Thursday, January 5, 2017

January 2017

Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia: Treatment Response and Resistance in Psychosis (TRRIP) Working Group Consensus Guidelines on Diagnosis and Terminology


The American Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

Objective
Research and clinical translation in schizophrenia is limited by inconsistent definitions of treatment resistance and response. To address this issue, the authors evaluated current approaches and then developed consensus criteria and guidelines.

Method
A systematic review of randomized antipsychotic clinical trials in treatment-resistant schizophrenia was performed, and definitions of treatment resistance were extracted. Subsequently, consensus operationalized criteria were developed through 1) a multiphase, mixed methods approach, 2) identification of key criteria via an online survey, and 3) meetings to achieve consensus.

Results
Of 2,808 studies identified, 42 met inclusion criteria. Of these, 21 studies (50%) did not provide operationalized criteria. In the remaining studies, criteria varied considerably, particularly regarding symptom severity, prior treatment duration, and antipsychotic dosage thresholds; only two studies (5%) utilized the same criteria. The consensus group identified minimum and optimal criteria, employing the following principles: 1) current symptoms of a minimum duration and severity determined by a standardized rating scale; 2) moderate or worse functional impairment; 3) prior treatment consisting of at least two different antipsychotic trials, each for a minimum duration and dosage; 4) systematic monitoring of adherence and meeting of minimum adherence criteria; 5) ideally at least one prospective treatment trial; and 6) criteria that clearly separate responsive from treatment-resistant patients.

Conclusions
There is considerable variation in current approaches to defining treatment resistance in schizophrenia. The authors present consensus guidelines that operationalize criteria for determining and reporting treatment resistance, adequate treatment, and treatment response, providing a benchmark for research and clinical translation.


Medication for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Risk for Depression


Biological Psychiatry

Abstract

Background
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with high rates of psychiatric comorbidity, including depression. However, it is unclear whether ADHD medication increases or decreases the risk for depression.

Methods
We studied all individuals with a diagnosis of ADHD born between 1960 and 1998 in Sweden (N = 38,752). We obtained data for prescription of ADHD medication, diagnosis of depression and other psychiatric disorders, and sociodemographic factors from population-based registers. The association between ADHD medication and depression was estimated with Cox proportional hazards regression.

Results
After adjustment for sociodemographic and clinical confounders, ADHD medication was associated with a reduced long-term risk (i.e., 3 years later) for depression (hazard ratio = 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.51–0.67). The risk was lower for longer duration of ADHD medication. Also, ADHD medication was associated with reduced rates of concurrent depression; within-individual analysis suggested that occurrence of depression was 20% less common during periods when patients received ADHD medication compared with periods when they did not (hazard ratio = 0.80; 95% confidence interval, 0.70–0.92).

Conclusions
Our study suggests that ADHD medication does not increase the risk of later depression; rather, medication was associated with a reduced risk for subsequent and concurrent depression. 


Characterization of Admission Types in Medically Hospitalized Patients Prescribed Clozapine


Psychosomatics

Abstract

Background
Clozapine is the antipsychotic of choice for treatment-resistant schizophrenia; however, rigorous monitoring is required to prevent or detect adverse drug events that contribute to morbidity and mortality. In addition to the FDA boxed safety warnings specific to clozapine (agranulocytosis, hypotension, seizures, and cardiomyopathy/myocarditis), other adverse events such as pneumonia and gastrointestinal hypomotility have been reported in the literature to result in hospitalization.

Objective
To explore the reasons for medical hospitalization in patients prescribed clozapine, a retrospective chart review was completed.

Methods
Adults with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder prescribed clozapine were identified if they had a non-psychiatric medical admission between 1/1/2003 and 8/1/2015. Demographics, admitting diagnosis, admitting service type, psychiatric consult information, clozapine dosing, and drug-interactions were collected.

