ResearchPad - schizophrenia https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Association test using Copy Number Profile Curves (CONCUR) enhances power in rare copy number variant analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14642 Copy number variants comprise a large proportion of variation in human genomes. Large rare CNVs, especially those disrupting genes or changing the dosages of genes, can carry relatively strong risks for neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Kernel-based association methods have been developed for the analysis of rare CNVs and shown to be a valuable tool. Kernel methods model the collective effect of rare CNVs using flexible kernel functions that capture the characteristics of CNVs and measure CNV similarity of individual pairs. Typically kernels are created by summarizing similarity within an artificially defined “CNV locus” and then collapsing across all loci. In this work, we propose a new kernel-based test, CONCUR, that is based on the CNV location information contained in standard processing of the variants and which obviates the need for arbitrarily defined CNV loci. CONCUR quantifies similarity between individual pairs as the common area under their copy number profile curves and is designed to detect CNV dosage, length and dosage-length interaction effects. In simulation studies and real data analysis, we demonstrate the ability of the CONCUR test to detect CNV effects under diverse CNV architectures with power and robustness over existing methods.

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<![CDATA[The effects of age and sex on cognitive impairment in schizophrenia: Findings from the Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia (COGS) study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13860 Recently emerging evidence indicates accelerated age-related changes in the structure and function of the brain in schizophrenia, raising a question about its potential consequences on cognitive function. Using a large sample of schizophrenia patients and controls and a battery of tasks across multiple cognitive domains, we examined whether patients show accelerated age-related decline in cognition and whether an age-related effect differ between females and males. We utilized data of 1,415 schizophrenia patients and 1,062 healthy community collected by the second phase of the Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia (COGS-2). A battery of cognitive tasks included the Letter-Number Span Task, two forms of the Continuous Performance Test, the California Verbal Learning Test, Second Edition, the Penn Emotion Identification Test and the Penn Facial Memory Test. The effect of age and gender on cognitive performance was examined with a general linear model. We observed age-related changes on most cognitive measures, which was similar between males and females. Compared to controls, patients showed greater deterioration in performance on attention/vigilance and greater slowness of processing social information with increasing age. However, controls showed greater age-related changes in working memory and verbal memory compared to patients. Age-related changes (η2p of 0.001 to .008) were much smaller than between-group differences (η2p of 0.005 to .037). This study found that patients showed continued decline of cognition on some domains but stable impairment or even less decline on other domains with increasing age. These findings indicate that age-related changes in cognition in schizophrenia are subtle and not uniform across multiple cognitive domains.

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<![CDATA[Basic self-disturbances are associated with Sense of Coherence in patients with psychotic disorders]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N649319e6-6856-4764-b128-93f725942825

Background

The Sense of Coherence (SOC) theory gives a possible explanation of how people can experience subjective good health despite severe illness. Basic self-disturbances (BSDs) are subtle non-psychotic disturbances that may destabilize the person’s sense of self, identity, corporeality, and the overall ‘grip’ of the world.

Aim

Our objective was to investigate associations between BSDs and SOC in patients with psychotic disorders.

Design

This is a cross-sectional study of 56 patients diagnosed with psychotic disorders inside and outside the schizophrenia spectrum (35 schizophrenia, 13 bipolar, and eight other psychoses). SOC was measured using Antonovsky’s 13-item SOC questionnaire, and BSDs were assessed using the Examination of Anomalous Self-Experience (EASE) manual. Diagnosis, symptoms, and social and occupational performance were assessed using standardized clinical instruments.

Results

We found a statistically significant correlation (r = ) between high levels of BSDs and low levels of SOC (r = -0.64/p<0.001). This association was not influenced by diagnostics, clinical symptoms or level of functioning in follow-up multivariate analyses.

Conclusion

A statistically significant association between BSDs and SOC indicates that the presence and level of self-disturbances may influence the person's ability to experience life as comprehensive, manageable and meaningful. However, the cross-sectional nature of the study precludes conclusions regarding the direction of this association.

