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To what extent psychotic symptoms in first-episode psychosis (FEP) with a history of childhood interpersonal trauma (CIT) are less responsive to antipsychotic medication is not known. In this longitudinal study, we compare symptom trajectories and remission over the first 2 years of treatment in FEP with and without CIT and examine if differences are linked to the use of antipsychotics.
FEP (N = 191) were recruited from in- and outpatient services 1997–2000, and assessed at baseline, 3 months, 1 and 2 years. Inclusion criteria were 15–65 years, actively psychotic with a DSM-IV diagnosis of psychotic disorder and no previous adequate treatment for psychosis. Antipsychotic medication is reported as defined daily dosage (DDD). CIT (<18) was assessed with the Brief Betrayal Trauma Survey, and symptomatic remission based on scores from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale.
CIT (n = 63, 33%) was not associated with symptomatic remission at 2 years follow-up (71% in remission, 14% in relapse), or time to first remission (CIT 12/ no-CIT 9 weeks, p = 0.51). Those with CIT had significantly more severe positive, depressive, and excited symptoms. FEP with physical (N = 39, 20%) or emotional abuse (N = 22, 14, 7%) had higher DDD at 1 year (p < 0.05). Mean DDD did not excerpt a significant between-group effect on symptom trajectories of positive symptoms.
Results indicate that antipsychotic medication is equally beneficial in the achievement of symptomatic remission in FEP after 2 years independent of CIT. Still, FEP patients with CIT had more severe positive, depressive, and excited symptoms throughout.
Both neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental abnormalities have been suggested to be part of the etiopathology of severe mental illness (SMI). Neuron-specific enolase (NSE), mainly located in the neuronal cytoplasm, may indicate the process as it is upregulated after neuronal injury while a switch from non-neuronal enolase to NSE occurs during neuronal maturation.
We included 1132 adult patients with SMI [schizophrenia (SZ) or bipolar spectrum disorders], 903 adult healthy controls (HC), 32 adolescent patients with SMI and 67 adolescent HC. Plasma NSE concentrations were measured by enzyme immunoassay. For 842 adults and 85 adolescents, we used total grey matter volume (TGMV) based on T1-weighted magnetic resonance images processed in FreeSurfer v6.0. We explored NSE case-control differences in adults and adolescents separately. To investigate whether putative case-control differences in NSE were TGMV-dependent we controlled for TGMV.
We found significantly lower NSE concentrations in both adult (p < 0.001) and adolescent patients with SMI (p = 0.007) compared to HC. The results remained significant after controlling for TGMV. Among adults, both patients with SZ spectrum (p < 0.001) and bipolar spectrum disorders (p = 0.005) had lower NSE than HC. In both patient subgroups, lower NSE levels were associated with increased symptom severity. Among adults (p < 0.001) and adolescents (p = 0.040), females had lower NSE concentrations than males.
We found lower NSE concentrations in adult and adolescent patients with SMI compared to HC. The results suggest the lack of progressive neuronal injury, and may reflect abnormal neuronal maturation. This provides further support of a neurodevelopmental rather than a neurodegenerative mechanism in SMI.
Inflammation and immune activation have been implicated in the pathogenesis of severe mental disorders and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Despite high level of comorbidity, many studies of the immune system in severe mental disorders have not systematically taken cardiometabolic risk factors into account.
We investigated if inflammatory markers were increased in schizophrenia (SCZ) and affective (AFF) disorders independently of comorbid CVD risk factors. Cardiometabolic risk factors (blood lipids, body mass index and glucose) and CVD-related inflammatory markers CXCL16, soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R), soluble CD14 (sCD14), macrophage inhibitory factor and activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM) were measured in n = 992 patients (SCZ, AFF), and n = 647 healthy controls. We analyzed the inflammatory markers before and after controlling for comorbid cardiometabolic risk factors, and tested for association with psychotropic medication and symptom levels.
CXCL16 (p = 0.03) and sIL-2R (p = 7.8 × 10−5) were higher, while sCD14 (p = 0.05) were lower in patients compared to controls after controlling for confounders, with significant differences in SCZ for CXCL16 (p = 0.04) and sIL-2R (p = 1.1 × 10−5). After adjustment for cardiometabolic risk factors higher levels of sIL-2R (p = 0.001) and lower sCD14 (p = 0.002) remained, also in SCZ (sIL-2R, p = 3.0 × 10−4 and sCD14, p = 0.01). The adjustment revealed lower ALCAM levels (p = 0.03) in patients. We found no significant associations with psychotropic medication or symptom levels.
The results indicate that inflammation, in particular enhanced T cell activation and impaired monocyte activation, are associated with severe mental disorders independent of comorbid cardiometabolic risk factors. This suggests a role of novel pathophysiological mechanisms in severe mental disorders, particularly SCZ.
There is highly replicated positive correlation between longer duration
of untreated psychosis and poorer outcome
To study the effect of early intervention in first psychosis on one-year
outcome using an historical quasi-experimental design
We compare the outcome of two samples of first-episode psychosis from the
same healthcare district at different time periods. The historical
control sample was assessed during 19931994, before the establishment of
a system for early detection of psychosis. The experimental sample is the
early detection sample in the Early Treatment and Intervention in
Psychosis study assessed during 1997–2000
At 1-year follow-up, the early detection group was younger, had a smaller
fraction of individuals with schizophrenia, had less severe negative and
general symptoms and had more friends in the past year than the
historical control group. No differences were found in clinical course
(remission, relapse, continuously psychotic) or positive symptoms, but
more patients in the early detection sample were treated as outpatients
Early detection of schizophrenia in one healthcare sector is associated
with less severe deterioration at 1 year
Early detection programmes aim to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) by public education and by prompt access to treatment via active outreach detection teams.
To determine whether those with first-episode psychosis in an early detection healthcare area with existing referral channels differ from those who access care via detection teams.
Those with first-episode psychosis recruited via detection teams were compared with those accessing treatment via conventional channels, at baseline and after 3 months of acute treatment.
Patients recruited via detection teams are younger males with a longer DUP a less dramatic symptom picture and better functioning; however they recover more slowly, and have more symptoms at 3-month follow-up.
After establishing low threshold active case-seeking detection teams, we found clear differences between those patients entering treatment via detection teams v. those obtaining treatment via the usual channels. Such profiling may be informative for early detection service development.
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