Monday, January 1, 2018

January 2018

FDA approves Abilify (aripiprazol tablets) with sensor that digitally tracks if patients have ingested their medication


FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug in the U.S. with a digital ingestion tracking system. Abilify MyCite (aripiprazole tablets with sensor) has an ingestible sensor embedded in the pill that records that the medication was taken. The product is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and for use as an add-on treatment for depression in adults.

The system works by sending a message from the pill’s sensor to a wearable patch. The patch transmits the information to a mobile application so that patients can track the ingestion of the medication on their smart phone. Patients can also permit their caregivers and physician to access the information through a web-based portal.

“Being able to track ingestion of medications prescribed for mental illness may be useful for some patients,” said Mitchell Mathis, M.D., director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The FDA supports the development and use of new technology in prescription drugs and is committed to working with companies to understand how technology might benefit patients and prescribers.”

It is important to note that Abilify MyCite’s prescribing information (labeling) notes that the ability of the product to improve patient compliance with their treatment regimen has not been shown. Abilify MyCite should not be used to track drug ingestion in “real-time” or during an emergency because detection may be delayed or may not occur. 


Association of Hormonal Contraception With Suicide Attempts and Suicides


The American Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

Objective
The purpose of this study was to assess the relative risk of suicide attempt and suicide in users of hormonal contraception.

Method
The authors assessed associations between hormonal contraceptive use and suicide attempt and suicide in a nationwide prospective cohort study of all women in Denmark who had no psychiatric diagnoses, antidepressant use, or hormonal contraceptive use before age 15 and who turned 15 during the study period, which extended from 1996 through 2013. Nationwide registers provided individually updated information about use of hormonal contraception, suicide attempt, suicide, and potential confounding variables. Psychiatric diagnoses or antidepressant use during the study period were considered potential mediators between hormonal contraceptive use and risk of suicide attempt. Adjusted hazard ratios for suicide attempt and suicide were estimated for users of hormonal contraception as compared with those who never used hormonal contraception.

Results
Among nearly half a million women followed on average for 8.3 years (3.9 million person-years) with a mean age of 21 years, 6,999 first suicide attempts and 71 suicides were identified. Compared with women who never used hormonal contraceptives, the relative risk among current and recent users was 1.97 (95% CI=1.85–2.10) for suicide attempt and 3.08 (95% CI=1.34–7.08) for suicide. Risk estimates for suicide attempt were 1.91 (95% CI=1.79–2.03) for oral combined products, 2.29 (95% CI=1.77–2.95) for oral progestin-only products, 2.58 (95% CI=2.06–3.22) for vaginal ring, and 3.28 (95% CI=2.08–5.16) for patch. The association between hormonal contraceptive use and a first suicide attempt peaked after 2 months of use.

Conclusions
Use of hormonal contraception was positively associated with subsequent suicide attempt and suicide. Adolescent women experienced the highest relative risk.  


Vegetarian diets and depressive symptoms among men


Journal of Affective Disorders

Abstract

Background
Vegetarian diets are associate with cardiovascular and other health benefits, but little is known about mental health benefits or risks.

Aims
To determine whether self-identification of vegetarian dietary habits is associated with significant depressive symptoms in men.

Method
Self-report data from 9668 adult male partners of pregnant women in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) included identification as vegetarian or vegan, dietary frequency data and the Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale (EPDS). Continuous and binary outcomes were assessed using multiple linear and logistic regression taking account of potential confounding variables including: age, marital status, employment status, housing tenure, number of children in the household, religion, family history of depression previous childhood psychiatric contact, cigarette and alcohol consumption.

Results
Vegetarians [n = 350 (3.6% of sample)], had higher depression scores on average than non-vegetarians (mean difference 0.96 points [95%CI + 0.53, + 1.40]) and a greater risk for EPDS scores above 10 (adjusted OR = 1.67 [95% CI: 1.14,2.44]) than non-vegetarians after adjustment for potential confounding factors.

Conclusions
Vegetarian men have more depressive symptoms after adjustment for socio-demographic factors. Nutritional deficiencies (e.g. in cobalamin or iron) are a possible explanation for these findings, however reverse causation cannot be ruled out.



Machine learning of neural representations of suicide and emotion concepts identifies suicidal youth


Nature Human Behaviour 

Abstract
  
The clinical assessment of suicidal risk would be substantially complemented by a biologically based measure that assesses alterations in the neural representations of concepts related to death and life in people who engage in suicidal ideation. This study used machine-learning algorithms (Gaussian Naive Bayes) to identify such individuals (17 suicidal ideators versus 17 controls) with high (91%) accuracy, based on their altered functional magnetic resonance imaging neural signatures of death-related and life-related concepts. The most discriminating concepts were ‘death’, ‘cruelty’, ‘trouble’, ‘carefree’, ‘good’ and ‘praise’. A similar classification accurately (94%) discriminated nine suicidal ideators who had made a suicide attempt from eight who had not. Moreover, a major facet of the concept alterations was the evoked emotion, whose neural signature served as an alternative basis for accurate (85%) group classification. This study establishes a biological, neurocognitive basis for altered concept representations in participants with suicidal ideation, which enables highly accurate group membership classification.