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<![CDATA[Assessment of complementarity of WGCNA and NERI results for identification of modules associated to schizophrenia spectrum disorders]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c62d5eed0c484bd2043

Psychiatric disorders involve both changes in multiple genes as well different types of variations. As such, gene co-expression networks allowed the comparison of different stages and parts of the brain contributing to an integrated view of genetic variation. Two methods based on co-expression networks presents appealing results: Weighted Gene Correlation Network Analysis (WGCNA) and Network-Medicine Relative Importance (NERI). By selecting two different gene expression databases related to schizophrenia, we evaluated the biological modules selected by both WGCNA and NERI along these databases as well combining both WGCNA and NERI results (WGCNA-NERI). Also we conducted a enrichment analysis for the identification of partial biological function of each result (as well a replication analysis). To appraise the accuracy of whether both algorithms (as well our approach, WGCNA-NERI) were pointing to genes related to schizophrenia and its complex genetic architecture we conducted the MSET analysis, based on a reference gene list of schizophrenia database (SZDB) related to DNA Methylation, Exome, GWAS as well as copy number variation mutation studies. The WGCNA results were more associated with inflammatory pathways and immune system response; NERI obtained genes related with cellular regulation, embryological pathways e cellular growth factors. Only NERI were able to provide a statistical meaningful results to the MSET analysis (for Methylation and de novo mutations data). However, combining WGCNA and NERI provided a much more larger overlap in these two categories and additionally on Transcriptome database. Our study suggests that using both methods in combination is better for establishing a group of modules and pathways related to a complex disease than using each method individually. NERI is available at: https://bitbucket.org/sergionery/neri.

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<![CDATA[Comprehensive cross-disorder analyses of CNTNAP2 suggest it is unlikely to be a primary risk gene for psychiatric disorders]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4cc21ed5eed0c484b9fdbe

The contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2) gene is a member of the neurexin superfamily. CNTNAP2 was first implicated in the cortical dysplasia-focal epilepsy (CDFE) syndrome, a recessive disease characterized by intellectual disability, epilepsy, language impairments and autistic features. Associated SNPs and heterozygous deletions in CNTNAP2 were subsequently reported in autism, schizophrenia and other psychiatric or neurological disorders. We aimed to comprehensively examine evidence for the role of CNTNAP2 in susceptibility to psychiatric disorders, by the analysis of multiple classes of genetic variation in large genomic datasets. In this study we used: i) summary statistics from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) GWAS for seven psychiatric disorders; ii) examined all reported CNTNAP2 structural variants in patients and controls; iii) performed cross-disorder analysis of functional or previously associated SNPs; and iv) conducted burden tests for pathogenic rare variants using sequencing data (4,483 ASD and 6,135 schizophrenia cases, and 13,042 controls). The distribution of CNVs across CNTNAP2 in psychiatric cases from previous reports was no different from controls of the database of genomic variants. Gene-based association testing did not implicate common variants in autism, schizophrenia or other psychiatric phenotypes. The association of proposed functional SNPs rs7794745 and rs2710102, reported to influence brain connectivity, was not replicated; nor did predicted functional SNPs yield significant results in meta-analysis across psychiatric disorders at either SNP-level or gene-level. Disrupting CNTNAP2 rare variant burden was not higher in autism or schizophrenia compared to controls. Finally, in a CNV mircroarray study of an extended bipolar disorder family with 5 affected relatives we previously identified a 131kb deletion in CNTNAP2 intron 1, removing a FOXP2 transcription factor binding site. Quantitative-PCR validation and segregation analysis of this CNV revealed imperfect segregation with BD.

This large comprehensive study indicates that CNTNAP2 may not be a robust risk gene for psychiatric phenotypes.

