Centre for Youth Mental Health - Research Publications

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    Recalibrating single-study effect sizes using hierarchical Bayesian models.
    Cao, Z ; McCabe, M ; Callas, P ; Cupertino, RB ; Ottino-González, J ; Murphy, A ; Pancholi, D ; Schwab, N ; Catherine, O ; Hutchison, K ; Cousijn, J ; Dagher, A ; Foxe, JJ ; Goudriaan, AE ; Hester, R ; Li, C-SR ; Thompson, WK ; Morales, AM ; London, ED ; Lorenzetti, V ; Luijten, M ; Martin-Santos, R ; Momenan, R ; Paulus, MP ; Schmaal, L ; Sinha, R ; Solowij, N ; Stein, DJ ; Stein, EA ; Uhlmann, A ; van Holst, RJ ; Veltman, DJ ; Wiers, RW ; Yücel, M ; Zhang, S ; Conrod, P ; Mackey, S ; Garavan, H ; ENIGMA Addiction Working Group, (Frontiers Media SA, 2023)
    INTRODUCTION: There are growing concerns about commonly inflated effect sizes in small neuroimaging studies, yet no study has addressed recalibrating effect size estimates for small samples. To tackle this issue, we propose a hierarchical Bayesian model to adjust the magnitude of single-study effect sizes while incorporating a tailored estimation of sampling variance. METHODS: We estimated the effect sizes of case-control differences on brain structural features between individuals who were dependent on alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, methamphetamine, or cannabis and non-dependent participants for 21 individual studies (Total cases: 903; Total controls: 996). Then, the study-specific effect sizes were modeled using a hierarchical Bayesian approach in which the parameters of the study-specific effect size distributions were sampled from a higher-order overarching distribution. The posterior distribution of the overarching and study-specific parameters was approximated using the Gibbs sampling method. RESULTS: The results showed shrinkage of the posterior distribution of the study-specific estimates toward the overarching estimates given the original effect sizes observed in individual studies. Differences between the original effect sizes (i.e., Cohen's d) and the point estimate of the posterior distribution ranged from 0 to 0.97. The magnitude of adjustment was negatively correlated with the sample size (r = -0.27, p < 0.001) and positively correlated with empirically estimated sampling variance (r = 0.40, p < 0.001), suggesting studies with smaller samples and larger sampling variance tended to have greater adjustments. DISCUSSION: Our findings demonstrate the utility of the hierarchical Bayesian model in recalibrating single-study effect sizes using information from similar studies. This suggests that Bayesian utilization of existing knowledge can be an effective alternative approach to improve the effect size estimation in individual studies, particularly for those with smaller samples.
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    An open label pilot trial of low-dose lithium for young people at ultra-high risk for psychosis
    Rice, SM ; Nelson, B ; Amminger, GP ; Francey, SM ; Phillips, LJ ; Simmons, MB ; Ross, M ; Yuen, HP ; Yung, AR ; O'Gorman, K ; Mcgorry, PD ; Wood, SJ ; Berger, GE (WILEY, 2024-04-10)
    AIM: Lithium, even at low doses, appears to offer neuroprotection against a wide variety of insults. In this controlled pilot, we examined the safety (i.e., side-effect profile) of lithium in a sample of young people identified at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis. The secondary aim was to explore whether lithium provided a signal of clinical efficacy in reducing transition to psychosis compared with treatment as usual (TAU). METHODS: Young people attending the PACE clinic at Orygen, Melbourne, were prescribed a fixed dose (450 mg) of lithium (n = 25) or received TAU (n = 78). The primary outcome examined side-effects, with transition to psychosis, functioning and measures of psychopathology assessed as secondary outcomes. RESULTS: Participants in both groups were functionally compromised (lithium group GAF = 56.6; monitoring group GAF = 56.9). Side-effect assessment indicated that lithium was well-tolerated. 64% (n = 16) of participants in the lithium group were lithium-adherent to week 12. Few cases transitioned to psychosis across the study period; lithium group 4% (n = 1); monitoring group 7.7% (n = 6). There was no difference in time to transition to psychosis between the groups. No group differences were observed in other functioning and symptom domains, although all outcomes improved over time. CONCLUSIONS: With a side-effect profile either comparable to, or better than UHR antipsychotic trials, lithium might be explored for further research with UHR young people. A definitive larger trial is needed to determine the efficacy of lithium in this cohort.
