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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A sense of dread: affect and risk perception in people with schizophrenia during an influenza pandemic.

Australasian Psychiatry

To explore the role of affect in risk perception and intention to adopt protective measures against pandemic swine influenza in people with schizophrenia.

A cross-sectional study was conducted exploring the responses of 71 adults with schizophrenia and 238 adults attending general practice settings without schizophrenia. Participants completed a questionnaire that included items relating to: self-predicted affect (affective forecast) were they to contract swine influenza; perceived risk from swine influenza; and willingness to adopt protective measures against swine influenza. The 10-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) and a single-item Self-Rated Health Question (SRHQ) were also included as measures.

In people with schizophrenia, higher levels of predicted fear were associated with increased likelihood of perceived substantive risk from swine influenza and self-reported willingness to adopt protective measures against it. However, higher K10 anxiety subscale scores, reflecting greater concurrent anxiety, were associated with reduced likelihood of perceived substantive risk from swine influenza in people with schizophrenia.

Affect appears to play a role in risk perception of influenza and willingness to take protective measures against it in people with schizophrenia.

Outcomes of mentoring programs in psychiatry training: a literature review.

Australasian Psychiatry

This literature review aimed to outline the evidence regarding the outcomes of formal mentoring programs for training psychiatrists.

An electronic search of Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, Ovid PsycINFO and The Cochrane Library was conducted.

A total of 17 articles fulfilled inclusion criteria. Positive outcomes of mentorship include promotion of research, perpetuation of further mentorship, increased perceived support and enhancement of teaching skills. One article reported a negative outcome.

Current evidence regarding mentorship in psychiatry is limited and there is a lack of clarity regarding the relationship between positive outcomes and mentorship. Components of the included programs may act as confounders. Mentorship, protected teaching time, and didactic teaching may be important to encourage research. Other potential benefits of mentorship include enhanced career guidance, perceived support, and enriched teaching skills.

Dissociation of identity following left parietal haematoma - a single case report.

Australasian Psychiatry

Dissociative identity disorder in relation to brain injury has only rarely been reported in literature. This case report, which illustrates a de novo onset of dissociative identity for the first time in an elderly man who had a left parietal haematoma, adds to this scant literature base and supports an integrative view of bridging the dichotomy between organic and functional to explain complex psychiatric phenomena.

It is a single case report collected through serial semi-structured interviews of the patient and his family over a 12-week period.

The patient was an elderly man transiently dissociated into various identities, some of whom seemed to be based upon individuals who had traumatized him in the past. This occurred three weeks after recovery from hemiparesis and delirium following a left parietal haematoma. The dissociations ended after six weeks, which coincided not only with the resolution of the haematoma but also with a faith-healing ritual. A speculative psychobiological formulation was drawn of possible brain origins of dissociation of identity.

This report is a compelling account of temporal correlation between dissociation of identity and left parietal haematoma.

Harmonised collection of data in youth mental health: Towards large datasets.

Aust N Z

The current international trend is to create large datasets with existing data and/or deposit newly collected data into repositories accessible to the scientific community. These practices lead to more efficient data sharing, better detection of small effects, modelling of confounders, establishment of sample generalizability and identification of differences between any given disorders. In Australia, to facilitate such data-sharing and collaborative opportunities, the Neurobiology in Youth Mental Health Partnership was created. This initiative brings together specialised researchers from around Australia to work towards a better understanding of the cross-diagnostic neurobiology of youth mental health and the translation of this knowledge into clinical practice. One of the mandates of the partnership was to develop a protocol for harmonised prospective collection of data across research centres in the field of youth mental health in order to create large datasets.

Four key research modalities were identified: clinical assessments, brain imaging, neurocognitive assessment and collection of blood samples. This paper presents the consensus set of assessments/data collection that has been selected by experts in each domain.

The use of this core set of data will facilitate the pooling of psychopathological and neurobiological data into large datasets allowing researchers to tackle important questions requiring very large numbers. The aspiration of this transdiagnostic approach is a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying mental illnesses.

Fractionation of impulsive and compulsive trans-diagnostic phenotypes and their longitudinal associations.

Aust N Z

Young adulthood is a crucial neurodevelopmental period during which impulsive and compulsive problem behaviours commonly emerge. While traditionally considered diametrically opposed, impulsive and compulsive symptoms tend to co-occur. The objectives of this study were as follows: (a) to identify the optimal trans-diagnostic structural framework for measuring impulsive and compulsive problem behaviours, and (b) to use this optimal framework to identify common/distinct antecedents of these latent phenotypes.

In total, 654 young adults were recruited as part of the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network, a population-based cohort in the United Kingdom. The optimal trans-diagnostic structural model capturing 33 types of impulsive and compulsive problem behaviours was identified. Baseline predictors of subsequent impulsive and compulsive trans-diagnostic phenotypes were characterised, along with cross-sectional associations, using partial least squares.

Current problem behaviours were optimally explained by a bi-factor model, which yielded dissociable measures of impulsivity and compulsivity, as well as a general disinhibition factor. Impulsive problem behaviours were significantly explained by prior antisocial and impulsive personality traits, male gender, general distress, perceived dysfunctional parenting and teasing/arguments within friendships. Compulsive problem behaviours were significantly explained by prior compulsive traits and female gender.