Results
104 patients, representing 248 hospitalizations, were admitted to a medical unit during the study period. The predominant admission types were for the management of either pulmonary (32.2%) or gastrointestinal (19.8%) illnesses. The most common pulmonary diagnosis was pneumonia, accounting for 58% of pulmonary admissions. 61.2% of the gastrointestinal admissions were related to hypomotility, ranging from constipation to death. Clozapine was discontinued due to neutropenia in 2 patients; in both cases concomitant chemotherapy had been given.

Conclusion
In patients prescribed clozapine admitted to non-psychiatric medical settings, gastrointestinal and pulmonary illnesses were common but not illnesses related to boxed warnings. Additional research is needed to better assess the causality and true incidence of gastrointestinal or pulmonary events associated with clozapine. Furthermore, clinicians must be prepared to prevent, detect, and manage potentially life-threatening events associated with clozapine.



Methylphenidate and Memory and Attention Adaptation Training for Persistent Cognitive Symptoms after Traumatic Brain Injury


Neuropsychopharmacology 

Abstract
  
The purpose of this multicenter, prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study was to evaluate and compare the efficacy of two cognitive rehabilitation interventions (Memory and Attention Adaptation Training (MAAT) and Attention Builders Training (ABT)), with and without pharmacologic enhancement (ie, with methylphenidate (MPH) or placebo), for treating persistent cognitive problems after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Adults with a history of TBI at least four months prior to study enrollment with either objective cognitive deficits or subjective cognitive complaints were randomized to receive MPH or placebo and MAAT or ABT, yielding four treatment combinations: MAAT/MPH (N=17), ABT/MPH (N=19), MAAT/placebo (N=17), and ABT/placebo (N=18). Assessments were conducted pre-treatment (baseline) and after six weeks of treatment (post-treatment). Outcome measures included scores on neuropsychological measures and subjective rating scales. Statistical analyses used linear regression models to predict post-treatment scores for each outcome variable by treatment type, adjusting for relevant covariates. Statistically significant (p<0.05) treatment-related improvements in cognitive functioning were found for word list learning (MAAT/placebo>ABT/placebo), nonverbal learning (MAAT/MPH>MAAT/placebo and MAAT/MPH>ABT/MPH), and auditory working memory and divided attention (MAAT/MPH>ABT/MPH). These results suggest that combined treatment with metacognitive rehabilitation (MAAT) and pharmacotherapy (MPH) can improve aspects of attention, episodic and working memory, and executive functioning after TBI.

Source: http://www.nature.com/npp/


FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA revises description of mental health side effects of the stop-smoking medicines Chantix (varenicline) and Zyban (bupropion) to reflect clinical trial findings


US FDA

Based on a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review of a large clinical trial that we required the drug companies to conduct,1 we have determined the risk of serious side effects on mood, behavior, or thinking with the stop-smoking medicines Chantix (varenicline) and Zyban (bupropion)* is lower than previously suspected. The risk of these mental health side effects is still present, especially in those currently being treated for mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders, or schizophrenia, or who have been treated for mental illnesses in the past. However, most people who had these side effects did not have serious consequences such as hospitalization. The results of the trial confirm that the benefits of stopping smoking outweigh the risks of these medicines.

As a result of our review of the large clinical trial, we are removing the Boxed Warning, FDA’s most prominent warning, for serious mental health side effects from the Chantix drug label. The language describing the serious mental health side effects seen in patients quitting smoking will also be removed from the Boxed Warning in the Zyban label.† We are also updating the existing warning section in both labels that describes the side effects on mood, behavior, or thinking to include the results from the clinical trial. This decision is consistent with the recommendations of external experts at a September 2016 FDA Advisory Committee meeting. The patient Medication Guide that explains the risks associated with the use of the medicines will continue to be provided with every patient prescription; however, the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) that formally required the Medication Guide will be removed.

