Faith Dickerson

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Are you Faith Dickerson?

Claim your profile

Publications (208)861.84 Total impact


  • No preview · Article · Mar 2016 · Neurology Psychiatry and Brain Research
  • Faith Dickerson · Robert Yolken

    No preview · Article · Mar 2016 · Neurology Psychiatry and Brain Research
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: African Americans with serious mental illness (SMI) continue to experience inadequate representation in clinical trials. Persons with SMI, regardless of race, have an increased burden of all cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors including obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome and tobacco smoking. Having SMI and being African American, however, is each associated with an increased risk of CVD mortality compared to the general population. There is a critical need, therefore, to adapt health promotion interventions for African Americans with SMI. We sought to examine overall recruitment into a randomized clinical trial of CVD prevention among persons with SMI, and to examine racial differences in interest, enrollment, and potential barriers to participation. Although similar levels of interest in participation were seen between African Americans and Caucasians in signing screening consent, 9.6% fewer African Americans enrolled due to inability to complete initial data collection. Further work is needed to better understand the nature of the barriers encountered by African Americans with SMI who otherwise may be interested in participating within clinical trials.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Ethnicity & disease
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Peer support is an important component of services for persons with psychiatric illness but the experience of peer mentors is not well understood. This study explored the experiences of peer mentors, all former smokers and persons with psychiatric illness, who provided smoking cessation counseling as part of a 6 month professionally-led intervention. Data was obtained from 383 contact log entries and in-depth interviews with eight peer mentors. Qualitative analysis indicated that mentor roles were unexpectedly varied beyond the focus on smoking cessation. Of the two aspects of "peer-ness," shared smoking history was more prominent, while the shared experience of psychiatric illness was sometimes overlooked. Peer mentors experienced multiple challenges trying to help participants to change their smoking behaviors. Nonetheless, they described their experience as personally rewarding. Future interventions may be improved by anticipating peer mentor role complexity and the inherent tension between providing person-centered support and promoting behavior change.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Community Mental Health Journal
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Persons with schizophrenia and with bipolar disorder have a reduced life expectancy due largely to death from natural causes. The reasons for this increased mortality have not been completely defined. We prospectively assessed a cohort of persons with schizophrenia and one with bipolar disorder with a clinical evaluation and a blood sample from which immune and infectious disease markers were measured. Mortality was determined with data from the National Death Index following a period of up to 14years. We examined the role of demographic, clinical, and serological factors on mortality in bivariate and multivariate models. A total of 43/710 (6.1%) persons with schizophrenia and 12/406 (3.0%) with bipolar disorder died of natural causes. In the schizophrenia group, mortality was predicted by the following variables in a multivariate model: cigarette smoking (RR=6.93, 95% CI 1.59, 30.1, p=0.0099); autoimmune disorder (RR=8.08, 95% CI 2.50, 26.1, p=0.00047); gastrointestinal disorder (GI) (RR=3.53, 95% CI 1.43, 8.69 p=0.0061); and reduced maternal education (RR=0.84, 95% CI 0.72, 0.97), p=0.018. The combination of smoking and an autoimmune disorder yielded an unadjusted relative risk of 18.1 for mortality, and the combination of smoking and a GI disorder an unadjusted relative risk of 9.45, compared with individuals with neither risk factor. In the bipolar disorder group, significant bivariate predictors of mortality included lower cognitive score (RR=0.95, p=.0085) and the presence of type 1 or 2 diabetes (RR=3.90, p=.026). Given the extraordinary high risk of death due to smoking in schizophrenia, smoking cessation remains an urgent priority.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Schizophrenia Research
