Publications by authors named "Donald C Goff"

188 Publications

Impairment in acquisition of conditioned fear in schizophrenia.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2021 Sep 29. Epub 2021 Sep 29.

Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Individuals with schizophrenia show impairments in associative learning. One well-studied, quantifiable form of associative learning is Pavlovian fear conditioning. However, to date, studies of fear conditioning in schizophrenia have been inconclusive, possibly because they lacked sufficient power. To address this issue, we pooled data from four independent fear conditioning studies that included a total of 77 individuals with schizophrenia and 74 control subjects. Skin conductance responses (SCRs) to stimuli that were paired (the CS + ) or not paired (CS-) with an aversive, unconditioned stimulus were measured, and the success of acquisition of differential conditioning (the magnitude of CS + vs. CS- SCRs) and responses to CS + and CS- separately were assessed. We found that acquisition of differential conditioned fear responses was significantly lower in individuals with schizophrenia than in healthy controls (Cohen's d = 0.53). This effect was primarily related to a significantly higher response to the CS- stimulus in the schizophrenia compared to the control group. Moreover, the magnitude of this response to the CS- in the schizophrenia group was correlated with the severity of delusional ideation (p = 0.006). Other symptoms or antipsychotic dose were not associated with fear conditioning measures. In conclusion, individuals with schizophrenia who endorse delusional beliefs may be over-responsive to neutral stimuli during fear conditioning. This finding is consistent with prior models of abnormal associative learning in psychosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41386-021-01193-1DOI Listing
September 2021

Association Between Antipsychotic Use and COVID-19 Mortality Among People With Serious Mental Illness.

JAMA Psychiatry 2021 Sep 22. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Department of Psychiatry, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.2503DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8459305PMC
September 2021

Association Between Mental Health Disorders and Mortality Among Patients With COVID-19 in 7 Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

JAMA Psychiatry 2021 Jul 27. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Aix-Marseille University, CEReSS-Health Service Research and Quality of Life Center, Marseille, France.

Importance: Heterogeneous evidence exists for the association between COVID-19 and the clinical outcomes of patients with mental health disorders. It remains unknown whether patients with COVID-19 and mental health disorders are at increased risk of mortality and should thus be targeted as a high-risk population for severe forms of COVID-19.

Objective: To determine whether patients with mental health disorders were at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality compared with patients without mental health disorders.

Data Sources: For this systematic review and meta-analysis, MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Google Scholar were searched from inception to February 12, 2021. Bibliographies were also searched, and the corresponding authors were directly contacted. The search paradigm was based on the following combination: (mental, major[MeSH terms]) AND (COVID-19 mortality[MeSH terms]). To ensure exhaustivity, the term mental was replaced by psychiatric, schizophrenia, psychotic, bipolar disorder, mood disorders, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, personality disorder, eating disorder, alcohol abuse, alcohol misuse, substance abuse, and substance misuse.

Study Selection: Eligible studies were population-based cohort studies of all patients with identified COVID-19 exploring the association between mental health disorders and mortality.

Data Extraction And Synthesis: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) reporting guideline was used for abstracting data and assessing data quality and validity. This systematic review is registered with PROSPERO.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Pooled crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for the association of mental health disorders with mortality were calculated using a 3-level random-effects (study/country) approach with a hierarchical structure to assess effect size dependency.

Results: In total, 16 population-based cohort studies (data from medico-administrative health or electronic/medical records databases) across 7 countries (1 from Denmark, 2 from France, 1 from Israel, 3 from South Korea, 1 from Spain, 1 from the UK, and 7 from the US) and 19 086 patients with mental health disorders were included. The studies covered December 2019 to July 2020, were of good quality, and no publication bias was identified. COVID-19 mortality was associated with an increased risk among patients with mental health disorders compared with patients without mental health disorders according to both pooled crude OR (1.75 [95% CI, 1.40-2.20]; P < .05) and adjusted OR (1.38 [95% CI, 1.15-1.65]; P < .05). The patients with severe mental health disorders had the highest ORs for risk of mortality (crude OR: 2.26 [95% CI, 1.18-4.31]; adjusted OR: 1.67 [95% CI, 1.02-2.73]).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 16 observational studies in 7 countries, mental health disorders were associated with increased COVID-19-related mortality. Thus, patients with mental health disorders should have been targeted as a high-risk population for severe forms of COVID-19, requiring enhanced preventive and disease management strategies. Future studies should more accurately evaluate the risk for patients with each mental health disorder. However, the highest risk seemed to be found in studies including individuals with schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.2274DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8317055PMC
July 2021

Quantitative Macromolecular Proton Fraction Mapping Reveals Altered Cortical Myelin Profile in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders.

