Centre for Youth Mental Health - Research Publications

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    Characterization and Prediction of Clinical Pathways of Vulnerability to Psychosis through Graph Signal Processing
    Sandini, C ; Zöller, D ; Schneider, M ; Tarun, A ; Armando, M ; Nelson, B ; Nelson, B ; Mallawaarachchi, SR ; Amminger, P ; Farhall, J ; Bolt, L ; Yuen, HP ; Markulev, C ; Schäfer, M ; Mossaheb, N ; Schlögelhofer, M ; Smesny, S ; Hickie, I ; Berger, GE ; Chen, EYH ; de Haan, L ; Nieman, D ; Nordentoft, M ; Riecher-Rössler, A ; Verma, S ; Thompson, A ; Yung, AR ; Allott, K ; McGorry, P ; Van De Ville, D ; Eliez, S ( 2020)
    There is a growing recognition that psychiatric symptoms have the potential to causally interact with one another. Particularly in the earliest stages of psychopathology dynamic interactions between symptoms could contribute heterogeneous and cross-diagnostic clinical evolutions. Current clinical approaches attempt to merge clinical manifestations that co-occur across subjects and could therefore significantly hinder our understanding of clinical pathways connecting individual symptoms. Network approaches have the potential to shed light on the complex dynamics of early psychopathology. In the present manuscript we attempt to address 2 main limitations that have in our opinion hindered the application of network approaches in the clinical setting. The first limitation is that network analyses have mostly been applied to cross-sectional data, yielding results that often lack the intuitive interpretability of simpler categorical or dimensional approaches. Here we propose an approach based on multi-layer network analysis that offers an intuitive low-dimensional characterization of longitudinal pathways involved in the evolution of psychopathology, while conserving high-dimensional information on the role of specific symptoms. The second limitation is that network analyses typically characterize symptom connectivity at the level of a population, whereas clinical practice deals with symptom severity at the level of the individual. Here we propose an approach based on graph signal processing that exploits knowledge of network interactions between symptoms to predict longitudinal clinical evolution at the level of the individual. We test our approaches in two independent samples of individuals with genetic and clinical vulnerability for developing psychosis.
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    A pilot trial of moderated online social therapy for family and friends of young people with borderline personality disorder features
    Gleeson, J ; Alvarez-Jimenez, M ; Betts, JK ; McCutcheon, L ; Jovev, M ; Lederman, R ; Herrman, H ; Cotton, SM ; Bendall, S ; McKechnie, B ; Burke, E ; Koval, P ; Smith, J ; D'Alfonso, S ; Mallawaarachchi, S ; Chanen, AM (WILEY, 2020-12-01)
    AIM: We evaluated the acceptability, usability and safety of Kindred, a novel online intervention for carers of young people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) using a pre-post pilot trial design. The secondary aim explored whether Kindred use was associated with clinical improvements for caregivers on measures of burden of caregiving, stress, expressed emotion, family communication, disability, coping and knowledge of BPD and for patients on measures of severity of BPD symptoms and level of functional impairment. METHODS: The trial site was the Helping Young People Early program for young people with BPD at Orygen in Melbourne, Australia. Informed consent was obtained from 20 adult carers (i.e., relatives or friends) and 10 young people aged 15-25 with BPD. Kindred, which was available for 3 months, incorporated online psychoeducation, carer-to-carer social networking and guidance from expert and peer moderators. Assessments were completed at baseline and 3 months follow-up. Multiple indicators of acceptability, usability and safety were utilized. RESULTS: Seventeen carers were enrolled in Kindred and eight young people completed baseline measures. A priori acceptability, usability and safety criteria were met. Carer burden, stress, expressed emotion, family communication, quality of life, functioning, coping and perceived knowledge of BPD improved at follow-up. Sixty-six percent of the young people (4/6) reported that they believed Kindred had improved their carers' understanding of BPD. CONCLUSION: Kindred was shown to be acceptable, usable and safe, with encouraging improvements in both carer and young person outcomes. Kindred warrants evaluation of its efficacy via an randomized controlled trial.
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    Cognitive functioning in ultra -high risk for psychosis individuals with and without depression: Secondary analysis of findings from the NEURAPRO randomized clinical trial
    Mallawaarachchi, SR ; Amminger, GP ; Farhall, J ; Bolt, LK ; Nelson, B ; Yuen, HP ; McGorry, PD ; Markulev, C ; Schaefer, MR ; Mossaheb, N ; Schloegelhofer, M ; Smesny, S ; Hickie, IB ; Berger, GE ; Chen, EYH ; de Haan, L ; Nieman, DH ; Nordentoft, M ; Riecher-Roessler, A ; Verma, S ; Thompson, A ; Yung, AR ; Allott, KA (ELSEVIER, 2020-04-01)
    Neurocognitive impairments are well established in both ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis and major depressive disorder (MDD). Despite this understanding, investigation of neurocognitive deficits in UHR individuals with MDD and its association with MDD within this population, has been scarce. Hence, this study aimed to examine any differences in neurocognition at baseline between those with MDD at baseline and those with no history of MDD, as well as determine whether neurocognitive variables are significantly associated with meeting criteria for MDD at follow-up, while controlling for relevant clinical variables, within a UHR cohort. Data analysis was conducted on 207 participants whose baseline neurocognition was assessed using Brief Assessment of Cognition for Schizophrenia, as part of a trial of omega-3 fatty acids (NEURAPRO) for UHR individuals. While baseline MDD was the strongest predictor, poorer verbal memory and higher verbal fluency were significantly associated with MDD at 12 months (p = .04 and 0.026, respectively). Further, higher processing speed was significantly associated with MDD at medium-term follow-up (p = .047). These findings outline that neurocognitive skills were independently associated with meeting criteria for MDD at follow-up within UHR individuals, with novel findings of better verbal fluency and processing speed being linked to MDD outcomes. Hence, neurocognitive performance should be considered as a marker of risk for MDD outcomes and a target for management of MDD in UHR.