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According to the literature, schizophrenia begins in men earlier than in women. It has been argued that the gender-bound age difference is due to the protective antidopaminergic effect of estrogens in women. However, the effect of gender on the age of onset may vary between different types of schizophrenias, and can also be modulated by marital status and by age at onset of illness. Comprehensive data were collected on 3306 DSM IIR schizophrenia patients, aged 15–64 years, who had been discharged from psychiatric hospitals in Finland in 1982, 1986 and 1990. The age of onset of illness (AOI) was defined by the age at the first admission (AFA). Male patients were admitted earlier than female patients, and a small second peak in women appeared at the age of 40–44. However, there were no gender differences in AFA within diagnostic subgroups, except in paranoid schizophrenia in which AFA was lower in men than in women even when marital status was taken into account. Within paranoid schizophrenia, this effect of gender was significant only in those of the patients whose AFA was higher than 30 years. It is suggested that there is no gender difference in AOI in early onset schizophrenia. In later onset, paranoid schizophrenia, the illness seems to manifest in women later than in men.
Risk of psychosis is defined by the presence of positive psychotic-like symptoms, by subtle self-perceived cognitive and perceptual deficiencies, or by decreased functioning with familial risk of psychosis. We studied the associations of psychiatric outpatients' self-reported functioning and interpersonal relationships with vulnerability to and risk of psychosis.
A total of 790 young patients attending psychiatric outpatient care completed the PROD screen [Heinimaa M, Salokangas RKR, Ristkari T, Plathin M, Huttunen J, Ilonen T, et al. PROD-screen – a screen for prodromal symptoms of psychosis. Int J Meth Psychiatr Res 2003;12:92–04.], including questions on functioning, interpersonal relationships and subtle specific (psychotic-like) and non-specific symptoms. Vulnerability to psychosis was assessed employing the patient's written descriptions of specific symptoms. Of the patients vulnerable to psychosis, those at current risk of psychosis were assessed using the Bonn Scale for Assessment of Basic Symptoms [Schultze-Lutter F, Klosterkötter J. Bonn scale for assessment of basic symptoms – prediction list, BSABS-P. Cologne: University of Cologne; 2002] and the Structured Interview for Positive symptoms [Miller TJ, McGlashan TH, Rosen JL, Somjee L, Markovich PJ, Stein K, et al. Prospective diagnosis of the initial prodrome for schizophrenia based on the structured interview for prodromal syndromes: preliminary evidence of interrater reliability and predictive validity. Am J Psychiatry 2002;159:863–65.].
In all, 219 patients vulnerable to and 55 patients at current risk of psychosis were identified. Vulnerability to psychosis was associated with all items of functioning and interpersonal relationships. Current risk of psychosis, however, was associated only with the subjectively reported negative attitude of others. Negative attitude of others was also associated with feelings of reference at both vulnerability and risk levels.
The subjective experience of negative attitude of others towards oneself may be an early indicator of psychotic development.
The study evaluates the association of body mass index (BMI) with functioning in male and female patients with long-term schizophrenia.
722 long-term schizophrenia patients were interviewed three years after discharge from hospital. Their weight and height were recorded and data on their background, illness history, psychosocial functioning (Global Assessment Scale; GAS), health behaviour, daily doses of neuroleptics, and psychiatric symptoms were collected.
BMI correlated significantly with GAS scores in male (r = 0.202, p = 0.000) but not in female patients. In male patients, BMI associated significantly (p = 0.005) with GAS scores even when the effects of psychiatric symptoms and other confounding variables were taken into account.
In male but not in female long-term patients with schizophrenia, low BMI associates with poor functioning. It is suggested that among male schizophrenia patients, low BMI may be an indicator of poor functioning.
The quick and simple Depression Scale (DEPS) has been a popular self-rating depression scale in Finland for nearly 15 years. The purpose was to assess the validity of the DEPS in various subgroups of patients.
Materials and methods
Primary care patients, aged 18–64, completed a postal questionnaire including the DEPS. Of the 1643 patients all screen-positive subjects and every 10th screen-negative subject were invited for interview (the Present State Examination, PSE). Complete DEPS scores were available for 410 patients. They were grouped by gender, age, marital status, perceived physical health, basic education and the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST) score. Separately for each subgroup, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were done, sensitivity, specificity, area under the curve (AUC), predictive values and likelihood ratios were calculated, and Cronbach's α was estimated.
