Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 39

Schizophrenia Related Abstracts

39 Effect of Risperidone and Haloperidol on Clinical Picture and Some Biochemical Parameters of Schizophrenic Libyan Patients

Authors: Mabruka S. Elashheb, Adullah Ali Bakush


Schizophrenia is referred to as a disorder, not a disease, because there has not been any clear, reliable, and specific etiological factor. Even if schizophrenia is not a very frequent disease, it is among the most burdensome and costly illnesses worldwide. Prevention of relapse is a major goal of maintenance treatment in patients with psychotic disorders. We performed a comparison of a newer, atypical antipsychotic drug, Risperidone, and an older, conventional neuroleptic drug, Haloperidol, in terms of the effect on the usual kidney and liver functions and negative and positive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder after three and five weeks of their treatments. It is apparent from the comparative data of Haloperidol and Risperidone treatments in schizophrenic patients that Resperidone had superior improvement of negative and positive symptoms of patients, no harmful effect on liver and kidney functions and greater efficacy and faster recovery from schizophrenic symptoms in patients. On the basis of our findings of the present study, we concluded that treatment with Risperidone is superior to Haloperidol in reducing the risk of relapse among outpatients with schizophrenic disorders.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Haloperidol, Risperidone, positive and negative symptom

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38 Is Presence of Psychotic Features Themselves Carry a Risk for Metabolic Syndrome?

Authors: Rady A., Elsheshai A., Elsawy M., Nagui R.


Background and Aim: Metabolic syndrome affect around 20% of general population , authors have incriminated antipsychotics as serious risk factor that may provoke such derangement. The aim of our study is to assess metabolic syndrome in patients presenting psychotic features (delusions and hallucinations) whether schizophrenia or mood disorder and compare results in terms of drug naïf, on medication and healthy control. Subjects and Methods: The study recruited 40 schizophrenic patients, half of them drug naïf and the other half on antipsychotics, 40 patients with mood disorder with psychotic features, half of them drug naïf and the other half on medication, 20 healthy control. Exclusion criteria were put in order to exclude patients having already endocrine or metabolic disorders that my interfere with results obtain to minimize confusion bias. Metabolic syndrome assessed by measuring parameters including weight, body mass index, waist circumference, triglyceride level, HDL, fasting glucose, fasting insulin and insulin resistance Results: No difference was found when comparing drug naïf to those on medication in both schizophrenic and psychotic mood disorder arms, schizophrenic patients whether on medication or drug naïf should difference with control group for fasting glucose, schizophrenic patients on medication also showed difference in insulin resistance compared to control group. On the other hand, patients with psychotic mood disorder whether drug naïf or on medication showed difference from control group for fasting insulin level. Those on medication also differed from control for insulin resistance Conclusion: Our study didn’t reveal difference in metabolic syndrome among patients with psychotic features whether on medication or drug naïf. Only patients with Psychotic features on medication showed insulin resistance. Schizophrenic patients drug naïf or on medication tend to show higher fasting glucose while psychotic mood disorder whether drug naïf or on medication tend to show higher fasting insulin. This study suggest that presence of psychotic features themselves regardless being on medication or not carries a risk for insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Limitation: This study is limited by number of participants and larger numbers in future studies should be included in order to extrapolate results. Cohort longitudinal studies are needed in order to evaluate such hypothesis.

Keywords: Resistance, Schizophrenia, metabolic syndrome, psychosis, insulin

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37 Can Antipsychotics Use for Schizophrenia on Long Term Lower Serum Cortisol Level?

Authors: Rady A., Elsheshai A., Eltawel M.


Introduction and Aim of work: Literature suggest that antipsychotic medications may decrease cortisol level, an effect that seems to be more present with second generation antipsychotic. Our study aims at assessing effect of long term use of antipsychotics on cortisol level Subjects and Methods: 30 chronic schizophrenic patients on antipsychotics compared to 20 drug naive schizophrenic patients as regards serum cortisol level Results: Cortisol level was significantly lower in chronic schizophrenic patients receiving antipsychotics compared to drug naive patients (P=0.002 <0.05) Conclusion: Antipsychotic medications seem to have the potential to decrease cortisol level in blood. Among hypothesis proposed in literature is the good control of pseudo stress due to psychotic features.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Antipsychotic, cortisol, HPA

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36 Validation of the Arabic Version of the InterSePT Scale for Suicidal Thinking (ISST) among the Arab Population in Qatar

Authors: S. Hammoudeh, S. Ghuloum, A. Abdelhakam, A. AlMujalli, M. Opler, Y. Hani, A. Yehya, S. Mari, R. Elsherbiny, Z. Mahfoud, H. Al-Amin


Introduction: Suicidal ideation and attempts are very common in patients with schizophrenia and still contributes to the high mortality in this population. The InterSePT Scale for Suicidal Thinking (ISST) is a validated tool used to assess suicidal ideation in patients with schizophrenia. This research aims to validate the Arabic version of the ISST among the Arabs residing in Qatar. Methods: Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia were recruited from the department of Psychiatry, Rumailah Hospital, Doha, Qatar. Healthy controls were recruited from the primary health care centers in Doha, Qatar. The validation procedures including professional and expert translation, pilot survey and back translation of the ISST were implemented. Diagnosis of schizophrenia was confirmed using the validated Arabic version of Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI 6, module K) for schizophrenia. The gold standard was the module B on suicidality from MINI 6 also. This module was administered by a rater who was blinded to the results of ISST. Results: Our sample (n=199) was composed of 98 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (age 36.03 ± 9.88 years; M/F is 2/1) and 101 healthy participants (age 35.01 ± 8.23 years; M/F is 1/2). Among patients with schizophrenia: 26.5% were married, 17.3% had a college degree, 28.6% were employed, 9% had committed suicide once, and 4.4% had more than 4 suicide attempts. Among the control group: 77.2% were married, 57.4% had a college degree, and 99% were employed. The mean score on the ISST was 2.36 ± 3.97 vs. 0.47 ± 1.44 for the schizophrenia and control groups, respectively. The overall Cronbach’s alpha was 0.91. Conclusions: This is the first study in the Arab world to validate the ISST in an Arabic-based population. The psychometric properties indicate that the Arabic version of the ISST is a valid tool to assess the severity of suicidal ideation in Arabic speaking patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Mental Health, Suicide, Qatar

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35 Validation of the Arabic Version of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS)

Authors: Arij Yehya, Suhaila Ghuloum, Abdlmoneim Abdulhakam, Azza Al-Mujalli, Mark Opler, Samer Hammoudeh, Yahya Hani, Sundus Mari, Reem Elsherbiny, Ziyad Mahfoud, Hassen Al-Amin


