Schizophrenia News: October 2013

  • It's thought parkinsonism predicts the cognitive course of schizophrenia.

    A research team detected parkinsonism in 15 (19.5%) of 77 patients with first-episode psychosis.  The study participants had not ever taken antipsychotic medication.


    The patients were retested at 1 and 6 months.  At 6 months, patients with parkinsonism had poorer scores for several tests of memory, executive functioning, and attention.


    Cognitive impairments are one of the most critical indicators of functioning and quality of life in schizophrenia and other psychoses.


    Lead study author Manuel Cuesta (Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain) suggests the team's findings fit with the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia because of  a coexistence of presynaptic striatal hypedopaminergia in psychotic patients with prominent [spontaneous parkinsonism]. 

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    This would explain the psychosis with some kind of striatal or subcortical hypodopaminergia that would express parkinsonian signs such as hypokinesia and cognitive dysfunction.


    (Parkinsonism predicts schizophrenia cognitive course, retrieved on October 18, 2013 from medwireNews


    Motivational interviewing is linked to helping specific subgroups of individuals with schizophrenia adhere to their SZ medication.


    The targeted study found that at 6 months of follow-up those patients using depot rather than oral medication were significantly more adherent if they had received motivational interviewing.


    Depot drugs are injected into the body are long-acting forms of the medication.


    Emile Barkhof (Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) deems the findings remarkable as medication compliance is strongly linked with relapse rates.


    The study participants who most benefited were patients aged 35 years or younger, with a hospitalization rate of 14% with motivational interviewing versus 50% without.  Women had a 9% rate versus 63%.  Those with  a schizophrenia duration of less than 6 years were hospitalized at 14% versus 42%.


    The researchers conclude targeted use of motivational interviewing could be of benefit for improving medication adherence in certain groups of patients."


    (Targeted motivational interviewing may improve antipsychotic adherence retrieved on October 18, 2013 from


    UCLA researchers have joined an international consortium to investigate the high rate of schizophrenia in individuals who have Chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.  This is a disorder caused by the deletion of a small piece of chromosome number 22


    Chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome can also include developmental delays and developmental and behavioral differences across the life span.  Later in life, individuals with the 22111.2 deletion are at an increased risk of developing schizophrenia, as well as depression and anxiety disorder.


    Twenty-five to 30 percent of adolescents and young adults with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome develop psychotic illness.


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    UCLA lead researcher Carrie Bearden suggests the results of the study will help identify pathways leading to schizophrenia in the general population.


    The National Institute of Mental Health funded research will include whole-genome sequencing in order to uncover genetic variations involved in the heterogeneity of neuropsychiatric and neurobehavioral phenotypes of schizophrenia and psychosis.


    The goal is improving patient care and long-term outcomes, according to Bearden.


    (UCLA investigates high rates of schizophrenia in people with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, retrieved on October 18, 2013 from

Published On: October 27, 2013