This study demonstrates that trans-diagnostic phenotypes of 33 impulsive and compulsive problem behaviours are identifiable in young adults, utilising a bi-factor model based on responses to a single questionnaire. Furthermore, these phenotypes have different antecedents. The findings yield a new framework for fractionating impulsivity and compulsivity, and suggest different early intervention targets to avert emergence of problem behaviours. This framework may be useful for future biological and clinical dissection of impulsivity and compulsivity.

Development of MRC Centre MRI calf muscle fat fraction protocol as a sensitive outcome measure in Hereditary Sensory Neuropathy Type 1.

Journal Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry

Hereditary sensory neuropathy type 1 (HSN1) is a rare, slowly progressive neuropathy causing profound sensory deficits and often severe motor loss. L-serine supplementation is a possible candidate therapy but the lack of responsive outcome measures is a barrier for undertaking clinical trials in HSN1. We performed a 12-month natural history study to characterise the phenotype of HSN1 and to identify responsive outcome measures.

Assessments included Charcot-Marie-Tooth Neuropathy Score version 2 (CMTNSv2), CMTNSv2-Rasch modified, nerve conduction studies, quantitative sensory testing, intraepidermal nerve fibre density (thigh), computerised myometry (lower limbs), plasma 1-deoxysphingolipid levels, calf-level intramuscular fat accumulation by MRI and patient-based questionnaires (Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory and 36-Short Form Health Survey version 2 [SF-36v2]).

35 patients with HSN1 were recruited. There was marked heterogeneity in the phenotype mainly due to differences between the sexes: males generally more severely affected. The outcome measures that significantly changed over 1 year and correlated with CMTNSv2, SF-36v2-physical component and disease duration were MRI determined calf intramuscular fat accumulation (mean change in overall calf fat fraction 2.36%, 95% CI 1.16 to 3.55, p=0.0004), pressure pain threshold on the hand (mean change 40 kPa, 95% CI 0.7 to 80, p=0.046) and myometric measurements of ankle plantar flexion (median change -0.5 Nm, IQR -9.5 to 0, p=0.0007), ankle inversion (mean change -0.89 Nm, 95% CI -1.66 to -0.12, p=0.03) and eversion (mean change -1.61 Nm, 95% CI -2.72 to -0.51, p=0.006). Intramuscular calf fat fraction was the most responsive outcome measure.

MRI determined calf muscle fat fraction shows validity and high responsiveness over 12 months and will be useful in HSN1 clinical trials.

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy: update on diagnosis, immunopathogenesis and treatment.

Journal Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is an immune-mediated neuropathy typically characterised by symmetrical involvement, and p...

Heparin for prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism in intracerebral haemorrhage.

Journal Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry

To determine the occurrence of intracranial haemorrhagic complications (IHC) on heparin prophylaxis (low-dose subcutaneous heparin, LDSH) in primary spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) (not oral anticoagulation-associated ICH, non-OAC-ICH), vitamin K antagonist (VKA)-associated ICH and non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC)-associated ICH.

Retrospective cohort study (RETRACE) of 22 participating centres and prospective single-centre study with 1702 patients with VKA-associated or NOAC-associated ICH and 1022 patients with non-OAC-ICH with heparin prophylaxis between 2006 and 2015. Outcomes were defined as rates of IHC during hospital stay among patients with non-OAC-ICH, VKA-ICH and NOAC-ICH, mortality and functional outcome at 3 months between patients with ICH with and without IHC.

IHC occurred in 1.7% (42/2416) of patients with ICH. There were no differences in crude incidence rates among patients with VKA-ICH, NOAC-ICH and non-OAC-ICH (log-rank p=0.645; VKA-ICH: 27/1406 (1.9%), NOAC-ICH 1/130 (0.8%), non-OAC-ICH 14/880 (1.6%); p=0.577). Detailed analysis according to treatment exposure (days with and without LDSH) revealed no differences in incidence rates of IHC per 1000 patient-days (LDSH: 1.43 (1.04-1.93) vs non-LDSH: 1.32 (0.33-3.58), conditional maximum likelihood incidence rate ratio: 1.09 (0.38-4.43); p=0.953). Secondary outcomes showed differences in functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale=4-6: IHC: 29/37 (78.4%) vs non-IHC: 1213/2048 (59.2%); p=0.019) and mortality (IHC: 14/37 (37.8%) vs non-IHC: 485/2048 (23.7%); p=0.045) in disfavour of patients with IHC. Small ICH volume (OR: volume <4.4 mL: 0.18 (0.04-0.78); p=0.022) and low National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score on admission (OR: NIHSS <4: 0.29 (0.11-0.78); p=0.014) were significantly associated with fewer IHC.

Heparin administration for venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis in patients with ICH appears to be safe regarding IHC among non-OAC-ICH, VKA-ICH and NOAC-ICH in this observational cohort analysis. Randomised controlled trials are needed to verify the safety and efficacy of heparin compared with other methods for VTE prevention.