Introduction: The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) is a valid instrument developed by Kay and colleagues6 to assess symptoms of patients with schizophrenia. It consists of 30 items that factor the symptoms into three subscales: positive, negative and general psychopathology. This scale has been translated and validated in several languages. Objective: This study aims to determine the validity and psychometric properties of the Arabic version of the PANSS. Methods: A standardized translation and cultural adaptation method was adopted. Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (n=98), according to psychiatrist’s diagnosis based on DSM-IV criteria, were recruited from the Psychiatry Department at Rumailah Hospital, Qatar. A first rater confirmed the diagnosis using the Arabic version of Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI 6). A second and independent rater-administered the Arabic version of PANSS. Also, a control group (n=101), with no history of psychiatric disorder was recruited from the family and friends of the patients and from primary health care centers in Qatar. Results: There were more males than females in our sample of patients with schizophrenia (68.9% and 31.6%, respectively). On the other hand, in the control group the number of females outweighed that of males (58.4% and 41.6% respectively). The scale had a good internal consistency with Cronbach’s alpha 0.91. There was a significant difference between the scores on the three subscales of the PANSS. Patients with schizophrenia scored significantly higher (p<.0001) than the control subjects on subscales for positive symptoms 20.01(SD=7.21) and 7.30(SD=1.38), negative symptoms 18.89(SD=8.88) and 7.37(SD=2.38) and general psychopathology 34.41 (SD=11.56) and 16.93 (SD=3.93), respectively. Factor analysis and ROC curve were carried out to further test the psychometrics of the scale. Conclusions: The Arabic version of PANSS is a reliable and valid tool to assess both positive and negative symptoms of patients with schizophrenia in a balanced manner. In addition to providing the Arab population with a standardized tool to monitor symptoms of schizophrenia, this version provides a gateway to compare the prevalence of positive and negative symptoms in the Arab world which can be compared to others done elsewhere.

Keywords: Diagnosis, Schizophrenia, Validation, Assessment, Arabic version

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34 Improving Our Understanding of the in vivo Modelling of Psychotic Disorders

Authors: Zsanett Bahor, Cristina Nunes-Fonseca, Gillian L. Currie, Emily S. Sena, Lindsay D.G. Thomson, Malcolm R. Macleod


Psychosis is ranked as the third most disabling medical condition in the world by the World Health Organization. Despite a substantial amount of research in recent years, available treatments are not universally effective and have a wide range of adverse side effects. Since many clinical drug candidates are identified through in vivo modelling, a deeper understanding of these models, and their strengths and limitations, might help us understand reasons for difficulties in psychosis drug development. To provide an unbiased summary of the preclinical psychosis literature we performed a systematic electronic search of PubMed for publications modelling a psychotic disorder in vivo, identifying 14,721 relevant studies. Double screening of 11,000 publications from this dataset so far established 2403 animal studies of psychosis, with the most common model being schizophrenia (95%). 61% of these models are induced using pharmacological agents. For all the models only 56% of publications test a therapeutic treatment. We propose a systematic review of these studies to assess the prevalence of reporting of measures to reduce risk of bias, and a meta-analysis to assess the internal and external validity of these animal models. Our findings are likely to be relevant to future preclinical studies of psychosis as this generation of strong empirical evidence has the potential to identify weaknesses, areas for improvement and make suggestions on refinement of experimental design. Such a detailed understanding of the data which inform what we think we know will help improve the current attrition rate between bench and bedside in psychosis research.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Animal models, psychosis, systematic review

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33 Analysis of iPSC-Derived Dopaminergic Neuron Susceptibility to Influenza and Excitotoxicity in Non-Affective Psychosis

Authors: Jamileh Ahmed, Helena Hernandez, Gabriel De Erausquin


H1N1 virus susceptibility of iPSC-derived DA neurons from schizophrenia patients and controls will compared. C57/BL-6 fibroblasts were reprogrammed into iPSCs using a lenti-viral vector containing SOKM genes. Pluripotency verification with the AP assay and immunocytochemistry ensured iPSC presence. The experimental outcome of ISPCs from DA neuron differentiation will be discussed in the Results section. Fibroblasts from patients and controls will be reprogrammed into iPSCs using a sendai-virus vector containing SOKM. IPSCs will be characterized using the AP assay, immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR. IPSCs will then be differentiated into DA neurons. Gene methylation will be compared for both groups with custom-designed microarrays.

Keywords: Neuroscience, Stem Cells, Schizophrenia, iPSCs

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32 A Comparative Psychological Interventional Study of Nicotine Dependence in Schizophrenic Patients

Authors: S. Madhusudhan, G. V. Vaniprabha


Worldwide statistics have shown that smoking contributes significantly to mortality, with nicotine, being more addictive. Smoking causes more than 7,00,000 deaths/year in India. Compared to the general population, the prevalence of smoking is found to be much higher among people with psychotic disorders and, more so in schizophrenia. Schizophrenic patients who smoke tend to have higher frequency of heavy smoking, with rates ranging from 60% to as high as 80%. Hence, smokers with psychiatric disorders suffer higher rates of morbidity and mortality secondary to smoking related illnesses.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, brief intervention, nicotine dependence

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31 Hallucinatory Activity in Schizophrenia: The Relationship with Childhood Memories, Submissive Behavior, Social Comparison, and Depression

Authors: Célia Barreto Carvalho, Carolina da Motta, José Pinto-Gouveia, Ermelindo Bernardo Peixoto


Auditory hallucinations among the most invalidating and distressing experiences reported by patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, leading to feelings of powerlessness and helplessness towards their illness. In more severe cases, these auditory hallucinations can take the form of commanding voices, which are often related to high suicidality rates in these patients. Several authors propose that the meanings attributed to the hallucinatory experience, rather than characteristics like form and content, can be determinant in patients’ reactions to hallucinatory activity, particularly in the case of voice-hearing experiences. In this study, 48 patients diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia presenting auditory hallucinations were studied. Multiple regression analyses were computed to study the influence of several developmental aspects, such as family and social dynamics, bullying, depression, and socio-cognitive variables on the auditory hallucinations, on patients’ attributions and relationships with their voices, and on the resulting invalidation of hallucinatory experience. Overall, results showed how relationships with voices can mirror several aspects of interpersonal relationship with others, and how self-schemas, depression and actual social relationships help shaping the voice-hearing experience. Early experiences of victimization and submission help predict the attributions of omnipotence of the voices, and increased hostility from parents seems to increase the malevolence of the voices, suggesting that socio-cognitive factors can significantly contribute to the etiology and maintenance of auditory hallucinations. The understanding of the characteristics of auditory hallucinations and the relationships patients established with their voices can allow the development of more promising therapeutic interventions that can be more effective in decreasing invalidation caused by this devastating mental illness.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, beliefs, auditory hallucination, life events

