Centre for Youth Mental Health - Research Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Twelve-Month Cognitive Trajectories in Individuals at Ultra-High Risk for Psychosis: A Latent Class Analysis
    Allott, K ; Schmidt, SJ ; Yuen, HP ; Wood, SJ ; Nelson, B ; Markulev, C ; Lavoie, S ; Brewer, WJ ; Schäfer, MR ; Mossaheb, N ; Schlögelhofer, M ; Smesny, S ; Hickie, IB ; Berger, GE ; Chen, EYH ; De Haan, L ; Nieman, DH ; Nordentoft, M ; Riecher-Rössler, A ; Verma, S ; Thompson, A ; Yung, AR ; Amminger, P ; McGorry, PD ; Hartmann, J (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2022-01-01)
    Abstract Understanding longitudinal cognitive performance in individuals at ultra-high risk for psychosis (UHR) is important for informing theoretical models and treatment. A vital step in this endeavor is to determine whether there are UHR subgroups that have similar patterns of cognitive change over time. The aims were to: i) identify latent class trajectories of cognitive performance over 12-months in UHR individuals, ii) identify baseline demographic and clinical predictors of the resulting classes, and iii) determine whether trajectory classes were associated with transition to psychosis or functional outcomes. Cognition was assessed using the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS) at baseline, 6- and 12-months (N = 288). Using Growth Mixture Modeling, a single unimpaired improving trajectory class was observed for motor function, speed of processing, verbal fluency, and BACS composite. A two-class solution was observed for executive function and working memory, showing one unimpaired and a second impaired class. A three-class solution was found for verbal learning and memory: unimpaired, mildly impaired, and initially extremely impaired, but improved (“caught up”) to the level of the mildly impaired. IQ, omega-3 index, and premorbid adjustment were associated with class membership, whereas clinical variables (symptoms, substance use), including transition to psychosis, were not. Working memory and verbal learning and memory trajectory class membership was associated with functioning outcomes. These findings suggest there is no short-term progressive cognitive decline in help-seeking UHR individuals, including those who transition to psychosis. Screening of cognitive performance may be useful for identifying UHR individuals who may benefit from targeted cognitive interventions.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Frontostriatothalamic effective connectivity and dopaminergic function in the psychosis continuum
    Sabaroedin, K ; Razi, A ; Chopra, S ; Tran, N ; Pozaruk, A ; Chen, Z ; Finlay, A ; Nelson, B ; Allott, K ; Alvarez-Jimenez, M ; Graham, J ; Yuen, HP ; Harrigan, S ; Cropley, V ; Sharma, S ; Saluja, B ; Williams, R ; Pantelis, C ; Wood, SJ ; O'Donoghue, B ; Francey, S ; McGorry, P ; Aquino, K ; Fornito, A (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2022-01-30)
    Dysfunction of fronto-striato-thalamic (FST) circuits is thought to contribute to dopaminergic dysfunction and symptom onset in psychosis, but it remains unclear whether this dysfunction is driven by aberrant bottom-up subcortical signalling or impaired top-down cortical regulation. We used spectral dynamic causal modelling of resting-state functional MRI to characterize the effective connectivity of dorsal and ventral FST circuits in a sample of 46 antipsychotic-naïve first-episode psychosis patients and 23 controls and an independent sample of 36 patients with established schizophrenia and 100 controls. We also investigated the association between FST effective connectivity and striatal 18F-DOPA uptake in an independent healthy cohort of 33 individuals who underwent concurrent functional MRI and PET. Using a posterior probability threshold of 0.95, we found that midbrain and thalamic connectivity were implicated as dysfunctional across both patient groups. Dysconnectivity in first-episode psychosis patients was mainly restricted to the subcortex, with positive symptom severity being associated with midbrain connectivity. Dysconnectivity between the cortex and subcortical systems was only apparent in established schizophrenia patients. In the healthy 18F-DOPA cohort, we found that striatal dopamine synthesis capacity was associated with the effective connectivity of nigrostriatal and striatothalamic pathways, implicating similar circuits to those associated with psychotic symptom severity in patients. Overall, our findings indicate that subcortical dysconnectivity is evident in the early stages of psychosis, that cortical dysfunction may emerge later in the illness, and that nigrostriatal and striatothalamic signalling are closely related to striatal dopamine synthesis capacity, which is a robust marker for psychosis.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Staged treatment and acceptability guidelines in early psychosis study (STAGES): A randomized placebo controlled trial of intensive psychosocial treatment plus or minus antipsychotic medication for first-episode psychosis with low-risk of self-harm or aggression. Study protocol and baseline characteristics of participants