Cereb Cortex Commun 2021 24;2(2):tgab015. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Radiology, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.

Myelin abnormalities have been reported in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) in white matter. However, examinations of cortical myeloarchitecture in SSD, especially those using quantitative measures, are limited. Here, we employed macromolecular proton fraction (MPF) obtained from quantitative magnetization transfer imaging to characterize intracortical myelin organization in 30 SSD patients versus 34 healthy control (HC) participants. We constructed cortical myelin profiles by extracting MPF values at various cortical depths and quantified their shape using a nonlinearity index (NLI). To delineate the association of illness duration with myelin changes, SSD patients were further divided into 3 duration groups. Between-group comparisons revealed reduced NLI in the SSD group with the longest illness duration (>5.5 years) compared with HC predominantly in bilateral prefrontal areas. Within the SSD group, cortical NLI decreased with disease duration and was positively associated with a measure of spatial working memory capacity as well as with cortical thickness (CT). Layer-specific analyses suggested that NLI decreases in the long-duration SSD group may arise in part from significantly increased MPF values in the midcortical layers. The current study reveals cortical myelin profile changes in SSD with illness progression, which may reflect an abnormal compensatory mechanism of the disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/texcom/tgab015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8271044PMC
February 2021

Effect of citalopram on hippocampal volume in first-episode schizophrenia: Structural MRI results from the DECIFER trial.

Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging 2021 06 7;312:111286. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Psychiatry, NYU Langone Health, 1 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America; Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, 140 Old Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, NY 10962, United States of America. Electronic address:

Hippocampal volume loss is prominent in first episode schizophrenia (FES) and has been associated with poor clinical outcomes and with BDNF genotype; antidepressants are believed to reverse hippocampal volume loss via release of BDNF. In a 12-month, placebo-controlled add-on trial of the antidepressant, citalopram, during the maintenance phase of FES, negative symptoms were improved with citalopram. We now report results of structural brain imaging at baseline and 6 months in 63 FES patients (34 in citalopram group) from the trial to assess whether protection against hippocampal volume loss contributed to improved negative symptoms with citalopram. Hippocampal volumetric integrity (HVI) did not change significantly in the citalopram or placebo group and did not differ between treatment groups, whereas citalopram was associated with greater volume loss of the right CA1 subfield. Change in cortical thickness was associated with SANS change in 4 regions (left rostral anterior cingulate, right frontal pole, right cuneus, and right transverse temporal) but none differed between treatment groups. Our findings suggest that minimal hippocampal volume loss occurs after stabilization on antipsychotic treatment and that citalopram's potential benefit for negative symptoms is unlikely to result from protection against hippocampal volume loss or cortical thinning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pscychresns.2021.111286DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8231472PMC
June 2021

Association of Aripiprazole With Reduced Hippocampal Atrophy During Maintenance Treatment of First-Episode Schizophrenia.

J Clin Psychopharmacol 2021 May-Jun 01;41(3):244-249

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai.

Purpose/background: Hippocampal volume loss in early schizophrenia has been linked with markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, and with less response of negative symptoms. Aripiprazole has been reported to preserve hippocampal volume and to reduce inflammation.

Methods/procedures: Study 1 was a 12-month multicenter randomized placebo-controlled trial of citalopram added to clinician-determined second-generation antipsychotic medication in 95 patients with first-episode schizophrenia (FES), 19 of whom received aripiprazole. We compared participants taking aripiprazole with those on other antipsychotics to determine whether those on aripiprazole had less hippocampal volume loss. We also examined peripheral biomarker data from medication-naive patients with schizophrenia receiving 8 weeks of antipsychotic treatment (n = 24) to see whether markers of inflammation and oxidative stress that previously predicted hippocampal volume differed between aripiprazole (n = 9) and other antipsychotics (study 2).

