcare workers (HCWs) have faced considerable pressures during the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, this has resulted in mental health distress and disorder. Although interventions have sought to support HCWs, few have been evaluated.

We aimed to determine the effectiveness of the 'Foundations' application (app) on general (non-psychotic) psychiatric morbidity.

We conducted a multicentre randomised controlled trial of HCWs at 16 NHS trusts (trial registration number: EudraCT: 2021-001279-18). Participants were randomly assigned to the app or wait-list control group. Measures were assessed at baseline, after 4 and 8 weeks. The primary outcome was general psychiatric morbidity (using the General Health Questionnaire). Secondary outcomes included: well-being; presenteeism; anxiety; depression and insomnia. The primary analysis used mixed-effects multivariable regression, presented as adjusted mean differences (aMD).

Between 22 March and 3 June 2021, 1002 participants were randomised (500:502), and 894 (89.2%) followed-up. The sample was predominately women (754/894, 84.3%), with a mean age of 44⋅3 years (interquartile range (IQR) 34-53). Participants randomised to the app had a reduction in psychiatric morbidity symptoms (aMD = -1.39, 95% CI -2.05 to -0.74), improvement in well-being (aMD = 0⋅54, 95% CI 0⋅20 to 0⋅89) and reduction in insomnia (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0⋅36, 95% CI 0⋅21 to 0⋅60). No other significant findings were found, or adverse events reported.

The app had an effect in reducing psychiatric morbidity symptoms in a sample of HCWs. Given it is scalable with no adverse effects, the app may be used as part of an organisation's tiered staff support package. Further evidence is needed on long-term effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Adaptive control of synaptic plasticity integrates micro- and macroscopic network function.


Synaptic plasticity configures interactions between neurons and is therefore likely to be a primary driver of behavioral learning and development. ...

Medical emergency training for doctors and nurses in psychiatry: A quality improvement study.

Australasian Psychiatry

We evaluated the impact of medical emergency simulation training on self-reported attitudes, confidence level and knowledge amongst psychiatric doctors and mental health nurses.

Before and following Essential Life Support (ELS) simulation training for medical emergencies, pre and post-questionnaires were employed. Paired t-tests were used to analyse change in self-reported attitudes, confidence in self and the team, and theoretical knowledge.

In 37 participants we found significant improvement in doctors and nurses attitudes (t = 2.168 p < .05 and 2.651 p < .05) and doctor's confidence t = 3.711 p < .001) following training. Knowledge increased for all participants and was significant for doctors (t = 2.112, p < .041). Comments supported training.

Many doctors and nurses in mental health feel inadequately prepared and lack confidence in themselves and their colleagues to respond to medical emergencies. A structured simulation course was useful to change attitudes and increase confidence and knowledge which could benefit the team and patients.

Sex-related differences in violence exposure, neural reactivity to threat, and mental health.


The prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus, and amygdala play an important role in emotional health. However, adverse life events (e.g., violence exp...

Global metabolic profiles in a non-human primate model of maternal immune activation: implications for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Molecular Psychiatry

Epidemiological evidence implicates severe maternal infections as risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ASD and schizophrenia. Acc...