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Schizophrenia Bulletin Current Issue





Published: Fri, 16 Dec 2016 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2017 19:44:50 GMT

 



The Clinical High-Risk State for Psychosis (CHR-P), Version II

2016-12-16

Abstract
The Clinical High-Risk state for psychosis (CHR-P) paradigm was introduced about 2 decades ago. Over this period of time accumulating knowledge has been gained. Conceptual advancements involve new knowledge into risk enrichment and the impact of recruitment strategies, specificity for prediction of psychotic and nonpsychotic mental disorders and heterogeneity of psychosis risk among the different CHR-P subgroups. The current special issue advances current knowledge on deconstructing the CHR-P paradigm across its 3 subgroups: genetic risk, attenuated psychotic symptoms, and short-lived and remitting psychotic episodes. A conceptual revision of the paradigm (Version II) is suggested and supported by 3 original studies published in this special issue.



Animal Models of Hallucinations Observed Through the Modern Lens

2016-12-16

The review by Waters and Fernyhough1 makes it clear that there is nothing especially distinctive about hallucinations in schizophrenia, not even to the extent of hallucinations in the auditory modality being more prevalent than in the visual one or hallucinations in schizophrenia having a greater preponderance of angry, critical voices. Hallucinations may occur both in people without mental disturbances and also as a consequence of many different pathologies including tinnitus and Parkinson’s disease and other neuropsychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. This conclusion is consistent with a Research Domain Criteria (RDoc) approach to psychiatric nosology, as hallucinations are evidently trans-diagnostic with respect to the categorical diagnosis of schizophrenia or psychosis (see also the associated Commentary by Judith Ford2). What does this mean for animal models of hallucinations and, more indirectly, for understanding neurobiological mechanisms underlying hallucinations? Is the task of modeling hallucinatory behavior in animals any more revealing or useful than it was some 50 years ago when there was a major drive to understand the effects of hallucinogenic drugs acting at serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) receptors, such as lysergic acid diethylamide?3This commentary will endeavor to address these issues in the context of recent neuroscientific advances.



Contents_Page

2016-12-16




Cover

2016-12-16




Editorial_Board

2016-12-16




Subscriptions

2016-12-16




Diagnostic and Prognostic Significance of Brief Limited Intermittent Psychotic Symptoms (BLIPS) in Individuals at Ultra High Risk

2016-12-16

Abstract
Background:
Brief Limited Intermittent Psychotic Symptoms (BLIPS) are key inclusion criteria to define individuals at ultra high risk for psychosis (UHR). Their diagnostic and prognostic significance is unclear.
Objectives:
To address the baseline diagnostic relationship between BLIPS and the ICD-10 categories and examine the longitudinal prognostic impact of clinical and sociodemographic factors.
Methods:
Prospective long-term study in UHR individuals meeting BLIPS criteria. Sociodemographic and clinical data, including ICD-10 diagnoses, were automatically drawn from electronic health records and analyzed using Kaplan–Meier failure function (1-survival), Cox regression models, bootstrapping methods, and Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve.
Results:
Eighty BLIPS were included. At baseline, two-thirds (68%) of BLIPS met the diagnostic criteria for ICD-10 Acute and Transient Psychotic Disorder (ATPD), most featuring schizophrenic symptoms. The remaining individuals met ICD-10 diagnostic criteria for unspecified nonorganic psychosis (15%), mental and behavioral disorders due to use of cannabinoids (11%), and mania with psychotic symptoms (6%). The overall 5-year risk of psychosis was 0.54. Recurrent episodes of BLIPS were relatively rare (11%) but associated with a higher risk of psychosis (hazard ratio [HR] 3.98) than mono-episodic BLIPS at the univariate analysis. Multivariate analysis revealed that seriously disorganizing or dangerous features increased greatly (HR = 4.39) the risk of psychosis (0.89 at 5-year). Bootstrapping confirmed the robustness of this predictor (area under the ROC = 0.74).
Conclusions:
BLIPS are most likely to fulfill the ATPD criteria, mainly acute schizophrenic subtypes. About half of BLIPS cases develops a psychotic disorder during follow-up. Recurrent BLIPS are relatively rare but tend to develop into psychosis. BLIPS with seriously disorganizing or dangerous features have an extreme high risk of psychosis.