Findings/results: Aripiprazole was associated with a mean increase in hippocampal volume of 0.35% (SD, 0.80%) compared with a 0.53% decrease (SD, 1.2%) with other antipsychotics during the first year of maintenance treatment in patients with FES. This difference was significant after adjusting for age, sex, citalopram treatment, and baseline Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale score (B = 0.0079, P = 0.03). Aripiprazole was also associated with reduced concentrations of the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-8 and tumor necrosis factor (P < 0.01) during the first 8 weeks of treatment in medication-naive patients with FES.

Implications/conclusions: These results suggest that aripiprazole may protect against hippocampal atrophy via an anti-inflammatory mechanism, but these results require replication in larger, randomized trials, and the clinical relevance of hippocampal volume loss is not established.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JCP.0000000000001391DOI Listing
April 2021

Association of Psychiatric Disorders With Mortality Among Patients With COVID-19.

JAMA Psychiatry 2021 04;78(4):380-386

Department of Psychiatry, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.

Importance: To date, the association of psychiatric diagnoses with mortality in patients infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has not been evaluated.

Objective: To assess whether a diagnosis of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder, mood disorder, or anxiety disorder is associated with mortality in patients with COVID-19.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This retrospective cohort study assessed 7348 consecutive adult patients for 45 days following laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 between March 3 and May 31, 2020, in a large academic medical system in New York. The final date of follow-up was July 15, 2020. Patients without available medical records before testing were excluded.

Exposures: Patients were categorized based on the following International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnoses before their testing date: (1) schizophrenia spectrum disorders, (2) mood disorders, and (3) anxiety disorders. Patients with these diagnoses were compared with a reference group without psychiatric disorders.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Mortality, defined as death or discharge to hospice within 45 days following a positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) test result.

Results: Of the 26 540 patients tested, 7348 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (mean [SD] age, 54 [18.6] years; 3891 [53.0%] women). Of eligible patients with positive test results, 75 patients (1.0%) had a history of a schizophrenia spectrum illness, 564 (7.7%) had a history of a mood disorder, and 360 (4.9%) had a history of an anxiety disorder. After adjusting for demographic and medical risk factors, a premorbid diagnosis of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder was significantly associated with mortality (odds ratio [OR], 2.67; 95% CI, 1.48-4.80). Diagnoses of mood disorders (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.87-1.49) and anxiety disorders (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.65-1.41) were not associated with mortality after adjustment. In comparison with other risk factors, a diagnosis of schizophrenia ranked behind only age in strength of an association with mortality.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study of adults with SARS-CoV-2-positive test results in a large New York medical system, adults with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder diagnosis were associated with an increased risk for mortality, but those with mood and anxiety disorders were not associated with a risk of mortality. These results suggest that schizophrenia spectrum disorders may be a risk factor for mortality in patients with COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.4442DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7841576PMC
April 2021

The Pharmacologic Treatment of Schizophrenia-2021.

Authors:
Donald C Goff

JAMA 2021 Jan;325(2):175-176

Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, NYU Langone Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, New York.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.19048DOI Listing
January 2021

Effect of DAOA genetic variation on white matter alteration in corpus callosum in patients with first-episode schizophrenia.

Brain Imaging Behav 2021 Aug;15(4):1748-1759

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200030, China.

D-amino acid oxidase activator (DAOA) gene, which plays a crucial role in the process of glutamatergic transmission and mitochondrial function, is frequently linked with the liability for schizophrenia. We aimed to investigate whether the variation of DAOA rs2391191 is associated with alterations in white matter integrity of first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients; and whether it influences the association between white matter integrity, cognitive function and clinical symptoms of schizophrenia. Forty-six patients with FES and forty-nine healthy controls underwent DTI and were genotyped for DAOA rs2391191. Psychopathological assessments were performed by Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and Scale for Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS). Cognitive function was assessed by MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Schizophrenia patients presented lower fractional anisotropy (FA) and higher radial diffusivity (RD), mainly spreading over the corpus callosum and corona radiata compared with healthy controls. Compared with patients carrying G allele, patients with AA showed lower FA in the body of corpus callosum, and higher RD in the genu of corpus callosum, right superior and anterior corona radiata, and left posterior corona radiata. In patients carrying G allele, FA in body of corpus callosum was positively correlated with working memory, RD in genu of corpus callosum was negatively associated with the speed of processing, working memory, and the composite score of MCCB, while no significant correlations were found in AA homozygotes. In our study, patients with FES presented abnormal white matter integrity in corpus callosum and corona radiata. Furthermore, this abnormality was associated with the genetic variation of DAOA rs2391191, with AA homozygotes showing less white matter integrity in the corpus callosum. Our findings possibly provide further support to the evidence that DAOA regulates the process of glutamatergic neurotransmission and mitochondrial function in the pathophysiological mechanism of schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11682-020-00368-6DOI Listing
August 2021

D-cycloserine augmentation of cognitive behavioral therapy for delusions: A randomized clinical trial.