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: We evaluated a well-specified peer mentor program that enhanced a professionally led smoking cessation group for persons with serious mental illnesses. Method: Participants were 8 peer mentors, persons with serious mental illnesses who had successfully quit smoking, and 30 program participants, persons with serious mental illnesses enrolled in a 6-month intervention. Peer mentors were trained and then helped to deliver a smoking cessation group and met with program participants individually. We assessed the mentors' skills after training, their fidelity to the model, and the program's feasibility and acceptability. We also measured the smoking outcomes of the program participants including change in exhaled carbon monoxide, a measure of recent smoking, and aspects of the peer mentor-program participant relationship. Results: Peer mentors attained a mean score of 13.6/14 on role play assessments after training and delivered the intervention with fidelity as assessed by adherence and competence ratings (mean scores of 97% and 93%, respectively). The feasibility and acceptability of the intervention was demonstrated in that 28/30 participants met with their peer mentors regularly and only 1 participant and no peer mentor discontinued in the study. Both parties rated the interpersonal alliance highly, mean of 5.9/7. The program participants had a decline in carbon monoxide levels and number of cigarettes smoked per day (repeated measures ANOVA F = 6.04, p = .008; F = 15.87, p < .001, respectively). A total of 22/30 (73%) made a quit attempt but only 3 (10%) achieved sustained abstinence. Conclusions and implications for practice: Our study adds to the growing literature about peer-delivered interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Brain Behavior and Immunity
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The role of the human microbiome in schizophrenia remains largely unexplored. The microbiome has been shown to alter brain development and modulate behavior and cognition in animals through gut-brain connections, and research in humans suggests that it may be a modulating factor in many disorders. This study reports findings from a shotgun metagenomic analysis of the oropharyngeal microbiome in 16 individuals with schizophrenia and 16 controls. High-level differences were evident at both the phylum and genus levels, with Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria dominating both schizophrenia patients and controls, and Ascomycota being more abundant in schizophrenia patients than controls. Controls were richer in species but less even in their distributions, i.e., dominated by fewer species, as opposed to schizophrenia patients. Lactic acid bacteria were relatively more abundant in schizophrenia, including species of textitLactobacilli and textitBifidobacterium, which have been shown to modulate chronic inflammation. We also found textitEubacterium halii, a lactate-utilizing species. Functionally, the microbiome of schizophrenia patients was characterized by an increased number of metabolic pathways related to metabolite transport systems including siderophores, glutamate, and vitamin B12. In contrast, carbohydrate and lipid pathways and energy metabolism were abundant in controls. These findings suggest that the oropharyngeal microbiome in individuals with schizophrenia is significantly different compared to controls, and that particular microbial species and metabolic pathways differentiate both groups. Confirmation of these findings in larger and more diverse samples, e.g., gut microbiome, will contribute to elucidating potential links between schizophrenia and the human microbiota.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · PeerJ
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Immune markers have been associated with schizophrenia, but few studies have examined multiple markers in both recent onset and chronic schizophrenia patients. The sample of 588 individuals included 79 with recent onset psychosis, 249 with chronic schizophrenia, and 260 controls. A combined inflammation score was calculated by principal components factor analysis of the levels of C-reactive protein, Pentraxin 3, and IgG antibodies to gliadin, casein, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae measured in blood samples. Inflammation scores among groups were compared by multivariate analyses. The chronic schizophrenia group showed significant elevations in the combined inflammation score compared with controls. The recent onset group surprisingly showed a reduction in the combined inflammation score. Consistent with these findings, the chronic schizophrenia group had significantly increased odds of a combined inflammation score greater than the 75th and the 90th percentile of that of the controls. The recent onset group had significantly increased odds of a combined inflammation score less than the 10th and the 25th percentile level of the controls. The recent onset of psychosis may be associated with inherent deficits in innate immunity. Individuals later in the course of disease may have increased levels of innate immunity. The reasons for these changes are not known with certainty but may be related to compensatory increases as the disease progresses. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine the course of immune abnormalities in schizophrenia and their role in the clinical manifestations of the disorder. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Schizophrenia Bulletin