A Severity-Based Clinical Staging Model for the Psychosis Prodrome: Longitudinal Findings From the New York Recognition and Prevention Program

2016-12-16

Abstract
Clinical staging improved the possibility of intervening during the psychosis prodrome to limit progression of illness. The current study aimed to validate a novel 4-stage severity-based model with a focus on clinical change over time and risk for conversion to psychosis. One hundred seventy-one individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis were followed prospectively (3 ± 1.6 y) as part of the Recognition and Prevention (RAP) program and divided into 4 diagnostic stages according to absence/presence and severity of attenuated positive symptoms. Twenty-two percent of the combined sample recovered (no prodromal symptoms) by study outcome. The negative symptoms only subgroup had the highest symptom stability (70%), but the lowest conversion rate at 5.9%. The subgroup with more severe baseline attenuated positive symptom levels had a higher conversion rate (28%) and a more rapid onset when compared to the moderate attenuated positive symptom subgroup (11%). Finally, the Schizophrenia-Like Psychosis (SLP) subgroup showed low stability (3%), with 49% developing a specific psychotic disorder. The proposed stage model provides a more finely grained classification system than the standard diagnostic approach for prodromal individuals. All 4 stages are in need of early intervention because of low recovery rates. The negative symptom only stage is possibly a separate clinical syndrome, with an increased risk of functional disability. Both subgroups with attenuated positive symptoms are appropriate for studying the mechanisms of psychosis risk, however, individuals with more severe baseline positive symptoms appear better suited to clinical trials. Finally, the SLP category represents an intermediate outcome group appropriate for preventative intervention research but questionable for inclusion in prodromal studies of mechanisms.



Hallucinations: A Systematic Review of Points of Similarity and Difference Across Diagnostic Classes

2016-11-21

Abstract
Hallucinations constitute one of the 5 symptom domains of psychotic disorders in DSM-5, suggesting diagnostic significance for that group of disorders. Although specific featural properties of hallucinations (negative voices, talking in the third person, and location in external space) are no longer highlighted in DSM, there is likely a residual assumption that hallucinations in schizophrenia can be identified based on these candidate features. We investigated whether certain featural properties of hallucinations are specifically indicative of schizophrenia by conducting a systematic review of studies showing direct comparisons of the featural and clinical characteristics of (auditory and visual) hallucinations among 2 or more population groups (one of which included schizophrenia). A total of 43 articles were reviewed, which included hallucinations in 4 major groups (nonclinical groups, drug- and alcohol-related conditions, medical and neurological conditions, and psychiatric disorders). The results showed that no single hallucination feature or characteristic uniquely indicated a diagnosis of schizophrenia, with the sole exception of an age of onset in late adolescence. Among the 21 features of hallucinations in schizophrenia considered here, 95% were shared with other psychiatric disorders, 85% with medical/neurological conditions, 66% with drugs and alcohol conditions, and 52% with the nonclinical groups. Additional differences rendered the nonclinical groups somewhat distinctive from clinical disorders. Overall, when considering hallucinations, it is inadvisable to give weight to the presence of any featural properties alone in making a schizophrenia diagnosis. It is more important to focus instead on the co-occurrence of other symptoms and the value of hallucinations as an indicator of vulnerability.






Current Approaches to Studying Hallucinations: Overcoming Barriers to Progress

2016-11-21

Efforts to understand the biological basis of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) have been hampered by a number of problems. First is the historic tendency to only study patients with schizophrenia, whose medication, social, cognitive, and economic status confound the assessment of this isolated symptom. Second is the dominant belief that AVHs in schizophrenia are qualitatively different from those experienced by people with other diagnoses. Third and fourth are difficulties assessing the phenomenology of AVHs, and then mapping phenomenology onto underlying psychological and neural constructs. Fifth is the difficulty of assaying the state of AVHs rather than the trait, or tendency to have AVH. In this commentary, I address each of these, and when appropriate, reference the RDoC framework, which may be helpful in studying the neurobiological basis of AVH.1,2



Endophenotypes, Epigenetics, Polygenicity and More: Irv Gottesman’s Dynamic Legacy

