Journal: The Lancet. Psychiatry
Although the association between psychotic illness and cigarette smoking is well known, the reasons are unclear why people with psychosis are more likely to smoke than are the general population. We aimed to test several hypotheses. First, that daily tobacco use is associated with an increased risk of psychotic illness in both case-control and prospective studies. Second, that smoking is associated with an earlier age at onset of psychotic illness. Finally, that an earlier age at initiation of smoking is associated with an increased risk of psychosis. We also aimed to derive an estimate of the prevalence of smoking in patients presenting with their first episode of psychosis.
Previous research has suggested that deliberate self-harm is associated with contemporary goth subculture in young people; however, whether this association is confounded by characteristics of young people, their families, and their circumstances is unclear. We aimed to test whether self-identification as a goth is prospectively associated with emergence of clinical depression and self-harm in early adulthood.
Self-poisoning and self-injury are associated with a high risk of suicide or death from any cause but the effect of routine aspects of hospital management on mortality risk is unknown.
People with severe mental illness have both increased mortality and are more likely to have a substance use disorder. We assessed the association between mortality and lifetime substance use disorder in patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or unipolar depression.
General practitioners are usually the first health professionals to be contacted by people with early signs of psychosis. We aimed to assess whether increased liaison between primary and secondary care improves the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of detection of people with, or at high risk of developing, a first psychotic illness.
Injuries represent the largest disease burden and most common cause of death in children. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with increased mortality, with accidents being the most common cause of death in ADHD. However, it is not known whether pharmacological treatment has any modifying effect on the risk of injuries in children and adolescents with ADHD.
Many older adults with major depression, particularly veterans, do not have access to evidence-based psychotherapy. Telemedicine could increase access to best-practice care for older adults facing barriers of mobility, stigma, and geographical isolation. We aimed to establish non-inferiority of behavioural activation therapy for major depression delivered via telemedicine to same-room care in largely male, older adult veterans.
Anxiety disorders are increasingly recognised as an important determinant of outcomes in patients with bipolar disorder. However, a reliable estimate of their prevalence is still missing, because the published prevalence of anxiety disorders in individuals with bipolar disorder varies widely. In this study, we aimed to quantify the lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders in individuals with bipolar disorder and compare it with rates in people without the disorder.
Drug development for psychiatric disorders has almost ground to a halt. Some newer drugs are better tolerated or safer than older ones, but none is more effective. Years of failure in preventing or delaying the onset of illness, ameliorating symptoms, lowering suicide rates, or improving quality of life has put the commercial investments that had previously funded drug development at risk. To promote the development of psychiatric drugs with greater efficacy, we need to improve the way we bring potentially beneficial drugs to market. We need to acknowledge, as has been done in other specialties, that people differ in their response to drugs. Psychiatric drug research needs to be grounded in a better understanding of molecular brain mechanisms, neural circuits, and their relations to clinical disease. With this understanding, drugs need to be more precisely directed at specific brain targets. In psychiatric drug development, government, industry, regulatory bodies, and academia should realign to ensure medical science is used in the best interests of patients.
Over the past 20 years, psychotropics affecting the serotonergic system have been used extensively in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Molecular imaging, in particular PET, has allowed for elucidation of the essential contribution of the serotonin transporter to the pathophysiology of various psychiatric disorders and their treatment. We review studies that use PET to measure cerebral serotonin transporter activity in psychiatric disorders, focusing on major depressive disorder and antidepressant treatment. We also discuss opportunities and limitations in the application of this neuroimaging method in clinical practice. Although results from individual studies diverge, meta-analysis indicates a trend towards reduced serotonin transporter availability in patients with major depressive disorder. Inconsistencies in results might suggest symptom heterogeneity in major depressive disorder and might therefore be relevant for stratification of patients into clinical subsets. PET has enabled the elucidation of mechanisms of response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and hence provides a basis for rational pharmacological treatment of major depressive disorder. Such imaging studies have also suggested that the pattern of serotonin transporter binding before treatment might predict response to antidepressant treatment, which could potentially be clinically useful in the future. Additionally, this Review discusses PET studies investigating the serotonin transporter in anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders. Few studies have shown changes in serotonin transporter activity in schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. By showing the scarcity of data in these psychiatric disorders, we highlight the potential for further investigation in this field.