Air pollution associated to psychotic experiences in young people

Association of Air Pollution Exposure With Psychotic Experiences During Adolescence

A new study finds that teens living in dirty air 70% more likely to have symptoms such as paranoia, the guardian reports. Image Duke University.

2019 Study Key Points

Question
Is exposure to air pollution associated with adolescent psychotic experiences?

Findings
In this nationally representative cohort study of 2232 UK-born children, significant associations were found between outdoor exposure to nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter and reports of psychotic experiences during adolescence. Moreover, nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxides together explained 60% of the association between urban residency and adolescent psychotic experiences.

Meaning
The association between urban residency and adolescent psychotic experiences is partly explained by the higher levels of outdoor air pollution in urban settings.

Abstract

Importance
Urbanicity is a well-established risk factor for clinical (eg, schizophrenia) and subclinical (eg, hearing voices and paranoia) expressions of psychosis. To our knowledge, no studies have examined the association of air pollution with adolescent psychotic experiences, despite air pollution being a major environmental problem in cities.

Objectives
To examine the association between exposure to air pollution and adolescent psychotic experiences and test whether exposure mediates the association between urban residency and adolescent psychotic experiences.

Design, Setting, and Participants
The Environmental-Risk Longitudinal Twin Study is a population-based cohort study of 2232 children born during the period from January 1, 1994, through December 4, 1995, in England and Wales and followed up from birth through 18 years of age. The cohort represents the geographic and socioeconomic composition of UK households. Of the original cohort, 2066 (92.6%) participated in assessments at 18 years of age, of whom 2063 (99.9%) provided data on psychotic experiences. Generation of the pollution data was completed on October 4, 2017, and data were analyzed from May 4 to November 21, 2018.

Exposures
High-resolution annualized estimates of exposure to 4 air pollutants—nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters of less than 2.5 (PM2.5) and less than 10 μm (PM10)—were modeled for 2012 and linked to the home addresses of the sample plus 2 commonly visited locations when the participants were 18 years old.

Main Outcomes and Measures
At 18 years of age, participants were privately interviewed regarding adolescent psychotic experiences. Urbanicity was estimated using 2011 census data.

Results
Among the 2063 participants who provided data on psychotic experiences, sex was evenly distributed (52.5% female). Six hundred twenty-three participants (30.2%) had at least 1 psychotic experience from 12 to 18 years of age. Psychotic experiences were significantly more common among adolescents with the highest (top quartile) level of annual exposure to NO2 (odds ratio [OR], 1.71; 95% CI, 1.28-2.28), NOx (OR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.30-2.29), and PM2.5 (OR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.11-1.90). Together NO2 and NOx statistically explained 60% of the association between urbanicity and adolescent psychotic experiences. No evidence of confounding by family socioeconomic status, family psychiatric history, maternal psychosis, childhood psychotic symptoms, adolescent smoking and substance dependence, or neighborhood socioeconomic status, crime, and social conditions occurred.

Conclusions and Relevance
In this study, air pollution exposure—particularly NO2 and NOx—was associated with increased odds of adolescent psychotic experiences, which partly explained the association between urban residency and adolescent psychotic experiences. Biological (eg, neuroinflammation) and psychosocial (eg, stress) mechanisms are plausible.

Screening for rare epigenetic variations in autism and schizophrenia

Additional evidence that rare epivariations likely contribute to the mutational spectra underlying neurodevelopmental disorders

2019 Study Abstract

While many studies have led to the identification of rare sequence variants linked with susceptibility to autism and schizophrenia, the contribution of rare epigenetic variations (epivariations) in these disorders remains largely unexplored.

Previously we presented evidence that epivariations occur relatively frequently in the human genome, and likely contribute to a subset of congenital and neurodevelopmental disorders through the disruption of dosage-sensitive genes.

Here we extend this approach, studying methylation profiles from 297 samples with autism and 767 cases with schizophrenia, identifying 84 and 268 rare epivariations in these two cohorts, respectively, that were absent from 4,860 population controls.

