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To study the short-term effect of treatment with quetiapine on prepulse inhibition (PPI) deficits of the startle reflex in schizophrenia patients.
Subjects and methods
Using PPI, we studied a group of 21 schizophrenia patients and 16 controls. Seventeen of the patients were re-tested with PPI after 21 days of treatment with quetiapine.
At baseline, an almost significant decrease in PPI was found in the patients as compared to the controls. PPI measurements did not change in the patients after 21 days of treatment with quetiapine, despite their clinical improvement.
Our results suggest that short-term quetiapine treatment may not modify PPI measures in schizophrenia patients.
Cognitive dysfunction has been demonstrated in patients with schizophrenia, and this may affect patients’ functional outcome. The improvement of such dysfunction by means of cognitive remediation interventions has become a relevant target in the care of schizophrenia.
To assess the effectiveness of the cognitive subprograms of Integrated Psychological Therapy (IPT) on symptomatological, neuropsychological and functional outcome variables and to analyze the relationships between cognitive and functional outcome changes in schizophrenia.
Thirty-two patients with schizophrenia were assigned to cognitive remediation (IPT-cog) or usual rehabilitative interventions in a naturalistic setting of care. Clinical, neuropsychological and functional outcome variables were assessed at baseline and after 24 weeks of treatment.
The IPT-cog group improved significantly more than the comparison group with respect to psychopathological and functional outcome variables. Moreover, only the IPT-cog group improved significantly in the neuropsychological domains of verbal and working memory, with specific significant correlations between neurocognitive performance and functional outcome changes.
The results of the study confirm the effectiveness of the cognitive remediation component of IPT in schizophrenia, and indicate that some of the changes in functional outcome may be mediated by improvement in specific cognitive domains.
Purpose of this study was to assess subjective well-being in schizophrenia inpatients and to find variables predictive for response and remission of subjective well-being.
The subjective well-being under neuroleptic treatment scale (SWN-K) was used in 232 schizophrenia patients within a naturalistic multicenter trial. Early response was defined as a SWN-K total score improvement of 20% and by at least 10 points within the first 2 treatment weeks, response as an improvement in SWN-K total score of at least 20% and by at least 10 points from admission to discharge and remission in subjective well-being as a total score of more or equal to 80 points at discharge. Logistic regression and CART analyses were used to determine valid predictors of subjective well-being outcome.
Twenty-nine percent of the patients were detected to be SWN-K early responders, 40% fulfilled criteria for response in subjective well-being and 66% fulfilled criteria for remission concerning subjective well-being. Among the investigated predictors, SWN-K early improvement and the educational status were significantly associated with SWN-K response. The SWN-K total score at baseline showed a significant negative predictive value for response. Baseline SWN-K total score, PANSS global subscore, and side effects as well as the educational status were found to be significantly predictive for remission.
Depressive symptoms should be radically treated and side effects closely monitored to improve the patient's subjective well-being. The important influence of subjective well-being on overall treatment outcome could be underlined.
Lack of awareness of tardive dyskinesia (TD) and poor insight into mental illness are common in schizophrenia, raising the possibility that these phenomena are manifestations of a common underlying dysfunction.
We investigated relationships between low awareness of TD and poor insight into mental illness in 130 patients with schizophrenia and TD. We also examined selected demographic and clinical correlates of these two phenomena.
Sixty-six (51%) patients had no or low awareness of TD and 94 (72%) had at least mild impairment of insight into their mental illness. Low awareness of TD was not significantly correlated with greater impairment of insight into mental illness. Regression analyses indicated that the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) disorganised factor (β = 0.72, t = 11.88, p < 0.01) accounted for 52% of the variance in insight into mental illness (adjusted R2 = 0.55) (F[2, 127] = 81.00, p < 0.01) and the Extrapyramidal Symptom Rating Scale (ESRS) dyskinesia subscale score (β = 0.47, t = 6.80, p < 0.01), PANSS disorganised factor (β = −0.26, t = −3.73, p < 0.01), and ESRS parkinsonism subscale score (β = 0.31, t = 4.55, p < 0.01) together accounted for 37% of the variance in awareness of TD (adjusted R2 = 0.37) (F[3, 126] = 26.87, p < 0.01).