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<![CDATA[Reliability and validity of the Chinese version of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form for inpatients with schizophrenia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1c0b0fd5eed0c484427365

Background

The evaluation of childhood trauma is essential for the treatment of schizophrenia. The short form of Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ-SF) is a widely used measure of the experience of childhood trauma in the general population. Nevertheless, data regarding the psychometric property of CTQ-SF for assessing childhood trauma of patients with schizophrenia are very limited.

Methods

Two hundred Chinese inpatients with schizophrenia completed the Chinese CTQ-SF, the Child Psychological Maltreatment Scale (CPMS), the Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R), and the Dissociative Experiences Scale-II (DES-II). To assess test-retest reliability of the CTQ-SF, all patients completed the CTQ-SF again two weeks later. Concurrent and convergent validity was assessed by analyzing Pearson bivariate correlation coefficients between CTQ-SF and CPMS, IES-R, and DES-II.

Results

The Cronbach’s α coefficient of the Chinese CTQ-SF was 0.81, and the two-week re-test reliability was 0.81 (P<0.01). The criterion-related validity coefficients of CTQ-SF with the CMPS, IES-R and DES-II were 0.61, 0.41, and 0.51, respectively.

Conclusion

The Chinese CTQ-SF has satisfactory psychometric properties to measure childhood abuse or neglect in Chinese inpatients with schizophrenia.

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<![CDATA[Alpha7 acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies are rare in sera of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf6bd5eed0c4849145a3

The α7 acetylcholine receptor (AChR) has been linked with the onset of psychotic symptoms and we hypothesized therefore that it might also be an autoimmune target. Here, we describe a new radioimmunoassay (RIA) using iodine 125-labelled α-bungarotoxin and membrane extract from transfected HEK293 cells expressing human α7 AChR. This RIA was used to analyze sera pertaining to a cohort of 711 subjects, comprising 368 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, 140 with bipolar disorder, 58 individuals diagnosed of other mental disorders, and 118 healthy comparison subjects. We identified one patient whose serum tested positive although with very low levels (0.2 nM) for α7 AChR-specific antibodies by RIA. Three out of 711 sera contained antibodies against iodine 125-labelled α-bungarotoxin, because they precipitated with it in the absence of α7 AChR. This first evidence suggests that autoantibodies against α7 AChR are absent or very rare in these clinical groups.

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<![CDATA[Deficits in nominal reference identify thought disordered speech in a narrative production task]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b8687d840307c73f6bbfec2

Formal thought disorder (TD) is a neuropathology manifest in formal language dysfunction, but few behavioural linguistic studies exist. These have highlighted problems in the domain of semantics and more specifically of reference. Here we aimed for a more complete and systematic linguistic model of TD, focused on (i) a more in-depth analysis of anomalies of reference as depending on the grammatical construction type in which they occur, and (ii) measures of formal grammatical complexity and errors. Narrative speech obtained from 40 patients with schizophrenia, 20 with TD and 20 without, and from 14 healthy controls matched on pre-morbid IQ, was rated blindly. Results showed that of 10 linguistic variables annotated, 4 showed significant differences between groups, including the two patient groups. These all concerned mis-uses of noun phrases (NPs) for purposes of reference, but showed sensitivity to how NPs were classed: definite and pronominal forms of reference were more affected than indefinite and non-pronominal (lexical) NPs. None of the measures of formal grammatical complexity and errors distinguished groups. We conclude that TD exhibits a specific and differentiated linguistic profile, which can illuminate TD neuro-cognitively and inform future neuroimaging studies, and can have clinical utility as a linguistic biomarker.