2016-11-21

Abstract
First, we describe the hallmark contributions of Irv Gottesman’s pioneering scholarship for schizophrenia research including concepts of polygenicity, gene × environment interactions, epigenetics and the endophenotype concept. Gottesman and colleagues’ twin studies showed that genes, not social factors, mediate schizophrenia risk. He then showed that schizophrenia is highly polygenic. Next, he introduced the concept of epigenetics into schizophrenia research. Gottesman then introduced the quantitative endophenotype concept. Endophenotypes are laboratory-based measures that show deficits in schizophrenia patients and lesser deficits in their first degree “unaffected” relatives and are viewed as being more proximal to genes and having a simpler genetic architecture than are “fuzzy” qualitative diagnostic disorders. Endophenotypes offer an exciting path to gene discovery, neural circuits, genetic architecture and new treatment pathways of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders. Second, we were asked to discuss 2 of many endophenotype Consortia and related studies, in order to illustrate the impact of Gottesman’s work. We describe the Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia (COGS) exploring neurocognitive and neurophysiological endophenotypes in family and case-control studies. Association, linkage, sequencing and epigenetic studies are described. The Bipolar and Schizophrenia Network for Intermediate Phenotypes (BSNIP) uses an array of endophenotypes including brain imaging in studies across the psychosis dimension, allowing for dimensional analyses. BSNIP results have led to the concept of biotypes, advancing the field. Irv Gottesman was imaginatively prescient in generating novel insights and predicting many major issues which challenge schizophrenia researchers who still use his concepts to guide current research approaches.



Diversity Within the Psychotic Continuum

2016-11-21

Abstract
There has been great interest in the hallucination-like events experienced by the general nonclinical population. Many psychiatric scientists have come to identify these as part of a “psychotic continuum” and have begun to ask what we might learn from these experiences that will enable us to better understand and treat psychosis. While sympathetic to this goal, this paper argues that many of these events in the nonclinical population may be associated with the attention to inner imagery characteristic of much religious practice like unscripted prayer. Many of these hallucination-like events are phenomenologically distinct, culturally salient, and are predicted both by a measure of absorption, which probes for an interest in inner imagery, and by inner sense cultivation practice. These observations suggest that rare, brief, and positive sensory events may not be associated with psychotic vulnerability. They also suggest there may be an absorption-dissociation pathway, with or without trauma, for more frequent hallucinations.



Investigating Trauma as a Risk Factor for Psychosis

2016-10-31

Two articles in this issue of the Bulletin provide new information on the role of trauma in the development of psychotic illnesses. Consideration of the role of trauma has a 30-year history, beginning with observations of psychoses in the children of Holocaust survivors.1 The 2 articles in this issue continue this line of observation and add substantive new evidence for a role of traumatic experiences in psychosis.



The Role of Cognition and Social Functioning as Predictors in the Transition to Psychosis for Youth With Attenuated Psychotic Symptoms

2016-10-25

Abstract
In the literature, there have been several attempts to develop prediction models for youth who are at clinical high risk (CHR) of developing psychosis. Although there are no specific clinical or demographic variables that seem to consistently predict the later transition to psychosis in those CHR youth, in addition to attenuated psychotic symptoms, the most commonly occuring predictors tend to be poor social functioning and certain cognitive tasks. Unfortunately, there has been little attempt to replicate alogorithms. A recently published article by Cornblatt et al suggested that, for individuals with attentuated psychotic symptoms (APS), disorganized communication, suspiciousness, verbal memory, and a decline in social functioning were the best predictors of later transition to psychosis (the RAP model). The purpose of this article was to first test the prediction model of Cornblatt et al with a new sample of individuals with APS from the PREDICT study. The RAP model was not the best fit for the PREDICT data. However, using other variables from PREDICT, it was demonstrated that unusual thought content, disorganized communication, baseline social functioning, verbal fluency, and memory, processing speed and age were predictors of later transition to psychosis in the PREDICT sample. Although the predictors were different in these 2 models, both supported that disorganized communication, poor social functioning, and verbal memory, were good candidates as predictors for later conversion to psychosis.



