We investigated whether psychosis risk symptoms predicted psychiatric service use using seven-year register follow-up data.
Our sample included 715 adolescents aged 15-18, referred to psychiatric care for the first time. Psychosis risk symptoms were assessed with the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ) at the beginning of the treatment. We assessed the power of the overall PQ as well as its positive, negative, general, and disorganized psychosis risk symptom factors in predicting prolonged service use. Baseline psychiatric diagnoses (grouped into 7 categories) were controlled for. Based on both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment after baseline, adolescents were divided into three groups of brief, intermittent, and persistent service use.
Stronger symptoms on any PQ factor as well as the presence of a mood disorder predicted prolonged service use. All of the PQ factors remained significant predictors when adjusted for baseline mood disorder and multimorbidity.
In a prospective follow-up of a large sample using comprehensive mental health records, our findings indicate that assessing psychosis risk symptoms in clinical adolescent settings at the beginning of treatment could predict long-term need for care beyond diagnostic information. Our findings replicate the previous findings that positive psychosis risk symptoms are unspecific markers of severity of psychopathology. Also psychosis risk symptoms of the negative, disorganization, and general clusters are approximately as strongly associated with prolonged psychiatric service use in the upcoming years.
*Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; †Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; ‡Clinic of Child Psychiatry, Oulu University and University Hospital, Oulu, Finland; and §Tampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere and Department of Psychiatry, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
This study aimed to examine alexithymic features and associations between alexithymia and psychiatric symptoms among adolescents living in a closed institution because of severe behavioral problems. Forty-seven adolescents (29 boys and 18 girls) aged 15 to 18 years completed the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) Questionnaire and the Youth Self-Report, whereas their foster parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist. The TAS-20 scores of the participants were compared with those of an extensive population sample (N = 6000) matched by age and birth year. Reform school adolescents are significantly more alexithymic than the control group, and the TAS-20 scores are correlated with numerous psychiatric problems, mainly in the internalizing spectrum, but also with thought problems and self-reported aggression. Promoting abilities in identifying and describing feelings is important when treating delinquent adolescents.
We performed a whole-genome expression study to clarify the nature of the biological processes mediating between inherited genetic variations and cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.
Gene expression was assayed from peripheral blood mononuclear cells using Illumina Human WG6 v3.0 chips in twins discordant for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and control twins. After quality control, expression levels of 18,559 genes were screened for association with the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) performance, and any memory-related probes were then evaluated for variation by diagnostic status in the discovery sample (N = 190), and in an independent replication sample (N = 73). Heritability of gene expression using the twin design was also assessed.
After Bonferroni correction (p
Cites: Am J Hum Genet. 2000 Aug;67(2):369-8210880296
Psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) are sub-psychotic expressions of the psychosis continuum. Several studies have suggested multifactorial models, including a bifactor model, of the putative PLEs assessed with the popular Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) questionnaire. Our confirmatory results in a gender-balanced population of adolescents and young adults support a three-factor Paranoia-Delusions-Hallucinations structure of PLEs, which excludes Grandiosity and Common Paranormal Beliefs. The best latent models achieved excellent fit when taking the categorical nature of the responses into consideration.
Full-information factor analysis of ordinal data was employed to determine the factorial structure of the responses of 31,822 adult Swedish women to the 20 "positive" psychotic experience items of the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) questionnaire. Five separable but correlated trait dimensions were found, reflecting Paranoia, Grandiosity, Magical Thinking, Delusions, and Hallucinations. High scores on any dimension were associated with a higher probability of questionnaire-assessed lifetime major depressive episodes or generalized anxiety disorder, though Grandiosity was so only to a very small degree. Our results closely match previous findings among adolescents and young women, and demonstrate that psychotic experiences cannot be considered a single trait.
The Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ) identifies psychiatric help-seekers in need of clinical interviews to diagnose psychosis risk. However, some providers use the PQ alone to identify risk. Therefore, we tested its predictive utility among 731 adolescent psychiatric help-seekers, with a 3-9-year register-based follow-up. Nine latent factors corresponded well with postulated subscales. Depersonalization predicted later hospitalization with a psychosis diagnosis (HR 1.6 per SD increase), and Role Functioning predicted any psychiatric hospitalization (HR 1.3). Published cut-off scores were poor predictors of psychosis; endorsement rates were very high for most symptoms. Therefore, we do not recommend using the PQ without second-stage clinical interviews.
Research has identified a syndrome conferring ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis, although UHR interviews require intensive staff training, time and patient burden. Previously, we developed the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ) to screen more efficiently for UHR syndromes.
This study examined the concurrent validity of the PQ against UHR status and preliminary predictive validity for later psychotic disorder.
We assessed a consecutive patient sample of 408 adolescents who presented to psychiatry clinics in Helsinki, Finland, seeking mental health treatment, including 80 participants who completed the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS).
A cut-off score of 18 or more positive symptoms on the PQ predicted UHR diagnoses on the SIPS with 82% sensitivity and 49% specificity. Three of 14 (21%) participants with high PQ scores and SIPS UHR diagnoses developed full psychotic disorders within 1 year.
Using the PQ and SIPS together can be an efficient two-stage screening process for prodromal psychosis in mental health clinics.
While behavioral research shows working memory impairments in schizophrenics and their relatives, functional neuroimaging studies of patients and healthy controls show conflicting findings of hypo- and hyperactivation, possibly indicating different relationships between physiological activity and performance. In a between-subjects regression analysis of fMRI activation and performance, low performance was associated with relatively lower activation in patients than controls, while higher performance was associated with higher activation in patients than controls in DLPFC and parietal cortex, but not occipital cortex, with unaffected twins of schizophrenics being intermediate between the groups. Accordingly, this supports the idea that both hyper and hypoactivation may be possible along a continuum of behavioral performance in a way consistent with a neural inefficiency model. Further, this study offers preliminary evidence that the relationship between behavior and physiology in schizophrenia may be heritable.
Specialized self-report questionnaires have been developed for detection of symptoms indicative of psychosis risk. The identification of at-risk individuals is typically based on sum scores, which assume equal severity and discriminability of all symptoms, and a single dimension of illness. Our aim was to test whether separable dimensions of risk could be identified in the general population.
We explored the latent structure of one such questionnaire using full-information item factor analysis, deriving exploratory models from the PROD-Screen questionnaire responses of the adolescent general population based on the Northern Finland 1986 Birth Cohort (n=6611).
A three-dimensional factor structure of positive, negative and general symptoms emerged. The factor structure, the appropriateness of the statistical model and the application of the results to the detection of heightened psychosis risk are discussed.
In explicitly taking into account the multidimensionality and varying symptom severity of the included items, the current model provides an improvement in questionnaire-based assessment of psychosis risk.
The nature, neural underpinnings, and etiology of deficits in verbal declarative memory in patients with schizophrenia remain unclear. To examine the contributions of genes and environment to verbal recall and recognition performance in this disorder, the California Verbal Learning Test was administered to a large population-based Finnish twin sample, which included schizophrenic and schizoaffective patients, their non-ill monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) co-twins, and healthy control twins. Compared with controls, patients and their co-twins showed relatively greater performance deficits on free recall compared with recognition. Intra-pair differences between patients and their non-ill co-twins in hippocampal volume and memory performance were highly positively correlated. These findings are consistent with the view that genetic influences are associated with reduced verbal recall in schizophrenia, but that non-genetic influences further compromise these abnormalities in patients who manifest the full-blown schizophrenia phenotype, with this additional degree of disease-related declarative memory deficit mediated in part by hippocampal pathology.