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<![CDATA[Testing the link between visual suppression and intelligence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a2882463d7e4513b897fa

The impairment to discriminate the motion direction of a large high contrast stimulus or to detect a stimulus surrounded by another one is called visual suppression and is the result of the normal function of our visual inhibitory mechanisms. Recently, Melnick et al. (2013), using a motion discrimination task, showed that intelligence strongly correlates with visual suppression (r = 0.71). Cook et al. (2016) also showed a strong link between contrast surround suppression and IQ (r = 0.87), this time using a contrast matching task. Our aim is to test this link using two different visual suppression tasks: a motion discrimination task and a contrast detection task. Fifty volunteers took part in the experiments. Using Bayesian staircases, we measured duration thresholds in the motion experiment and contrast thresholds in the spatial experiment. Although we found a much weaker effect, our results from the motion experiment still replicate previous results supporting the link between motion surround suppression and IQ (r = 0.43). However, our results from the spatial experiment do not support the link between contrast surround suppression and IQ (r = -0.09). Methodological differences between this study and previous studies which could explain these discrepancies are discussed.

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<![CDATA[What Is the Best Approach to Treating Schizophrenia in Developing Countries?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb7bb

Background to the Debate

Schizophrenia affects an estimated 25 million people in low- and middle-income countries, with an average lifetime risk of about 1%. The illness is associated with excess mortality from a variety of causes. A 2001 Institute of Medicine report on mental illness in developing countries found that in 1990, over two-thirds of people with schizophrenia in these countries were not receiving any treatment (http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10111.html). The report found no evidence that the proportion of treated people in the developing world had increased since 1990. There is now a debate among mental health professionals in low-income countries over how best to improve patient care. In this article, three psychiatrists give their different viewpoints on the current status of treatment efforts for schizophrenia in the developing world and the measures that can be taken to increase the proportion of patients receiving treatment.

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<![CDATA[Mental Disorders among Homeless People in Western Countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab0ab0ee8fa60bab0aa

Helen Herrman discusses the implications of a new systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of mental disorders in homeless people in Western countries.

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<![CDATA[The Global Fight against the Stigma of Schizophrenia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da73ab0ee8fa60b957ca

Stigma attached to mental illness is the greatest obstacle to the improvement of the life of people with mental illness and their families. A global campaign hopes to remove this obstacle.

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<![CDATA[Perception of Biological Motion in Schizophrenia and Healthy Individuals: A Behavioral and fMRI Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9efab0ee8fa60b6e054

Background

Anomalous visual perception is a common feature of schizophrenia plausibly associated with impaired social cognition that, in turn, could affect social behavior. Past research suggests impairment in biological motion perception in schizophrenia. Behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments were conducted to verify the existence of this impairment, to clarify its perceptual basis, and to identify accompanying neural concomitants of those deficits.

Methodology/Findings

In Experiment 1, we measured ability to detect biological motion portrayed by point-light animations embedded within masking noise. Experiment 2 measured discrimination accuracy for pairs of point-light biological motion sequences differing in the degree of perturbation of the kinematics portrayed in those sequences. Experiment 3 measured BOLD signals using event-related fMRI during a biological motion categorization task.

Compared to healthy individuals, schizophrenia patients performed significantly worse on both the detection (Experiment 1) and discrimination (Experiment 2) tasks. Consistent with the behavioral results, the fMRI study revealed that healthy individuals exhibited strong activation to biological motion, but not to scrambled motion in the posterior portion of the superior temporal sulcus (STSp). Interestingly, strong STSp activation was also observed for scrambled or partially scrambled motion when the healthy participants perceived it as normal biological motion. On the other hand, STSp activation in schizophrenia patients was not selective to biological or scrambled motion.

Conclusion

Schizophrenia is accompanied by difficulties discriminating biological from non-biological motion, and associated with those difficulties are altered patterns of neural responses within brain area STSp. The perceptual deficits exhibited by schizophrenia patients may be an exaggerated manifestation of neural events within STSp associated with perceptual errors made by healthy observers on these same tasks. The present findings fit within the context of theories of delusion involving perceptual and cognitive processes.