Varieties of Voice-Hearing: Psychics and the Psychosis Continuum

2016-10-07

Abstract
Hearing voices that are not present is a prominent symptom of serious mental illness. However, these experiences may be common in the non-help-seeking population, leading some to propose the existence of a continuum of psychosis from health to disease. Thus far, research on this continuum has focused on what is impaired in help-seeking groups. Here we focus on protective factors in non-help-seeking voice-hearers. We introduce a new study population: clairaudient psychics who receive daily auditory messages. We conducted phenomenological interviews with these subjects, as well as with patients diagnosed with a psychotic disorder who hear voices, people with a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder who do not hear voices, and matched control subjects (without voices or a diagnosis). We found the hallucinatory experiences of psychic voice-hearers to be very similar to those of patients who were diagnosed. We employed techniques from forensic psychiatry to conclude that the psychics were not malingering. Critically, we found that this sample of non-help-seeking voice hearers were able to control the onset and offset of their voices, that they were less distressed by their voice-hearing experiences and that, the first time they admitted to voice-hearing, the reception by others was much more likely to be positive. Patients had much more negative voice-hearing experiences, were more likely to receive a negative reaction when sharing their voices with others for the first time, and this was subsequently more disruptive to their social relationships. We predict that this sub-population of healthy voice-hearers may have much to teach us about the neurobiology, cognitive psychology and ultimately the treatment of voices that are distressing.



Redox Dysregulation in Schizophrenia Revealed by in vivo NAD+/NADH Measurement

2016-09-24

Abstract
Balance between the redox pair of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotides (oxidized NAD+ and reduced NADH), reflects the oxidative state of cells and the ability of biological systems to carry out energy production. A growing body of evidence suggests that an “immuno-oxidative” pathway including oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, neuroinflammation, and cell-mediated immune response may contribute to disruptions in brain activity in schizophrenia (SZ). The aim of this study is to assess possible redox imbalance in SZ patients by using a novel in vivo 31P MRS technique. The participants included 40 healthy controls, 21 chronic SZ, 13 first-episode (FE) SZ, and 18 FE bipolar disorder (BD) patients (as a psychiatric control group). All participants initially underwent structural imaging at a 3 Tesla (3 T) and 31P MRS measurements were performed on a 4 T MR scanner. NAD+ and NADH components were determined by nonlinear least-square fitting of the model simulated spectra; these incorporated prior chemical shift and coupling constant information to in vivo resonances obtained from 31P MRS experiments. We found a significant reduction in the NAD+/NADH ratio in chronically ill SZ patients compared to a matched healthy control group, and in FE SZ patients compared to both a matched FE BD patient group and a matched healthy control group. These findings provide evidence for redox imbalance in the brain in all phases of SZ, potentially reflecting oxidative stress.



Epistatic and Independent Effects on Schizophrenia-Related Phenotypes Following Co-disruption of the Risk Factors Neuregulin-1 × DISC1

2016-09-09

Abstract
Few studies have addressed likely gene × gene (ie, epistatic) interactions in mediating risk for schizophrenia. Using a preclinical genetic approach, we investigated whether simultaneous disruption of the risk factors Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) and Disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) would produce a disease-relevant phenotypic profile different from that observed following disruption to either gene alone. NRG1 heterozygotes exhibited hyperactivity and disruption to prepulse inhibition, both reversed by antipsychotic treatment, and accompanied by reduced striatal dopamine D2 receptor protein expression, impaired social cognition, and altered glutamatergic synaptic protein expression in selected brain areas. Single gene DISC1 mutants demonstrated a disruption in social cognition and nest-building, altered brain 5-hydroxytryptamine levels and hippocampal ErbB4 expression, and decreased cortical expression of the schizophrenia-associated microRNA miR-29b. Co-disruption of DISC1 and NRG1, indicative of epistasis, evoked an impairment in sociability and enhanced self-grooming, accompanied by changes in hypothalamic oxytocin/vasopressin gene expression. The findings indicate specific behavioral correlates and underlying cellular pathways downstream of main effects of DNA variation in the schizophrenia-associated genes NRG1 and DISC1.



