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The aim of the current study was to explore the effect of gender, age at onset, and duration on the long-term course of schizophrenia.
Twenty-nine centers from 25 countries representing all continents participated in the study that included 2358 patients aged 37.21 ± 11.87 years with a DSM-IV or DSM-5 diagnosis of schizophrenia; the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale as well as relevant clinicodemographic data were gathered. Analysis of variance and analysis of covariance were used, and the methodology corrected for the presence of potentially confounding effects.
There was a 3-year later age at onset for females (P < .001) and lower rates of negative symptoms (P < .01) and higher depression/anxiety measures (P < .05) at some stages. The age at onset manifested a distribution with a single peak for both genders with a tendency of patients with younger onset having slower advancement through illness stages (P = .001). No significant effects were found concerning duration of illness.
Our results confirmed a later onset and a possibly more benign course and outcome in females. Age at onset manifested a single peak in both genders, and surprisingly, earlier onset was related to a slower progression of the illness. No effect of duration has been detected. These results are partially in accord with the literature, but they also differ as a consequence of the different starting point of our methodology (a novel staging model), which in our opinion precluded the impact of confounding effects. Future research should focus on the therapeutic policy and implications of these results in more representative samples.
The present study aimed to (i) evaluate the association between insight and measures of executive functions and working memory in a sample of 132 patients with schizophrenia and (ii) to explore to what proportion neurocognitive dysfunction contributed to the variance in insight after controlling for symptomatology.
Subjects were evaluated with a standardized neurocognitive test battery and a semi-structured interview, the Psychosis Evaluation tool for Common use by Caregivers (PECC). PECC, apart from evaluating symptoms and side-effects, measures insight on a 4-point scale by two of its dimensions: awareness of having a mental illness (AMI) and awareness of having symptoms attributed to a mental illness (ASAMI). Executive functioning was measured by the Wisconsin Card Sort Test (WCST) and the Trail Making B (TMB). Working memory was measured by the Letter Number Sequencing (LNS) test from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS).
Only one significant association was found after correction for multiple testing, between WCST categories completed and AMI (r = −0.29, p = 0.0006). WCST categories completed explained only 7.9% of the variance in AMI, while symptomatology explained 20% of variance in AMI and 16.5% of variance in ASAMI.
The current results show a significant but subtle association with the WCST, which is in agreement with earlier literature. No other associations between cognitive functioning and insight were found. In general, these findings seem to suggest that factors other than cognition have a greater impact on insight in patients with schizophrenia.
A recent consensus conference has proposed guidelines for the monitoring for diabetes in patients with schizophrenia and also identifies the need of long-term prospective studies.
A large scale prospective study on metabolic risks of antipsychotic medication is currently ongoing. At baseline, patients get a full laboratory screening, ECG and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Baseline data on 100 non-diabetic patients at study inclusion and stable on medication for at least 6 months are presented.
Glucose abnormalities are found in 22% of patients at baseline. A monitoring protocol based only on fasting glucose would not have detected 63.6% of these patients with classifiable glucose abnormalities in our sample. Fasting insulin and measures for insulin resistance have a high predictive value for abnormalities late in the OGTT.
Already at baseline, metabolic problems are frequently present in patients with schizophrenia treated with antipsychotics. Adding assessment of fasting insulin in a monitoring protocol improves detection of glucose abnormalities late in an OGTT.
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.
Una conferencia de consenso reciente ha propuesto directrices para el control de la diabetes en pacientes con esquizofrenia e identifica también la necesidad de estudios prospectivos a largo plazo.
Un estudio prospectivo a gran escala sobre los riesgos metabólicos de la medicación antipsicótica está en curso en la actualidad. En la línea de base, los pacientes pasan por una detección selectiva completa de laboratorio, ECG y una prueba oral de tolerancia a la glucosa (POTG). Se presentan los datos de línea de base sobre 100 pacientes que no eran diabéticos al incorporarse al estudio y se mantuvieron estables con la medicación durante 6 meses al menos.
Se encuentran anomalías de la glucosa en 22% de los pacientes en la línea de base. Un protocolo de control basado únicamente en la glucosa en ayunas no habría detectado a 63,6% de estos pacientes con anomalías clasificables de la glucosa en nuestra muestra. La insulina en ayunas y las medidas para la resistencia a la insulina tienen un elevado valor predictivo de anomalías posteriores en la POTG.
Los problemas metabólicos están presentes con frecuencia ya en la línea de base en los pacientes con esquizofrenia tratados con antipsicóticos. Añadir la evaluación de la insulina en ayunas en un protocolo de control mejora la deteccíon de anomalías de la glucosa más tarde en una POTG.
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