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<![CDATA[The Course of Neurocognitive Changes in Acute Psychosis: Relation to Symptomatic Improvement]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d5ab0ee8fa60b658dc

Introduction

Cognitive impairment is a core aspect of psychosis, but the course of cognitive functioning during acute psychosis remains poorly understood, as does the association between symptom change and neurocognitive change. Some studies have found cognitive improvement to be related to improvement in negative symptoms, but few have examined cognitive changes in the early acute phase, when clinical improvement mainly happens. This study’s aim was to investigate the relation between cognitive and symptomatic change in clinically heterogeneous patients during the early acute phase of psychosis.

Method

Participants (n = 84), including both first-episode and previously ill patients, were recruited from consecutive admissions to the acute psychiatric emergency ward of Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway, as part of the Bergen Psychosis Project (BPP). The RBANS neurocognitive test battery was administered on admission and again at discharge from the acute ward (mean time 4.1 weeks, SD 1.86 weeks). Symptomatic change was measured by PANSS.

Results

The proportion of subjects with cognitive impairment (t < 35) was 28.6% in the acute phase and 13.1% at follow-up. A sequential multiple linear regression model with RBANS change as the dependent variable found PANSS negative symptoms change to significantly predict total RBANS performance improvement (beta = -.307, p = .016). There was no significant difference between subjects with schizophrenia and those with other psychotic disorders in terms of cognitive change.

Conclusion

The proportion of subjects with mild to moderate impairment in cognitive test performance is reduced across the acute phase of psychosis, with improvement related to amelioration of negative symptoms.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of diagnoses extracted from electronic health records in a large mental health case register]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc214

The UK government has recently recognised the need to improve mental health services in the country. Electronic health records provide a rich source of patient data which could help policymakers to better understand needs of the service users. The main objective of this study is to unveil statistics of diagnoses recorded in the Case Register of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, one of the largest mental health providers in the UK and Europe serving a source population of over 1.2 million people residing in south London. Based on over 500,000 diagnoses recorded in ICD10 codes for a cohort of approximately 200,000 mental health patients, we established frequency rate of each diagnosis (the ratio of the number of patients for whom a diagnosis has ever been recorded to the number of patients in the entire population who have made contact with mental disorders). We also investigated differences in diagnoses prevalence between subgroups of patients stratified by gender and ethnicity. The most common diagnoses in the considered population were (recurrent) depression (ICD10 codes F32-33; 16.4% of patients), reaction to severe stress and adjustment disorders (F43; 7.1%), mental/behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol (F10; 6.9%), and schizophrenia (F20; 5.6%). We also found many diagnoses which were more likely to be recorded in patients of a certain gender or ethnicity. For example, mood (affective) disorders (F31-F39); neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders (F40-F48, except F42); and eating disorders (F50) were more likely to be found in records of female patients, while males were more likely to be diagnosed with mental/behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance use (F10-F19). Furthermore, mental/behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol and opioids were more likely to be recorded in patients of white ethnicity, and disorders due to use of cannabinoids in those of black ethnicity.

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<![CDATA[MicroRNA Expression Aberration as Potential Peripheral Blood Biomarkers for Schizophrenia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da97ab0ee8fa60ba2490

Since brain tissue is not readily accessible, a new focus in search of biomarkers for schizophrenia is blood-based expression profiling of non-protein coding genes such as microRNAs (miRNAs), which regulate gene expression by inhibiting the translation of messenger RNAs. This study aimed to identify potential miRNA signature for schizophrenia by comparing genome-wide miRNA expression profiles in patients with schizophrenia vs. healthy controls. A genome-wide miRNA expression profiling was performed using a Taqman array of 365 human miRNAs in the mononuclear leukocytes of a learning set of 30 cases and 30 controls. The discriminating performance of potential biomarkers was validated in an independent testing set of 60 cases and 30 controls. The expression levels of the miRNA signature were then evaluated for their correlation with the patients' clinical symptoms, neurocognitive performances, and neurophysiological functions. A seven-miRNA signature (hsa-miR-34a, miR-449a, miR-564, miR-432, miR-548d, miR-572 and miR-652) was derived from a supervised classification with internal cross-validation, with an area under the curve (AUC) of receiver operating characteristics of 93%. The putative signature was then validated in the testing set, with an AUC of 85%. Among these miRNAs, miR-34a was differentially expressed between cases and controls in both the learning (P = 0.005) and the testing set (P = 0.002). These miRNAs were differentially correlated with patients' negative symptoms, neurocognitive performance scores, and event-related potentials. The results indicated that the mononuclear leukocyte-based miRNA profiling is a feasible way to identify biomarkers for schizophrenia, and the seven-miRNA signature warrants further investigation.