Our review of the clinical trial results also confirmed that Chantix, Zyban, and nicotine replacement patches were all more effective for helping people quit smoking than was an inactive treatment called a placebo. These medicines were found to better help people quit smoking regardless of whether or not they had a history of mental illness.



Sex and Race Differences in the Association Between Statin Use and the Incidence of Alzheimer Disease


JAMA Neurology

Abstract

Importance  
To our knowledge, no effective treatments exist for Alzheimer disease, and new molecules are years away. However, several drugs prescribed for other conditions have been associated with reducing its risk.

Objective  
To analyze the association between statin exposure and Alzheimer disease incidence among Medicare beneficiaries.

Design, Setting, and Participants  
We examined the medical and pharmacy claims of a 20% sample of Medicare beneficiaries from 2006 to 2013 and compared rates of Alzheimer disease diagnosis for 399 979 statin users 65 years of age or older with high or low exposure to statins and with drug molecules for black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white people, and men and women of Asian, Native American, or unkown race/ethnicity who are referred to as “other.”

Main Outcomes and Measures  
The main outcome was incident diagnosis of Alzheimer disease based on the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification. We used Cox proportional hazard models to analyze the association between statin exposure and Alzheimer disease diagnosis for different sexes, races and ethnicities, and statin molecules.

Results  
The 399 979 study participants included 7794 (1.95%) black men, 24 484 (6.12%) black women, 11 200 (2.80%) Hispanic men, 21 458 (5.36%) Hispanic women, 115 059 (28.77%) white men, and 195 181 (48.80%) white women. High exposure to statins was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer disease diagnosis for women (hazard ratio [HR], 0.85; 95% CI, 0.82-0.89; P<.001) and men (HR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.83-0.93; P<.001). Simvastatin was associated with lower Alzheimer disease risk for white women (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.81-0.92; P<.001), white men (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82-0.99; P=.02), Hispanic women (HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.68-0.99; P=.04), Hispanic men (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.50-0.91; P=.01), and black women (HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.66-0.93; P=.005). Atorvastatin was associated with a reduced risk of incident Alzheimer disease diagnosis for white women(HR, 0.84, 95% CI, 0.78-0.89), black women (HR, .081, 95% CI, 0.67-0.98), and Hispanic men (HR, 0.61, 95% CI, 0.42-0.89) and women (HR, 0.76, 95% CI, 0.60-0.97). Pravastatin and rosuvastatin were associated with reduced Alzheimer disease risk for white women only (HR, 0.82, 95% CI, 0.70-0.95 and HR, 0.81, 95% CI, 0.67-0.98, respectively). High statin exposure was not associated with a statistically significant lower Alzheimer disease risk among black men.

Conclusions and Relevance  
The reduction in Alzheimer disease risk varied across statin molecules, sex, and race/ethnicity. Clinical trials that include racial and ethnic groups need to confirm these findings. Because statins may affect Alzheimer disease risk, physicians should consider which statin is prescribed to each patient.



Dementia risk in renal dysfunction


Neurology

Abstract

Objective
Renal dysfunction has been linked with increased risk for cognitive impairment and dementia, but studies are conflicting. For that reason, the aim of the present systematic review and meta-analysis is to summarize the best available evidence on the prospective association between potential markers of renal dysfunction and development of cognitive impairment or dementia.

Methods
Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched for potential publications until August 1, 2016. Studies were eligible if they fulfilled the following criteria: population-based study, prospective design, ≥100 participants, aged ≥45 years, ≥1 year follow-up, and cognition/dementia outcomes. Where appropriate, random effects meta-analyses were conducted yielding pooled odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results
Twenty-two out of 8,494 abstracts fulfilled the eligibility criteria. Sufficient evidence was found for albuminuria, mixed results for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), insufficient support for cystatin C, and tentative evidence for serum creatinine and creatinine clearance. Meta-analyses of 5 studies representing 27,805 persons showed a 35% increased risk of cognitive impairment or dementia in those with albuminuria (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.06–1.73, p = 0.015), whereas eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 showed no significant association (OR 1.28, 95% CI 0.99–1.65, p = 0.063). No meta-analyses could be done for serum creatinine, creatinine clearance, or cystatin C.