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    Development of the PSYCHS: Positive SYmptoms and Diagnostic Criteria for the CAARMS Harmonized with the SIPS
    Woods, SW ; Parker, S ; Kerr, MJ ; Walsh, BC ; Wijtenburg, SA ; Prunier, N ; Nunez, AR ; Buccilli, K ; Mourgues-Codern, C ; Brummitt, K ; Kinney, KS ; Trankler, C ; Szacilo, J ; Colton, B-L ; Ali, M ; Haidar, A ; Billah, T ; Huynh, K ; Ahmed, U ; Adery, LL ; Marcy, PJ ; Allott, K ; Amminger, P ; Arango, C ; Broome, MR ; Cadenhead, KS ; Chen, EYH ; Choi, J ; Conus, P ; Cornblatt, BA ; Glenthoj, LB ; Horton, LE ; Kambeitz, J ; Kapur, T ; Keshavan, MS ; Koutsouleris, N ; Langbein, K ; Lavoie, S ; Diaz-Caneja, CM ; Mathalon, DH ; Mittal, VA ; Nordentoft, M ; Pasternak, O ; Pearlson, GD ; Gaspar, PA ; Shah, JL ; Smesny, S ; Stone, WS ; Strauss, GP ; Wang, J ; Corcoran, CM ; Perkins, DO ; Schiffman, J ; Perez, J ; Mamah, D ; Ellman, LM ; Powers, AR ; Coleman, MJ ; Anticevic, A ; Fusar-Poli, P ; Kane, JM ; Kahn, RS ; McGorry, PD ; Bearden, CE ; Shenton, ME ; Nelson, B ; Calkins, ME ; Hendricks, L ; Bouix, S ; Addington, J ; McGlashan, TH ; Yung, AR ; Clark, SR ; Lewandowski, KE ; Torous, J (Wiley, 2024-04)
    AIM: To harmonize two ascertainment and severity rating instruments commonly used for the clinical high risk syndrome for psychosis (CHR-P): the Structured Interview for Psychosis-risk Syndromes (SIPS) and the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS). METHODS: The initial workshop is described in the companion report from Addington et al. After the workshop, lead experts for each instrument continued harmonizing attenuated positive symptoms and criteria for psychosis and CHR-P through an intensive series of joint videoconferences. RESULTS: Full harmonization was achieved for attenuated positive symptom ratings and psychosis criteria, and modest harmonization for CHR-P criteria. The semi-structured interview, named Positive SYmptoms and Diagnostic Criteria for the CAARMS Harmonized with the SIPS (PSYCHS), generates CHR-P criteria and severity scores for both CAARMS and SIPS. CONCLUSIONS: Using the PSYCHS for CHR-P ascertainment, conversion determination, and attenuated positive symptom severity rating will help in comparing findings across studies and in meta-analyses.
