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Two Thalamic Regions Screened Using Laser Capture Microdissection with Whole Human Genome Microarray in Schizophrenia Postmortem Samples
We used whole human genome microarray screening of highly enriched neuronal populations from two thalamic regions in postmortem samples from subjects with schizophrenia and controls to identify brain region-specific gene expression changes and possible transcriptional targets. The thalamic anterior nucleus is reciprocally connected to anterior cingulate, a schizophrenia-affected cortical region, and is also thought to be schizophrenia affected; the other thalamic region is not. Using two regions in the same subject to identify disease-relevant gene expression differences was novel and reduced intersubject heterogeneity of findings. We found gene expression differences related to miRNA-137 and other SZ-associated microRNAs, ELAVL1, BDNF, DISC-1, MECP2 and YWHAG associated findings, synapses, and receptors. Manual curation of our data may support transcription repression.
The Prevalence and Correlates of Social Anxiety Symptoms among People with Schizophrenia in Ethiopia: An Institution-Based Cross-Sectional Study
Background. The comorbidity of social anxiety disorder is very common in schizophrenia patients and affects almost all age groups. This social anxiety disorder negatively impacts the quality of life, medication adherence, and treatment outcomes of people with schizophrenia. It is not well recognized in clinical settings. Therefore, assessing social anxiety symptoms and its associated factors was significant to early intervention and management of schizophrenia patients in Ethiopia. Methods. An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted at Amanuel Mental Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Data collectors randomly recruited 423 schizophrenic patients by using the systematic sampling technique. A face-to-face interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. The standardized Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) was employed to assess individual social anxiety symptoms. We computed bivariate and multivariate binary logistic regressions to identify factors associated with social anxiety symptoms. Statistical significance was declared at . Results. The prevalence of social anxiety symptoms was 36.2% (95% CI: 31.50, 40.80). Male sex (, 95% CI: 1.20, 3.44), age of onset of schizophrenia (, 95% CI:1.17, 3.12), positive symptoms (, 95% CI:0.67, 0.83), depression/anxiety symptoms (, 95% CI: 1.18, 1.41), number of hospitalizations (, 95% CI:1.32, 5.80), and suicidal ideation (, 95% CI: 0.26, 0.74) were factors significantly associated with social anxiety symptoms at , whereas poor social support (, 95% CI:2.03, 14.70) and suicide attempts (, 95% CI: 1.14, 3.26) were statistically associated with social anxiety symptoms at . Conclusion. The prevalence of social anxiety symptoms among schizophrenia patients was found to be high. Timely treatment of positive and depression/anxiety symptoms and suicide risk assessments and interventions need to be done to manage the problems.
Lack of Association between the IL6R Gene Asp358Ala Variant (rs2228145), IL-6 Plasma Levels, and Treatment Resistance in Chilean Schizophrenic Patients Treated with Clozapine
Alterations in neuroinflammatory processes have been suggested to contribute to the development of Schizophrenia (SZ); one component of the inflammatory system that has been linked to this disorder is interleukin-6 (IL-6). The minor allele of rs2228145, a functional polymorphism in the IL-6 receptor gene, has been associated to elevated IL-6 plasma levels and increased inflammatory activity, making it an interesting candidate to study as a possible factor underlying clinical heterogeneity in SZ. We studied a sample of 100 patients undergoing treatment with clozapine. Their symptoms were quantified by Brief Psychotic Rating Scale; those with the lowest scores (“remitted”) were compared with the highest (“clozapine treatment resistant”). We determined allelic frequencies for rs2228145 and IL-6 plasma levels. Our results do not support a role of IL-6 in response to treatment with clozapine. Further studies accounting for potential confounding factors are necessary.
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.
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.
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).