Conclusions 
The overall evidence for an association between renal dysfunction and cognitive impairment or dementia is modest. Evidence suggests that albuminuria is associated with higher odds of developing cognitive impairment or dementia.



Assessment of the Incremental Diagnostic Value of Amyloid PET With Florbetapir F 18 Imaging in Patients With Cognitive Impairment


JAMA Neurology

Abstract

Importance  
Cerebral amyloidosis is a key abnormality in Alzheimer disease (AD) and can be detected in vivo with positron emission tomography (PET) ligands. Although amyloid PET has clearly demonstrated analytical validity, its clinical utility is debated.

Objective  
To evaluate the incremental diagnostic value of amyloid PET with florbetapir F 18 in addition to the routine clinical diagnostic assessment of patients evaluated for cognitive impairment.

Design, Setting, and Participants  
The Incremental Diagnostic Value of Amyloid PET With [18F]-Florbetapir (INDIA-FBP) Study is a multicenter study involving 18 AD evaluation units from eastern Lombardy, Northern Italy, 228 consecutive adults with cognitive impairment were evaluated for AD and other causes of cognitive decline, with a prescan diagnostic confidence of AD between 15% and 85%. Participants underwent routine clinical and instrumental diagnostic assessment. A prescan diagnosis was made, diagnostic confidence was estimated, and drug treatment was provided. At the time of this workup, an amyloid PET/computed tomographic scan was performed, and the result was communicated to physicians after workup completion. Physicians were asked to review the diagnosis, diagnostic confidence, and treatment after the scan. 

Main Outcomes and Measures  
Primary outcomes were prescan to postscan changes of diagnosis, diagnostic confidence, and treatment.

Results  
Of the 228 participants, 107 (46%) were male; mean (SD) age was 70.5 (7) years. Diagnostic change occurred in 46 patients (79%) having both a previous diagnosis of AD and an amyloid-negative scan (P < .001) and in 16 (53%) of those with non-AD diagnoses and an amyloid-positive scan (P < .001). Diagnostic confidence in AD diagnosis increased by 15.2% in amyloid-positive (P < .001; effect size Cohen d = 1.04) and decreased by 29.9% in amyloid-negative (P < .001; d = −1.19) scans. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and memantine hydrochloride were introduced in 61 (65.6%) patients with positive scan results who had not previously received those drugs, and the use of the drugs was discontinued in 6 (33.3%) patients with negative scan results who were receiving those drugs (P < .001).

Conclusions and Relevance  
Amyloid PET in addition to routine assessment in patients with cognitive impairment has a significant effect on diagnosis, diagnostic confidence, and drug treatment. The effect on health outcomes, such as morbidity and mortality, remains to be assessed.



Ziprasidone Augmentation of Escitalopram for Major Depressive Disorder: Cardiac, Endocrine, Metabolic, and Motoric Effects in a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study


Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Abstract

Objective  
ITo examine motoric, cardiovascular, endocrine, and metabolic effects of adjunctive ziprasidone in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) and prior nonresponse to 8 weeks of open-label escitalopram.

Methods
A multicenter, parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted at 3 US academic medical centers from July 2008 to October 2013. Recruited were 139 outpatients with persistent DSM-IV MDD following an 8-week open-label trial of escitalopram. Subjects were then randomized to adjunctive ziprasidone (escitalopram + ziprasidone, n = 71) or placebo (escitalopram + placebo, n = 68) for 8 additional weeks. Cardiac and metabolic measures were obtained at each treatment visit. Barnes Akathisia Scale and Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) scores were also obtained. Changes in outcome measures for each treatment group were compared by independent-samples t test.