The two phenomena appear to be dissociated, and may be domain-specific.
Despite good clinical evidence, depot antipsychotics are only seldom prescribed to patients with first episode schizophrenia. The present study aims at investigating psychiatrists’ reasons for this reservation.
We surveyed 198 psychiatrists on their attitude toward offering depot treatment to first episode patients (FEP). Participants scored the extent of influence of individual factors on their decision on a seven-point-scale, additional data on their prescription practice and estimation of the relapse risk of FEP were collected.
Psychiatrists reported that only three out of 12 factors were of influence. These were the limited availability of different second generation antipsychotic depot drugs, the frequent rejection of the depot offer by the patients and the patients’ skepticism based on the lack in experience of a relapse.
There is actually little specific reason for not prescribing depot to FEP according to the current survey. For those factors being reported to be of influence, psychoeducation, including profound information on depot treatment, the development of additional SGA depot drugs and the standard offer of depot treatment to all FEP in a shared-decision-making may be considered.
Despite the scientific evidence, most families of people with schizophrenia in Europe never receive a carer education programme. We evaluated whether a carer education course delivered by telepsychiatry was as effective as a carer education course delivered in situ.
We delivered the carer education course for schizophrenia simultaneously to a carers group in rural north west Ireland (remote) via three ISDN lines and live to a carers group in a city (host). We compared knowledge gains using the Knowledge Questionnaire before and after each course.
Fifty-six carers of people with schizophrenia participated in the trial. At baseline, participants at the remote and host centers did not differ in terms of knowledge about schizophrenia. After the course, carers at both centers improved significantly and the knowledge gains between groups were equivalent at 6 weeks.
Telepsychiatry can deliver effective carer education programmes about schizophrenia and may provide one solution to bridging the chasm between scientific evidence and clinical reality.
To evaluate the impact of the “Spanish Consensus on Physical Health in Patients with Schizophrenia” on psychiatrists’ evaluations of the physical health of patients with schizophrenia.
Epidemiological, non-interventional, national, multicentre study, with two retrospective, cross-sectional data collection stages in which 229 psychiatrists evaluated 1193 clinical records of patients with schizophrenia (ICD-10) seen in January and September of 2007.
Mean age of the patients was 39.7 ± 11.6 years, 65.5% were men, diagnosed for schizophrenia 14.0 ± 10.3 years ago. Forty percent of the patients suffer from a concomitant disease, the most prevalent being hypercholesterolemia (46.3%), hypertriglyceridaemia (33.5%) and arterial hypertension (26.0%). The difference in the number of patients who had all the physical measurements taken between the two cross-sectional evaluations was 13.8% (CI: 11.8%, 15.7%). The differences for each parameter were: weight 13.7% (CI: 11.7%, 15.6%), BMI 13.58% (CI: 11.6%, 15.5%), waist circumference 14.0% (CI: 12.0%, 15.39%), lipid profile 2.9% (CI: 1.9%, 3.9%) and glycaemia 2.6% (CI: 1.7%, 3.5%).
These results imply that the dissemination of the “Consensus on Physical Health in Schizophrenia Patients”, and possibly other actions, has made psychiatrists more aware of an integral approach to patients with schizophrenia, promoting increased monitoring of the physical health of these patients.
Adding another antipsychotic to a treatment regimen was previously used in evaluating the medication's efficacy. Supplementation of depot antipsychotics with oral antipsychotics is particularly meaningful because depot formulations are typically chosen for patients struggling with adherence to oral antipsychotics. This post-hoc analysis assessed supplementation of olanzapine long-acting injection (olanzapine-LAI) with oral olanzapine.
Subjects and methods
We used 12 months of data from an open-label, single-arm extension study of patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (N = 931) treated with olanzapine-LAI. The prevalence, duration, time to first supplementation, and best predictors of oral supplementation were assessed.