    O'Donoghue, B ; Francey, SM ; Nelson, B ; Ratheesh, A ; Allott, K ; Grahann, J ; Baldwin, L ; Alvarez-Jinnenez, M ; Thonnpson, A ; Fornito, A ; Polari, A ; Berk, M ; Macneil, C ; Crisp, K ; Pantelis, C ; Yuen, HP ; Harrigan, S ; McGorry, P (WILEY, 2019-08-01)
    AIM: It is now necessary to investigate whether recovery in psychosis is possible without the use of antipsychotic medication. This study will determine (1) whether a first-episode psychosis (FEP) group receiving intensive psychosocial interventions alone can achieve symptomatic remission and functional recovery; (2) whether prolonging the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) in a sub-group according to randomisation will be associated with a poorer outcome and thereby establish whether the relationship between DUP and outcome is causative; and (3) whether neurobiological changes observed in FEP are associated with the psychotic disorder or antipsychotic medication. Baseline characteristics of participants will be presented. METHODS: This study is a triple-blind randomized placebo-controlled non-inferiority trial. The primary outcome is the level of functioning measured by the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale at 6 months. This study is being conducted at the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre, Melbourne and includes young people aged 15 to 24 years with a DSM-IV psychotic disorder, a DUP less than 6 months and not high risk for suicide or harm to others. Strict discontinuation criteria are being applied. Participants are also undergoing three 3-Tesla-MRI scans. RESULTS: Ninety participants have been recruited and baseline characteristics are presented. CONCLUSIONS: Staged treatment and acceptability guidelines in early psychosis will determine whether antipsychotic medications are indicated in all young people with a FEP and whether antipsychotic medication can be safely delayed. Furthermore, the relative contribution of psychotic illness and antipsychotic medication in terms of structural brain changes will also be elucidated. The findings will inform clinical practice guidelines.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    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.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Functional Connectivity in Antipsychotic-Treated and Antipsychotic-Naive Patients With First-Episode Psychosis and Low Risk of Self-harm or Aggression A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial
    Chopra, S ; Francey, SM ; O'Donoghue, B ; Sabaroedin, K ; Arnatkeviciute, A ; Cropley, V ; Nelson, B ; Graham, J ; Baldwin, L ; Tahtalian, S ; Yuen, HP ; Allott, K ; Alvarez-Jimenez, M ; Harrigan, S ; Pantelis, C ; Wood, SJ ; McGorry, P ; Fornito, A (AMER MEDICAL ASSOC, 2021-06-23)
    IMPORTANCE: Altered functional connectivity (FC) is a common finding in resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) studies of people with psychosis, yet how FC disturbances evolve in the early stages of illness, and how antipsychotic treatment influences these disturbances, remains unknown. OBJECTIVE: To investigate longitudinal FC changes in antipsychotic-naive and antipsychotic-treated patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP). DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This secondary analysis of a triple-blind, randomized clinical trial was conducted over a 5-year recruitment period between April 2008 and December 2016 with 59 antipsychotic-naive patients with FEP receiving either a second-generation antipsychotic or a placebo pill over a treatment period of 6 months. Participants were required to have low suicidality and aggression, to have a duration of untreated psychosis of less than 6 months, and to be living in stable accommodations with social support. Both FEP groups received intensive psychosocial therapy. A healthy control group was also recruited. Participants completed rs-fMRI scans at baseline, 3 months, and 12 months. Data were analyzed from May 2019 to August 2020. INTERVENTIONS: Resting-state functional MRI was used to probe brain FC. Patients received either a second-generation antipsychotic or a matched placebo tablet. Both patient groups received a manualized psychosocial intervention. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcomes of this analysis were to investigate (1) FC differences between patients and controls at baseline; (2) FC changes in medicated and unmedicated patients between baseline and 3 months; and (3) associations between longitudinal FC changes and clinical outcomes. An additional aim was to investigate long-term FC changes at 12 months after baseline. These outcomes were not preregistered. RESULTS: Data were analyzed for 59 patients (antipsychotic medication plus psychosocial treatment: 28 [47.5%]; mean [SD] age, 19.5 [3.0] years; 15 men [53.6%]; placebo plus psychosocial treatment: 31 [52.5%]; mean [SD] age, 18.8 [2.7]; 16 men [51.6%]) and 27 control individuals (mean [SD] age, 21.9 [1.9] years). At baseline, patients showed widespread functional dysconnectivity compared with controls, with reductions predominantly affecting interactions between the default mode network, limbic systems, and the rest of the brain. From baseline to 3 months, patients receiving placebo showed increased FC principally within the same systems; some of these changes correlated with improved clinical outcomes (canonical correlation analysis R = 0.901; familywise error-corrected P = .005). Antipsychotic exposure was associated with increased FC primarily between the thalamus and the rest of the brain. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this secondary analysis of a clinical trial, antipsychotic-naive patients with FEP showed widespread functional dysconnectivity at baseline, followed by an early normalization of default mode network and cortical limbic dysfunction in patients receiving placebo and psychosocial intervention. Antipsychotic exposure was associated with FC changes concentrated on thalamocortical networks. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTRN12607000608460.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Omega-3 fatty acids and neurocognitive ability in young people at ultra-high risk for psychosis
    McLaverty, A ; Allott, KA ; Berger, M ; Hester, R ; McGorry, PD ; Nelson, B ; Markulev, C ; Yuen, HP ; 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 ; Amminger, GP (WILEY, 2020-09-06)
    BACKGROUND: Neurocognitive impairments are core early features of psychosis and are observed in those at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis. The aim of the present study was to explore whether neurocognition is associated with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), as has been observed in other clinical populations. METHOD: Erythrocyte levels of total omega-3-and omega-6 PUFAs the omega-3/omega-6 ratio, were measured in 265 UHR individuals. Six domains of neurocognition as well a Composite Score, were assessed using the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia. Pearson's correlations were used to assess the relationship between PUFAs and neurocognition. All analyses were controlled for tobacco smoking. RESULTS: Verbal Fluency correlated positively with eicosapentaenoic acid (P = .024) and alpha-linolenic acid (P = .01), and negatively with docosahexanoic acid (P = .007) and Working Memory positively correlated with omega-3/omega-6 ratio (P = .007). CONCLUSIONS: The current results provide support for a relationship between Verbal Fluency and omega-3 PUFAs in UHR. Further investigation is required to elucidate whether these biomarkers are useful as risk markers or in understanding the biological underpinning of neurocognitive impairment in this population.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Differentiating the effect of antipsychotic medication and illness on brain volume reductions in first-episode psychosis: A Longitudinal, Randomised, Triple-blind, Placebo-controlled MRI Study
    Chopra, S ; Fornito, A ; Francey, SM ; O'Donoghue, B ; Cropley, V ; Nelson, B ; Graham, J ; Baldwin, L ; Tahtalian, S ; Yuen, HP ; Allott, K ; Alvarez-Jimenez, M ; Harrigan, S ; Sabaroedin, K ; Pantelis, C ; Wood, SJ ; McGorry, P (SPRINGERNATURE, 2021-02-26)
