Schizophrenia Research and Treatment
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Lack of Association between the IL6R Gene Asp358Ala Variant (rs2228145), IL-6 Plasma Levels, and Treatment Resistance in Chilean Schizophrenic Patients Treated with Clozapine

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Schizophrenia Research and Treatment publishes original research articles, review articles, and clinical studies related to all aspects of schizophrenia.

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Schizophrenia Research and Treatment maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.

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Research Article

Attitude towards Antipsychotic Medications in Patients Diagnosed with Schizophrenia: A Cross-Sectional Study at Amanuel Mental Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Background. Poor attitude towards antipsychotic drugs is high, and it is a factor for non-adherence to treatment. This increases the risk of relapse, associated healthcare utilization, and costs. This study aimed to assess attitude towards antipsychotic medication among patients with schizophrenia. Objectives. The aim of this institution based cross-sectional study was to assess attitude towards antipsychotic medications and associated factors among patients with schizophrenia who attend the outpatient clinics at Amanuel Mental Specialized Hospital, 2018. Methods. In a cross-sectional study, 393 schizophrenic patients from Amanuel Mental Specialized Hospital were recruited by a systematic random sampling technique. Drug Attitude Inventory (DAI-10) was used to assess attitude, experience, and belief about antipsychotics. Glasgow antipsychotic side effect scale modified version, positive and negative syndrome scale, and Birch wood’s insight scale for psychosis were the instruments used to assess the associated factors. Simple and multiple linear regression analysis models were fitted, and the adjusted unstandardized beta (β) coefficient at 95% confidence interval was used. Results. The mean score of attitude towards antipsychotic medications was 6.51 with standard deviation (SD) of 2.22. In multiple linear regression, positive symptoms (β= -0.07, 95% CI: (-0.09, -0.05)), negative symptoms (β= -0.04, 95% CI: (-0.06,-0.02)), shorter (≤5 years) duration of illness (β= -0.39, 95% CI: (-0.63, -0.15)), first generation antipsychotics (β = -0.35, 95% CI: (-0.55,-0.14)), having sedation (β= -0.28, 95% CI: (-0.52, -0.02)), and extra-pyramidal side effects (β= -0.34, 95% CI: (-0.59,-0.09)) were factors negatively associated with attitude towards antipsychotic medication treatment. Insight to illness (β= 0.24, 95% CI: (0.20, 0.27) was a factor positively associated with attitude towards antipsychotic medications. Conclusion. The result suggests that the mean score of participants’ attitude towards antipsychotic medications was good. Prevention of side effects particularly due to first generation antipsychotics is necessary.

Review Article

Assessing the Relationship between Performance on the University of California Performance Skills Assessment (UPSA) and Outcomes in Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Evidence Synthesis

Objective. To perform a systematic review of the published literature to evaluate how functional capacity, as measured by the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) Performance-based Skills Assessment (UPSA), relates to other functional measures and real-world outcomes among individuals with schizophrenia. Methods. The MEDLINE® and Embase® databases were searched to identify joint evaluations with UPSA and key functional outcomes (functional scale measures; generic or disease-specific, health-related quality of life [HRQoL]; or real-world outcomes [residential status; employment status]) in patients with schizophrenia. Pearson correlations were estimated between UPSA scores, HRQoL, other functional scale measures, and real-world outcomes, for outcomes described in at least six studies. Results. The synthesis included 76 studies that provided 73 unique data sets. Quantitative assessment between the Specific Level of Function (SLOF) (n=18) scores and UPSA scores demonstrated a moderate borderline-significant correlation (0.45, p=0.06). Quantitative analysis of the relationship between the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) (n=11) and the Multidimensional Scale of Independent Functioning (MSIF) (n=6) scales revealed moderate and small nonsignificant Pearson correlations of -0.34 (p=0.31) and 0.12 (p=0.83), respectively. There was a small borderline-significant correlation between UPSA score and residential status (n=36; 0.31; p=0.08), while no correlation was found between UPSA score and employment status (n=19; 0.04; p=0.88). Conclusion. The SLOF was the most often used functional measure and had the strongest observed correlation with the UPSA. Although knowledge gaps remain, evidence from this review indicates that there is a quantitative relationship between functional capacity and real-world outcomes in individuals with schizophrenia.

Review Article

Effectiveness of Integrated Neurocognitive Therapy on Cognitive Impairment and Functional Outcome for Schizophrenia Outpatients

Cognitive impairment is highly prevalent in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Many interventions have been developed to treat cognitive deficit, since it has a strong impact on functional outcome; however, there are no integrated interventions targeting multiple neuro- and social-cognitive domains with a particular focus on the generalization of the effects of therapy on the functional outcome. Recently, a group of experts has developed a cognitive remediation group therapy approach called Integrated Neurocognitive Therapy (INT), which includes exercises to improve the MATRICS (Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia) neuro- and social-cognitive domains. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess the efficacy of this approach. We conducted a search of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and PsycINFO to select primary studies evaluating INT in schizophrenic and schizoaffective patients. The primary outcomes of the meta-analysis included negative and positive symptoms and global functioning. Two randomized controlled trials met inclusion criteria. A total of 217 participants were included. Based on the results from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), a significant pooled effect size was observed for negative symptoms, which demonstrated not only an improvement in the patients treated immediately after therapy but also a permanence of positive results at a 9–12-month follow-up. On the other hand, no significant effect size was observed for positive symptoms. In addition, a significant pooled effect size was found for Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), which shows how INT’s integrated approach has lasting positive implications on patients’ functional outcome. We concluded that INT might be an effective treatment for negative symptoms and global functioning in patients with schizophrenia, compared to treatment as usual (TAU).