We observed multiple features associated with these epivariations that support their pathogenic relevance, including

  1. a significant enrichment for epivariations in schizophrenic individuals at genes previously linked with schizophrenia,
  2. increased brain expression of genes associated with epivariations found in autism cases compared with controls,
  3. in autism families, a significant excess of epivariations found specifically in affected versus unaffected sibs,
  4. Gene Ontology terms linked with epivariations found in autism, including “D1 dopamine receptor binding.”

Our study provides additional evidence that rare epivariations likely contribute to the mutational spectra underlying neurodevelopmental disorders. Image credit Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

DES DIETHYLSTILBESTROL RESOURCES

Prenatal and childhood exposure to phthalates and motor skills at age 11 years

Using Lipstick, Moisturizers During Pregnancy Linked To Motor Skill Deficiencies In Kids

2019 Study Highlights

  • Prenatal exposure to certain phthalates was associated with lower motor BOT-2 scores measured at 11 years of age among girls.
  • Postnatal exposure to certain phthalates was associated with lower motor proficiency among boys measured at 11 years of age.
  • The association between MEP measured at age 3 and motor performance at age 11 was different among girls and boys.

Abstract

Background
Previous reports suggest that prenatal phthalate exposure is associated with lower scores on measures of motor skills in infants and toddlers. Whether these associations persist into later childhood or preadolescence has not been studied.

Methods
In a follow up study of 209 inner-city mothers and their children the concentrations of mono-n-butyl phthalate (MnBP), monobenzyl phthalate (MBzP), monoisobutyl phthalate (MiBP), monomethyl phthalate (MEP), mono-carboxy-isooctyl phthalate (MCOP), and four di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate metabolites (ΣDEHP) were measured in spot urine sample collected from the women in late pregnancy and from their children at ages 3, 5, and 7 years. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency short form (BOT-2) was administered at child age 11 to assess gross and fine motor skills.

Results
The total number of children included in the study was 209. Of the 209 children, 116(55.5%) were girls and 93 were (45%) boys. Among girls, prenatal MnBP(b=−2.09; 95%CI: [−3.43, −0.75]), MBzP (b=−1.14; [95%CI: −2.13, −0.14]), and MiBP(b=−1.36; 95%CI: [−2.51, −0.21] and MEP(b=−1.23 [95%CI: −2.36, −0.11]) were associated with lower total BOT-2 composite score. MnBP (b= –1.43; 95% CI: [–2.44, –0.42]) was associated with lower fine motor scores and MiBP(b = –0.56; 95% CI: [–1.12, –0.01]) and MEP (b = –0.60; 95% CI: [–1.14, −0.06])was associated with lower gross motor scores. Among boys, prenatal MBzP (b = –0.79; 95% CI: [–1.40, −0.19]) was associated with lower fine motor composite score.

The associations between MEP measured at age 3 and the BOT-2 gross motor, fine motor and total motor score differed by sex. In boys, there was an inverse association between ΣDEHP metabolites measured in childhood at ages 3 (b = –1.30; 95% CI: [–2.34, −0.26]) and 7 years (b = –0.96; 95% CI: [–1.79, −0.13]), and BOT-2 fine motor composite scores.

Conclusions
Higher prenatal exposure to specific phthalates was associated with lower motor function among 11- year old girls while higher postnatal exposure to ΣDEHP metabolites was associated with lower scores among boys. As lower scores on measures of motor development have been associated with more problems in cognitive, socioemotional functioning and behavior, the findings of this study have implications related to overall child development.

Research communication. Press release. Image mamans.femmesdaujourdhui.be.

Air pollution exposed children with mental health problems

Association between neighbourhood air pollution concentrations and dispensed medication for psychiatric disorders in a large longitudinal cohort of Swedish children and adolescents

Abstract

Objective
To investigate associations between exposure to air pollution and child and adolescent mental health.