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<![CDATA[Altered T-Cell Function in Schizophrenia: A Cellular Model to Investigate Molecular Disease Mechanisms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da87ab0ee8fa60b9cb53

Despite decades of research into the aetiology and pathophysiology of schizophrenia, our understanding of this devastating disorder remains incomplete, with adverse consequences for both diagnosis and treatment. Here we investigate whether differences between patients and controls can be observed in peripheral patient tissue, with a view of establishing a means for dynamic investigations into cell function. In vitro stimulation of peripheral blood CD3+ pan T cells with anti-CD3 (clone OKT3) was used to investigate disease-associated cell responses. T cells from both medicated (n = 39), unmedicated (n = 6) and minimally medicated (n = 5) schizophrenia patients were found to have significantly lower proliferative responses to stimulation, compared to well-matched controls (n = 32). Expression of CD3 and TCR (T cell receptor) αβ chains was equivalent between patients and controls, ensuring equal stimulation with anti-CD3, and there was no significant difference in the proportions of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells between samples (n = 12). Lower T cell proliferation in schizophrenia patients was not found to result from deficient early tyrosine phosphorylation signalling or lower IL-2 (interleukin-2) production, as these parameters were similar between patients and controls, as was the expression of CD25, the IL-2 receptor α chain. Analysis of CD45 isoforms, however, revealed that patients had a significantly greater percentage of CD8+ and CD4+ CD45RA+ cells before stimulation and significantly higher fluorescence intensity of CD45RA on CD4+ and CD8+ cells before and after stimulation. There was significantly higher expression of CD45 RB on both CD4+ and CD8+ unstimulated cells, with a trend towards lower numbers of CD45RO+ T cells in patient blood. Gene expression analysis in freshly isolated T cells from six minimally treated or first onset patients and six controls was carried out using human whole-genome CodeLink microarrays to identify functional pathways that may affect the ability of patient cells to respond to stimulation. Functional profiling showed prominent transcript changes in categories pertaining to cell cycle machinery, intracellular signalling, oxidative stress and metabolism. Intriguingly, chromosomal location analysis of genes significantly altered between schizophrenia and controls revealed clusters at 1p36, 1q42 and 6p22, which have previously been identified as strong susceptibility loci for schizophrenia.

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<![CDATA[Mismatch Negativity and Cognitive Performance for the Prediction of Psychosis in Subjects with At-Risk Mental State]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da11ab0ee8fa60b79ba0

Background

A shorter duration of untreated psychosis has been associated with better prognosis in schizophrenia. In this study, we measured the duration mismatch negativity (dMMN), an event-related potential, and cognitive performance in subjects with at-risk mental state (ARMS), patients with first-episode or chronic schizophrenia, and healthy volunteers. The main interest was to determine if these neurocognitive measures predict progression to overt schizophrenia in ARMS subjects.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Seventeen ARMS subjects, meeting the criteria of the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental State, 31 schizophrenia patients (20 first-episode and 11 chronic) and healthy controls (N = 20) participated in the study. dMMN was measured by an auditory odd-ball paradigm at baseline. Neuropsychological performance was evaluated by the Japanese version of the Brief assessment of cognitive function of schizophrenia (BACS-J). The first-episode schizophrenia group showed significantly smaller amplitudes at frontal electrodes than did control subjects whereas chronic patients elicited smaller amplitudes at frontal and central electrodes, consistent with previous reports. During the follow-up period, 4 out of the 17 ARMS subjects transitioned to schizophrenia (converters) while 13 did not (non-converters). Specifically, dMMN amplitudes of non-converters did not differ from those of healthy controls, while converters showed significantly smaller dMMN amplitudes at some electrodes compared to control subjects. Converters performed significantly worse on tests of working memory, verbal fluency, and attention/information processing than did non-converters. There was a significant positive correlation between dMMN amplitudes at the frontal electrodes and verbal fluency, as measured by the BACS, in the AMRS subjects as a whole.