Auditory Cortex Characteristics in Schizophrenia: Associations With Auditory Hallucinations

2016-09-07

Abstract
Background:
Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated associations between smaller auditory cortex volume and auditory hallucinations (AH) in schizophrenia. Reduced cortical volume can result from a reduction of either cortical thickness or cortical surface area, which may reflect different neuropathology. We investigate for the first time how thickness and surface area of the auditory cortex relate to AH in a large sample of schizophrenia spectrum patients.
Methods:
Schizophrenia spectrum (n = 194) patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging. Mean cortical thickness and surface area in auditory cortex regions (Heschl’s gyrus [HG], planum temporale [PT], and superior temporal gyrus [STG]) were compared between patients with (AH+, n = 145) and without (AH−, n = 49) a lifetime history of AH and 279 healthy controls.
Results:
AH+ patients showed significantly thinner cortex in the left HG compared to AH− patients (d = 0.43, P = .0096). There were no significant differences between AH+ and AH− patients in cortical thickness in the PT or STG, or in auditory cortex surface area in any of the regions investigated. Group differences in cortical thickness in the left HG was not affected by duration of illness or current antipsychotic medication.
Conclusions:
AH in schizophrenia patients were related to thinner cortex, but not smaller surface area of the left HG, a region which includes the primary auditory cortex. The results support that structural abnormalities of the auditory cortex underlie AH in schizophrenia.



Anticholinergics vs Placebo for Neuroleptic-Induced Parkinsonism

2016-09-01

antipsychoticparkinsonantimuscarinic



A Transdiagnostic Network Approach to Psychosis

2016-07-06

Abstract
Our ability to accurately predict development and outcome of early expression of psychosis is limited. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying psychopathology, a broader, transdiagnostic approach that acknowledges the complexity of mental illness is required. The upcoming network paradigm may be fruitful here. In this study, we applied a transdiagnostic network approach to psychosis. Data pertain to the third wave (second follow-up) of a sample of adolescents originally recruited at age 7–8 years. At baseline, N = 347 children with auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) and N = 347 control children were included. N = 293 of these N = 694 children participated in the second follow-up (mean age 18.9 years; 59% women). Participants completed the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) and the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). A specific type of network model, the Ising model, was applied to dichotomized CAPE and DASS items. Interconnections of experiences within the same domain were observed, as well as interconnections between experiences of multiple domains of psychopathology. Quantitative and qualitative differences in network architecture were found in networks of psychopathological experiences in individuals with or without AVH at age 7–8 years. Although adolescents with or without previous AVH did not differ in their current CAPE scores, differences in the interconnectedness of psychopathology items were still found, possibly mirroring a difference in psychosis liability. This study showed that it is possible to map transdiagnostic experiences of psychopathology as a network and that important information can be derived from this approach in comparison to regular approaches.



Joint Effects of Exposure to Prenatal Infection and Peripubertal Psychological Trauma in Schizophrenia

2016-06-24

Abstract
Context:
Prenatal infection and traumatizing experiences have both been linked with schizophrenia, but none of these factors seem sufficient to cause the disorder. However, recent evidence suggests that these environmental insults act in synergy to increase schizophrenia risk.
Objective:
To estimate the independent and joint effects of exposure to prenatal infection and peripubertal psychological trauma on the risk of schizophrenia.
Design:
Danish nationwide registers were linked in this prospective cohort study. We used survival analysis to report incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Analyses were adjusted for age and calendar period and stratified by sex.
Participants:
A total of 979701 persons born between 1980 and 1998 were followed up from January 1, 1995 through December 31, 2013, with 9656 having a hospital contact for schizophrenia.
Results:
Females exposed to prenatal infection had a significantly increased risk of schizophrenia (IRR: 1.61, 95% CI: 1.30–2.00), but not males (IRR: 0.99, 95% CI: 0.77–1.28). Peripubertal trauma was associated with increased risk in both sexes. Males, however, had a significantly higher risk of schizophrenia after exposure to both prenatal infection and peripubertal psychological trauma (IRR: 2.85, 95% CI: 2.32–3.51), with significant interaction between infection and peripubertal trauma on the multiplicative scale (P = .007).
Conclusions:
Our study demonstrated for the first time that prenatal infection and psychological trauma in peripubertal life can act in synergy to increase the risk of schizophrenia, with a potentially stronger susceptibility in males.