Misfolded SOD1 inclusions in patients with mutations in C9orf72 and other ALS/FTD-associated genes.

Journal Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry

A hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutations in superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) are inclusions containing SOD1 in motor neurons. Here, we searched for SOD1-positive inclusions in 29 patients carrying ALS-linked mutations in six other genes.

A panel of antibodies that specifically recognise misfolded SOD1 species were used for immunohistochemical investigations of autopsy tissue.

The 18 patients with hexanucleotide-repeat-expansions in C9orf72 had inclusions of misfolded wild type (WT) SOD1WT in spinal motor neurons. Similar inclusions were occasionally observed in medulla oblongata and in the motor cortex and frontal lobe. Patients with mutations in FUS, KIF5A, NEK1, ALSIN or VAPB, carried similar SOD1WT inclusions. Minute amounts of misSOD1WT inclusions were detected in 2 of 20 patients deceased from non-neurological causes and in 4 of 10 patients with other neurodegenerative diseases. Comparison was made with 17 patients with 9 different SOD1 mutations. Morphologically, the inclusions in patients with mutations in C9orf72HRE, FUS, KIF5A, NEK1, VAPB and ALSIN resembled inclusions in patients carrying the wildtype-like SOD1D90A mutation, whereas patients carrying unstable SOD1 mutations (A4V, V5M, D76Y, D83G, D101G, G114A, G127X, L144F) had larger skein-like SOD1-positive inclusions.

Abundant inclusions containing misfolded SOD1WT are found in spinal and cortical motor neurons in patients carrying mutations in six ALS-causing genes other than SOD1. This suggests that misfolding of SOD1WT can be part of a common downstream event that may be pathogenic. The new anti-SOD1 therapeutics in development may have applications for a broader range of patients.

Personality Pathology Profiles as Moderators of the Growing Pro-Social Program: Outcomes on Cognitive, Emotion, and Behavior Regulation in Male Prison Inmates.

Journal of Personality and Social

This study consisted of secondary data analysis of information collected from inmates who had participated in an earlier independent randomized con...

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists professional practice guidelines for the administration of electroconvulsive therapy.

Australian and New Zealand Journal

To provide guidance for the optimal administration of electroconvulsive therapy, in particular maintaining the high efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy while minimising cognitive side-effects, based on scientific evidence and supplemented by expert clinical consensus.

Articles and information were sourced from existing guidelines and the published literature. Information was revised and discussed by members of the working group of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists' Section for Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neurostimulation, and findings were then formulated into consensus-based recommendations and guidance. The guidelines were subjected to rigorous successive consultation and external review within the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, involving the full Section for Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neurostimulation membership, and expert and clinical advisors and professional bodies with an interest in electroconvulsive therapy administration.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists' professional practice guidelines for the administration of electroconvulsive therapy provide up-to-date advice regarding the use of electroconvulsive therapy in clinical practice and are informed by evidence and clinical experience. The guidelines are intended for use by psychiatrists and also others with an interest in the administration of electroconvulsive therapy. The guidelines are not intended as a directive about clinical practice or instructions as to what must be done for a given patient, but provide guidance to facilitate best practice to help optimise outcomes for patients. The outcome is guidelines that strive to find the appropriate balance between promoting best evidence-based practice and acknowledging that electroconvulsive therapy is a continually evolving practice.

The guidelines provide up-to-date advice for psychiatrists to promote optimal standards of electroconvulsive therapy practice.

Searching for novel cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of tau pathology in frontotemporal dementia: an elusive quest.

Journal Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a pathologically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder associated usually with tau or TDP-43 pathology, although some phenotypes such as logopenic variant primary progressive aphasia are more commonly associated with Alzheimer's disease pathology. Currently, there are no biomarkers able to diagnose the underlying pathology during life. In this study, we aimed to investigate the potential of novel tau species within cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as biomarkers for tau pathology in FTD.

86 participants were included: 66 with a clinical diagnosis within the FTD spectrum and 20 healthy controls. Immunoassays targeting tau fragments N-123, N-mid-region, N-224 and X-368, as well as a non-phosphorylated form of tau were measured in CSF, along with total-tau (T-tau) and phospho-tau (P-tau(181)). Patients with FTD were grouped based on their Aβ42 level into those likely to have underlying Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology (n=21) and those with likely frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) pathology (n=45). The FTLD group was then subgrouped based on their underlying clinical and genetic diagnoses into those with likely tau (n=7) or TDP-43 (n=18) pathology.

Significantly higher concentrations of tau N-mid-region, tau N-224 and non-phosphorylated tau were seen in both the AD group and FTLD group compared with controls. However, none of the novel tau species showed a significant difference between the AD and FTLD groups, nor between the TDP-43 and tau pathology groups. In a subanalysis, normalising for total-tau, none of the novel tau species provided a higher sensitivity and specificity to distinguish between tau and TDP-43 pathology than P-tau(181)/T-tau, which itself only had a sensitivity of 61.1% and specificity of 85.7% with a cut-off of <0.109.

Despite investigating multiple novel CSF tau fragments, none show promise as an FTD biomarker and so the quest for in vivo markers of FTLD-tau pathology continues.