Design
Observational study.

Setting
Swedish National Register data on dispensed medications for a broad range of psychiatric disorders, including sedative medications, sleeping pills and antipsychotic medications, together with socioeconomic and demographic data and a national land use regression model for air pollution concentrations for NO2, PM10 and PM2.5.

Participants
The entire population under 18 years of age in 4 major counties. We excluded cohort members whose parents had dispensed a medication in the same medication group since the start date of the register. The cohort size was 552 221.

Main outcome measures
Cox proportional hazards models to estimate HRs and their 95% CIs for the outcomes, adjusted for individual-level and group-level characteristics.

Results
The average length of follow-up was 3.5 years, with an average number of events per 1000 cohort members of ∼21. The mean annual level of NO2 was 9.8 µg/m3. Children and adolescents living in areas with higher air pollution concentrations were more likely to have a dispensed medication for a psychiatric disorder during follow-up (HR=1.09, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.12, associated with a 10 µg/m3 increase in NO2). The association with NO2 was clearly present in 3 out of 4 counties in the study area; however, no statistically significant heterogeneity was detected.

Conclusion
There may be a link between exposure to air pollution and dispensed medications for certain psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents even at the relatively low levels of air pollution in the study regions. The findings should be corroborated by others.

Reference.

The Guardian press releases : here, here, here, here, here, here.

Air pollution exposed adolescents with mental health problems

Exploration of NO2 and PM2.5 air pollution and mental health problems using high-resolution data in London-based children from a UK longitudinal cohort study

In the first analysis of how common air pollutants affect teenage mental health, researchers found young people were three to four times more likely to have depression at 18 if they had been exposed to dirtier air at age 12. Comparison with earlier work indicates that air pollution is a greater risk factor than physical abuse in raising the risk of teenage depression.

Study Highlights

    • High-resolution pollution estimates were successfully combined with cohort data.
    • Age-12 pollution exposure was not associated with age-12 mental health problems.
    • But age-12 pollution exposure was significantly associated with age-18 depression.
    • Associations with depression held even after controlling for common risk factors.
    • Elevated odds of age-18 conduct disorder among children exposed to air pollution.

Abstract, Feb 2019

Air pollution is a worldwide environmental health issue. Increasingly, reports suggest that poor air quality may be associated with mental health problems, but these studies often use global measures and rarely focus on early development when psychopathology commonly emerges. To address this, we combined high-resolution air pollution exposure estimates and prospectively-collected phenotypic data to explore concurrent and longitudinal associations between air pollutants of major concern in urban areas and mental health problems in childhood and adolescence. Exploratory analyses were conducted on 284 London-based children from the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study. Exposure to annualized PM2.5 and NO2 concentrations was estimated at address-level when children were aged 12. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, conduct disorder, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder were assessed at ages 12 and 18. Psychiatric diagnoses were ascertained from interviews with the participants at age 18. We found no associations between age-12 pollution exposure and concurrent mental health problems. However, age-12 pollution estimates were significantly associated with increased odds of major depressive disorder at age 18, even after controlling for common risk factors. This study demonstrates the potential utility of incorporating high-resolution pollution estimates into large epidemiological cohorts to robustly investigate associations between air pollution and youth mental health.

Reference.

The Guardian press releases : here, here, here, here, here, here.

Mental Health Medication Trends in the US, an Overview

Flooding the world with psychiatric drugs could boost the burden of mental disorders

Today in the United States, more than one in five adults — and more than one in 20 children and adolescents — take a psychiatric drug on a daily basis.

Overall, the number of Americans on medications used to treat psychological and behavioral disorders has substantially increased since 2001; more than one‐in‐five adults was on at least one of these medications in 2010, up 22 percent from ten years earlier. Women are far more likely to take a drug to treat a mental health condition than men, with more than a quarter of the adult female population on these drugs in 2010 as compared to 15 percent of men.