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have identified altered molecular profiles in blood samples from individuals with schizophrenia and with bipolar disorder using multianalyte immunoassay platforms but there has been little comparison of the two groups in the same investigation. A total of 337 participants including 146 with schizophrenia, 79 with bipolar disorder, and 112 non-psychiatric controls had a blood sample drawn from which 166 analytes were measured. The initial dataset was split; classification models were developed in a training dataset and their performance evaluated in a test dataset. Principal component analysis was used to generate factor scores that were then compared between the groups. In a training set, a total of 7 independent factors were generated using 29 markers that were both normally distributed and significantly associated with diagnosis. Many of these analytes are components of the immune system and involved in the inflammatory response to infectious agents and foreign antigens. Two of the seven principal component scores discriminated between individuals with schizophrenia and with bipolar disorder; additional factors distinguished individuals with either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder from control individuals, while two factors were not significantly different between any of the diagnostic groups. In a test dataset, the schizophrenia vs. control Receiver Operating Curve (ROC) analysis shows an overall accuracy of 77% for schizophrenia vs. bipolar disorder, 84% for schizophrenia vs. controls, and 72% for bipolar disorder vs. An increased understanding of the role of altered pathways in serious psychiatric disorders may lead to novel methods for disease diagnosis and therapy. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Schizophrenia Research
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In order to determine whether epigenetic changes specific to the manic mood state can be detected in peripheral blood samples we assayed DNA methylation levels genome-wide in serum samples obtained from 20 patients hospitalized for mania and 20 unaffected controls using the Illumina 450K methylation arrays. We identified a methylation locus in the CYP11A1 gene, which is regulated by corticotropin, that is hypo-methylated in individuals hospitalized for mania compared with unaffected controls. DNA methylation levels at this locus appear to be state related as levels in follow-up samples collected from mania patients six months after hospitalization were similar to those observed in controls. In addition, we found that methylation levels at the CYP11A1 locus were significantly correlated with three inflammatory markers in serum in acute mania cases but not in unaffected controls. We conclude that mania is associated with alterations in levels of DNA methylation and inflammatory markers. Since epigenetic markers are potentially malleable, a better understanding of the role of epigenetics may lead to new methods for the prevention and treatment of mood disorders.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · PLoS ONE
  • Source
    Jakub Tomasik · Robert H Yolken · Sabine Bahn · Faith B Dickerson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although peripheral immune system abnormalities have been linked to schizophrenia pathophysiology, standard antipsychotic drugs show limited immunological effects. Thus, more effective treatment approaches are required. Probiotics are microorganisms that modulate the immune response of the host and, therefore, may be beneficial to schizophrenia patients. The aim of this study was to examine the possible immunomodulatory effects of probiotic supplementation in chronic schizophrenia patients. The concentrations of 47 immune-related serum proteins were measured using multiplexed immunoassays in samples collected from patients before and after 14 weeks of adjuvant treatment with probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis strain Bb12; n = 31) or placebo (n = 27). Probiotic add-on treatment significantly reduced levels of von Willebrand factor (vWF) and increased levels of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), RANTES, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1 beta (MIP-1) beta with borderline significance (P ≤ 0.08). In silico pathway analysis revealed that probiotic-induced alterations are related to regulation of immune and intestinal epithelial cells through the IL-17 family of cytokines. We hypothesize that supplementation of probiotics to schizophrenia patients may improve control of gastrointestinal leakage.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Biomarker insights
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective Immunologic abnormalities have been found in bipolar disorder and acute mania. However, there have been fewer studies of patients with acute bipolar depression.Method Blood samples were obtained from individuals with acute bipolar depression, acute mania, and controls. These samples were evaluated for antibodies to human herpesviruses, gliadin, Toxoplasma gondii, and endogenous retroviruses as well as for C-reactive protein (CRP) and pentraxin-3 using immunoassay methods. Linear regression models were used to compare the levels of the markers controlling for demographic and clinical variables. A subset of the bipolar depressed group was evaluated at a 6-month follow-up.ResultsThe sample consisted of 82 individuals with acute bipolar depression, 147 with acute mania, and 280 controls. The levels of CRP and IgG antibodies to an endogenous retrovirus, Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (MPMV), were significantly elevated in the bipolar depressed group. Levels of pentraxin-3 were reduced in both psychiatric groups. An evaluation of 32 individuals 6 months after hospitalization for bipolar depression showed a significant decrease in the levels of MPMV antibodies, but not a change in the other markers.Conclusion Individuals with acute bipolar depression show immune alterations. Some of the alterations are similar to those found in acute mania.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
  • Faith Dickerson