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    Self-perceptions of masculinities and testicular cancer: Qualitative explorations
    Dax, V ; Ftanou, M ; Tran, B ; Lewin, J ; Ayton, D ; Seidler, Z ; Wallace, T ; Wiley, JF (WILEY, 2024-03)
    OBJECTIVE: Masculinities have been explored in men with testicular cancer (TC), though limited contemporary research is available on traditional masculine norms important to masculine self-perception. The purpose of this research was to explore the discourse of TC experience in relation to masculine self-perception. METHODS: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted consisting of semi-structured interviews with 21 men. Men were aged between 31 and 47 (Mage = 35.7). Most men were diagnosed with Stage 1 cancer (66.6%), all men had finished active treatment and time since diagnosis ranged from 17.3 to 71.8 months (M = 47.2). Independent coding was conducted by two researchers and was refined in coding meetings with authors. Themes were developed in a predominantly deductive manner, and analysis of themes was undertaken using a reflexive analysis approach. RESULTS: Traditional masculine norms showed differing relationships to masculine self-perception. Two main themes were identified [1] Maintained or enhanced masculine self-perception and [2] threats to masculine self-perception. Subthemes demonstrated that maintaining emotional control, strength and 'winning' was important to men, and reduced physical competencies (i.e., strength, sexual dysfunction, virility) challenged self-perception. Strict adherence to traditional norms in response to threatened self-perception related to psychological distress. CONCLUSION: Leveraging traditionally masculine norms such as physical strength and control and developing flexible adaptations of masculinities should be encouraged with men with TC to retain self-perception and potentially enable better coping. Masculine self-perception of gay/bisexual men may centre around sexual functioning, though further research is required.
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    The Influence of Personality Disorder Symptoms on Treatment Outcomes in Bipolar Disorder: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomised Controlled Trial
    Sarmiento, A ; Dean, OM ; Kavanagh, BE ; Mohebbi, M ; Berk, M ; Dodd, S ; Cotton, SM ; Malhi, GS ; Ng, CH ; Turner, A (Canadian Psychiatric Association, 2024-04)
    OBJECTIVES: Many people who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder also have comorbid personality disorder. Few studies have explored how personality disorder may influence pharmacological treatment outcomes. The aim of this study was to conduct a secondary analysis of data from a clinical trial of adjunctive nutraceutical treatments for bipolar depression, to determine whether maladaptive personality traits influence treatment outcomes. METHODS: Scores on the Standardised Assessment of Personality - Abbreviated Scale screener were used to classify participants as having bipolar disorder with (n = 119) and without (n = 29) above threshold personality disorder symptoms (personality disorder). Outcome measures included: The Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale, Clinical Global Impressions and Improvement Severity Scales, Patient Global Impressions-Improvement scale, Bipolar Depression Rating Scale, Range of Impaired Functioning Tool, Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale and Quality of Life and Enjoyment Scale (Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire-Short Form). Generalised estimated equations examined the two-way interactions of personality disorder by time or treatment and investigated personality disorder as a non-specified predictor of outcomes. RESULTS: Over time, the Patient Global Impressions-Improvement scores were significantly higher in those in the personality disorder group. No other significant differences in the two-way interactions of personality disorder by treatment group or personality disorder by time were found. Personality disorder was a significant but non-specific predictor of poorer outcomes on the Bipolar Depression Rating Scale, Range of Impaired Functioning Tool, and Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire-Short Form, regardless of time or treatment group. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the potential impact of maladaptive personality traits on treatment outcomes and suggests that the presence of comorbid personality disorder may confer additional burden and compromise treatment outcomes. This warrants further investigation as does the corroboration of these exploratory findings. This is important because understanding the impact of comorbid personality disorder on bipolar disorder may enable the development of effective psychological and pharmacotherapeutic options for personalised treatments.