A History of Psychosis in Bipolar Disorder is Associated With Gray Matter Volume Reduction

2016-06-11

Abstract
Psychotic symptoms are prevalent in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric and neurological disorders, yet the neurobiological underpinnings of psychosis remain obscure. In the last decade, a large number of magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown differences in local gray matter volume between patients with different psychiatric syndromes and healthy controls. Few studies have focused on the symptoms, which these syndromes are constituted of. Here, we test the association between psychosis and gray matter volume by using a sample of 167 subjects with bipolar disorder, with and without a history of psychosis, and 102 healthy controls. Magnetic resonance images were analyzed on group level using a voxel-wise mass univariate analysis (Voxel-Based Morphometry). We found that patients with a history of psychosis had smaller gray matter volume in left fusiform gyrus, the right rostral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the left inferior frontal gyrus compared with patients without psychosis and with healthy controls. There was no volume difference in these areas between the no-psychosis group and healthy controls. These areas have previously been structurally and functionally coupled to delusions and hallucinations. Our finding adds further evidence to the probability of these regions as key areas in the development of psychotic symptoms.



Traumatic Stress Disorders and Risk of Subsequent Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder or Bipolar Disorder: A Nationwide Cohort Study

2016-05-31

Abstract
Objective:
Traumatic stress disorders are prevalent in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, there is a lack of prospective longitudinal studies investigating the risk of severe mental illness for people diagnosed with traumatic stress disorders. We aimed to assess if patients with acute stress reaction (ASR) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk of schizophrenia spectrum disorders or bipolar disorder.
Methods:
We performed a prospective cohort study covering the entire Danish population including information on inpatient and outpatient mental hospitals over 2 decades. Predictors were in- or outpatient diagnoses of ASR or PTSD. We calculated incidence rate ratios (IRR) with 95% CIs of schizophrenia, schizophrenia spectrum disorder, and bipolar disorder.
Results:
Persons with a traumatic stress disorder had a significantly increased risk of schizophrenia (IRR 3.80, CI 2.33–5.80), schizophrenia spectrum disorder (IRR 2.34, CI 1.46–3.53), and bipolar disorder (IRR 4.22, CI 2.25–7.13). Risks were highest in the first year after diagnosis of the traumatic stress disorder and remained significantly elevated after more than 5 years. Mental illness in a parent could not explain the association.
Conclusion:
Our findings support an association between diagnosed traumatic stress disorders and subsequent schizophrenia spectrum disorder or bipolar disorder. If replicated, this may increase clinical focus on patients with traumatic stress disorders.



The Psychosis Continuum: Testing a Bifactor Model of Psychosis in a General Population Sample

2016-05-24

Abstract
Although the factor structure of psychosis continues to be debated by taxonomists, recent studies have supported a bifactor model consisting of a general psychosis factor and 5 uncorrelated symptom-specific factors. While this model has received support in clinical samples, it has not been tested at the general population level. Analysis was conducted on Wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (N = 34 653). Twenty-two psychotic symptoms were used as observed indicators of psychosis. These items were chosen based on their conceptual similarity to the items used in a similar study based on clinical samples. Confirmatory factor analysis and confirmatory bifactor modeling were used to test a variety of competing models. The best fitting model consisted of a general psychosis factor that was uncorrelated with 5 specific factors: positive, negative, disorganization, mania, and depression. These findings suggest that the bifactor model can be extended to general population samples, supporting the continuity between clinical and subclinical psychotic experiences. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.



Autism Tendencies and Psychosis Proneness Interactively Modulate Saliency Cost

2016-05-23

Abstract
Atypical responses to salient information are a candidate endophenotype for both autism and psychosis spectrum disorders. The present study investigated the costs and benefits of such atypicalities for saliency-based selection in a large cohort of neurotypical adults in whom both autism and psychosis expressions were assessed. Two experiments found that autism tendencies and psychosis proneness interactively modulated the cost incurred in the presence of a task-irrelevant salient distractor. Specifically, expressions of autism and psychosis had opposing effects on responses to salient information such that the benefits associated with high expressions for autism offset costs associated with high expressions for psychosis. The opposing influences observed on saliency cost may be driven by distinct attentional mechanisms that are differentially affected by expressions for autism and psychosis.