    No preview · Article · May 2015 · The Journal of nervous and mental disease
  • Rachel Walsh · Lucy Schweinfurth · Faith Dickerson

    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.)
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cognitive deficits are present in a large majority of Bipolar Disorder (BD) patients and known to be a marker of bad prognosis. Because, these deficits encompass several domains and no specific medical treatment seems to be effective, it is important to better understand the mechanisms underlying cognitive deterioration. As Toxoplasma gondii is known to induce the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, we will explore here the possible role of T. gondii in the cognitive decline observed in BD. 42 euthymic BD patients and 36 controls were assessed for episodic verbal memory using the CVLT and for working memory and verbal ability using the WAIS III. Patients and controls were also screened for seropositivity to T. gondii and evaluated for the levels of IL-6 transcripts. The seropositivity for T. gondii was significantly higher in BD patients as compared to controls (p=0.005). The cognitive deterioration index (DI) was higher in BD patients (p=5.10(-6)) and correlated to high IL-6 mRNA expression only among those infected by T. gondii (rho=0.43, p=0.01). Among deteriorated patients (defined by scores above 0.10 according to Weschler׳s definition), the IL-6 mRNA expression was twice greater (p=0.01). Our results are to be interpreted with caution because of our small sample size and the cross-sectional design. A long-term exposure to inflammation, measured here with IL-6 mRNA expression in T. gondii infected BD may alter cognitive functioning. IL-6 could thus be a useful predictive marker of cognitive deterioration in BD and may help to design personalized treatment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Affective Disorders
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Consumers with serious mental illness smoke more and are at higher risk for smoking-related illness. We examined provider and consumer factors influencing the implementation of the evidence-based "5 A's" (ask, advise, assess, assist, arrange) in six community mental health centers in greater Baltimore. Data collected as part of a larger study examining the effectiveness of delivery of the 5 A's at patient visits. First, we examined responses to a survey administered to 49 clinicians on barriers and attitudes toward delivering the 5 A's. Second, we used multilevel models to examine variance between patients (n = 228), patient factors, and variance between their psychiatrists (n = 28) in the delivery of the 5 A's (and first 3 A's). The most strongly endorsed barrier was perceived lack of patient interest in smoking cessation. Psychiatrists and patients both accounted for significant variance in the delivery of the 5 A's and 3 A's. Patient "readiness to change" predicted delivery of the full 5 A's, while smoking severity predicted delivery of the first 3 A's. There is a critical need for creative and collaborative solutions, policies, and clinician training to address actual and perceived obstacles to the delivery of evidence-based smoking cessation treatment in the mental health care setting.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Dual Diagnosis
  • Faith Dickerson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT FROM: Wium-Andersen MK, Ørsted DD, Nordestgaard BG. Elevated C-reactive protein associated with late- and very-late-onset schizophrenia in the general population: a prospective study. Schizophr Bull 2014;40:1117-27. What is already known on this topic Some cross-sectional studies have shown that individuals with schizophrenia have higher levels of some markers of inflammation, including pro-inflammatory cytokines and C reactive protein (CRP), than controls.1 ,2 CRP is one of the most commonly used markers of inflammation. During acute inflammation (eg, bacterial infection), levels of CRP may increase up to 300-fold.3 In apparently healthy individuals, plasma levels of CRP are usually below 3 mg/L but can be up to 10 mg/L;4 however, slightly elevated CRP levels below 10 mg/L in normal subjects may indicate a state of low-grade inflammation3 which has been associated with increased risk of several diseases, including major depression and bipolar disorder.5 It has also been shown that a history of autoimmune disease or severe infection increases the …
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Evidence-based mental health
