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Obesity is highly prevalent and disabling, especially in individuals with severe mental illness including bipolar disorders (BD). The brain is a target organ for both obesity and BD. Yet, we do not understand how cortical brain alterations in BD and obesity interact.
We obtained body mass index (BMI) and MRI-derived regional cortical thickness, surface area from 1231 BD and 1601 control individuals from 13 countries within the ENIGMA-BD Working Group. We jointly modeled the statistical effects of BD and BMI on brain structure using mixed effects and tested for interaction and mediation. We also investigated the impact of medications on the BMI-related associations.
BMI and BD additively impacted the structure of many of the same brain regions. Both BMI and BD were negatively associated with cortical thickness, but not surface area. In most regions the number of jointly used psychiatric medication classes remained associated with lower cortical thickness when controlling for BMI. In a single region, fusiform gyrus, about a third of the negative association between number of jointly used psychiatric medications and cortical thickness was mediated by association between the number of medications and higher BMI.
We confirmed consistent associations between higher BMI and lower cortical thickness, but not surface area, across the cerebral mantle, in regions which were also associated with BD. Higher BMI in people with BD indicated more pronounced brain alterations. BMI is important for understanding the neuroanatomical changes in BD and the effects of psychiatric medications on the brain.
To examine associations between diet and risk of developing gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Prospective cohort with a median follow-up of 15·8 years. Baseline diet was measured using a FFQ. GERD was defined as self-reported current or history of daily heartburn or acid regurgitation beginning at least 2 years after baseline. Sex-specific logistic regressions were performed to estimate OR for GERD associated with diet quality scores and intakes of nutrients, food groups and individual foods and beverages. The effect of substituting saturated fat for monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat on GERD risk was examined.
A cohort of 20 926 participants (62 % women) aged 40–59 years at recruitment between 1990 and 1994.
For men, total fat intake was associated with increased risk of GERD (OR 1·05 per 5 g/d; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·09; P = 0·016), whereas total carbohydrate (OR 0·89 per 30 g/d; 95 % CI 0·82, 0·98; P = 0·010) and starch intakes (OR 0·84 per 30 g/d; 95 % CI 0·75, 0·94; P = 0·005) were associated with reduced risk. Nutrients were not associated with risk for women. For both sexes, substituting saturated fat for polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat did not change risk. For both sexes, fish, chicken, cruciferous vegetables and carbonated beverages were associated with increased risk, whereas total fruit and citrus were associated with reduced risk. No association was observed with diet quality scores.
Diet is a possible risk factor for GERD, but food considered as triggers of GERD symptoms might not necessarily contribute to disease development. Potential differential associations for men and women warrant further investigation.
Screening for dementia is usually considered important, but only if accuracy of detection is sufficient and treatments are available and effective. In the National Dementia Strategy for England, one of the three main areas promoted was early diagnosis with acknowledgement that much of this role falls to primary care. The majority of dementia and pre-dementia cases in the community and in primary care remain undetected. One in three of those diagnosed remains unaware of their diagnosis. GPs in the UK are encouraged actively to look for people with dementia through annual screening as well an opportunistic testing of older people attending primary care with any significant health concern. The UK government has also encouraged case finding for dementia on acute admission to secondary care services using a dementia CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation) which meant that overall, between 80% and 90% of patients aged 75 years and over were screened and assessed.
After five positive randomized controlled trials showed benefit of mechanical thrombectomy in the management of acute ischemic stroke with emergent large-vessel occlusion, a multi-society meeting was organized during the 17th Congress of the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology in October 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. This multi-society meeting was dedicated to establish standards of practice in acute ischemic stroke intervention aiming for a consensus on the minimum requirements for centers providing such treatment. In an ideal situation, all patients would be treated at a center offering a full spectrum of neuroendovascular care (a level 1 center). However, for geographical reasons, some patients are unable to reach such a center in a reasonable period of time. With this in mind, the group paid special attention to define recommendations on the prerequisites of organizing stroke centers providing medical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke, but not for other neurovascular diseases (level 2 centers). Finally, some centers will have a stroke unit and offer intravenous thrombolysis, but not any endovascular stroke therapy (level 3 centers). Together, these level 1, 2, and 3 centers form a complete stroke system of care. The multi-society group provides recommendations and a framework for the development of medical thrombectomy services worldwide.