Source: https://www.nature.com/


Nutritional Deficiencies and Clinical Correlates in First-Episode Psychosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


Eschizophrenia Bulletin

Abstract

Objective
SDiet is increasingly recognized as a potentially modifiable factor influencing the onset and outcomes of psychiatric disorders. Whereas, previous research has shown long-term schizophrenia is associated with various nutritional deficiencies, this meta-analysis aimed to determine the prevalence and extent of nutritional deficits in first-episode psychosis (FEP).

Method
A search of electronic databases conducted in July 2017 identified 28 eligible studies, examining blood levels of 6 vitamins and 10 minerals across 2612 individuals: 1221 individuals with FEP and 1391 control subjects. Meta-analyses compared nutrient levels in FEP to nonpsychiatric controls. Clinical correlates of nutritional status in patient samples were systematically reviewed.

Results
Significantly lower blood levels of folate (N = 6, n = 827, g = −0.624, 95% confidence interval [CI] = −1.176 to −0.072, P = .027) and vitamin D (N = 7, n = 906, g = −1.055, 95% CI = −1.99 to −0.119, P = .027) were found in FEP compared to healthy controls. Synthesis of clinical correlates found both folate and vitamin D held significant inverse relationships with psychiatric symptoms in FEP. There was also limited evidence for serum level reductions of vitamin C (N = 2, n = 96, g = −2.207, 95% CI = −3.71 to −0.71, P = .004). No differences were found for other vitamins or minerals.

Conclusions
Deficits in vitamin D and folate previously observed in long-term schizophrenia appear to exist from illness onset, and are associated with worse symptomology. Further research must examine the direction and nature of these relationships (ie, mediator, moderator, or marker) with clinical status in FEP. Future trials assessing efficacy of nutrient supplementation in FEP samples should consider targeting and stratifying for baseline deficiency.



Rates and Predictors of Conversion to Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder Following Substance-Induced Psychosis


The American Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

Objective
To evaluate the effect of prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on children’s behavioral, emotional, and social development by age 5 years, and over time since age 1.5.

Method
The prospective Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study was linked to the Medical Birth Registry of Norway. We included women who reported depressive/anxiety disorders before and/or during pregnancy. Children born to women who used SSRIs in early (weeks 0-16), mid (weeks 17-28), or late (> week 29) pregnancy were compared to unexposed. Children’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors (Child Behavior Checklist) and temperament traits (Emotionality, Activity and Shyness Temperament Questionnaire) were measured at 1.5, 3, and 5 years. Mean scores were calculated and standardized. We fit general linear marginal structural models to account for time-varying exposure and confounders, and censoring; three-level growth-curve models.

Results
We included 8,359 mother–child dyads, and 4,128 children had complete outcome data at age 5. Children exposed to SSRIs in late pregnancy had an increased risk for anxious/depressed behaviors by age 5 compared with unexposed (adjusted β: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.96). Such risk was not evident for earlier timings of exposure. There was no evidence for a substantial prenatal SSRI effect on externalizing, social, and emotional problems.

Conclusion
These findings suggest no substantial increased risk for externalizing, emotional, and social problems in preschool-age children following prenatal SSRI exposure. While the role of chance and potential unmeasured confounding cannot be ruled out, late-pregnancy SSRI exposure was associated with greater anxious/depressed behaviors in the offspring.



Effect of Time-Dependent Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Antidepressants During Pregnancy on Behavioral, Emotional, and Social Development in Preschool-Age Children


American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Abstract

Schizophrenia (SZ) is a devastating mental disease caused by complex genetic and environmental factors. The pathological process and clinical manifestation of SZ are heterogeneous among patients, which hampers precise diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Since no objective marker for SZ has been established today, to identify a subgroup of the patients with homogeneous biochemical traits will provide a new angle for both researchers and clinicians to understand and manage the disease. In this study, we employed the niacin skin-flushing test in Chinese population and confirmed a niacin-blunted subgroup of SZ patients distinguishable from mood disorders (MD) and normal individuals. This subgroup accounted for 30.67% of the total SZ patients with a specificity of 88.37% in male subjects and 83.75% in female subjects. We support the notion that bluntness in niacin skin test might reflect abnormalities in membrane fatty acid composition, which could be induced by increased PLA2 enzyme activity, in vivo oxidative stress or lipid metabolism imbalance in SZ. Further studies are encouraged to clarify the molecular origins of niacin-bluntness in SZ, which would provide extra clues for etiological research in schizophrenia and for new targeted treatment.