    Changes in brain volume are a common finding in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies of people with psychosis and numerous longitudinal studies suggest that volume deficits progress with illness duration. However, a major unresolved question concerns whether these changes are driven by the underlying illness or represent iatrogenic effects of antipsychotic medication. In this study, 62 antipsychotic-naïve patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) received either a second-generation antipsychotic (risperidone or paliperidone) or a placebo pill over a treatment period of 6 months. Both FEP groups received intensive psychosocial therapy. A healthy control group (n = 27) was also recruited. Structural MRI scans were obtained at baseline, 3 months and 12 months. Our primary aim was to differentiate illness-related brain volume changes from medication-related changes within the first 3 months of treatment. We secondarily investigated long-term effects at the 12-month timepoint. From baseline to 3 months, we observed a significant group x time interaction in the pallidum (p < 0.05 FWE-corrected), such that patients receiving antipsychotic medication showed increased volume, patients on placebo showed decreased volume, and healthy controls showed no change. Across the entire patient sample, a greater increase in pallidal grey matter volume over 3 months was associated with a greater reduction in symptom severity. Our findings indicate that psychotic illness and antipsychotic exposure exert distinct and spatially distributed effects on brain volume. Our results align with prior work in suggesting that the therapeutic efficacy of antipsychotic medications may be primarily mediated through their effects on the basal ganglia.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    S166. EFFECTIVE CONNECTIVITY OF FRONTOSTRIATAL SYSTEMS IN FIRST-EPISODE PSYCHOSIS
    Sabaroedin, K ; Razi, A ; Aquino, K ; Chopra, S ; Finlay, A ; Nelson, B ; Allott, K ; Alvarez-Jimenez, M ; Graham, J ; Baldwin, L ; Tahtalian, S ; Yuen, HP ; Harrigan, S ; Cropley, V ; Pantelis, C ; Wood, S ; O’Donoghue, B ; Francey, S ; McGorry, P ; Fornito, A (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2020-05-18)
    Abstract Background Neuroimaging studies have found dysconnectivity of frontostriatal circuits across a broad spectrum of psychotic symptoms. However, it is unknown whether dysconnectivity within frontostriatal circuits originates from disrupted bottom-up or top-down control signaling within these systems. Here, we used dynamic causal modelling (DCM) to examine the effective connectivity of frontostriatal systems in first-episode psychosis (FEP). Methods A total of 55 FEP patients (26 males; mean [SD] age = 19.24 [2.89]) and 24 healthy controls (15 males; mean [SD] age = 21.83 [1.93]) underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging protocol. Biologically plausible connections between eight left hemisphere regions encompassing the dorsal and ventral frontostriatal systems were modelled using spectral DCM. The regions comprise dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, anterior hippocampus, amygdala, dorsal caudate, nucleus accumbens, thalamus, and the midbrain. Effective connectivity between groups were assessed using a parametric Bayesian model. Associations between effective connectivity parameters and positive symptoms, measured by the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale positive subscale, was assessed in the patient group in a separate Bayesian general linear model. Results DCM shows evidence for differences in effective connectivity between patients and healthy controls, namely in the bottom-down connections distributed in the frontostriatal system encompassing the hippocampus, amygdala, striatum, and midbrain. Compared to healthy controls, patients also demonstrated increased disinhibition of the midbrain. In patients, positive symptoms are associated with increased top-down connections to the midbrain. Outgoing connection from the midbrain to the nucleus accumbens is also increased in association with positive symptoms. Discussion Aberrant top-down connectivity in the frontostriatal system in patients is consistent with top-down dysregulation of dopamine function in FEP, as dopaminergic activity in the midbrain is proposed to be under the control of higher brain areas. In patients, increased self-inhibition of the midbrain, as well as symptom associations in both ingoing and outgoing connections of this region, are congruous with hyperactivity of the midbrain as proposed by the dopamine dysregulation hypothesis. Here, we demonstrate that mathematical models of brain imaging signals can be used to identify the key disruptions driving brain circuit dysfunction, identifying new targets for treatment.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Cognitive ability and metabolic physical health in first-episode psychosis