The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) is the most commonly used measure to screen for depression in primary care but there is still lack of clarity about its accuracy and optimal scoring method.
To determine via meta-analysis the diagnostic accuracy of the PHQ-9-linear, PHQ-9-algorithm and PHQ-2 questions to detect major depressive disorder (MDD) among adults.
We systematically searched major electronic databases from inception until June 2015. Articles were included that reported the accuracy of PHQ-9 or PHQ-2 questions for diagnosing MDD in primary care defined according to standard classification systems. We carried out a meta-analysis, meta-regression, moderator and sensitivity analysis.
Overall, 26 publications reporting on 40 individual studies were included representing 26 902 people (median 502, s.d.=693.7) including 14 760 unique adults of whom 14.3% had MDD. The methodological quality of the included articles was acceptable. The meta-analytic area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the PHQ-9-linear and the PHQ-2 was significantly higher than the PHQ-9-algorithm, a difference that was maintained in head-to-head meta-analysis of studies. Our best estimates of sensitivity and specificity were 81.3% (95% CI 71.6–89.3) and 85.3% (95% CI 81.0–89.1), 56.8% (95% CI 41.2–71.8) and 93.3% (95% CI 87.5–97.3) and 89.3% (95% CI 81.5–95.1) and 75.9% (95% CI 70.1–81.3) for the PHQ-9-linear, PHQ-9-algorithm and PHQ-2 respectively. For case finding (ruling in a diagnosis), none of the methods were suitable but for screening (ruling out non-cases), all methods were encouraging with good clinical utility, although the cut-off threshold must be carefully chosen.
The PHQ can be used as an initial first step assessment in primary care and the PHQ-2 is adequate for this purpose with good acceptability. However, neither the PHQ-2 nor the PHQ-9 can be used to confirm a clinical diagnosis (case finding).
The appeal of ketamine – in promptly ameliorating depressive symptoms even in those with non-response – has led to a dramatic increase in its off-label use. Initial promising results await robust corroboration and key questions remain, particularly concerning its long-term administration. It is, therefore, timely to review the opinions of mood disorder experts worldwide pertaining to ketamine's potential as an option for treating depression and provide a synthesis of perspectives – derived from evidence and clinical experience – and to consider strategies for future investigations.
In a recent Round the Corner, Mitchell commented on a Cochrane Review of exercise therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). One of the trials included in that review, and discussed by Mitchell, was the PACE trial. In this month's Round the Corner we are publishing a response we received from authors of the PACE trial (Chalder, White & Sharpe), together with Mitchell's reply. Ed.
Parity of esteem means valuing mental health as much as physical health in order to close inequalities in mortality, morbidity or delivery of care. There is clear evidence that patients with mental illness receive inferior medical, surgical and preventive care. This further exacerbated by low help-seeking, high stigma, medication side-effects and relatively low resources in mental healthcare. As a result, patients with severe mental illness die 10–20 years prematurely and have a high rate of cardiometabolic complications and other physical illnesses. Many physical healthcare guidelines and policy recommendations address parity of esteem, but their implementation to date has been poor. All clinicians should be aware that inequalities in care are adversely influencing mental health outcomes, and managers, healthcare organisations and politicians should provide resources and education to address this gap.
• Understand the concept of parity of esteem
• Be aware of the current inequalities in mental healthcare
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is syndrome of unremitting fatigue of at least 6 months' duration that causes significant disability. Exercise therapy has a proven track record in medicine and could be effective for some patients with CFS. An updated Cochrane review of eight studies appeared to suggest that exercise helps fatigue symptoms, but with only a small probability of recovery and/or improvement in daily function. Provisional data on acceptability suggest that most patients are willing to participate. However, one key study (PACE), which was well powered and influential in the Cochrane review, has been met with considerable controversy owing to lack of clarity on outcomes. Following release of the PACE study primary data, re-analysis suggested smaller effect sizes than initially reported.