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    Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Schizophrenia (AMP® SCZ): Rationale and Study Design of the Largest Global Prospective Cohort Study of Clinical High Risk for Psychosis
    Wannan, CMJ ; Nelson, B ; Addington, J ; Allott, K ; Anticevic, A ; Arango, C ; Baker, JT ; Bearden, CE ; Billah, T ; Bouix, S ; Broome, MR ; Buccilli, K ; Cadenhead, KS ; Calkins, ME ; Cannon, TD ; Cecci, G ; Chen, EYH ; Cho, KIK ; Choi, J ; Clark, SR ; Coleman, MJ ; Conus, P ; Corcoran, CM ; Cornblatt, BA ; Diaz-Caneja, CM ; Dwyer, D ; Ebdrup, BH ; Ellman, LM ; Fusar-Poli, P ; Galindo, L ; Gaspar, PA ; Gerber, C ; Glenthoj, LB ; Glynn, R ; Harms, MP ; Horton, LE ; Kahn, RS ; Kambeitz, J ; Kambeitz-Ilankovic, L ; Kane, JM ; Kapur, T ; Keshavan, MS ; Kim, S-W ; Koutsouleris, N ; Kubicki, M ; Kwon, JS ; Langbein, K ; Lewandowski, KE ; Light, GA ; Mamah, D ; Marcy, PJ ; Mathalon, DH ; McGorry, PD ; Mittal, VA ; Nordentoft, M ; Nunez, A ; Pasternak, O ; Pearlson, GD ; Perez, J ; Perkins, DO ; Powers, AR ; Roalf, DR ; Sabb, FW ; Schiffman, J ; Shah, JL ; Smesny, S ; Spark, J ; Stone, WS ; Strauss, GP ; Tamayo, Z ; Torous, J ; Upthegrove, R ; Vangel, M ; Verma, S ; Wang, J ; Winter-van Rossum, I ; Wolf, DH ; Wolff, P ; Wood, SJ ; Yung, AR ; Agurto, C ; Alvarez-Jimenez, M ; Amminger, P ; Armando, M ; Asgari-Targhi, A ; Cahill, J ; Carrion, RE ; Castro, E ; Cetin-Karayumak, S ; Chakravarty, MM ; Cho, YT ; Cotter, D ; D'Alfonso, S ; Ennis, M ; Fadnavis, S ; Fonteneau, C ; Gao, C ; Gupta, T ; Gur, RE ; Gur, RC ; Hamilton, HK ; Hoftman, GD ; Jacobs, GR ; Jarcho, J ; Ji, JL ; Kohler, CG ; Lalousis, PA ; Lavoie, S ; Lepage, M ; Liebenthal, E ; Mervis, J ; Murty, V ; Nicholas, SC ; Ning, L ; Penzel, N ; Poldrack, R ; Polosecki, P ; Pratt, DN ; Rabin, R ; Eichi, HR ; Rathi, Y ; Reichenberg, A ; Reinen, J ; Rogers, J ; Ruiz-Yu, B ; Scott, I ; Seitz-Holland, J ; Srihari, VH ; Srivastava, A ; Thompson, A ; Turetsky, BI ; Walsh, BC ; Whitford, T ; Wigman, JTW ; Yao, B ; Yuen, HP ; Ahmed, U ; Byun, AJS ; Chung, Y ; Do, K ; Hendricks, L ; Huynh, K ; Jeffries, C ; Lane, E ; Langholm, C ; Lin, E ; Mantua, V ; Santorelli, G ; Ruparel, K ; Zoupou, E ; Adasme, T ; Addamo, L ; Adery, L ; Ali, M ; Auther, A ; Aversa, S ; Baek, S-H ; Bates, K ; Bathery, A ; Bayer, JMM ; Beedham, R ; Bilgrami, Z ; Birch, S ; Bonoldi, I ; Borders, O ; Borgatti, R ; Brown, L ; Bruna, A ; Carrington, H ; Castillo-Passi, RI ; Chen, J ; Cheng, N ; Ching, AE ; Clifford, C ; Colton, B-L ; Contreras, P ; Corral, S ; Damiani, S ; Done, M ; Estrade, A ; Etuka, BA ; Formica, M ; Furlan, R ; Geljic, M ; Germano, C ; Getachew, R ; Goncalves, M ; Haidar, A ; Hartmann, J ; Jo, A ; John, O ; Kerins, S ; Kerr, M ; Kesselring, I ; Kim, H ; Kim, N ; Kinney, K ; Krcmar, M ; Kotler, E ; Lafanechere, M ; Lee, C ; Llerena, J ; Markiewicz, C ; Matnejl, P ; Maturana, A ; Mavambu, A ; Mayol-Troncoso, R ; McDonnell, A ; McGowan, A ; McLaughlin, D ; McIlhenny, R ; McQueen, B ; Mebrahtu, Y ; Mensi, M ; Hui, CLM ; Suen, YN ; Wong, SMY ; Morrell, N ; Omar, M ; Partridge, A ; Phassouliotis, C ; Pichiecchio, A ; Politi, P ; Porter, C ; Provenzani, U ; Prunier, N ; Raj, J ; Ray, S ; Rayner, V ; Reyes, M ; Reynolds, K ; Rush, S ; Salinas, C ; Shetty, J ; Snowball, C ; Tod, S ; Turra-Farina, G ; Valle, D ; Veale, S ; Whitson, S ; Wickham, A ; Youn, S ; Zamorano, F ; Zavaglia, E ; Zinberg, J ; Woods, SW ; Shenton, ME (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2024-04-30)
