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Schizophrenia Research and Treatment publishes original research articles and review articles related to all aspects of schizophrenia.
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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Adherence to Typical Antipsychotics among Patients with Schizophrenia in Uganda: A Cross-Sectional Study
Background. There has been a recent transition from typical to atypical antipsychotics in managing schizophrenia. This has been attributed to the acute side effects experienced by patients on typical antipsychotics that lead to nonadherence. However, the treatment cost with typical antipsychotics is cheaper (preferred in low-income settings), and there is no difference in the effectiveness, efficacy, discontinuation rate, or side effect symptom burden with atypical antipsychotics. This study is aimed at determining the prevalence of nonadherence and the associated factors to typical antipsychotics among patients with schizophrenia attending a psychiatric outpatient clinic at a rural tertiary facility in Uganda. Method. A cross-sectional study among 135 patients with schizophrenia for at least six months on typical antipsychotics (mean age of 39.7 (±11.9) and 55.6% were female) from a rural tertiary facility in Uganda. Data were collected regarding sociodemographics, adherence, insight for psychosis, attitude towards typical antipsychotics, side effects, satisfaction with medications, and explanations from health workers about medications and side effects. Logistic regression was used to determine the factors associated with nonadherence. Results. The prevalence of nonadherence was 16.3%, and the likelihood of being nonadherent was more among the poor (monthly earning below the poverty line). However, having reduced energy was associated with reducing the likelihood of having nonadherence. Conclusion. The prevalence of nonadherence was lower than many previously obtained prevalence and was comparable to nonadherence for atypical antipsychotics. However, to reduce nonadherence, we need all stakeholders (such as the government, insurance companies, and caregivers) to assist patients living in poverty with access to medication.
Investigating Body Mass Index and Body Composition in Patients with Schizophrenia: A Case-Control Study
Background. Antipsychotics exert metabolic side effects, and prolonged treatment with antipsychotics causes changes in body weight and muscle composition. Nevertheless, reports on the changes in body composition of patients with schizophrenia have been limited. This study is aimed at comparing the body mass index and body composition of patients with schizophrenia with healthy individuals in Indonesia. Methods. A total of 195 patients with schizophrenia (148 males and 47 females) and 195 healthy individuals matched by gender were recruited. Using the Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis method, the participants’ body compositions were measured. Results. Compared to healthy individuals, the patient group exhibited a higher rate of underweight as well as a lower rate of overweight and obesity. Multiple regression analysis confirmed the associations between the body mass index and all measured body compositions. Furthermore, the diagnosis of schizophrenia is significantly associated with lower muscle mass, lower bone mass, higher basal metabolic rate, older metabolic age, and higher total body water. Conclusions. The results showed that patients with schizophrenia are at a greater risk of a lower quality of certain components of body composition. Priority should be given to research that addresses increasing the patient’s level of physical activity.
Cigarette Smoking and Schizophrenia: Etiology, Clinical, Pharmacological, and Treatment Implications
Recent data suggests that the prevalence of smoking in schizophrenia remains high. While reports suggest that smoking increases the risk of developing schizophrenia, the potential causative role of smoking in this relationship needs further investigation. Smokers with schizophrenia are more likely to have more intense positive symptoms and lower cognitive function, but diminished intensity of extrapyramidal side effects than nonsmoking patients with schizophrenia. They were also more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviour compared to nonsmokers, which could suggest higher levels of baseline aggression. The significant cost associated with regular tobacco expenditure can detract from investment in key domains. Large-scale trials have shown that pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation is effective and does not worsen the risk of developing neuropsychiatric symptoms compared to placebo. Electronic cigarette use among schizophrenia patients is high, and there is emerging evidence supportive of its efficacy. Future improvements include large-scale trials assessing the utility, efficacy, and safety of electronic cigarettes in schizophrenia patients.
Comparison of Efficacy and Safety between Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotic Monotherapy and Combination of Long-Acting Injectable and Oral Antipsychotics in Patients with Schizophrenia
Background. Long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics are used as a monotherapy in patients with schizophrenia. However, the combination of LAI and oral antipsychotics is commonly used in clinical practice, despite there being very limited studies investigating the efficacy and safety of this combination compared with LAI antipsychotic monotherapy. Objective. To study the efficacy and safety of LAI antipsychotic monotherapy compared with the combination of LAI and oral antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia. Methods. This study was a retrospective cohort study, which classified eligible patients into two groups: the LAI antipsychotic monotherapy group and the combination of LAI and oral antipsychotic group. The primary outcome was hospitalization between groups. The duration of the study was 2 years. Results. In total, 86 patients completed the study and were analysed (LAI antipsychotic monotherapy group: ; combination of LAI and oral antipsychotic group: ). There was no significant difference in hospitalization between the two groups (). For other outcomes, there were also no significant differences in both all-cause discontinuation () and adverse drug reactions () between the two groups. Conclusion. The efficacy and safety of LAI antipsychotic monotherapy appeared similar to the combination of LAI and oral antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia. Therefore, the combination of LAI and oral antipsychotics, which is commonly used in clinical practice, may not be necessary.