To assess the feasibility of iPhone-based teleradiology as a potential solution for the diagnosis of acute cervico-dorsal spine trauma.
Materials and Methods:
We have developed a solution that allows visualization of images on the iPhone. Our system allows rapid, remote, secure, visualization of medical images without storing patient data on the iPhone. This retrospective study is comprised of cervico-dorsal computed tomogram (CT) scan examination of 75 consecutive patients having clinically suspected cervico-dorsal spine fracture. Two radiologists reviewed CT scan images on the iPhone. Computed tomogram spine scans were analyzed for vertebral body fracture and posterior elements fractures, any associated subluxation-dislocation and cord lesion. The total time taken from the launch of viewing application on the iPhone until interpretation was recorded. The results were compared with that of a diagnostic workstation monitor. Inter-rater agreement was assessed.
The sensitivity and accuracy of detecting vertebral body fractures was 80% and 97% by both readers using the iPhone system with a perfect inter-rater agreement (kappa:1). The sensitivity and accuracy of detecting posterior elements fracture was 75% and 98% for Reader 1 and 50% and 97% for Reader 2 using the iPhone. There was good inter-rater agreement (kappa: 0.66) between both readers. No statistically significant difference was noted between time on the workstation and the iPhone system.
iPhone-based teleradiology system is accurate in the diagnosis of acute cervico-dorsal spinal trauma. It allows rapid, remote, secure, visualization of medical images without storing patient data on the iPhone.
‘Collaborative care’ (involving a case manager) and ‘primary care liaison’ or ‘consultation liaison’ (with no case manager) are models of liaison psychiatry in primary care. Here, I briefly consider the evidence for collaborative care, discuss Gillies et al 's Cochrane review on consultation liaison, and suggest avenues for future study and development of liaison psychiatry in primary care.
The article by Smith et al (2016) provides a valuable summary on the usefulness and interpretation of systematic reviews. This commentary adds a discussion of confirmation bias and a summary of some of the most useful influential systematic reviews and meta-analyses in mental health.
The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is the most widely used bedside cognitive test. It has previously been shown to be poor as a case-finding tool for both dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This month's Cochrane Corner review examines whether the MMSE might be used as a risk prediction tool for later dementia in those with established MCI. From 11 studies of modest quality, it appears that the MMSE alone should not be relied on to predict later deterioration in people with MCI. As this is the case, it is likely that only a combination of predictors would be able to accurately predict progression from MCI to dementia.
This commentary questions a Cochrane review that examined whether first-rank symptoms are a useful diagnostic tool for differentiating schizophrenia from other psychotic disorders. It concludes that first-rank symptoms are not particularly accurate in this role, although they might be useful initial screening questions in community surveys or waiting-room screening.
There is a higher mortality rate due to cancer in people with mental illness and previous work suggests suboptimal medical care in this population. It remains unclear if this extends to breast cancer population screening.
To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to establish if women with a mental health condition are less likely to receive mammography screening compared with those without mental ill health.
Major electronic databases were searched from inception until February 2014. We calculated odds ratios (OR) with a random effects meta-analysis comparing mammography screening rates among women with and without a mental illness. Results were stratified according to primary diagnosis including any mental illness, mood disorders, depression, severe mental illness (SMI), distress and anxiety.
We identified 24 publications reporting breast cancer screening practices in women with mental illness (n = 715 705). An additional 5 studies investigating screening for those with distress (n = 21 491) but no diagnosis of mental disorder were identified. The pooled meta-analysis showed significantly reduced rates of mammography screening in women with mental illness (OR = 0.71, 95% CI 0.66–0.77), mood disorders (OR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.76–0.90) and particularly SMI (OR = 0.54, 95% CI 0.45–0.65). No disparity was evident among women with distress alone.