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30 Anti-DNA Antibodies from Patients with Schizophrenia Hydrolyze DNA

Authors: Evgeny A. Ermakov, Lyudmila P. Smirnova, Valentina N. Buneva


Schizophrenia associated with dysregulation of neurotransmitter processes in the central nervous system and disturbances in the humoral immune system resulting in the formation of antibodies (Abs) to the various components of the nervous tissue. Abs to different neuronal receptors and DNA were detected in the blood of patients with schizophrenia. Abs hydrolyzing DNA were detected in pool of polyclonal autoantibodies in autoimmune and infectious diseases, such catalytic Abs were named abzymes. It is believed that DNA-hydrolyzing abzymes are cytotoxic, cause nuclear DNA fragmentation and induce cell death by apoptosis. Abzymes with DNAase activity are interesting because of the mechanism of formation and the possibility of use as diagnostic markers. Therefore, in our work we have set following goals: to determine the level anti-DNA Abs in the serum of patients with schizophrenia and to study DNA-hydrolyzing activity of IgG of patients with schizophrenia. Materials and methods: In our study there were included 41 patients with a verified diagnosis of paranoid or simple schizophrenia and 24 healthy donors. Electrophoretically and immunologically homogeneous IgGs were obtained by sequential affinity chromatography of the serum proteins on protein G-Sepharose and gel filtration. The levels of anti-DNA Abs were determined using ELISA. DNA-hydrolyzing activity was detected as the level of supercoiled pBluescript DNA transition in circular and linear forms, the hydrolysis products were analyzed by agarose electrophoresis followed by ethidium bromide stain. To correspond the registered catalytic activity directly to the antibodies we carried out a number of strict criteria: electrophoretic homogeneity of the antibodies, gel filtration (acid shock analysis) and in situ activity. Statistical analysis was performed in ‘Statistica 9.0’ using the non-parametric Mann-Whitney test. Results: The sera of approximately 30% of schizophrenia patients displayed a higher level of Abs interacting with single-stranded (ssDNA) and double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) compared with healthy donors. The average level of Abs interacting with ssDNA was only 1.1-fold lower than that for interacting with dsDNA. IgG of patient with schizophrenia were shown to possess DNA hydrolyzing activity. Using affinity chromatography, electrophoretic analysis of isolated IgG homogeneity, gel filtration in acid shock conditions and in situ DNAse activity analysis we proved that the observed activity is intrinsic property of studied antibodies. We have shown that the relative DNAase activity of IgG in patients with schizophrenia averaged 55.4±32.5%, IgG of healthy donors showed much lower activity (average of 9.1±6.5%). It should be noted that DNAase activity of IgG in patients with schizophrenia with a negative symptoms was significantly higher (73.3±23.8%), than in patients with positive symptoms (43.3±33.1%). Conclusion: Anti-DNA Abs of patients with schizophrenia not only bind DNA, but quite efficiently hydrolyze the substrate. The data show a correlation with the level of DNase activity and leading symptoms of patients with schizophrenia.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, anti-DNA antibodies, abzymes, DNA hydrolysis

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29 Temperament and Psychopathology in Children of Patients Suffering from Schizophrenia

Authors: Rushi Naaz, Diksha Suchdeva


Background: Temperament is a very important aspect of functioning that needs to be understood in children of patients suffering from schizophrenia. The children of parents with mental disorder have substantially increased risk of psychiatric illness in them and may exhibit a range of problems from minor variations in temperament and adjustment to manifest psychiatric disorder. Method: A case control study was conducted to study the temperament characteristics and psychopathology in children of patients suffering from schizophrenia as compared to those of healthy controls. Both the groups were evaluated on Temperament Measurement Schedule and Childhood Psychopathology Measurement Schedule. Results: The results showed that children of patients suffering from schizophrenia were withdrawing, less adaptable, less sociable and had lower activity level than children of healthy parents. However, on the measure of psychopathology, no significant difference was found. Conclusion: Since temperament can be identified at an early age, children at risk for the disorder later on could be identified early enough for possible primary intervention.

Keywords: Psychiatric Disorders, Schizophrenia, Children, temperament, childhood psychopathology, parental psychopathology

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28 Genome-Wide Significant SNPs Proximal to Nicotinic Receptor Genes Impact Cognition in Schizophrenia

Authors: Mohammad Ahangari


Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder with symptoms that include cognitive deficits and nicotine has been suggested to have an effect on cognition. In recent years, the advents of Genome-Wide Association Studies(GWAS) has evolved our understanding about the genetic causes of complex disorders such as schizophrenia and studying the role of genome-wide significant genes could potentially lead to the development of new therapeutic agents for treatment of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. The current study identified six Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) from schizophrenia and smoking GWAS that are located on or in close proximity to the nicotinic receptor gene cluster (CHRN) and studied their association with cognition in an Irish sample of 1297 cases and controls using linear regression analysis. Further on, the interaction between CHRN gene cluster and Dopamine receptor D2 gene (DRD2) during working memory was investigated. The effect of these polymorphisms on nicotinic and dopaminergic neurotransmission, which is disrupted in schizophrenia, have been characterized in terms of their effects on memory, attention, social cognition and IQ as measured by a neuropsychological test battery and significant effects in two polymorphisms were found across global IQ domain of the test battery.

Keywords: Cognition, Schizophrenia, gwas, Dopamine, nicotine, SNPs

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27 Microglia Activation in Animal Model of Schizophrenia

Authors: Esshili Awatef, Manitz Marie-Pierre, Eßlinger Manuela, Gerhardt Alexandra, Plümper Jennifer, Wachholz Simone, Friebe Astrid, Juckel Georg


