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Despite remission being the primary objective following the first episode of schizophrenia, clinically stabilised patients are rarely studied.
To assess the extent and fluctuation of low-level positive symptoms in patients who are in remission following their first episode of schizophrenia, and consider whether symptoms displayed are similar to those exhibited in the prodromal population.
Eleven patients who had recovered for at least six months following one episode of schizophrenia and subsequently fulfilled remission criteria were interviewed four times over the course of three months. Interviews were based on the Structured Interview of Prodromal Symptoms (SIPS), an in-depth assessment of low-level symptoms that is widely used in the prodromal group. Data was compared to equivalent results from the prodromal population (with data provided by the local ED:IT service).
Over the course of the interviews 73% of participants displayed attenuated positive symptoms, predominantly unusual thought content and suspiciousness. 18% experienced brief limited intermittent psychotic symptoms (BLIPS). Analysis with Friedman's test revealed no significant fluctuation in positive symptoms, indicating that they are stable over time. Furthermore, the symptoms exhibited in the sample were closely comparable to those in the prodromal group in the ED:IT service.
The majority of patients in remission are experiencing a form of ‘postdrome’, which appears to be an enduring state. the presence of these symptoms may put patients at an increased risk of relapse. Larger-scale research is required to follow-up this novel preliminary study.
The European Prediction of Psychosis Study (EPOS) involved a large (n=245) sample of young individuals at high-risk of developing psychosis. Participants appraisals of criticism and emotional over-involvement were described employing the Level of Expressed Emotion (LEE) measure. This presentation explores results and implications over an 18 month follow-up period.
Across six European centres, n=245 patients aged 16 – 35 years and ascertained to be at high-risk of developing psychosis were assessed over a period of eighteen months. Risk of psychosis was defined by occurrence of basic symptoms, attenuated psychotic symptoms, brief, limited or intermittent psychotic symptoms or familial risk plus reduced functioning. Appraisals of familial expressed emotion from participants towards key family members were examined for relationships to risk of transition to psychosis, psychotic symptomatology and demographical data.
Individuals at high-risk of psychosis were included and compared on the five sub-scales of LEE. Levels of Criticism, Irritability, Intrusiveness and Lack of emotional support were examined with significant correlations found between patient-perceived intrusive over-involvement and depression as well as between sub-scales of LEE and positive symptoms of psychosis. Transition to psychosis was not predicted by LEE in participants.
Perceived LEE of significant others by individuals at high-risk of developing psychosis may have a role in the maintenance of both affective and positive psychotic symptoms prior to the onset of full psychosis. Further explorations of the impact of EE appraisal on developing psychotic symptoms may inform potential targets for therapeutic intervention in both at-risk individuals and family members.
Following a mid twelfth-century BC demographic crisis, Frattesina, in northern Italy, arose as a prominent hub linking continental Europe and the Mediterranean, as evidenced by the remarkable variety of exotic materials and commodities discovered at the site. Debate persists, however, about the extent to which migrants influenced the foundation and development of Frattesina. The authors present the results of strontium isotope analyses, which suggest significant migration to the site, particularly of elites, mostly from within a 50km radius. Among these non-indigenous people, the authors identify a ‘warrior-chief’, whom they interpret as representing a new, more hierarchical society.
The concept of aesthetics has long been marginalized in archaeology. It was originally formulated in the eighteenth century as part of an appreciation of Greek art and was fundamentally concerned with appreciating a quasi-universal idea of beauty; and as archaeologists and anthropologists recognized the distortion created by applying it to material from non-Western and pre-modern art, it fell into disfavour. An alternative anthropological approach pioneered by Howard Morphy regards aesthetics as the study of the affects of the physical properties of objects on the senses and the qualitative evaluation of those properties; this converges with the emerging philosophical study of ‘everyday aesthetics’. This article explores how archaeologists could apply these concepts, particularly through a study of Maltese Neolithic everyday aesthetics.