Rates of mammography screening are lower in women with mental illness, particularly women with SMI, and this is not explained by the presence of emotional distress. Disparities in medical care due to mental illness clearly extend into preventive population screening.
Mitchell AJ, Kemp S, Benito-León J, Reuber M. The influence of cognitive impairment on health-related quality of life in neurological disease.
Cognitive impairment is the most consistent neurological complication of acquired and degenerative brain disorders. Historically, most focus was on dementia but now has been broadened to include the important construct of mild cognitive impairment.
Systematic search and review of articles linked quality of life (QoL) and cognitive complications of neurological disorders. We excluded QoL in dementia.
Our search identified 249 publications. Most research examined patients with brain tumours, stroke, epilepsy, head injury, Huntington's disease, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. Results suggested that the majority of patients with epilepsy, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke and head injury have subtle cognitive deficits early in their disease course. These cognitive complaints are often overlooked by clinicians. In many cases, the cognitive impairment is progressive but it can also be relapsing-remitting and in some cases reversible. Despite the importance of severe cognitive impairment in the form of dementia, there is now increasing recognition of a broad spectrum of impairment, including those with subclinical or mild cognitive impairment. Even mild cognitive difficulties can have functional and psychiatric consequences–especially when they are persistent and untreated. Specific cognitive deficits such an inattention, dysexecutive function and processing speed may affect a number of quality of life (QoL) domains. For example, cognitive impairment influences return to work, interpersonal relationships and leisure activities. In addition, fear of future cognitive decline may also impact upon QoL.
We recommend further development of simple tools to screen for cognitive impairments in each neurological condition. We also recommend that a thorough cognitive assessment should be a part of routine clinical practice in those caring for individuals with neurological disorders.
To examine research productivity of staff working across 57 National Health Service (NHS) mental health trusts in England. We examined research productivity between 2010 and 2012, including funded portfolio studies and all research (funded and unfunded).
Across 57 trusts there were 1297 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) studies in 2011/2012, involving 46140 participants and in the same year staff in these trusts published 1334 articles (an average of only 23.4 per trust per annum). After correcting for trust size and budget, the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust was the most productive. In terms of funded portfolio studies, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust as well as South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust had the strongest performance in 2011/2012.
Trusts should aim to capitalise on valuable staff resources and expertise and better support and encourage research in the NHS to help improve clinical services.
The Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE) and its Revised version (ACE-R) are relatively new screening tools for cognitive impairment that may improve upon the well-known Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and other brief batteries. We systematically reviewed diagnostic accuracy studies of ACE and ACE-R.
Published studies comparing ACE, ACE-R and MMSE were comprehensively sought and critically appraised. A meta-analysis of suitable studies was conducted.
Of 61 possible publications identified, meta-analysis of qualifying studies encompassed 5 for ACE (1,090 participants) and 5 for ACE-R (1156 participants); of these, 9 made direct comparisons with the MMSE. Sensitivity and specificity of the ACE were 96.9% (95% CI = 92.7% to 99.4%) and 77.4% (95% CI = 58.3% to 91.8%); and for the ACE-R were 95.7% (95% CI = 92.2% to 98.2%) and 87.5% (95% CI = 63.8% to 99.4%). In a modest prevalence setting, such as primary care or general hospital settings where the prevalence of dementia may be approximately 25%, overall accuracy of the ACE (0.823) was inferior to ACE-R (0.895) and MMSE (0.882). In high prevalence settings such as memory clinics where the prevalence of dementia may be 50% or higher, overall accuracy again favored ACE-R (0.916) over ACE (0.872) and MMSE (0.895).
The ACE-R has somewhat superior diagnostic accuracy to the MMSE while the ACE appears to have inferior accuracy. The ACE-R is recommended in both modest and high prevalence settings. Accuracy of newer versions of the ACE remain to be determined.