Women ages 45 and older showed the highest use of these drugs overall. Yet surprisingly, it was younger men (ages 20 to 44) who experienced the greatest increase in their numbers, rising 43 percent from 2001 to 2010.

The trends among children are opposite those of adults: boys are the higher utilizers of these medications overall but girls’ use has been increasing at a faster rate.

Read America’s State of Mind report and Flooding the world with psychiatric drugs could boost the burden of mental disorders on stat, OCTOBER 22, 2018.

Air pollution may increase dementia risk by 40 percent, London study finds

Are noise and air pollution related to the incidence of dementia ?
A cohort study in London, England, 2018

Air pollution may increase the chance of developing dementia, a study has suggested, in fresh evidence that the health of people of all ages is at risk from breathing dirty air, TheGuardian reports.

Abstract

Objective
To investigate whether the incidence of dementia is related to residential levels of air and noise pollution in London.

bmDesign
Retrospective cohort study using primary care data.

Setting
75 Greater London practices.

Participants
130 978 adults aged 50–79 years registered with their general practices on 1 January 2005, with no recorded history of dementia or care home residence.

Primary and secondary outcome measures
A first recorded diagnosis of dementia and, where specified, subgroups of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia during 2005–2013. The average annual concentrations during 2004 of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter with a median aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 µm (PM2.5) and ozone (O3) were estimated at 20×20 m resolution from dispersion models. Traffic intensity, distance from major road and night-time noise levels (Lnight) were estimated at the postcode level. All exposure measures were linked anonymously to clinical data via residential postcode. HRs from Cox models were adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, smoking and body mass index, with further adjustments explored for area deprivation and comorbidity.

Results
2181 subjects (1.7%) received an incident diagnosis of dementia (39% mentioning Alzheimer’s disease, 29% vascular dementia). There was a positive exposure response relationship between dementia and all measures of air pollution except O3, which was not readily explained by further adjustment. Adults living in areas with the highest fifth of NO2 concentration (>41.5 µg/m3) versus the lowest fifth (<31.9 µg/m3) were at a higher risk of dementia (HR=1.40, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.74). Increases in dementia risk were also observed with PM2.5, PM2.5 specifically from primary traffic sources only and Lnight, but only NO2 and PM2.5 remained statistically significant in multipollutant models. Associations were more consistent for Alzheimer’s disease than vascular dementia.

Conclusions
We have found evidence of a positive association between residential levels of air pollution across London and being diagnosed with dementia, which is unexplained by known confounding factors.

The Pill : Association of Hormonal Contraception With Depression

Are some side effects of birth control pills being kept secret ?

November 2016, JAMA Psychiatry published a Danish study that found a correlation between the use of hormonal birth control and being diagnosed with clinical depression. The study tracked hormonal birth control use and prescription of antidepressants over six years for over a million women. They found that women who were on hormonal birth control—be it the pill or a hormonal IUD or vaginal ring—were significantly more likely to be prescribed antidepressants.

These findings are only the latest in a long line of battles between women and their doctors over accurate information, broadly.vice reports in The Racist and Sexist History of Keeping Birth Control Side Effects Secret.

In 2018, the popularity of apps like Natural Cycles highlights the serious issues with contraceptives, the conversation reports.

Illustration by Eleanor Doughty, feature image credit broadly-images.vice.

Key Points

  • Question
    Is use of hormonal contraception associated with treatment of depression?
  • Findings
    In a nationwide prospective cohort study of more than 1 million women living in Denmark, an increased risk for first use of an antidepressant and first diagnosis of depression was found among users of different types of hormonal contraception, with the highest rates among adolescents.
  • Meaning
    Health care professionals should be aware of this relatively hitherto unnoticed adverse effect of hormonal contraception.

Abstract

Importance
Millions of women worldwide use hormonal contraception. Despite the clinical evidence of an influence of hormonal contraception on some women’s mood, associations between the use of hormonal contraception and mood disturbances remain inadequately addressed.