Research Article

Long-Acting Injectable Second-Generation Antipsychotics Improve Negative Symptoms and Suicidal Ideation in Recent Diagnosed Schizophrenia Patients: A 1-Year Follow-up Pilot Study

Long-acting injectable second-generation antipsychotics (LAI-SGA) are typically used to maintain treatment adherence in patients with chronic schizophrenia. Recent research suggests that they may also provide an effective treatment strategy for patients with early-phase disease. The aim of this study is to evaluate clinical and psychosocial outcomes among recent and long-term diagnosed schizophrenia outpatients treated with LAI-SGA during a follow-up period of 12 months. Stable schizophrenia patients receiving LAI-SGA with 5 or less years of illness duration (n = 10) were compared to those with more than 5 years of illness duration (n = 15). Clinical data was assessed through the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), the Recovery Style Questionnaire (RSQ), and the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) Managing Emotion branch. Recently diagnosed patients showed greater improvement versus patients diagnosed for more than 5 years in adjusted mean GAF score, in PANSS factor score for negative and depressive symptoms, and in severity and intensity of suicidal ideation. Our preliminary findings support the hypothesis that LAI-SGA may influence the course of the illness if administered at the early phase of the illness. However, replicate studies are needed, possibly with larger samples.

Research Article

Metabolic Syndrome among Schizophrenic Patients: A Comparative Cross-Sectional Study in the Middle Belt of Ghana

The study determined the prevalence of MetS in patients with schizophrenia at the Psychiatric Unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Kumasi, Ghana. This comparative cross-sectional study recruited 348 schizophrenic patients comprising 236 antipsychotic-treated and 112 newly diagnosed treatment-naïve patients. The MetS prevalence was assessed based on World Health Organization (WHO), International Diabetes Federation (IDF), and the National Cholesterol Education Programme, Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) criteria. The overall prevalence of MetS was 14.1%, 20.4%, and 23.6% using NCEP ATP III, WHO, and IDF criteria, respectively, compared to 7.8%, 3.9%, and 2.2% reported in the general Ghanaian population. The prevalence was significantly higher among treated psychiatric patients compared to treatment-naïve group based on NCEP ATP III (17.8% versus 6.2%; p = 0.0001), WHO (26.2% versus 8.0%; p < 0.0001), and IDF (30.3% versus 10.0%; p < 0.0001). MetS was prevalent among patients on atypical antipsychotics compared to typical antipsychotics irrespective of the criteria used (i.e., 17.1% versus 11.1% for NCEP ATP III; 29.5% versus 25.9% for WHO; and 44.3% versus 18.5% for IDF). Using logistic regression model, obesity, raised fasting blood sugar, raised total cholesterol, and decreased high density lipoprotein were observed to be significant predictors of MetS (p<0.05).The study found high prevalence of MetS in Ghanaians with schizophrenia and higher prevalence rate of MetS associated with monotherapy. Regular monitoring of cardiometabolic parameters should be an important therapeutic objective in the management of these patients.

Review Article

Change in Prolactin Levels in Pediatric Patients Given Antipsychotics for Schizophrenia and Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: A Network Meta-Analysis

Background. Treatment of schizophrenia with first- and second-generation antipsychotics has been associated with elevated prolactin levels, which may increase the risk for prolactin-related adverse events. Methods. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) included in a recent systematic review were considered for this analysis. A Bayesian network meta-analysis was used to compare changes in prolactin levels in pediatric patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizophrenia spectrum disorders treated with second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs). Results. Five RCTs, including 989 patients combined, have evaluated the changes in prolactin for pediatric patients after 6 weeks of treatment with risperidone, quetiapine, aripiprazole, olanzapine, and paliperidone. In the overall study population, treatment with risperidone was associated with the highest increase in mean prolactin levels compared to other SGAs. Patients treated with risperidone 4–6 mg/day were found to experience the greatest increases (55.06 ng/ml [95% CrI: 40.53–69.58]) in prolactin levels, followed by risperidone 1–3 mg/day, paliperidone 3–6 mg/day, and paliperidone 6–12 mg/day. Conclusions. This study shows that there are differences in SGAs ability to cause hyperprolactinemia. Further, there is clear evidence of safety concerns with risperidone and paliperidone treatment in adolescent schizophrenia patients. Registration. PROSPERO CRD42014009506.

Schizophrenia Research and Treatment
 Journal metrics
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CiteScore2.710
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