Periaqueductal Gray Glutamatergic Transmission Governs Chronic Stress-Induced Depression


Neuropsychopharmacology

Abstract

The mechanisms underlying chronic stress-induced dysfunction of glutamatergic transmission that contribute to helplessness-associated depressive disorder are unknown. We investigated the relationship of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors and stress, and the neuroplastic changes of stress-induced depression-like behavior in the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG). We conducted whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiological recordings in the vlPAG neurons. Depression-like behavior was assayed using tail suspension test and sucrose preference test. Surface and cytosolic glutamate receptor 1 (GluR1) AMPA receptor expression was analyzed using western blotting. Phosphorylated GluR1 expression was quantified using western blotting and immunohistochemical analysis. Unpredictable inescapable foot shock stress caused reduction in glutamatergic transmission originating from both presynaptic and postsynaptic loci in the vlPAG that was associated with behavioral despair and anhedonia in chronic stress-induced depression. Pharmacological inhibition of GluR1 function in the vlPAG caused depression-like behavior. Diminished glutamatergic transmission was due to reduced glutamate release presynaptically and enhanced GluR1-endocytosis from the cell surface postsynaptically. Chronic stress-induced neuroplastic changes and maladaptive behavior were reversed and mimicked by administration of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist and agonist, respectively. However, chronic stress did not affect γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated inhibitory synaptic transmission in the vlPAG. These results demonstrate that depression-like behavior is associated with remarkable reduction in glutamatergic, but not GABAergic, transmission in the vlPAG. These neuroplastic changes and maladaptive behavior are attributed to GR-dependent mechanisms. As reduced GluR1-associated responses in the vlPAG contribute to chronic stress-induced neuroplastic changes, this cellular mechanism may be a critical component in the pathogenesis of stress-associated neuropsychiatric disorders.



Impact of SSRI Therapy on Risk of Conversion From Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer’s Dementia in Individuals With Previous Depression


The American Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

Objective
Depression is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Research has shown that the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) citalopram decreases amyloid-β generation and plaque load. The authors evaluated the impact of SSRI treatment on CSF biomarkers and progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer’s dementia.

Method
Data sets from 755 currently nondepressed participants from the longitudinal Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative were evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis and analyses of variance and covariance with ApoE4 status and age as covariates.

Results
In MCI patients with a history of depression, long-term SSRI treatment (>4 years) was significantly associated with a delayed progression to Alzheimer’s dementia by approximately 3 years, compared with short-term SSRI treatment, treatment with other antidepressants, or no treatment and compared with MCI patients without a history of depression. No differences in CSF biomarker levels were observed between treatment groups.

Conclusions
Long-term SSRI treatment may delay progression from MCI to Alzheimer’s dementia.



Cortical and Subcortical Brain Morphometry Differences Between Patients With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Healthy Individuals Across the Lifespan: Results From the ENIGMA ASD Working Group


The American Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

Objective
Neuroimaging studies show structural differences in both cortical and subcortical brain regions in children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared with healthy subjects. Findings are inconsistent, however, and it is unclear how differences develop across the lifespan. The authors investigated brain morphometry differences between individuals with ASD and healthy subjects, cross-sectionally across the lifespan, in a large multinational sample from the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics Through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) ASD working group.

Method
The sample comprised 1,571 patients with ASD and 1,651 healthy control subjects (age range, 2–64 years) from 49 participating sites. MRI scans were preprocessed at individual sites with a harmonized protocol based on a validated automated-segmentation software program. Mega-analyses were used to test for case-control differences in subcortical volumes, cortical thickness, and surface area. Development of brain morphometry over the lifespan was modeled using a fractional polynomial approach.

Results
The case-control mega-analysis demonstrated that ASD was associated with smaller subcortical volumes of the pallidum, putamen, amygdala, and nucleus accumbens (effect sizes [Cohen’s d], 0.13 to –0.13), as well as increased cortical thickness in the frontal cortex and decreased thickness in the temporal cortex (effect sizes, −0.21 to 0.20). Analyses of age effects indicate that the development of cortical thickness is altered in ASD, with the largest differences occurring around adolescence. No age-by-ASD interactions were observed in the subcortical partitions.

Conclusions
The ENIGMA ASD working group provides the largest study of brain morphometry differences in ASD to date, using a well-established, validated, publicly available analysis pipeline. ASD patients showed altered morphometry in the cognitive and affective parts of the striatum, frontal cortex, and temporal cortex. Complex developmental trajectories were observed for the different regions, with a developmental peak around adolescence. These findings suggest an interplay in the abnormal development of the striatal, frontal, and temporal regions in ASD across the lifespan.



Online Journals:




Biological Psychiatry - Volume 83, Issue 4, February 2018



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