Results
A trend toward significance (P = .06) in corrected QT interval (QTc) increase was observed for ziprasidone (mean [SD] = 8.8 [20.2] milliseconds) versus placebo (–0.02 [25.5] milliseconds). Ziprasidone-treated patients had a significantly greater increase in global akathisia scores (P = .01) and significant weight increase (mean [SD] = 3.5 [11.8] kg, or 7.7 [26.1] lb) compared to placebo (1.0 [6.4] kg, or 2.2 [14.1] lb) (P = .03). No significant changes in AIMS scores were observed for either treatment group.

Conclusions
Adjunctive ziprasidone, added to escitalopram, led to a greater weight gain and greater but modest akathisia compared to placebo. The effect of ziprasidone on QTc showed a trend toward significance, and therefore caution should be used in the administration of ziprasidone. While ziprasidone augmentation in patients with MDD appears safe, precautions should be taken in practice, specifically regular monitoring of electrocardiogram, weight, extrapyramidal symptoms, and involuntary movements.



Association of Neurocognition With Transition to Psychosis


JAMA Psychiatry

Abstract

Importance  
Neurocognition is a central characteristic of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Identifying the pattern and severity of neurocognitive functioning during the “near-psychotic,” clinical high-risk (CHR) state of psychosis is necessary to develop accurate risk factors for psychosis and more effective and potentially preventive treatments.

Objectives  
To identify core neurocognitive dysfunctions associated with the CHR phase, measure the ability of neurocognitive tests to predict transition to psychosis, and determine if neurocognitive deficits are robust or explained by potential confounders.

Design, Setting, and Participants  
In this case-control study across 8 sites, baseline neurocognitive data were collected from January 2009 to April 2013 in the second phase of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS 2). The dates of analysis were August 2015 to August 2016. The setting was a consortium of 8 university-based, outpatient programs studying the psychosis prodrome in North America. Participants were 264 healthy controls (HCs) and 689 CHR individuals, aged 12 to 35 years.

Main Outcomes and Measures  
Neurocognitive associations with transition to psychosis and effects of medication on neurocognition. Nineteen neuropsychological tests and 4 factors derived from factor analysis were used: executive and visuospatial abilities, verbal abilities, attention and working memory abilities, and declarative memory abilities.

Results  
This study included 264 HCs (137 male and 127 female) and 689 CHR participants (398 male and 291 female). In the HCs, 145 (54.9%) were white and 119 (45.1%) were not, whereas 397 CHR participants (57.6%) were white and 291 (42.3%) were not. In the HCs, 45 (17%) were of Hispanic origin, whereas 127 CHR participants (18.4%) were of Hispanic origin. The CHR individuals were significantly impaired compared with HCs on attention and working memory abilities and declarative memory abilities. The CHR converters had large deficits in attention and working memory abilities and declarative memory abilities (Cohen d, approximately 0.80) compared with controls and performed significantly worse on these dimensions than nonconverters (Cohen d, 0.28 and 0.48, respectively). These results were not accounted for by general cognitive ability or medications. In Cox proportional hazards regression, time to conversion in those who transitioned to psychosis was significantly predicted by high verbal (premorbid) abilities (β = 0.40; hazard ratio [HR], 1.48; 95% CI, 1.08-2.04; P = .02), impaired declarative memory abilities (β = −0.87; HR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.31-0.56; P < .001), age (β = −0.10; HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.84-0.97; P = .003), site, and a combined score of unusual thought content or delusional ideas and suspiciousness or persecutory ideas items (β = 0.44; HR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.36-1.78; P < .001).

Conclusions and Relevance  
Neurocognitive impairment, especially in attention and working memory abilities and declarative memory abilities, is a robust characteristic of CHR participants, especially those who later develop psychosis. Interventions targeting the enhancement of neurocognitive functioning are warranted in this population.



Online Journals:




Biological Psychiatry - Volume 81, Issue 3, February 2017



Join us on LinkedIn: Neurosychopharmacology News Group