Conclusions/Significance

ARMS subjects who later developed schizophrenia elicited smaller dMMN amplitudes to begin with, compared to non-converters. Notably, we have provided the first evidence for the ability of verbal fluency to predict dMMN amplitudes in ARMS subjects. These findings are expected to add to the efforts for early diagnosis and intervention of schizophrenia.

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<![CDATA[Altered Small-World Brain Networks in Schizophrenia Patients during Working Memory Performance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1bab0ee8fa60bce2c3

Impairment of working memory (WM) performance in schizophrenia patients (SZ) is well-established. Compared to healthy controls (HC), SZ patients show aberrant blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) activations and disrupted functional connectivity during WM performance. In this study, we examined the small-world network metrics computed from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data collected as 35 HC and 35 SZ performed a Sternberg Item Recognition Paradigm (SIRP) at three WM load levels. Functional connectivity networks were built by calculating the partial correlation on preprocessed time courses of BOLD signal between task-related brain regions of interest (ROIs) defined by group independent component analysis (ICA). The networks were then thresholded within the small-world regime, resulting in undirected binarized small-world networks at different working memory loads. Our results showed: 1) at the medium WM load level, the networks in SZ showed a lower clustering coefficient and less local efficiency compared with HC; 2) in SZ, most network measures altered significantly as the WM load level increased from low to medium and from medium to high, while the network metrics were relatively stable in HC at different WM loads; and 3) the altered structure at medium WM load in SZ was related to their performance during the task, with longer reaction time related to lower clustering coefficient and lower local efficiency. These findings suggest brain connectivity in patients with SZ was more diffuse and less strongly linked locally in functional network at intermediate level of WM when compared to HC. SZ show distinctly inefficient and variable network structures in response to WM load increase, comparing to stable highly clustered network topologies in HC.

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<![CDATA[Functional Status and All-Cause Mortality in Serious Mental Illness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daeaab0ee8fa60bbec4c

Background

Serious mental illness can affect many aspects of an individual’s ability to function in daily life. The aim of this investigation was to determine if the environmental and functional status of people with serious mental illness contribute to the high mortality risk observed in this patient group.

Methods

We identified cases of schizophrenia, schizoaffective and bipolar disorder aged ≥15 years in a large secondary mental healthcare case register linked to national mortality tracing. We modelled the effect of activities of daily living (ADLs), living conditions, occupational and recreational activities and relationship factors (Health of the Nation Outcome Scale [HoNOS] subscales) on all-cause mortality over a 4-year observation period (2007–10) using Cox regression.

Results

We identified 6,880 SMI cases (242 deaths) in the observation period. ADL impairment was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality (adjusted HR 1.9; 95% CI 1.3–2.8; p = 0.001, p for trend across ADL categories = 0.001) after controlling for a broad range of covariates (including demographic factors, physical health, mental health symptoms and behaviours, socio-economic status and mental health service contact). No associations were found for the other three exposures. Stratification by age indicated that ADLs were most strongly associated with mortality in the youngest (15 to <35 years) and oldest (≥55 years) groups.

Conclusions

Functional impairment in people with serious mental illness diagnoses is a marker of increased mortality risk, possibly in younger age groups as a marker of negative symptomatology.

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