Maternal immune activation (MIA) resulting from maternal viral infection during pregnancy is a known risk factor for schizophrenia. The neural mechanisms by which maternal infections increase the risk for schizophrenia remain unknown, although the prevailing hypothesis argues that an activation of the maternal immune system induces changes in the maternal-fetal environment that might interact with fetal brain development. It may lead to an activation of fetal microglia inducing long-lasting functional changes of these cells. Based on post-mortem analysis showing an increased number of activated microglial cells in patients with schizophrenia, it can be hypothesized that these cells contribute to disease pathogenesis and may actively be involved in gray matter loss observed in such patients. In the present study, we hypothesize that prenatal treatment with the inflammatory agent Poly(I:C) during embryogenesis at contributes to microglial activation in the offspring, which may, therefore, represent a contributing factor to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and underlines the need for new pharmacological treatment options. Pregnant rats were treated with intraperitoneal injections a single dose of Poly(I:C) or saline on gestation day 17. Brains of control and Poly(I:C) offspring, were removed and into 20-μm-thick coronal sections were cut by using a Cryostat. Brain slices were fixed and immunostained with ba1 antibody. Subsequently, Iba1-immunoreactivity was detected using a secondary antibody, goat anti-rabbit. The sections were viewed and photographed under microscope. The immunohistochemical analysis revealed increases in microglia cell number in the prefrontal cortex, in offspring of poly(I:C) treated-rats as compared to the controls injected with NaCl. However, no significant differences were observed in microglia activation in the cerebellum among the groups. Prenatal immune challenge with Poly(I:C) was able to induce long-lasting changes in the offspring brains. This lead to a higher activation of microglia cells in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region critical for many higher brain functions, including working memory and cognitive flexibility. which might be implicated in possible changes in cortical neuropil architecture in schizophrenia. Further studies will be needed to clarify the association between microglial cells activation and schizophrenia-related behavioral alterations.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, neuroinflammation, microglia, PolyI:C

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26 [Keynote Talk]: Mental Health Challenges among Women in Dubai, Mental Health Needs Assessment for Dubai (2015), Public Health and Safety Department - Dubai Health Authority (DHA)

Authors: Kadhim Alabady


Purpose: Mental health problems affect women and men equally, but some are more common among women. To Provide a baseline of the current picture of major mental health challenges among women in Dubai. which can then be used to measure the impact of interventions or service development. Method: We have used mixed methods evaluation approaches. This was used to increase the validity of findings by using a variety of data collection techniques. We have integrated qualitative and quantitative methods in this piece of work. Conducting the two approaches is to explore issues that might not be highlighted enough through one method. Results: The key findings are: The prevalence of people who suffer from different types of mental disorders remains largely unknown, many women are unwilling to seek professional help because of lack of awareness or the stigma attached to it. -It is estimated there were around 2,928–4,392 mothers in Dubai (2014) suffering from postnatal depression of which 858–1,287, early intervention can be effective. -The system for managing health care for women with mental illness is fragmented and contains gaps and duplications. -It is estimated 1,029 girl aged 13–19 years affected with anorexia nervosa and there would be an estimated 1,029 girl aged 13–19 years affected with anorexia nervosa. Recommendations: -Work is required with primary health care in order to identify women with undiagnosed mental illnesses. Further work is undertaken within primary health care to assess disease registries with the aim of helping GP practices to improve their disease registers. -It is important to conduct local psychiatric morbidity surveys in Dubai to obtain data and assess the prevalence of essential mental health symptoms and conditions that are not routinely collected to get a clear sense of what is needed and to assist decision and policy making in getting a complete picture on what services are required. -Emergency Mental Health Care – there is a need for a crisis response team to respond to emergencies in the community. -Continuum of care – a significant gap in the services for women once they diagnosed with mental disorder.

Keywords: Women, Schizophrenia, Mental Health, Depression

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25 Prospective Study to Determine the Efficacy of Day Hospital Care to Improve Treatment Adherence for Hospitalized Schizophrenic Patients

Authors: Sun Woo Lee, So Hyun Ahn, Jin Hun Choi, Seong Keun Wang, Ik-Seung Chee, Jung Lan Kim


Objectives: The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of day hospital care in hospitalized schizophrenic patients in terms of treatment adherence and treatment outcomes. Methods: Among schizophrenic patients hospitalized between 2011 and 2012, 23 day hospital care patient and 40 control subjects were included in the study. All candidates underwent Beck Cognitive Insight Scale, Drug Attitude Inventory, World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment and Psychological Well-Being Scale when their symptoms were stabilized during hospitalization, and after being discharged, 23 patients received day hospital care for two months and then changed to out-patient care while 40 patients received out-patient care immediately after discharge. At the point of two months of out-patient care, the treatment adherence of the two groups was evaluated; tracking observation was performed until February, 2013, and survival rates were compared between the two groups. Results: Treatment adherence was higher in the day hospital care group than in the control group. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed a higher survival rate for the day hospital care group compared to the control group. Levels of cognitive insight and quality of life were higher after day hospital care than before day hospital care in the day hospital care group. Conclusions: Through the study, it was confirmed that when hospitalized schizophrenic patients received continuous day hospital care after being discharged, they received further out-patient care more faithfully. The study is considered to aid in the understanding regarding schizophrenic patients’ treatment adherence issues and improvement of treatment outcomes.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Adherence, outcomes, day hospital care

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24 Neural Correlates of Diminished Humor Comprehension in Schizophrenia: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Authors: Przemysław Adamczyk, Mirosław Wyczesany, Aleksandra Domagalik, Artur Daren, Kamil Cepuch, Piotr Błądziński, Tadeusz Marek, Andrzej Cechnicki


The present study aimed at evaluation of neural correlates of humor comprehension impairments observed in schizophrenia. To investigate the nature of this deficit in schizophrenia and to localize cortical areas involved in humor processing we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The study included chronic schizophrenia outpatients (SCH; n=20), and sex, age and education level matched healthy controls (n=20). The task consisted of 60 stories (setup) of which 20 had funny, 20 nonsensical and 20 neutral (not funny) punchlines. After the punchlines were presented, the participants were asked to indicate whether the story was comprehensible (yes/no) and how funny it was (1-9 Likert-type scale). fMRI was performed on a 3T scanner (Magnetom Skyra, Siemens) using 32-channel head coil. Three contrasts in accordance with the three stages of humor processing were analyzed in both groups: abstract vs neutral stories - incongruity detection; funny vs abstract - incongruity resolution; funny vs neutral - elaboration. Additionally, parametric modulation analysis was performed using both subjective ratings separately in order to further differentiate the areas involved in incongruity resolution processing. Statistical analysis for behavioral data used U Mann-Whitney test and Bonferroni’s correction, fMRI data analysis utilized whole-brain voxel-wise t-tests with 10-voxel extent threshold and with Family Wise Error (FWE) correction at alpha = 0.05, or uncorrected at alpha = 0.001. Between group comparisons revealed that the SCH subjects had attenuated activation in: the right superior temporal gyrus in case of irresolvable incongruity processing of nonsensical puns (nonsensical > neutral); the left medial frontal gyrus in case of incongruity resolution processing of funny puns (funny > nonsensical) and the interhemispheric ACC in case of elaboration of funny puns (funny > neutral). Additionally, the SCH group revealed weaker activation during funniness ratings in the left ventro-medial prefrontal cortex, the medial frontal gyrus, the angular and the supramarginal gyrus, and the right temporal pole. In comprehension ratings the SCH group showed suppressed activity in the left superior and medial frontal gyri. Interestingly, these differences were accompanied by protraction of time in both types of rating responses in the SCH group, a lower level of comprehension for funny punchlines and a higher funniness for absurd punchlines. Presented results indicate that, in comparison to healthy controls, schizophrenia is characterized by difficulties in humor processing revealed by longer reaction times, impairments of understanding jokes and finding nonsensical punchlines more funny. This is accompanied by attenuated brain activations, especially in the left fronto-parietal and the right temporal cortices. Disturbances of the humor processing seem to be impaired at the all three stages of the humor comprehension process, from incongruity detection, through its resolution to elaboration. The neural correlates revealed diminished neural activity of the schizophrenia brain, as compared with the control group. The study was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland (grant no 2014/13/B/HS6/03091).