Schizophr Res 2020 08 23;222:145-152. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Department of Psychiatry, NYU Langone Health, New York, NY, United States of America; Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY, United States of America. Electronic address:

Objective: D-cycloserine (DCS) promotes consolidation of extinction learning. This study extends earlier work by examining whether DCS can enhance cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for delusions.

Methods: Adults reporting moderate or greater delusions were randomly assigned to receive 50 mg of DCS or placebo prior to 10 weekly CBT sessions. The primary outcome was change in severity of delusions measured with the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scale delusion subscale (PSYRATS-D). Secondary outcomes included persistence of response at 3 and 6 month follow-up and the effects of DCS on memory consolidation and cognitive flexibility. Fifty-eight participants were randomized and 44 completed the trial.

Results: The DCS and placebo groups did not differ in change from baseline to end of CBT on PSYRATS-D, nor did DCS improve memory consolidation or cognitive flexibility compared to placebo. However, at the 3 month follow-up visit (week 24), 47% of participants who completed treatment with DCS reported a 20% or greater decrease on PSYRATS-D compared to 15% in the placebo group (p = .04). Change in distress across CBT sessions interacted with treatment group to predict change from baseline to week 24 in PSYRATS-D total score (p = .03) such that response at week 24 was greatest in DCS-treated participants who experienced a decrease in distress during CBT sessions.

Conclusions: DCS augmentation of CBT did not improve delusions compared to placebo during treatment; however, DCS was associated with a higher response rate at 3-month follow-up. DCS may produce a delayed therapeutic effect, associated with successful CBT sessions, but this finding requires replication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2020.06.015DOI Listing
August 2020

Blood Levels to Optimize Antipsychotic Treatment in Clinical Practice: A Joint Consensus Statement of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology and the Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Task Force of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Neuropsychopharmakologie und Pharmakopsychiatrie.

J Clin Psychiatry 2020 05 19;81(3). Epub 2020 May 19.

Members of the Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Task Force of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Neuropsychopharmakologie und Pharmakopsychiatrie are listed at the end of the article.

Objective: The quantification of antipsychotic levels in blood, also known as therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM), is a potentially useful tool of modern personalized therapy that can be applied to augment antipsychotic use and dosing decisions. The application of TDM for antipsychotics can be helpful in numerous challenging clinical scenarios, such as lack of therapeutic response, relapse, or adverse drug reactions (ADRs) related to antipsychotic treatment. The benefits of TDM may be particularly evident in the treatment of highly vulnerable patient subgroups, such as children, adolescents, pregnant women, and the elderly. The main aim of this article is to aid clinicians who routinely prescribe antipsychotics to successfully apply TDM in routine clinical practice in order to help optimize the efficacy and safety of those antipsychotics.

Participants: Participants were clinicians and researchers, members of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, and the Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Task Force of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Neuropsychopharmakologie und Pharmakopsychiatrie (Association of Neuropsychopharmacology and Pharmacopsychiatry).

Evidence: TDM literature on antipsychotics was critically reviewed to provide a condensed clinical decision-making algorithm with therapeutic reference ranges for blood antipsychotic levels, within which patients are most likely to respond and tolerate treatment, although TDM is not equally recommended/supported for all antipsychotics.

Consensus Process: A preliminary draft was prepared and circulated to the writing group members. Consensus was achieved in all cases, and resulting recommendations focused on following areas: steady-state and sampling time, levels of recommendations, indications, therapeutic reference ranges and laboratory alert levels, practical issues, and interpretation, as well as limitations.

Conclusions: The utilization of TDM as a tool for problem solving in antipsychotic treatment offers a unique method to improve safety and efficacy. This consensus statement summarizes essential information on the routine use of TDM for antipsychotics and encourages clinicians to perform TDM with the appropriate indications as part of the clinical decision-making process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4088/JCP.19cs13169DOI Listing
May 2020

Proof of mechanism and target engagement of glutamatergic drugs for the treatment of schizophrenia: RCTs of pomaglumetad and TS-134 on ketamine-induced psychotic symptoms and pharmacoBOLD in healthy volunteers.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2020 10 13;45(11):1842-1850. Epub 2020 May 13.

Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

Glutamate neurotransmission is a prioritized target for antipsychotic drug development. Two metabotropic glutamate receptor 2/3 (mGluR2/3) agonists (pomaglumetad [POMA] and TS-134) were assessed in two Phase Ib proof of mechanism studies of comparable designs and using identical clinical assessments and pharmacoBOLD methodology. POMA was examined in a randomized controlled trial under double-blind conditions for 10-days at doses of 80 or 320 mg/d POMA versus placebo (1:1:1 ratio). The TS-134 trial was a randomized, single-blind, 6-day study of 20 or 60 mg/d TS-134 versus placebo (5:5:2 ratio). Primary outcomes were ketamine-induced changes in pharmacoBOLD in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and symptoms reflected on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). Both trials were conducted contemporaneously. 95 healthy volunteers were randomized to POMA and 63 to TS-134. High-dose POMA significantly reduced ketamine-induced BPRS total symptoms within and between-groups (p < 0.01, d = -0.41; p = 0.04, d = -0.44, respectively), but neither POMA dose significantly suppressed ketamine-induced dACC pharmacoBOLD. In contrast, low-dose TS-134 led to moderate to large within and between group reductions in both BPRS positive symptoms (p = 0.02, d = -0.36; p = 0.008, d = -0.82, respectively) and dACC pharmacoBOLD (p = 0.004, d = -0.56; p = 0.079, d = -0.50, respectively) using pooled across-study placebo data. High-dose POMA exerted significant effects on clinical symptoms, but not on target engagement, suggesting a higher dose may yet be needed, while the low dose of TS-134 showed evidence of symptom reduction and target engagement. These results support further investigation of mGluR2/3 and other glutamate-targeted treatments for schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41386-020-0706-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7608251PMC
October 2020

Promising Evidence of Antipsychotic Efficacy without Dopamine D2-Receptor Binding.

Authors:
Donald C Goff

N Engl J Med 2020 04;382(16):1555-1556

From the Nathan Kline Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMe2001508DOI Listing
April 2020

Air pollution and hippocampal atrophy in first episode schizophrenia.

Schizophr Res 2020 04 10;218:63-69. Epub 2020 Mar 10.

NYU Langone Health Department of Psychiatry, New York, NY, United States of America; Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY, United States of America. Electronic address:

Air pollution has recently been linked to central nervous system (CNS) diseases, possibly mediated by inflammation and oxidative stress. Hippocampal atrophy in individuals with first episode schizophrenia (FES) has also been associated with biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress, whereas hippocampal atrophy was not observed in matched healthy controls with similar biomarker levels of inflammation and oxidative stress. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5), one component of air pollution, is most strongly implicated in CNS disease. The present study examined the association between PM2.5 and hippocampal volume in individuals with FES who participated in a 52-week placebo-controlled clinical trial of citalopram added to clinician-determined antipsychotic treatment at four sites in the US and China. Left hippocampal volumetric integrity (LHVI; inversely related to atrophy) was measured at baseline and week 52 using an automated highly-reliable algorithm. Mean annual PM2.5 concentrations were obtained from records compiled by the World Health Organization. The relationships between baseline LHVI and PM2.5 and change in LHVI and PM2.5 were evaluated using regression analyses. 89 participants completed imaging at baseline and 46 participants completed imaging at week 52. Mean annual PM2.5 was significantly associated with both baseline LHVI and change in LHVI after controlling for age, sex, baseline LHVI, duration of untreated psychosis and baseline antipsychotic medication dose. Air pollution may contribute to the progression of hippocampal atrophy after a first episode of illness, but these findings should be considered preliminary since other unmeasured factors may have differed between cities and contributed to the observed effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2020.03.001DOI Listing
April 2020

Does Early Intervention Improve the Long-Term Course of Schizophrenia?

Am J Psychiatry 2020 04 4;177(4):288-290. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

Department of Psychiatry (Goff), Department of Population Health, Division of Statistics (Li), and Department of Population Health, Division of Epidemiology (Thorpe), New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York University Langone Health, New York; Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, N.Y. (Goff).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20020111DOI Listing
April 2020

Optical coherence tomography of the retina in schizophrenia: Inter-device agreement and relations with perceptual function.