    This article describes the rationale, aims, and methodology of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Schizophrenia (AMP® SCZ). This is the largest international collaboration to date that will develop algorithms to predict trajectories and outcomes of individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis and to advance the development and use of novel pharmacological interventions for CHR individuals. We present a description of the participating research networks and the data processing analysis and coordination center, their processes for data harmonization across 43 sites from 13 participating countries (recruitment across North America, Australia, Europe, Asia, and South America), data flow and quality assessment processes, data analyses, and the transfer of data to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Data Archive (NDA) for use by the research community. In an expected sample of approximately 2000 CHR individuals and 640 matched healthy controls, AMP SCZ will collect clinical, environmental, and cognitive data along with multimodal biomarkers, including neuroimaging, electrophysiology, fluid biospecimens, speech and facial expression samples, novel measures derived from digital health technologies including smartphone-based daily surveys, and passive sensing as well as actigraphy. The study will investigate a range of clinical outcomes over a 2-year period, including transition to psychosis, remission or persistence of CHR status, attenuated positive symptoms, persistent negative symptoms, mood and anxiety symptoms, and psychosocial functioning. The global reach of AMP SCZ and its harmonized innovative methods promise to catalyze the development of new treatments to address critical unmet clinical and public health needs in CHR individuals.
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    Plasma neurofilament light chain is not elevated in people with first-episode psychosis or those at ultra-high risk for psychosis
    Kang, MJY ; Eratne, D ; Wannan, C ; Santillo, AF ; Velakoulis, D ; Pantelis, C ; Cropley, V (ELSEVIER, 2024-05)
    INTRODUCTION: Neurofilament light chain (NfL), a blood biomarker of neuronal injury, shows promise in distinguishing neurodegenerative disorders from psychiatric conditions. This is especially relevant in psychosis, given neurological conditions such as autoimmune encephalitis and Niemann Pick Type C disease (NPC) may initially present with psychotic symptoms. Whilst NfL levels have been studied in established schizophrenia cases, their levels in first-episode psychosis (FEP) and ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis individuals remain largely unexplored. This study aimed to compare plasma NfL in people with FEP or UHR with healthy controls, as well as explore its associations with clinical data. METHOD: We retrospectively analysed plasma NfL in 63 participants, consisting of 29 individuals with FEP, 10 individuals with UHR, and 24 healthy controls. We used general linear models (GLM), which were bootstrapped, to compute bias-corrected and accelerated (BCa) 95 % confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS: Mean NfL levels were 5.2 pg/mL in FEP, 4.9 pg/mL in UHR, and 5.9 pg/mL in healthy controls. Compared to healthy controls, there were no significant differences in NfL levels in the FEP group (β = -0.22, 95 % CI [-0.86, 0.39], p = 0.516) nor UHR group (β = -0.37, 95 % CI [-0.90, 0.19], p = 0.182). There were no significant associations between NfL levels and clinical variables in the FEP group. DISCUSSION: Our study is the first to demonstrate that plasma NfL levels are not significantly elevated in individuals at UHR for psychosis compared to healthy controls, a finding also observed in the FEP cohort. These findings bolster the potential diagnostic utility of NfL in differentiating between psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.