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Humor, Communication Skills, functional magnetic resonance imaging

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23 Preliminary Studies: Relationship between Serum Level of Vitamin D and Symptoms of Schizophrenia Measured by Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in Sumatera Utara

Authors: Novi Prasanty, Mustafa Ma, Elmeida Effendy


Background: Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that most often encountered. Nearly 1% of the world population suffers from schizophrenia during their lifetime. Schizophrenia is a severe form of psychotic disorders, and tend to be chronic. Vitamin D plays crucial roles in neuroprotection and neurodevelopment, and low levels are commonly associated with schizophrenia. Lower vitamin D levels were correlated with more severe positive, negative, and overall symptoms in schizophrenia patient men and women. Methods: 54 schizophrenic patients, male and female, who are diagnosed with semistructured MINI ICD-X. A symptom of schizophrenia was measured by using positive and negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Examination of serum vitamin D using ELFA. Analysis to compare the serum levels of vitamin D male and female with Independent T-test, and the relationship between serum level of vitamin D and symptom with correlation. Results: In this study serum levels in male schizophrenic patients 22.12 (4.16), and 16.54 (2.88) in female schizophrenic patients. There are differences in male schizophrenic patients and women (p < 0.001). The negative correlation between serum levels of vitamin D in the PANSS total score in patients with schizophrenic male with r -0.58, p (0,016), and the female schizophrenic patients with r -0.69, p (0.031). Conclusion and Suggestion: There is a negative correlation between serum levels of vitamin D with a total score of PANSS, the lower the serum levels of vitamin D, the higher the total score of the PANSS.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, PANSS, serum levels of vitamin D, severity illness

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22 CYP2D6*4 Allele Frequency and Extrapyramidal Side Effects during Haloperidol Therapy Among Russians and Tatars: A Pilot Study

Authors: Irina S. Burashnikova, Dmitriy A. Sychev, Ruslan Y. Kazakov


Сytochrome P450 CYP2D6 activity affects antipsychotic therapy safety. CYP2D6*4 polymorphism frequency varies among different ethnic groups. We studied CYP2D6*4 polymorphism frequency in Tatar and Russian schizophrenic patients and association of CYP2D6*4 polymorphism and extrapyramidal disorders (EPD) frequency in schizophrenic patients on haloperidol monotherapy in daily doses up to 20 mg. Results: Heterozygous CYP2D6*4 allele carrier frequency among Tatars was lower (23.8% vs 32.4% in Russians), but the differences did not reach statistical significance. CYP2D6*4 allele frequency among Tatars was also lower (11.9% vs 24.3% in Russians), but the difference was not quite significant (p=0.0592). Average daily haloperidol dose in the group without EPD was significantly higher than in the group with EPD (11.35±4.6 vs 13.87±3.3 mg, p=0.0252), but average daily haloperidol dose/weight ratios in the compared groups had no significant differences. Statistically significant association between EPD development and heterozygous CYP2D6*1/*4 genotype and CYP2D6*4 allele carrier frequency was revealed among all schizophrenic patients and among those of Tatar nationality. Further well designed pharmacogenetic studies in different Russian regions are needed to improve psychotropic therapy safety and to establish evidence-based indications for pharmacogenetic testing in clinical practice.

Keywords: Pharmacogenetics, Schizophrenia, Antipsychotic, CYP2D6 polymorphism, ethnic differences of CYP2D6*4 allele frequency, extrapyramidal side effects/disorder, Russians, Tatars

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21 Comparison Serum Vitamin D by Geographic between the Highland and Lowland Schizophrenic Patient in the Sumatera Utara

Authors: Elmeida Effendy, Novita Linda Akbar, Mustafa M. Amin


Background: The most common of psychotic disorders is schizophrenia. Vitamin D is made from sunlight, and in the skin from UVB radiation from sunlight. If people with Vitamin D deficiency is common severe mental illness such as schizophrenia.Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness characterised by positive symptoms and negatives symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, flat affect and lack of motivation we can found. In patients with Schizophrenia maybe have several environmental risk factors for schizophrenia, such as season of birth, latitude, and climate has been linked to vitamin D deficiency. There is also relationship between the risk of schizophrenia and latitude, and with an increased incidence rate of schizophrenia seen at a higher latitude. Methods: This study was an analytical study, conducted in BLUD RS Jiwa Propinsi Sumatera Utara and RSUD Deli Serdang, the period in May 2016 and ended in June 2016 with a sample of the study 60 sample (20 patients live in the Highland and Lowland, 20 healthy controls). Inclusion criteria were schizophrenic patients both men and women, aged between 18 to 60 years old, acute phase no agitation or abstinence antipsychotic drugs for two weeks, live in the Highland and Lowland, and willing to participate this study. Exclusion criteria were history of other psychotic disorders, comorbidities with other common medical condition, a history of substance abuse. Sample inspection for serum vitamin D using ELFA method. Statistical analysis using numeric comparative T-independent test. Results: The results showed that average levels of vitamin D for a group of subjects living in areas of high land was 227.6 ng / mL with a standard deviation of 86.78 ng / mL, the lowest levels of vitamin D is 138 ng / mL and the highest 482 ng / mL. In the group of subjects who settled in the low lands seem mean vitamin D levels higher than the mountainous area with an average 237.8 ng / mL with a standard deviation of 100.16 ng / mL. Vitamin D levels are lowest and the highest 138-585 ng / mL. Conclusion and Suggestion: The results of the analysis using the Mann Whitney test showed that there were no significant differences between the mean for the levels of vitamin D based on residence subject with a value of p = 0.652.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Latitude, vitamin D, Sumatera Utara