Schizophr Res 2020 05 11;219:13-18. Epub 2020 Jan 11.

Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) studies have demonstrated differences between people with schizophrenia and controls. Many questions remain including the agreement between scanners. The current study seeks to determine inter-device agreement of OCT data in schizophrenia compared to controls and to explore the relations between OCT and visual function measures.

Methods: Participants in this pilot study were 12 individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and 12 age- and sex-matched controls. Spectralis and Cirrus OCT machines were used to obtain retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness and macular volume. Cirrus was used to obtain ganglion cell layer + inner plexiform layer (GCL + IPL) thickness. Visual function was assessed with low-contrast visual acuity and the King-Devick test of rapid number naming.

Results: There was excellent relative agreement in OCT measurements between the two machines, but poor absolute agreement, for both patients and controls. On both machines, people with schizophrenia showed decreased macular volume but no difference in RNFL thickness compared to controls. No between-group difference in GCL + IPL thickness was found on Cirrus. Controls showed significant associations between King-Devick performance and RNFL thickness and macular volume, and between low-contrast visual acuity and GCL + IPL thickness. Patients did not show significant associations between OCT measurements and visual function.

Conclusions: Good relative agreement suggests that the offset between machines remains constant and should not affect comparisons between groups. Decreased macular volume in individuals with schizophrenia on both machines supports findings of prior studies and provides further evidence that similar results may be found irrespective of OCT device.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2019.10.046DOI Listing
May 2020

The characteristics of cognitive neuroscience tests in a schizophrenia cognition clinical trial: Psychometric properties and correlations with standard measures.

Schizophr Res Cogn 2020 Mar 31;19:100161. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, United States of America.

In comparison to batteries of standard neuropsychological tests, cognitive neuroscience tests may offer a more specific assessment of discrete neurobiological processes that may be aberrant in schizophrenia. However, more information regarding psychometric properties and correlations with standard neuropsychological tests and functional measures is warranted to establish their validity as treatment outcome measures. The N-back and AX-Continuous Performance Task (AX-CPT) are two promising cognitive neuroscience tests designed to measure specific components of working memory and contextual processing respectively. In the current study, we report the psychometric properties of multiple outcome measures from these two tests as well as their correlations with standard neuropsychological measures and functional capacity measures. The results suggest that while the AX-CPT and N-back display favorable psychometric properties, they do not exhibit greater sensitivity or specificity with functional measures than standard neurocognitive tests.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scog.2019.100161DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6889798PMC
March 2020

Diffusion kurtosis imaging of gray matter in schizophrenia.

Cortex 2019 12 29;121:201-224. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA; Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Prior postmortem studies have shown gray matter (GM) microstructural abnormalities in schizophrenia. However, few studies to date have examined GM microstructural integrity in schizophrenia in vivo. Here, we employed diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) to test for differences in GM microstructure in eighteen schizophrenia (SZ) patients versus nineteen healthy controls (HC). GM microstructure was characterized in each participant using DKI-derived metrics of mean kurtosis (MK) and mean diffusivity (MD). Individual T1-weighted images were used to create subject-specific cortically-labelled regions of interest (ROIs) of the four cortical lobes and sixty-eight cortical GM regions delineated by the Desikan-Killiany atlas, and to derive the associated cortical thickness and area measures. The derived ROIs were also registered to the diffusion space of each subject and used to generate region-specific mean MK and MD values. We additionally administered the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Stroop test, and Trail Making Test part B (Trails-B) to test the relationship between GM metrics and executive function in SZ. We found significantly increased MK and MD in SZ compared to HC participants in the temporal lobe, sub-lobar temporal cortical regions (fusiform, inferior temporal, middle temporal and temporal pole), and posterior cingulate cortex after correcting for multiple comparisons. Correlational analyses revealed significant associations of MK and MD with executive function scores derived from the WCST, Stroop, and Trails-B tests, along with an inverse relationship between MK and MD and cortical thickness and area. A hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis showed that up to 85% of the inter-subject variability in cognitive function in schizophrenia measured by the WCST could be explained by MK in combination with either GM thickness or area. MK and MD appear to be sensitive to GM microstructural pathology in schizophrenia and may provide useful biomarkers of abnormal cortical microstructure in this disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2019.08.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7556324PMC
December 2019

Anterior Hippocampal-Cortical Functional Connectivity Distinguishes Antipsychotic Naïve First-Episode Psychosis Patients From Controls and May Predict Response to Second-Generation Antipsychotic Treatment.