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    A Novel Blended Transdiagnostic Intervention (eOrygen) for Youth Psychosis and Borderline Personality Disorder: Uncontrolled Single-Group Pilot Study
    O'Sullivan, S ; McEnery, C ; Cagliarini, D ; Hinton, JDX ; Valentine, L ; Nicholas, J ; Chen, NA ; Castagnini, E ; Lester, J ; Kanellopoulos, E ; D'Alfonso, S ; Gleeson, JF ; Alvarez-Jimenez, M (JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC, 2024)
    BACKGROUND: Integrating innovative digital mental health interventions within specialist services is a promising strategy to address the shortcomings of both face-to-face and web-based mental health services. However, despite young people's preferences and calls for integration of these services, current mental health services rarely offer blended models of care. OBJECTIVE: This pilot study tested an integrated digital and face-to-face transdiagnostic intervention (eOrygen) as a blended model of care for youth psychosis and borderline personality disorder. The primary aim was to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and safety of eOrygen. The secondary aim was to assess pre-post changes in key clinical and psychosocial outcomes. An exploratory aim was to explore the barriers and facilitators identified by young people and clinicians in implementing a blended model of care into practice. METHODS: A total of 33 young people (aged 15-25 years) and 18 clinicians were recruited over 4 months from two youth mental health services in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: (1) the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre, an early intervention service for first-episode psychosis; and (2) the Helping Young People Early Clinic, an early intervention service for borderline personality disorder. The feasibility, acceptability, and safety of eOrygen were evaluated via an uncontrolled single-group study. Repeated measures 2-tailed t tests assessed changes in clinical and psychosocial outcomes between before and after the intervention (3 months). Eight semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with the young people, and 3 focus groups, attended by 15 (83%) of the 18 clinicians, were conducted after the intervention. RESULTS: eOrygen was found to be feasible, acceptable, and safe. Feasibility was established owing to a low refusal rate of 25% (15/59) and by exceeding our goal of young people recruited to the study per clinician. Acceptability was established because 93% (22/24) of the young people reported that they would recommend eOrygen to others, and safety was established because no adverse events or unlawful entries were recorded and there were no worsening of clinical and social outcome measures. Interviews with the young people identified facilitators to engagement such as peer support and personalized therapy content, as well as barriers such as low motivation, social anxiety, and privacy concerns. The clinician focus groups identified evidence-based content as an implementation facilitator, whereas a lack of familiarity with the platform was identified as a barrier owing to clinicians' competing priorities, such as concerns related to risk and handling acute presentations, as well as the challenge of being understaffed. CONCLUSIONS: eOrygen as a blended transdiagnostic intervention has the potential to increase therapeutic continuity, engagement, alliance, and intensity. Future research will need to establish the effectiveness of blended models of care for young people with complex mental health conditions and determine how to optimize the implementation of such models into specialized services.
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    Cortical profiles of numerous psychiatric disorders and normal development share a common pattern.