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20 Differences of Vitamin D Serum Status by Ethnicity between Bataknese in the Highland and Malayan in the Lowland on Schizophrenic Patient in North Sumatera

Authors: Elmeida Effendy, Endah Tri Lestari, Mustafa Mahmud Amin


Background: Vitamin D levels with schizophrenia is lower than the control due to lifestyle and physical health factors such as smoking, increases of body mass index, inactivity, and social withdrawal including decreases of sunlight exposure. Asia has the lowest average of vitamin D serum levels and Europe with lighter colored skin has higher serum levels of vitamin D. Indonesia is a tropical region in the area of the equator, and has only two seasons: the rainy season and summer. The Indonesian people are known as a nation that has a diversity of ethnic groups that exist in many areas. Each tribe has differences in living habits. Ethnic diversity, culture, religion, customs, geographical location, this is reflected in our daily lives that will affect the levels of vitamin D in patients with schizophrenic. Individuals with darker skin tend to be deficient in vitamin D and increases the chance of schizophrenia than the general population. Aims: To determine the difference of vitamin D serum by ethnicity between Bataknese and Malayan schizophrenic patient. Methods: This study was an analytical study to recruited 60 subjects of schizophrenic male patient (30 Bataknese and 30 Malayan), aged between 15 to 55 years old, period at May - November 2016, the acute phase with no agitation. Statistical analysis was using T- independent test. Blood sample for vitamin D serum was using ELFA method. Results: The vitamin D serum levels were lower in Bataknese ethnic group schizophrenic patients in highland than Malayan ethnic group in lowland, reaching statistically (22.9±3.33 ng/ml) vs (27.9±4.19 ng/ml) p < 0,001. Conclusion: There are significant differences of vitamin D serum Status by Ethnicity between Bataknese in the Highland and Malayan in the Lowland on Schizophrenic Patient in North Sumatera.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Ethnicity, serum vitamin D

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19 The Effects of Music Therapy on Positive Negative Syndrome Scale, Cognitive Function, and Quality of Life in Female Schizophrenic Patients

Authors: Elmeida Effendy, Mustafa M. Amin, Nauli Aulia Lubis, P. J. Sirait


Music therapy may have an effect on mental illnesses. This is a comparative, quasi-experimental study to examine the effect of music therapy added to standard care on Positive Negative Syndrome Scale, Cognitive Function and Quality of Life in female schizophrenic patients. 50 schizophrenic participants who were diagnosed with semistructured MINI ICD-X, were assigned into two groups received pharmacotherapy. Participants were assigned into each group of therapy by using matched allocation method. Music therapy added on to the first group. They received music therapy, using Mozart Sonata four times a week, over a period of six week. Positive and negative symptoms were measured by using Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Cognitive function were measured by using Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA). All rating scale were administrated by certified skill residents every week after music therapy session. The participants who were received pharmaco-and-music therapy significantly showed greater response than who received pharmacotherapy only. The mean difference of response were -6,6164 (p=0,001) for PANNS, 2,911 (p=0,004) for MMSE, 3,618 (p=0,001) for MOCA, 4,599 (p=0,001) for SF-36. Music therapy have beneficial effects on PANSS, Cognitive Function and Quality of Life in schizophrenic patients.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, music therapy, symptoms, rating scale

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18 Cognitive Rehabilitation in Schizophrenia: A Review of the Indian Scenario

Authors: Nand Kumar, Kameshwar Prasad, Garima Joshi, Ashima N. Wadhawan, Pratap Sharan, V. Sreenivas


Schizophrenia is a debilitating disorder and is marked by cognitive impairment, which deleteriously impacts the social and professional functioning along with the quality of life of the patients and the caregivers. Often the cognitive symptoms are in their prodromal state and worsen as the illness progresses; they have proven to have a good predictive value for the prognosis of the illness. It has been shown that intensive cognitive rehabilitation (CR) leads to improvements in the healthy as well as cognitively-impaired subjects. As the majority of population in India falls in the lower to middle socio-economic status and have low education levels, using the existing packages, a majority of which are developed in the West, for cognitive rehabilitation becomes difficult. The use of technology is also restricted due to the high costs involved and the limited availability and familiarity with computers and other devices, which pose as an impedance for continued therapy. Cognitive rehabilitation in India uses a plethora of retraining methods for the patients with schizophrenia targeting the functions of attention, information processing, executive functions, learning and memory, and comprehension along with Social Cognition. Psychologists often have to follow an integrative therapy approach involving social skills training, family therapy and psychoeducation in order to maintain the gains from the cognitive rehabilitation in the long run. This paper reviews the methodologies and cognitive retaining programs used in India. It attempts to elucidate the evolution and development of methodologies used, from traditional paper-pencil based retraining to more sophisticated neuroscience-informed techniques in cognitive rehabilitation of deficits in schizophrenia as home-based or supervised and guided programs for cognitive rehabilitation.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, cognitive rehabilitation, neuropsychological interventions, integrated approached to rehabilitation

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17 EEG-Based Classification of Psychiatric Disorders: Bipolar Mood Disorder vs. Schizophrenia

Authors: Han-Jeong Hwang, Jae-Hyun Jo, Fatemeh Alimardani


An accurate diagnosis of psychiatric diseases is a challenging issue, in particular when distinct symptoms for different diseases are overlapped, such as delusions appeared in bipolar mood disorder (BMD) and schizophrenia (SCH). In the present study, we propose a useful way to discriminate BMD and SCH using electroencephalography (EEG). A total of thirty BMD and SCH patients (15 vs. 15) took part in our experiment. EEG signals were measured with nineteen electrodes attached on the scalp using the international 10-20 system, while they were exposed to a visual stimulus flickering at 16 Hz for 95 s. The flickering visual stimulus induces a certain brain signal, known as steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP), which is differently observed in patients with BMD and SCH, respectively, in terms of SSVEP amplitude because they process the same visual information in own unique way. For classifying BDM and SCH patients, machine learning technique was employed in which leave-one-out-cross validation was performed. The SSVEPs induced at the fundamental (16 Hz) and second harmonic (32 Hz) stimulation frequencies were extracted using fast Fourier transformation (FFT), and they were used as features. The most discriminative feature was selected using the Fisher score, and support vector machine (SVM) was used as a classifier. From the analysis, we could obtain a classification accuracy of 83.33 %, showing the feasibility of discriminating patients with BMD and SCH using EEG. We expect that our approach can be utilized for psychiatrists to more accurately diagnose the psychiatric disorders, BMD and SCH.