Unique and Overlapping Symptoms in Schizophrenia Spectrum and Dissociative Disorders in Relation to Models of Psychopathology: A Systematic Review

2016-05-21

Abstract
Schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) and dissociative disorders (DDs) are described in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and tenth edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) as 2 categorically distinct diagnostic categories. However, several studies indicate high levels of co-occurrence between these diagnostic groups, which might be explained by overlapping symptoms. The aim of this systematic review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the research concerning overlap and differences in symptoms between schizophrenia spectrum and DDs. For this purpose the PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science databases were searched for relevant literature. The literature contained a large body of evidence showing the presence of symptoms of dissociation in SSDs. Although there are quantitative differences between diagnoses, overlapping symptoms are not limited to certain domains of dissociation, nor to nonpathological forms of dissociation. In addition, dissociation seems to be related to a history of trauma in SSDs, as is also seen in DDs. There is also evidence showing that positive and negative symptoms typically associated with schizophrenia may be present in DD. Implications of these results are discussed with regard to different models of psychopathology and clinical practice.



White Matter Abnormalities Associated With Subsyndromal Psychotic-Like Symptoms Predict Later Social Competence in Children and Adolescents

2016-05-17

Abstract
Introduction:
Recent data suggest that healthy children and adolescents who report psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) evidence abnormalities in white matter (WM). To date, no study has examined whether WM abnormalities associated with PLEs are predictive of outcome at a later time-point. The present study examined whether abnormalities in WM associated with PLEs in children and adolescents at a baseline assessment were predictive of social functioning at a 12-month follow-up.
Subjects and Methods:
Healthy children and adolescents aged 8–18 years (N = 56) were recruited from the community and received a diffusion tensor imaging exam and a clinical exam at baseline. Voxel-wise statistical analysis of fractional anisotropy (FA), using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics, and probabilistic tractography were used to identify WM abnormalities associated with PLEs at baseline. These abnormalities were then examined for association to social problems and social competence in 28 participants at 12-month follow-up.
Results:
Lower FA in regions proximal to the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and corticospinal tract bilaterally as well as in the left inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus and inferior longitudinal fasciculus were associated with higher levels of PLEs at baseline. Moreover, baseline FA in the SLF, but not baseline severity of PLEs, was significantly predictive of social competence at a 12-month follow-up. In contrast, baseline severity of PLEs, but not baseline FA in the SLF, predicted social problems at 12-month follow-up.
Discussion:
These findings suggest that alterations in WM, which are associated with symptoms of psychosis well below the threshold of clinical significance, may have significant ramifications for later social development.



Differential Time Course of Microstructural White Matter in Patients With Psychotic Disorder and Individuals at Risk: A 3-Year Follow-up Study

2016-05-17

Abstract
Background:
Although widespread reduced white matter (WM) integrity is a consistent finding in cross-sectional diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies of schizophrenia, little is known about the course of these alterations. This study examined to what degree microstructural WM alterations display differential trajectories over time as a function of level of psychosis liability.
Methods:
Two DTI scans with a 3-year time interval were acquired from 159 participants (55 patients with a psychotic disorder, 55 nonpsychotic siblings and 49 healthy controls) and processed with tract-based spatial statistics. The mean fractional anisotropy (FA) change over time was calculated. Main effects of group, as well as group × region interactions in the model of FA change were examined with multilevel (mixed-effects) models.
Results:
Siblings revealed a significant mean FA decrease over time compared to controls (B = −0.004, P = .04), resulting in a significant sibling-control difference at follow-up (B = −0.007, P = .03). Patients did not show a significant change over time, but their mean FA was lower than controls both at baseline and at follow-up. A significant group × region interaction (χ2 = 105.4, P = .01) revealed group differences in FA change in the right cingulum, left posterior thalamic radiation, right retrolenticular part of the internal capsule, and the right posterior corona radiata.
Conclusion:
Whole brain mean FA remained stable over a 3-year period in patients with psychotic disorder and declined over time in nonaffected siblings, so that at follow-up both groups had lower FA with respect to controls. The results suggest that liability for psychosis may involve a process of WM alterations.