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: The association between Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity and respectively Bipolar Disorder (BD) and Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective disorder (SZ) is one of the most studied link between one pathogen and psychiatric disorders. The aim of the present study was thus to retrospectively determine if the administration of an antipsychotic and/or a mood stabilizer having known in vitro Anti-Toxoplasmic Activity (TATA+) was associated with a better clinical outcome in a population of 152 BD or 114 SZ patients and seropositive for T. gondii infection compared to patients receiving a treatment without anti-toxoplasmic activity (TATA-). Methods: This multicenter study was conducted in an academic public hospital during a 3-years period between 2009 and 2011. All consecutive inpatients and outpatients with SZ or BD diagnosis with a stable treatment for more than 4 weeks were recruited. socio-demographic and clinical characteristics measured with validated scales as well as a serological status for toxoplasmic infection were included. Treatments were classified according to their in vitro antitoxoplasmic activity. A multivariate model was used to determine the clinical characteristics that were significantly different between patients receiving a treatment with no antitoxoplasmic activity compared to others. Results: BD patients with positive serum antibodies against T. gondii presented more lifetime depressive episodes (p = 0.048) after adjustment for age, sex and sociodemographic characteristics when treated by drug having no anti-toxo activity, compared to patients having received drugs with anti-toxo activity. A significant difference was not found in BD toxonegative patients and in SZ toxopositive or toxonegative patients. Conclusions: It seems to be of importance to consider prescribing a drug with a clear anti-toxoplasmic activity (TATA+) for BD patients seropositive to T. gondii, in particular valproate that was found as the mood stabilizer with the highest antitoxoplasmic activity. Prospective randomized controlled trials are warranted to confirm this preliminary data.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of Psychiatric Research
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mucosal sites such as the oropharynx contain a wide range of microorganisms, collectively designated as the microbiome. The microbiome can affect behavior through a number of neurobiological and immunological mechanisms. Most previous studies have focused on the bacterial components of the microbiome. However, the microbiome also includes viruses such as bacteriophages, which are viruses that infect bacteria and alter their metabolism and replication. We employed metagenomic analysis to characterize bacteriophage genomes in the oral pharynx of 41 individuals with schizophrenia and 33 control individuals without a psychiatric disorder. This analysis was performed by the generation of more than 100000000 sequence reads from each sample and the mapping of these reads to databases. We identified 79 distinct bacteriophage sequences in the oropharyngeal samples. Of these, one bacteriophage genome, Lactobacillus phage phiadh, was found to be significantly different in individuals with schizophrenia (P < .00037, q < 0.03 adjusted for multiple comparisons). The differential levels of Lactobacillus phage phiadh remained significant when controlling for age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, or cigarette smoking (P < .006). Within the group of individuals with schizophrenia, the level of Lactobacillus phage phiadh correlated with the prevalence of immunological disorders as well as with the administration of valproate, which has been shown in animal models to alter the microbiome. The bacteriophage composition of the oropharynx in individuals with schizophrenia differs from that of controls. The biological consequences of this difference and the potential effects of altering bacteriophage levels through therapeutic interventions are worthy of further investigation. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Schizophrenia Bulletin

Publication Stats

6k Citations
861.84 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007-2015
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1991-2015
    • Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2010-2014
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2003-2014
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2013
    • Columbia University
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2002-2013
    • Towson University
      تاوسن، مریلند, Maryland, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • Department of Human Genetics
      Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 1999-2008
    • Loyola University Maryland
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1996
    • University of Baltimore
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States