Keywords: Machine Learning, Schizophrenia, Electroencephalography, bipolar mood disorder

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16 Temporal Profile of Exercise-Induced Changes in Plasma Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Levels of Schizophrenic Individuals

Authors: Caroline Lavratti, Pedro Dal Lago, Gustavo Reinaldo, Gilson Dorneles, Andreia Bard, Laira Fuhr, Daniela Pochmann, Alessandra Peres, Luciane Wagner, Viviane Elsner


Approximately 1% of the world's population is affected by schizophrenia (SZ), a chronic and debilitating neurodevelopmental disorder. Among possible factors, reduced levels of Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been recognized in physiopathogenesis and course of SZ. In this context, peripheral BDNF levels have been used as a biomarker in several clinical studies, since this neurotrophin is able to cross the blood-brain barrier in a bi-directional manner and seems to present a strong correlation with the central nervous system fluid levels. The patients with SZ usually adopts a sedentary lifestyle, which has been partly associated with the increase in obesity incidence rates, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. On the other hand, exercise, a non-invasive and low cost intervention, has been considered an important additional therapeutic option for this population, promoting benefits to physical and mental health. To our knowledge, few studies have been pointed out that the positive effects of exercise in SZ patients are mediated, at least in part, to enhanced levels of BDNF after training. However, these studies are focused on evaluating the effect of single bouts of exercise of chronic interventions, data concerning the short- and long-term exercise outcomes on BDNF are scarce. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of a concurrent exercise protocol (CEP) on plasma BDNF levels of SZ patients in different time-points. Material and Methods: This study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the Centro Universitário Metodista do IPA (no 1.243.680/2015). The participants (n=15) were subbmited to the CEP during 90 days, 3 times a week for 60 minutes each session. In order to evaluate the short and long-term effects of exercise, blood samples were collected pre, 30, 60 and 90 days after the intervention began. Plasma BDNF levels were determined with the ELISA method, from Sigma-Aldrich commercial kit (catalog number RAB0026) according to manufacturer's instructions. Results: A remarkable increase on plasma BDNF levels at 90 days after training compared to baseline (p=0.006) and 30 days (p=0.007) values were observed. Conclusion: Our data are in agreement with several studies that show significant enhancement on BDNF levels in response to different exercise protocols in SZ individuals. We might suggest that BDNF upregulation after training in SZ patients acts in a dose-dependent manner, being more pronounced in response to chronic exposure. Acknowledgments: This work was supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul (FAPERGS)/Brazil.

Keywords: Exercise, Schizophrenia, BDNF, time-points

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15 An Acerbate Psychotics Symptoms, Social Support, Stressful Life Events, Medication Use Self-Efficacy Impact on Social Dysfunction: A Cross Sectional Self-Rated Study of Persons with Schizophrenia Patient and Misusing Methamphetamines

Authors: Ek-Uma Imkome, Jintana Yunibhand, Waraporn Chaiyawat


Background: Persons with schizophrenia patient and misusing methamphetamines suffering from social dysfunction that impact on their quality of life. Knowledge of factors related to social dysfunction will guide the effective intervention. Objectives: To determine the direct effect, indirect effect and total effect of an acerbate Psychotics’ Symptoms, Social Support, Stressful life events, Medication use self-efficacy impact on social dysfunction in Thai schizophrenic patient and methamphetamine misuse. Methods: Data were collected from schizophrenic and methamphetamine misuse patient by self report. A linear structural relationship was used to test the hypothesized path model. Results: The hypothesized model was found to fit the empirical data and explained 54% of the variance of the psychotic symptoms (X2 = 114.35, df = 92, p-value = 0.05, X2 /df = 1.24, GFI = 0.96, AGFI = 0.92, CFI = 1.00, NFI = 0.99, NNFI = 0.99, RMSEA = 0.02). The highest total effect on social dysfunction was psychotic symptoms (0.67, p<0.05). Medication use self-efficacy had a direct effect on psychotic symptoms (-0.25, p<0.01), and social support had direct effect on medication use self efficacy (0.36, p <0.01). Conclusions: Psychotic symptoms and stressful life events were the significance factors that influenced direct on social dysfunctioning. Therefore, interventions that are designed to manage these factors are crucial in order to enhance social functioning in this population.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Social Support, social dysfunction, methamphetamine, psychotic symptoms, stressful life events, medication use self efficacy

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14 Effects of Oxytocin on Neural Response to Facial Emotion Recognition in Schizophrenia

Authors: Avyarthana Dey, Naren P. Rao, Arpitha Jacob, Chaitra V. Hiremath, Shivarama Varambally, Ganesan Venkatasubramanian, Rose Dawn Bharath, Bangalore N. Gangadhar


Objective: Impaired facial emotion recognition is widely reported in schizophrenia. Neuropeptide oxytocin is known to modulate brain regions involved in facial emotion recognition, namely amygdala, in healthy volunteers. However, its effect on facial emotion recognition deficits seen in schizophrenia is not well explored. In this study, we examined the effect of intranasal OXT on processing facial emotions and its neural correlates in patients with schizophrenia. Method: 12 male patients (age= 31.08±7.61 years, education= 14.50±2.20 years) participated in this single-blind, counterbalanced functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. All participants underwent three fMRI scans; one at baseline, one each after single dose 24IU intranasal OXT and intranasal placebo. The order of administration of OXT and placebo were counterbalanced and subject was blind to the drug administered. Participants performed a facial emotion recognition task presented in a block design with six alternating blocks of faces and shapes. The faces depicted happy, angry or fearful emotions. The images were preprocessed and analyzed using SPM 12. First level contrasts comparing recognition of emotions and shapes were modelled at individual subject level. A group level analysis was performed using the contrasts generated at the first level to compare the effects of intranasal OXT and placebo. The results were thresholded at uncorrected p < 0.001 with a cluster size of 6 voxels. Neuropeptide oxytocin is known to modulate brain regions involved in facial emotion recognition, namely amygdala, in healthy volunteers. Results: Compared to placebo, intranasal OXT attenuated activity in inferior temporal, fusiform and parahippocampal gyri (BA 20), premotor cortex (BA 6), middle frontal gyrus (BA 10) and anterior cingulate gyrus (BA 24) and enhanced activity in the middle occipital gyrus (BA 18), inferior occipital gyrus (BA 19), and superior temporal gyrus (BA 22). There were no significant differences between the conditions on the accuracy scores of emotion recognition between baseline (77.3±18.38), oxytocin (82.63 ± 10.92) or Placebo (76.62 ± 22.67). Conclusion: Our results provide further evidence to the modulatory effect of oxytocin in patients with schizophrenia. Single dose oxytocin resulted in significant changes in activity of brain regions involved in emotion processing. Future studies need to examine the effectiveness of long-term treatment with OXT for emotion recognition deficits in patients with schizophrenia.