A Network Approach to Psychosis: Pathways Between Childhood Trauma and Psychotic Symptoms

2016-05-10

Abstract
Childhood trauma (CT) has been identified as a potential risk factor for the onset of psychotic disorders. However, to date, there is limited consensus with respect to which symptoms may ensue after exposure to trauma in early life, and whether specific pathways may account for these associations. The aim of the present study was to use the novel network approach to investigate how different types of traumatic childhood experiences relate to specific symptoms of psychotic disorders and to identify pathways that may be involved in the relationship between CT and psychosis. We used data of patients diagnosed with a psychotic disorder (n = 552) from the longitudinal observational study Genetic Risk and Outcome of Psychosis Project and included the 5 scales of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form and all original symptom dimensions of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Our results show that all 5 types of CT and positive and negative symptoms of psychosis are connected through symptoms of general psychopathology. These findings are in line with the theory of an affective pathway to psychosis after exposure to CT, with anxiety as a main connective component, but they also point to several additional connective paths between trauma and psychosis: eg, through poor impulse control (connecting abuse to grandiosity, excitement, and hostility) and motor retardation (connecting neglect to most negative symptoms). The results of the current study suggest that multiple paths may exist between trauma and psychosis and may also be useful in mapping potential transdiagnostic processes.



Academic Performance in Children of Mothers With Schizophrenia and Other Severe Mental Illness, and Risk for Subsequent Development of Psychosis: A Population-Based Study

2016-04-30

Abstract
Objective:
We examined the academic performance at age 12 years of children of mothers diagnosed with schizophrenia or other severe mental illness using a large whole-population birth cohort born in Western Australia. We investigated the association between academic performance and the subsequent development of psychotic illness.
Method:
The sample comprised 3169 children of mothers with severe mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, unipolar major depression, delusional disorder or other psychoses; ICD-9 codes 295–298), and 88 353 children of comparison mothers without known psychiatric morbidity. Academic performance of children was indexed on a mandatory state-wide test of reading, spelling, writing and numeracy.
Results:
A larger proportion of children (43.1%) of mothers with severe mental illness performed below the acceptable standard than the reference group (30.3%; children of mothers with no known severe mental illness). After adjusting for covariates, children of mothers with any severe mental illness were more likely than the reference group to perform below-benchmark on all domains except reading. For all children, poor spelling was associated with the later development of psychosis, but particularly for those at familial risk for severe mental illness (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.81; 95% CI for HR = 1.21, 2.72).
Conclusions:
Children of mothers with a severe mental illness are at increased risk for sub-standard academic achievement at age 12 years, placing these children at disadvantage for the transition to secondary school. For children with familial risk for severe mental illness, very poor spelling skills at age 12 years may be an indicator of risk for later psychotic disorder.



Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on the Term Schizophrenia

2015-02-09

Throughout my lifetime I have experienced symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations, dissociations, and paranoia. At times, these symptoms have influenced my life in a very profound way. A lot of the times I did not realize the impact the symptoms had on me and the people that I cared most about. Later on in life, I discovered the ability to identify these symptoms of schizophrenia and I used them to label my own psychic processes vs me going to a medical doctor or psychiatrist and having them label and diagnose by authority. This ability to label and classify my own strains of symptoms led me to a new kind of empowerment. It led me to a very deep self-knowledge. I believe that it is within this self-knowledge that resides a hidden strength. To me, having the self-knowledge to identify my own symptomologies has led me to see schizophrenia in a different way. My personal context of schizophrenia is about self-identifying, which provides me the chance to modify my perceptions to match the outside world, and at the same time allowing my symptoms of schizophrenia to rise and fall without a full-on medical containment. In conclusion, for myself, I believe it is possible to have the illness of schizophrenia and being able to both self-identify and self-control symptoms so that my personal sometimes distorted perceptions can be recognized, contained, and then flipped around in order to be more socially in-tune with the current community culture communication.



Autobibliotherapy

2015-02-09

During and after my recovery from schizoaffective disorder I used autobibliotherapy along with talk therapy to improve the quality of my life. Having a cognitive impairment during my earlier years left me poorly equipped in matters of wisdom and I didn’t think with any particular depth about life. I started doing so once I became an English major and later realized literature had many useful lessons that could help me overcome mental illness and also many that would just make me a better person. A great deal of the issues I had were normal life issues and I gained a better understanding of my life just by reading classics and philosophy. I’ve used many lessons learned from literature and philosophy to answer questions that were related to mental illness.



My Stages of Recovery

2014-03-01

When I first was diagnosed with schizophrenia, my first response was, “No, not me.” The response was probably due to what I thought mental illness was. I was scared I would be put in a straight jacket. I thought I would be closed off to the world. I finally came to the conclusion a person with schizophrenia must find help, or possibly wind up on the local news.