Oral supplementation occurred in 21% of patients for a median of 31 days with mean modal dose of 10.8 mg/day. Mean time to first supplementation was shorter for patients who were at least moderately ill at baseline compared to less ill patients (47 vs. 97 days, p < 0.001). Best predictors of oral supplementation included a more severe illness profile at baseline, lower olanzapine-LAI dose prior to oral supplementation, supervised living arrangements, and being African-American.
Supplementation of olanzapine-LAI appears to be infrequent, of relatively short duration, and reserved for more severely ill patients who may require a targeted rescue medication due to signs of impending relapse.
The functional neuroimaging studies of emotion processing in schizophrenia have revealed variable results attributed partly to differential symptomatology and sex of tested patients. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between cerebral activations during exposure to emotional material and schizophrenia symptoms in men versus women.
Fifteen men and 10 women with schizophrenia, equivalent in terms of age, medication and experienced symptomatology, underwent functional MRI during viewing sad and neutral film excerpts. Data were analyzed using Statistical Parametric Mapping Software (SPM2).
Across all the patients there was a significant inverse relationship between negative symptoms and activations in the right prefrontal cortex during processing of sad versus neutral stimuli. In men, activations during sad versus neutral stimuli in the prefrontal, temporal and anterior cingulate cortex, as well as the caudate and cerebellum, were positively correlated with negative symptoms. In women, there were inverse correlations between positive symptoms and activations in the hippocampus, parietal and occipital cortex during the same condition.
Present results confirmed association of prefrontal hypofunction with negative symptoms in schizophrenia. More interestingly, the results revealed a diametrically different pattern of symptom-correlated brain activity in men and women with schizophrenia, suggesting that the processing of sadness is mediated via neurophysiological mechanism related to negative symptoms in men and the mechanism related to positive symptoms in women.
To compare the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors (CV-RF) and disease (CV-D) and health care use in people with and without schizophrenia.
Subjects/materials and methods
Data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), cycle 3.1, were used. Prevalence of CV-RF, CV-D, and health care use were compared in those with and without schizophrenia using logistic regression analysis. Sampling weights and bootstrap variance estimates were used to account for survey design.
A total of 399 (0.3%) people with schizophrenia were identified and compared to 120,044 (97.7%) people without. Individuals with schizophrenia were significantly more likely to be obese (34.8% vs. 15.6%) and report diabetes (11.9% vs. 5.3%). After accounting for sociodemographic variables, schizophrenia was not independently associated with diabetes (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 0.86; 0.49–1.51). Individuals with schizophrenia were more likely to be hospitalized (21.9% vs. 8.0%; aOR: 2.37; 95% CI: 1.51–3.74) but no more likely to visit their physician (86.7% vs. 85.7%; aOR: 1.23; 95% CI: 0.65–2.35).
Our findings suggest that people with schizophrenia access the primary health care system at least as frequently as someone without schizophrenia, and the opportunity for management of modifiable CV-RF exists in this vulnerable population.
To examine the 17-year clinical outcome of schizophrenia and its predictors in Bali.
Subjects were 59 consecutively admitted first-episode schizophrenia patients. Their clinical outcome was evaluated by standardized symptomatic remission criteria based on Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) scores and operational functional remission criteria at 17-year follow-up. The standardized mortality ratio (SMR) over 17 years was also calculated as another index of clinical outcome.
Among these 59 patients, 43 (72.9%) could be followed-up, 15 (25.4%) had died, and one (1.7%) was alive but refused to participate in the study. Combined remission (i.e. symptomatic and functional remission) was achieved in 14 patients (23.7% of original sample). Duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) was a significant baseline predictor of combined remission. Mean age at death of deceased subjects was 35.7, and SMR was 4.85 (95% CI: 2.4–7.3), indicating that deaths were premature. Longer DUP was associated with excess mortality.
The long-term outcome of schizophrenia in Bali was heterogeneous, demonstrating that a quarter achieved combined remission, half were in nonremission, and a quarter had died at 17-year follow-up. DUP was a significant predictor both for combined remission and mortality.