    Whitson, S ; O'Donoghue, B ; Hester, R ; Baldwin, L ; Harrigan, S ; Francey, S ; Graham, J ; Nelson, B ; Ratheesh, A ; Alvarez-Jimenez, M ; Fornito, A ; Pantelis, C ; Yuen, HP ; Thompson, A ; Kerr, M ; Berk, M ; Wood, SJ ; McGorry, P ; Allott, K (ELSEVIER, 2021-02-13)
    Cognitive impairments are a core feature of first-episode psychosis (FEP), arising before illness onset and antipsychotic exposure. Individuals with chronic psychosis experience poorer physical health while taking antipsychotic medication, but health disparities may be evident at FEP onset, prior to antipsychotic exposure. Given the links between cognition and physical health in healthy populations, the aim was to explore whether cognition and physical health are associated in FEP, which could inform early physical health interventions for cognition in FEP. Participants were aged 15 to 25 and included 86 individuals experiencing FEP with limited antipsychotic exposure and duration of untreated psychosis of ≤six months, and 43 age- and sex-matched controls. Individuals with FEP performed significantly poorer than controls in most cognitive domains (Cohen's d = 0.38 to 1.59). Groups were similar in metabolic health measures, excluding a significantly faster heart rate in FEP (d = 0.68). Through hierarchical regression analyses, we found that in the overall sample, BMI was negatively related to current IQ after controlling for education and group (FEP/control). Relationships between BMI and cognition were consistent across the FEP and healthy control groups. In FEP, current IQ and working memory were negatively correlated with lipid profiles. Findings suggest that in FEP, impaired cognition is exhibited earlier than physical health problems, and that compared to controls, similar relationships with cognition are demonstrated. Causal pathways and trajectories of relationships between health and cognition in FEP require investigation, especially as antipsychotic medications are introduced. The findings have implications for cognitive and health interventions.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Psychosocial Intervention With or Without Antipsychotic Medication for First-Episode Psychosis: A Randomized Noninferiority Clinical Trial
    Francey, SM ; O’Donoghue, B ; Nelson, B ; Graham, J ; Baldwin, L ; Yuen, HP ; Kerr, MJ ; Ratheesh, A ; Allott, K ; Alvarez-Jimenez, M ; Fornito, A ; Harrigan, S ; Thompson, AD ; Wood, S ; Berk, M ; McGorry, PD (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2020-01-01)
    Abstract This triple-blind (participants, clinicians, and researchers) randomized controlled noninferiority trial examined whether intensive psychosocial intervention (cognitive-behavioral case management, CBCM) for first-episode psychosis (FEP) in 15–25 year-olds managed in a specialized early intervention for psychosis service was noninferior to usual treatment of antipsychotic medication plus CBCM delivered during the first 6 months of treatment. To maximize safety, participants were required to have low levels of suicidality and aggression, a duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) of less than 6 months, and be living in stable accommodation with social support. The primary outcome was level of functioning as assessed by the Social and Occupational Functioning Scale (SOFAS) at 6 months. Ninety young people were randomized by computer, 46 to placebo, and 44 antipsychotic medication and 33% of those who commenced trial medication completed the entire 6-month trial period. On the SOFAS, both groups improved, and group differences were small and clinically trivial, indicating that treatment with placebo medication was no less effective than conventional antipsychotic treatment (mean difference = −0.2, 2-sided 95% confidence interval = −7.5 to 7.0, t = 0.060, P = .95). Within the context of a specialized early intervention service, and with a short DUP, the immediate introduction of antipsychotic medication may not be required for all cases of FEP in order to see functional improvement. However, this finding can only be generalized to a very small proportion of FEP cases at this stage, and a larger trial is required to clarify whether antipsychotic-free treatment can be recommended for specific subgroups of those with FEP. Trial Registration: ACTRN12607000608460 (www.anzctr.org.au).