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The implications of cannabis use in the onset of early psychosis and the severity of psychotic symptoms have resulted in a proliferation of studies on this issue. However, few have examined the effects of cannabis use on the cognitive symptoms of psychosis (i.e., neurocognitive functioning) in patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP). This systematic review and meta-analysis aim to assess the neurocognitive functioning of cannabis users (CU) and nonusers (NU) with FEP.
Of the 110 studies identified through the systematic review of 6 databases, 7 met the inclusion criteria, resulting in 14 independent samples and 78 effect sizes. The total sample included 304 CU with FEP and 369 NU with FEP. The moderator variables were age at first use, duration of use, percentage of males, and age.
Effect sizes were not significantly different from zero in any neurocognitive domain when users and NU were compared. Part of the variability in effect sizes was explained by the inclusion of the following moderator variables: (1) frequency of cannabis use (β = 0.013, F = 7.56, p = 0.017); (2) first-generation antipsychotics (β = 0.019, F = 34.46, p ≤ 0.001); and (3) country where the study was carried out (β = 0.266, t = 2.06, p = 0.043).
This meta-analysis indicates that cannabis use is not generally associated with neurocognitive functioning in patients with FEP. However, it highlights the deleterious effect of low doses of cannabis in some patients. It also stresses the importance of the type of antipsychotic prescription and cannabis dose as moderator variables in the neurocognitive functioning of CU with FEP.
Cognitive deficits are a core feature of early stages in schizophrenia. However, the extent to which antipsychotic (AP) have a deleterious effect on cognitive performance remains under debate. We aim to investigate whether anticholinergic loadings and dose of AP drugs in first episode of psychosis (FEP) in advanced phase of remission are associated with cognitive impairment and the differences between premorbid intellectual quotient (IQ) subgroups.
Two hundred and sixty-six patients participated. The primary outcomes were cognitive dimensions, dopaminergic/anticholinergic load of AP [in chlorpromazine equivalents (Eq-CPZ) and the Anticholinergic Risk Scale (ARS), respectively].
Impairments in processing speed, verbal memory and global cognition were significantly associated with high Eq-CPZ and verbal impairment with high ARS score. Moreover, this effect was higher in the low IQ subgroup.
Clinicians should be aware of the potential cognitive impairment associated with AP in advanced remission FEP, particularly in lower premorbid IQ patients.
The aim of the present study was to assess the association between previous suicide attempts and functional impairment among euthymic patients with bipolar disorder (BD).
Seventy-one Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV (DSM-IV) patients with BD and 61 healthy volunteers were recruited from the Bipolar Disorder Program at the Clinic Hospital of Barcelona. Patients with (n = 36, 50.7%) and without (n = 35, 49.3%) previous suicide attempts were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR (SCID-P). Previous suicide attempts were carefully investigated by means of patient and caregiver interview and by a standard structured interview from the protocol of our BD Program. The Functioning Assessment Short Test (FAST) was employed to assess functional impairment.
Euthymic patients with previous suicide attempts showed functional impairment, particularly in occupational (F = 30.39; p = 0.001) and cognitive functioning (F = 18.43; p = 0.001). In addition, family history of psychiatric illness (χ2: 6.49; degrees of freedom (df) = 2;132; p = 0.010), family history of affective disorders (χ2 = 5.57; p = 0.017), psychotic symptoms (χ2 = 5.88; p = 0.014) and axis II comorbidity were associated with previous suicide attempts (χ2 = 5.16; p = 0.021).
Bipolar patients with previous suicide attempts had lower overall functioning than patients who did not attempt suicide. Previous suicide attempts were particularly associated with the occupational and cognitive domains of functioning.
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