Homocysteine in Schizophrenia: Independent Pathogenetic Factor with Prooxidant Activity or Integral Marker of Other Biochemical Disturbances?
A wide range of studies have demonstrated that hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with the risk of schizophrenia, but currently available assumptions about the direct involvement of homocysteine (Hcy) in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia are hypothetical. It is possible that in vivo Hcy is only a marker of folate metabolism disturbances (which are involved in methylation processes) and is not a pathogenetic factor per se. Only one study has been conducted in which associations of hyperhomocysteinemia with oxidative stress in schizophrenia (oxidative damage to protein and lipids) have been found, and it has been suggested that the oxidative stress may be induced by the elevated Hcy in schizophrenic patients. But the authors did not study the level of reduced glutathione (GSH), as well as possible causes of hyperhomocysteinemia—disturbances of folate metabolism. The aim of this work is to analyze the association of Hcy levels with the following: (1) redox markers in schizophrenia GSH, markers of oxidative damage of proteins and lipids, and the activity of antioxidant enzymes in blood serum; (2) with the level of folate and cobalamin (В12); and (3) with clinical features of schizophrenia measured using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). 50 patients with schizophrenia and 36 healthy volunteers, matched by sex and age, were examined. Hcy in patients is higher than in healthy subjects (), and this may be due to the lower folate level in patients (). In patients, negative correlation was found between the level of Hcy both with the level of folate (, ) and with the level of B12 (, ). At the same time, patients showed higher levels of oxidative modification of serum proteins () and lower catalase (CAT) activity (). However, Hcy is not associated with the studied markers of oxidative stress in patients. In the group of patients with an increased level of Hcy (>10 μmol/l, ) compared with other patients (), some negative symptoms (PANSS) were statistically significantly more pronounced: difficulty in abstract thinking (N5, ), lack of spontaneity and flow in conversation (N6, ), stereotyped thinking (N7, ), and motor retardation (G7, ). Thus, in patients with schizophrenia, hyperhomocysteinemia caused by deficiency of folate and B12 is confirmed and can be considered a marker of disturbances of vitamin metabolism. The redox imbalance is probably not directly related to hyperhomocysteinemia and is hypothetically caused by other pathological processes or by an indirect effect of Hcy, for example, on the enzymatic antioxidant defence system (CAT activity), which requires further exploration. Further study of the role of Hcy in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia is relevant, since the proportion of patients with hyperhomocysteinemia is high and correlations of its level with negative symptoms of schizophrenia are noted.
Suicide Behavior and Its Predictors in Patients with Schizophrenia in Ethiopia
Background. People with schizophrenia (PWS) are at greater risk of suicide. However, suicide behaviors that occur in PWS are often overlooked, inadequately characterized, and not consistently integrated into treatment. Despite this burden and consequences in Ethiopia, there is a dearth of studies concerning suicide behavior in PWS. Therefore, this study is aimed at assessing the magnitude of suicide behavior and its predictors among PWS in Ethiopia. Methods. An institution based cross-sectional study was employed. Data were collected using the structured interviewer-administered questionnaire from a sample of 300 PWS at Amanuel Mental Specialized Hospital (AMSH). The revised version of Suicide Behavior Questionnaire (SBQ-R) was used to assess suicide behavior in PWS. The data was collected from March 1 to 30, 2019. Binary logistic regression was performed to identify independent predictors of suicidal behavior at 95% confidence level. Statistical significance was declared at value <0.05. Result. A total of 300 patients with schizophrenia participated in the study. More than two-thirds of 203 (67.7%) of the participants were males, and 116 (38.7%) participants were between the ages of 28 and 37 years. We found that the prevalence of suicide behavior among PWS was 30.3%. Being unemployed (, , 10.05), family history of suicide (, , 7.23), substance use (, , 5.59), current positive psychotic symptoms (hallucination (, , 14.29), and delusion (, , 14.29) and presence of comorbid depression (, , 11.68) were independent significant predictors with suicidal behavior in PWS. Conclusion. The prevalence of suicidal behavior among PWS was found to be high. Hence, designing strategies for early screening and intervention is the most critical prevention strategy of suicide in PWS.