The DEPS was valid in general, but best for patients with basic education longer than 9 years.
The key statistical figures for the DEPS were comparable to the figures for other short self-rating scales.
The DEPS is a valid case finder for primary care patients in the age group 18–64 years, and especially suitable for more highly educated patients. Future studies comparing the DEPS with other simple depression rating scales are needed.
The aim of the current study was to explore the changing interrelationships among clinical variables through the stages of schizophrenia in order to assemble a comprehensive and meaningful disease model.
Twenty-nine centers from 25 countries participated and included 2358 patients aged 37.21 ± 11.87 years with schizophrenia. Multiple linear regression analysis and visual inspection of plots were performed.
The results suggest that with progression stages, there are changing correlations among Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale factors at each stage and each factor correlates with all the others in that particular stage, in which this factor is dominant. This internal structure further supports the validity of an already proposed four stages model, with positive symptoms dominating the first stage, excitement/hostility the second, depression the third, and neurocognitive decline the last stage.
The current study investigated the mental organization and functioning in patients with schizophrenia in relation to different stages of illness progression. It revealed two distinct “cores” of schizophrenia, the “Positive” and the “Negative,” while neurocognitive decline escalates during the later stages. Future research should focus on the therapeutic implications of such a model. Stopping the progress of the illness could demand to stop the succession of stages. This could be achieved not only by both halting the triggering effect of positive and negative symptoms, but also by stopping the sensitization effect on the neural pathways responsible for the development of hostility, excitement, anxiety, and depression as well as the deleterious effect on neural networks responsible for neurocognition.
The attachment theory suggests that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have an effect on how individuals perceive other people's attitude towards them. ACEs have also been associated with adult depression. We hypothesised that ACEs associate with perceived negative attitude of others (AoO) and depressive symptoms (DEPS), and that these associations differ between the genders.
Altogether, 692 participants drawn from the general population completed the Trauma and Distress Scale, as a measurement of ACE and its domains: emotional abuse (EmoAb), physical abuse (PhyAb), sexual abuse (SexAb), emotional neglect (EmoNeg) and physical neglect (PhyNeg); a visual analog scale with the question: “What kind of attitude do other people take towards you?”, and the self-report scale DEPS on depressive symptoms.
ACEs, AoO and DEPS correlated strongly with each other. In path analyses, ACE total and all its domains associated directly and indirectly, via DEPS, to negative AoO in the whole sample, and in females separately. ACE total, EmoAb, PhyAb, EmoNeg and PhyNeg associated directly and indirectly, via AoO, to DEPS in the whole sample and in both genders separately. EmoNeg, in all, and EmoAB, in males, had specific associations both with negative AoO and DEPS. Mediation effect via AoO was greater than via DEPS.
ACEs have a direct and indirect, via depression, negative effect on how adult individuals perceive other people's attitude towards themselves. Additionally, negative AoO mediates the effects of ACEs on depression. Childhood EmoNeg associates specifically with negative AoO and DEPS in adulthood.
El estudio evaluó la asociación entre el índice de masa corporal (IMC) y el funcionamiento psicosocial en hombres y mujeres con esquizofrenia de larga duración.
Se entrevistaron 722 pacientes con esquizofrenia de larga duración tres años después de recibir el alta del hospital. Se registraron el peso y la altura y se recogieron datos sobre antecedentes, evolución de la enfermedad, funcionamiento psicosocial (Escala de Evaluación Global; GAS), comportamiento saludable, dosis diarias de neurolépticos y síntomas psiquiátricos.
El IMC se correlacionó significativamente con las puntuaciones de GAS en hombres (r = 0,202, p = 0,000) pero no en mujeres. En hombres, el IMC se asoció significativamente (p = 0,005) con las puntuaciones de GAS incluso teniendo en cuenta los efectos de los síntomas psiquiátricos y otras variables contaminantes.
En hombres pero no en mujeres con esquizofrenia de larga duración, el IMC bajo se asocia con funcionamiento psicosocial deficiente. Se cree que en hombres con esquizofrenia, el IMC bajo puede ser un indicador de funcionamiento psicosocial deficiente.
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