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Data show impairment in Social Cognition (SC) in schizophrenia underlining also the diagnostic importance of neuroimaging in this area. So, it seems important to identify possible correlations between SC and structural brain abnormalities.
1)Evaluate differences in emotional recognition between schizophrenics and healthy controls and the structural characteristics of the anterior left and right thalamic radiation (TR) of both groups. 2)Identify possible association between sociocognitive abilities and structural characteristics of the thalamic radiation.
Investigate the relationship between anomalies in integrity and fiber orientation of anterior TR and sociocognitive performance in schizophrenia.
27 Schizophrenics (SCID-I), age-matched with 11 healthy controls, were evaluated with The awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT) to assess emotion and conversation literally and non-literally remarks recognition. DTI images –with measure of fractional anisotropy (FA) of TR– were collected using 3T-MRI scanner. Mixed-design ANOVA was performed on right and left FA. MANOVA was performed on TASIT.
Deficits in recognition of positive and negative emotions, perceive sarcasm, distinguish between truth and lies were observed. Moreover, significant negative correlations between FA of left TR and scores in “Positive Emotions” (r=-466,p=.019), “Total Emotions” (r=-411,p=.041), “Lie” (r=-451,p=.024) and a negative significant correlation between FA right TR and scores “sincerity” (r=-522,p=.009), were observed.
These preliminary results confirm that SC is impaired in schizophrenia and show that increased FA of left and right TR correlates with lower TASIT scores. These results highlight the role of TR in emotion regulation suggesting that structural anomalies could result in worse sociocognitive performance.
Recent randomized controlled trials suggest some efficacy for focused interventions in subjects at high risk (HR) for psychosis. However, treating HR subjects within the real-world setting of prodromal services is hindered by several practical problems that can significantly make an impact on the effect of focused interventions.
All subjects referred to Outreach and Support in South London (OASIS) and diagnosed with a HR state in the period 2001–2012 were included (n = 258). Exposure to focused interventions was correlated with sociodemographic and clinical characteristics at baseline. Their association with longitudinal clinical and functional outcomes was addressed at follow-up.
In a mean follow-up time of 6 years (s.d. = 2.5 years) a transition risk of 18% was observed. Of the sample, 33% were treated with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) only; 17% of subjects received antipsychotics (APs) in addition to CBT sessions. Another 17% of subjects were prescribed with antidepressants (ADs) in addition to CBT. Of the sample, 20% were exposed to a combination of interventions. Focused interventions had a significant relationship with transition to psychosis. The CBT + AD intervention was associated with a reduced risk of transition to psychosis, as compared with the CBT + AP intervention (hazards ratio = 0.129, 95% confidence interval 0.030–0.565, p = 0.007).
There were differential associations with transition outcome for AD v. AP interventions in addition to CBT in HR subjects. These effects were not secondary to baseline differences in symptom severity.
The majority of people at ultra high risk (UHR) of psychosis also present with co-morbid affective disorders such as depression or anxiety. The neuroanatomical and clinical impact of UHR co-morbidity is unknown.
We investigated group differences in grey matter volume using baseline magnetic resonance images from 121 participants in four groups: UHR with depressive or anxiety co-morbidity; UHR alone; major depressive disorder; and healthy controls. The impact of grey matter volume on baseline and longitudinal clinical/functional data was assessed with regression analyses.
The UHR-co-morbidity group had lower grey matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex than the UHR-alone group, with an intermediate effect between controls and patients with major depressive disorder. In the UHR-co-morbidity group, baseline anterior cingulate volume was negatively correlated with baseline suicidality/self-harm and obsessive–compulsive disorder symptoms.
Co-morbid depression and anxiety disorders contributed distinctive grey matter volume reductions of the anterior cingulate cortex in people at UHR of psychosis. These volumetric deficits were correlated with baseline measures of depression and anxiety, suggesting that co-morbid depressive and anxiety diagnoses should be carefully considered in future clinical and imaging studies of the psychosis high-risk state.
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