    Cao, Z ; Cupertino, RB ; Ottino-Gonzalez, J ; Murphy, A ; Pancholi, D ; Juliano, A ; Chaarani, B ; Albaugh, M ; Yuan, D ; Schwab, N ; Stafford, J ; Goudriaan, AE ; Hutchison, K ; Li, C-SR ; Luijten, M ; Groefsema, M ; Momenan, R ; Schmaal, L ; Sinha, R ; van Holst, RJ ; Veltman, DJ ; Wiers, RW ; Porjesz, B ; Lett, T ; Banaschewski, T ; Bokde, ALW ; Desrivières, S ; Flor, H ; Grigis, A ; Gowland, P ; Heinz, A ; Brühl, R ; Martinot, J-L ; Martinot, M-LP ; Artiges, E ; Nees, F ; Orfanos, DP ; Paus, T ; Poustka, L ; Hohmann, S ; Millenet, S ; Fröhner, JH ; Robinson, L ; Smolka, MN ; Walter, H ; Winterer, J ; Schumann, G ; Whelan, R ; Bhatt, RR ; Zhu, A ; Conrod, P ; Jahanshad, N ; Thompson, PM ; Mackey, S ; Garavan, H ; IMAGEN Consortium, ; ENIGMA Addiction Working Group, (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2023-02)
    The neurobiological bases of the association between development and psychopathology remain poorly understood. Here, we identify a shared spatial pattern of cortical thickness (CT) in normative development and several psychiatric and neurological disorders. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to CT of 68 regions in the Desikan-Killiany atlas derived from three large-scale datasets comprising a total of 41,075 neurotypical participants. PCA produced a spatially broad first principal component (PC1) that was reproducible across datasets. Then PC1 derived from healthy adult participants was compared to the pattern of CT differences associated with psychiatric and neurological disorders comprising a total of 14,886 cases and 20,962 controls from seven ENIGMA disease-related working groups, normative maturation and aging comprising a total of 17,697 scans from the ABCD Study® and the IMAGEN developmental study, and 17,075 participants from the ENIGMA Lifespan working group, as well as gene expression maps from the Allen Human Brain Atlas. Results revealed substantial spatial correspondences between PC1 and widespread lower CT observed in numerous psychiatric disorders. Moreover, the PC1 pattern was also correlated with the spatial pattern of normative maturation and aging. The transcriptional analysis identified a set of genes including KCNA2, KCNS1 and KCNS2 with expression patterns closely related to the spatial pattern of PC1. The gene category enrichment analysis indicated that the transcriptional correlations of PC1 were enriched to multiple gene ontology categories and were specifically over-represented starting at late childhood, coinciding with the onset of significant cortical maturation and emergence of psychopathology during the prepubertal-to-pubertal transition. Collectively, the present study reports a reproducible latent pattern of CT that captures interregional profiles of cortical changes in both normative brain maturation and a spectrum of psychiatric disorders. The pubertal timing of the expression of PC1-related genes implicates disrupted neurodevelopment in the pathogenesis of the spectrum of psychiatric diseases emerging during adolescence.
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    A supported education programme implemented in youth mental health services: Outcomes and lessons from the first year of COVID-disrupted delivery
    Nicholas, J (Wiley, 2024)
    AIM: Educational attainment is consistently highly valued by young people with mental ill health, yet maintenance and completion of education is a challenge. This paper reports on the implementation of a supported education programme for youth mental health. METHODS: Between 10 October 2019 and 10 October 2020, a supported education programme was delivered within primary and tertiary youth mental health services. A description of the programme, context, and adjustments required due to COVID-19 is presented, and the educational outcomes of young people referred to the programme were explored. Two case studies are also presented. RESULTS: The programme received 71 referrals over this period, of which 70.4% had not yet completed secondary school and 68% were experiencing multiple mental health conditions. Overall outcomes were positive, with 47.5% of the 40 young people who chose to engage with the programme maintaining or re-engaging with education. However, the remainder of those who engaged withdrew from the programme, often reporting challenges due to COVID-19 such as social isolation or increased uncertainty. Additionally, a number of young people declined or disengaged from the programme to focus on employment. CONCLUSION: This report of the experience of integrating a supported employment programme in Australian youth mental health services reinforces the need for such support, and provides preliminary evidence for its successful implementation as part of routine care. The disengagement in response to COVID-19 highlights the real-world challenges of the pandemic, while young people's voicing of employment goals indicates the need for combined educational and vocational support-to assist transition and progression between these goals.