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Schizophrenia is a severe and complex psychiatric disorder that needs treatment based on extensive experience. Antipsychotic drugs have already become the cornerstone of the treatment for schizophrenia; however, the therapeutic effect is of significant variability among patients, and only around a third of patients with schizophrenia show good efficacy. Meanwhile, drug-induced metabolic syndrome and other side-effects significantly affect treatment adherence and prognosis. Therefore, strategies for drug selection are desperately needed. In this study, we will perform pharmacogenomics research and set up an individualised preferred treatment prediction model.
We aim to create a standard clinical cohort, with multidimensional index assessment of antipsychotic treatment for patients with schizophrenia.
This trial is designed as a randomised clinical trial comparing treatment with different kinds of antipsychotics. A total sample of 2000 patients with schizophrenia will be recruited from in-patient units from five clinical research centres. Using a computer-generated program, the participants will be randomly assigned to four treatment groups: aripiprazole, olanzapine, quetiapine and risperidone. The primary outcomes will be measured as changes in the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale of schizophrenia, which reflects the efficacy. Secondary outcomes include the measure of side-effects, such as metabolic syndromes. The efficacy evaluation and side-effects assessment will be performed at baseline, 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 3 months.
This trial will assess the efficacy and side effects of antipsychotics and create a standard clinical cohort with a multi-dimensional index assessment of antipsychotic treatment for schizophrenia patients.
This study aims to set up an individualized preferred treatment prediction model through the genetic analysis of patients using different kinds of antipsychotics.
A dysfunctional default mode network (DMN) has been reported in patients with schizophrenia. However, the stability of the deficits has not been determined across different stages of the disorder.
We examined the functional connectivity of the DMN subsystems of 125 patients with first-episode schizophrenia (FES) or recurrent schizophrenia (RES), compared to that of 82 healthy controls. We tested the robustness of the findings in an independent cohort of 158 patients and 39 healthy controls. We performed resting-state functional connectivity analysis, and examined the strength of the connections within and between the three subsystems of the DMN (core, dorsal medial prefrontal cortex [dMPFC], and medial temporal lobe [MTL]). We also analyzed the connectivity correlations to symptoms and illness duration.
We found reduced connectivity strength between the core and MTL subsystems in schizophrenia patients compared to controls, with no differences between the FES and RES patient groups; these findings were validated in the second sample. Schizophrenia patients also showed a significant reduction in connectivity within the MTL and between the dMPFC−MTL subsystems, similarly between FES and RES groups. The connectivity strength within the core subsystem was negatively correlated with clinical symptoms in schizophrenia. There was no significant correlation between the DMN subsystem connectivity and illness duration.
DMN subsystem connectivity deficits are present in schizophrenia, and the homochronicity of their appearance indicates the trait-like nature of these alterations. The DMN deficit may be useful for early diagnosis, and MTL dysfunction may be a crucial mechanism underlying schizophrenia.
Computerized cognitive remediation therapy (CCRT) is generally effective for the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia. However, there is much uncertainty about what factors mediate or moderate effectiveness and are therefore important to personalize treatment and boost its effects.
In total, 311 Chinese inpatients with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV schizophrenia were randomized to receive CCRT or Active control for 12 weeks with four to five sessions per week. All participants were assessed at baseline, post-treatment and 3-month follow-up. The outcomes were cognition, clinical symptoms and functional outcomes.
There was a significant benefit in the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) total score for CCRT (F1,258 = 5.62; p = 0.02; effect size was 0.27, 95% confidence interval 0.04–0.49). There were no specific moderators of CCRT improvements. However, across both groups, Wisconsin Card Sort Test improvement mediated a positive effect on functional capacity and Digit Span benefit mediated decreases in positive symptoms. In exploratory analyses younger and older participants showed cognitive improvements but on different tests (younger on Symbol Coding Test, while older on the Spatial Span Test). Only the older age group showed MSCEIT benefits at post-treatment. In addition, cognition at baseline negatively correlated with cognitive improvement and those whose MCCB baseline total score was around 31 seem to derive the most benefit.
CCRT can improve the cognitive function of patients with schizophrenia. Changes in cognitive outcomes also contributed to improvements in functional outcomes either directly or solely in the context of CCRT. Age and the basic cognitive level of the participants seem to affect the cognitive benefits from CCRT.
Whether there are distinct subtypes of schizophrenia is an important issue to advance understanding and treatment of schizophrenia.
To understand and treat individuals with schizophrenia, the aim was to advance understanding of differences between individuals, whether there are discrete subtypes, and how fist-episode patients (FEP) may differ from multiple episode patients (MEP).
These issues were analysed in 687 FEP and 1880 MEP with schizophrenia using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale for (PANSS) schizophrenia before and after antipsychotic medication for 6 weeks.
The seven Negative Symptoms were correlated with each other and with P2 (conceptual disorganisation), G13 (disturbance of volition), and G7 (motor retardation). The main difference between individuals was in the cluster of seven negative symptoms, which had a continuous unimodal distribution. Medication decreased the PANSS scores for all the symptoms, which were similar in the FEP and MEP groups.
The negative symptoms are a major source of individual differences, and there are potential implications for treatment.
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