Objective
To investigate whether the use of hormonal contraception is positively associated with subsequent use of antidepressants and a diagnosis of depression at a psychiatric hospital.

Design, Setting, and Participants
This nationwide prospective cohort study combined data from the National Prescription Register and the Psychiatric Central Research Register in Denmark. All women and adolescents aged 15 to 34 years who were living in Denmark were followed up from January 1, 2000, to December 2013, if they had no prior depression diagnosis, redeemed prescription for antidepressants, other major psychiatric diagnosis, cancer, venous thrombosis, or infertility treatment. Data were collected from January 1, 1995, to December 31, 2013, and analyzed from January 1, 2015, through April 1, 2016.

Exposures
Use of different types of hormonal contraception.

Main Outcomes and Measures
With time-varying covariates, adjusted incidence rate ratios (RRs) were calculated for first use of an antidepressant and first diagnosis of depression at a psychiatric hospital.

Results
A total of 1 061 997 women (mean [SD] age, 24.4 [0.001] years; mean [SD] follow-up, 6.4 [0.004] years) were included in the analysis. Compared with nonusers, users of combined oral contraceptives had an RR of first use of an antidepressant of 1.23 (95% CI, 1.22-1.25). Users of progestogen-only pills had an RR for first use of an antidepressant of 1.34 (95% CI, 1.27-1.40); users of a patch (norgestrolmin), 2.0 (95% CI, 1.76-2.18); users of a vaginal ring (etonogestrel), 1.6 (95% CI, 1.55-1.69); and users of a levonorgestrel intrauterine system, 1.4 (95% CI, 1.31-1.42). For depression diagnoses, similar or slightly lower estimates were found. The relative risks generally decreased with increasing age. Adolescents (age range, 15-19 years) using combined oral contraceptives had an RR of a first use of an antidepressant of 1.8 (95% CI, 1.75-1.84) and those using progestin-only pills, 2.2 (95% CI, 1.99-2.52). Six months after starting use of hormonal contraceptives, the RR of antidepressant use peaked at 1.4 (95% CI, 1.34-1.46). When the reference group was changed to those who never used hormonal contraception, the RR estimates for users of combined oral contraceptives increased to 1.7 (95% CI, 1.66-1.71).

Conclusions and Relevance
Use of hormonal contraception, especially among adolescents, was associated with subsequent use of antidepressants and a first diagnosis of depression, suggesting depression as a potential adverse effect of hormonal contraceptive use.

Link between autoimmune disorders and psychosis, study says

Associations Between Non-neurological Autoimmune Disorders and Psychosis: A Meta-analysis

People with autoimmune disorders, a collection of diseases where the body’s immune system attacks its own cells, are more likely to have psychosis, according to a new study, the King’s College London reports.

Abstract

Background
A relationship between non-neurological autoimmune (NNAI) disorders and psychosis has been widely reported but not yet subjected to meta-analysis. We conducted the first meta-analysis examining the association between NNAI disorders and psychosis and investigated the effect of 1) temporality (as determined by study design), 2) psychiatric diagnosis, and 3) specific autoimmune disorders.

Methods
Major databases were searched for articles published until April 2018; 31 studies, comprising data for >25 million individuals, were eligible. Using random-effects models, we examined the overall association between all NNAI disorders and psychosis; rheumatoid arthritis was examined separately given the well-established negative association with psychosis. Stratified analyses investigated the effect of temporality, psychiatric diagnosis, and specific NNAI disorders.