Keywords: Recognition, Schizophrenia, Social Cognition, functional connectivity, oxytocin

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13 The Psychosis Prodrome: Biomarkers of the Glutamatergic System and Their Potential Role in Prediction and Treatment

Authors: Peter David Reiss


The concept of the psychosis prodrome has allowed for the identification of adolescent and young adult patients who have a significantly elevated risk of developing schizophrenia spectrum disorders. A number of different interventions have been tested in order to prevent or delay progression of symptoms. To date, there has been no consistent meta-analytical evidence to support efficacy of antipsychotic treatment for patients in the prodromal state, and their use remains therefore inconclusive. Although antipsychotics may manage symptoms transiently, they have not been found to prevent or delay onset of psychotic disorders. Furthermore, pharmacological intervention in high-risk individuals remains controversial, because of the antipsychotic side effect profile in a population in which only about 20 to 35 percent will eventually convert to psychosis over a two-year period, with even after two years conversion rates not exceeding 30 to 40 percent. This general estimate is additionally problematic, in that it ignores the fact that there is significant variation in individual risk among clinical high-risk cases. The current lack of reliable tests for at-risk patients makes it difficult to justify individual treatment decisions. Preventive treatment should ideally be dictated by an individual’s risk while minimizing potentially harmful medication exposure. This requires more accurate predictive assessments by using valid and accessible prognostic markers. The following will compare prediction and risk modification potential of behavioral biomarkers such as disturbances of basic sense of self and emotion awareness, neurocognitive biomarkers such as attention, working and declarative memory, and neurophysiological biomarkers such as glutamatergic abnormalities and NMDA receptor dysfunction. Identification of robust biomarkers could therefore not only provide more reliable means of psychosis prediction, but also help test and develop new clinical interventions targeted at the prodromal state.

Keywords: Biomarkers, Schizophrenia, Glutamatergic system, NMDA receptor, at-risk mental state, psychosis prodrome

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12 Neural Correlates of Attention Bias to Threat during the Emotional Stroop Task in Schizophrenia

Authors: Camellia Al-Ibrahim, Jenny Yiend, Sukhwinder S. Shergill


Background: Attention bias to threat play a role in the development, maintenance, and exacerbation of delusional beliefs in schizophrenia in which patients emphasize the threatening characteristics of stimuli and prioritise them for processing. Cognitive control deficits arise when task-irrelevant emotional information elicits attentional bias and obstruct optimal performance. This study is investigating neural correlates of interference effect of linguistic threat and whether these effects are independent of delusional severity. Methods: Using an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), neural correlates of interference effect of linguistic threat during the emotional Stroop task were investigated and compared patients with schizophrenia with high (N=17) and low (N=16) paranoid symptoms and healthy controls (N=20). Participants were instructed to identify the font colour of each word presented on the screen as quickly and accurately as possible. Stimuli types vary between threat-relevant, positive and neutral words. Results: Group differences in whole brain effects indicate decreased amygdala activity in patients with high paranoid symptoms compared with low paranoid patients and healthy controls. Regions of interest analysis (ROI) validated our results within the amygdala and investigated changes within the striatum showing a pattern of reduced activation within the clinical group compared to healthy controls. Delusional severity was associated with significant decreased neural activity in the striatum within the clinical group. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the emotional interference mediated by the amygdala and striatum may reduce responsiveness to threat-related stimuli in schizophrenia and that attenuation of fMRI Blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal within these areas might be influenced by the severity of delusional symptoms.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, fmri, Stroop, attention bias

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11 Test-Retest Agreement, Random Measurement Error and Practice Effect of the Continuous Performance Test-Identical Pairs for Patients with Schizophrenia

Authors: Kuan-Wei Chen, Chien-Wei Chen, Tai-Ling Chang, Nan-Cheng Chen, Ching-Lin Hsieh, Gong-Hong Lin


Background and Purposes: Deficits in sustained attention are common in patients with schizophrenia. Such impairment can limit patients to effectively execute daily activities and affect the efficacy of rehabilitation. The aims of this study were to examine the test-retest agreement, random measurement error, and practice effect of the Continuous Performance Test-Identical Pairs (CPT-IP) (a commonly used sustained attention test) in patients with schizophrenia. The results can provide empirical evidence for clinicians and researchers to apply a sustained attention test with sound psychometric properties in schizophrenia patients. Methods: We recruited patients with chronic schizophrenia to be assessed twice with 1 week interval using CPT-IP. The intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to examine the test-retest agreement. The percentage of minimal detectable change (MDC%) was used to examine the random measurement error. Moreover, the standardized response mean (SRM) was used to examine the practice effect. Results: A total of 56 patients participated in this study. Our results showed that the ICC was 0.82, MDC% was 47.4%, and SRMs were 0.36 for the CPT-IP. Conclusion: Our results indicate that CPT-IP has acceptable test-retests agreement, substantial random measurement error, and small practice effect in patients with schizophrenia. Therefore, to avoid overestimating patients’ changes in sustained attention, we suggest that clinicians interpret the change scores of CPT-IP conservatively in their routine repeated assessments.

Keywords: Reliability, Schizophrenia, sustained attention, CPT-IP

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10 Predicting Response to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis Using Machine Learning and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Authors: Eva Tolmeijer, Emmanuelle Peters, Veena Kumari, Liam Mason


Cognitive behavioral therapy for psychosis (CBTp) is effective in many but not all patients, making it important to better understand the factors that determine treatment outcomes. To date, no studies have examined whether neuroimaging can make clinically useful predictions about who will respond to CBTp. To this end, we used machine learning methods that make predictions about symptom improvement at the individual patient level. Prior to receiving CBTp, 22 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia completed a social-affective processing task during functional MRI. Multivariate pattern analysis assessed whether treatment response could be predicted by brain activation responses to facial affect that was either socially threatening or prosocial. The resulting models did significantly predict symptom improvement, with distinct multivariate signatures predicting psychotic (r=0.54, p=0.01) and affective (r=0.32, p=0.05) symptoms. Psychotic symptom improvement was accurately predicted from relatively focal threat-related activation across hippocampal, occipital, and temporal regions; affective symptom improvement was predicted by a more dispersed profile of responses to prosocial affect. These findings enrich our understanding of the neurobiological underpinning of treatment response. This study provides a foundation that will hopefully lead to greater precision and tailoring of the interventions offered to patients.

Keywords: Machine Learning, Schizophrenia, Cognitive behavioral therapy, psychosis

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