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Title: Improving our understanding of the in vivo modelling of psychotic disorders : a systematic review and meta-analysis
Author: Bahor, Zsanett
ISNI:       0000 0004 7963 2536
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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Psychotic disorders represent a severe category of mental disorders affecting about one percent of the population. Individuals experience a loss or distortion of contact with reality alongside other symptoms, many of which are still not adequately managed using existing treatments. While animal models of these disorders could offer insights into these disorders and potential new treatments, translation of this knowledge has so far been poor in terms of informing clinical trials and practice. The aim of this project was to improve our understanding of these pre-clinical studies and identify potential weaknesses underlying translational failure. I carried out a systematic search of the literature to provide an unbiased summary of publications reporting animal models of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. From these publications, data were extracted to quantify aspects of the field including reported quality of studies, study characteristics and behavioural outcome data. The latter of these data were then used to calculate estimates of efficacy using random-effects meta-analysis. Having identified 3847 publications of relevance, including 852 different methods used to induce the model, over 359 different outcomes tested in them and almost 946 different treatments reported to be administered. I show that a large proportion of studies use simple pharmacological interventions to induce their models of these disorders, despite the availability of models using other interventions that are arguably of higher translational relevance. I also show that the reported quality of these studies is low, and only 22% of studies report taking measures to reduce the risk of biases such as randomisation and blinding, which has been shown to affect the reliability of results drawn. Through this work it becomes apparent that the literature is incredibly vast for studies looking at animal models of psychotic disorders and that some of the relevant work potentially overlaps with studies describing other conditions. This means that drawing reliable conclusions from these data is affected by what is made available in the literature, how it is reported and identified in a search and the time that it takes to reach these conclusions. I introduce the idea of using computer-assisted tools to overcome one of these problems in the long term. Translation of results from studies looking at animals modelling uniquely-human psychotic disorders to clinical successes might be improved by better reporting of studies including publishing of all work carried out, labelling of studies more uniformly so that it is identifiable, better reporting of study design including improving on reporting of measures taken to reduce the risk of bias and focusing on models with greater validity to the human condition.
Supervisor: Macleod, Malcolm ; Sena, Emily Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: psychosis ; animal models ; systematic review ; meta-analysis ; text mining