Results
We observed a positive overall association between NNAI disorders and psychosis (odds ratio [OR] = 1.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12–1.41) that was consistent across study designs and psychiatric diagnoses; however, considerable heterogeneity was detected (I2 = 88.08). Patterns varied across individual NNAI disorders; associations were positive for pernicious anemia (OR = 1.91; 95% CI, 1.29–2.84), pemphigoid (OR = 1.90; 95% CI, 1.62–2.24), psoriasis (OR = 1.70; 95% CI, 1.51–1.91), celiac disease (OR = 1.53; 95% CI, 1.12–2.10), and Graves’ disease (OR = 1.33; 95% CI, 1.03–1.72) and negative for ankylosing spondylitis (OR = 0.72; 95% CI, 0.54–0.98) and rheumatoid arthritis (OR = 0.65; 95% CI, 0.50–0.84).

Conclusions
While we observed a positive overall association between NNAI disorders and psychosis, this was not consistent across all NNAI disorders. Specific factors, including distinct inflammatory pathways, genetic influences, autoantibodies targeting brain proteins, and exposure to corticosteroid treatment, may therefore underlie this association.

DES Adverse Health Outcomes

Le “condition branding” de l’industrie pharmaceutique

Addiction suprême après les jeux-vidéo

Publié par Luc Perino, médecin généraliste, humeur du 02/07/2018

Le critère essentiel et indispensable dans le diagnostic d’addiction a toujours été la présence d’un syndrome de sevrage. Autrement dit, l’addiction ne peut concerner que des toxiques (alcool, tabac, drogues) dont l’arrêt brutal provoque de graves troubles physiopathologiques.

Mais avec les dérives verbales et diagnostiques caractérisant nos sociétés surmédicalisées, le terme d’addiction est de plus en plus souvent utilisé pour des comportements. Après le sport, le pari et le sexe pathologiques, voici le jeu-vidéo pathologique des enfants, officialisé par l’OMS en juin 2018.

Comment expliquer un tel laxisme terminologique au sein d’une discipline qui ne cesse de revendiquer le statut de science exacte ?

Un minimum de sens de l’observation nous montre que tout cela relève du “condition branding” : terme intraduisible désignant ce que font les marketeurs de l’industrie pharmaceutique pour vendre des maladies au même titre que d’autres vendent une marque (brand) de chaussures ou de parfum.

La psychiatrie en est devenue le terrain favori après que les plus banales anxiétés et dépressions aient été déclinées avec tant de succès en diverses maladies. Il n’y a aucune limite prévisible à cette mentalisation pharmacologique, car rien n’est plus flou que les troubles mentaux.

  • Le trouble dysphorique prémenstruel a été promu pour recaser la fluoxétine (Prozac),
  • le trouble d’anxiété sociale pour créer une niche à la paroxétine (Deroxat),
  • le trouble panique pour élargir les indications de l’alprazolam (Xanax).

Ces campagnes où le nom du produit n’est jamais directement prononcé sont nommées “unbranded campaigns”. Même les médias publics, les ministères et l’OMS sont des acteurs ingénus ou subornés de ces campagnes invitant les citoyens à reconnaître au plus vite des “maladies” injustement méconnues comme l’ostéoporose, la DMLA, l’hyperactivité ou le déficit cognitif mineur.

N’en doutons pas, dans les mois ou années qui viennent, un médicament sera proposé pour soigner cette nouvelle addiction aux jeux-vidéo. Il s’agira, soit d’une nouvelle niche pour un produit existant, soit de la promotion d’un nouveau produit.

Cette nouvelle “maladie” vient gonfler la liste des centaines de troubles mentaux pour lesquels on vante une intervention pharmacologique. Bien que les régressions spontanées soient fréquentes et que les psychothérapies restent les meilleures options dans la très grande majorité des troubles de l’humeur et du comportement.

Le but de toutes ces savantes orchestrations est d’établir l’addiction suprême pour le plus grand nombre. Une addiction aux psychotropes (tranquillisants, neuroleptiques et antidépresseurs) qui est certainement la plus fréquente et la plus irrémédiable de toutes.

Peu importe alors que la cause initiale soit comportementale ou toxicologique, notre aveuglement face au “condition branding” aboutit généralement à une addiction aux psychotropes. Au sens le plus strict du terme.

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