Schizophr Bull 2020 04;46(3):680-689

Department of Psychiatry, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY.

Background: Converging evidence implicates the anterior hippocampus in the proximal pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Although resting state functional connectivity (FC) holds promise for characterizing anterior hippocampal circuit abnormalities and their relationship to treatment response, this technique has not yet been used in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients in a manner that distinguishes the anterior from posterior hippocampus.

Methods: We used masked-hippocampal-group-independent component analysis with dual regression to contrast subregional hippocampal-whole brain FC between healthy controls (HCs) and antipsychotic naïve FEP patients (N = 61, 36 female). In a subsample of FEP patients (N = 27, 15 female), we repeated this analysis following 8 weeks of second-generation antipsychotic treatment and explored whether baseline FC predicted treatment response using random forest.

Results: Relative to HC, untreated FEP subjects displayed reproducibly lower FC between the left anteromedial hippocampus and cortical regions including the anterior cingulate and insular cortex (P < .05, corrected). Anteromedial hippocampal FC increased in FEP patients following treatment (P < .005), and no longer differed from HC. Random forest analysis showed baseline anteromedial hippocampal FC with four brain regions, namely the insular-opercular cortex, superior frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus, and postcentral gyrus predicted treatment response (area under the curve = 0.95).

Conclusions: Antipsychotic naïve FEP is associated with lower FC between the anterior hippocampus and cortical regions previously implicated in schizophrenia. Preliminary analysis suggests that random forest models based on hippocampal FC may predict treatment response in FEP patients, and hence could be a useful biomarker for treatment development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbz076DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7147586PMC
April 2020

Targeted Treatment of Individuals With Psychosis Carrying a Copy Number Variant Containing a Genomic Triplication of the Glycine Decarboxylase Gene.

Biol Psychiatry 2019 10 9;86(7):523-535. Epub 2019 May 9.

McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts; Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: The increased mutational burden for rare structural genomic variants in schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders has so far not yielded therapies targeting the biological effects of specific mutations. We identified two carriers (mother and son) of a triplication of the gene encoding glycine decarboxylase, GLDC, presumably resulting in reduced availability of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor coagonists glycine and D-serine and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor hypofunction. Both carriers had a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder.

Methods: We carried out two double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor augmentation of psychotropic drug treatment in these two individuals. Glycine was used in the first clinical trial, and D-cycloserine was used in the second one.

Results: Glycine or D-cycloserine augmentation of psychotropic drug treatment each improved psychotic and mood symptoms in placebo-controlled trials.

Conclusions: These results provide two independent proof-of-principle demonstrations of symptom relief by targeting a specific genotype and explicitly link an individual mutation to the pathophysiology of psychosis and treatment response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.04.031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6745274PMC
October 2019

Can Adjunctive Pharmacotherapy Reduce Hospitalization in Schizophrenia?: Insights From Administrative Databases.

Authors:
Donald C Goff

JAMA Psychiatry 2019 05;76(5):468-470

Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, New York University School of Medicine, New York.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4318DOI Listing
May 2019

Adjunctive telmisartan treatment on body metabolism in clozapine or olanzapine treated patients with schizophrenia: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial.

Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2019 Jun 12;236(6):1949-1957. Epub 2019 Feb 12.

Department of Psychiatry, Boston University/Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

Objective: This study examined the effect of adjunctive telmisartan on body metabolism in clozapine- or olanzapine-treated patients with schizophrenia.

Method: Each subject had been on stable dose of olanzapine or clozapine for at least 1 month. In a 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, subjects received either telmisartan (80 mg once per day) or placebo. The homeostasis model of assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated based on fasting blood levels of insulin and glucose. Fasting blood levels of triglycerides and cholesterols, as well as serum levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured. The whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to assess body composition. Lipid particles were assessed using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. All assessments were conducted at baseline and repeated at week 12.

Results: Fifty-four subjects were randomized and 43 completed the study (22 in the telmisartan group, 21 in the placebo group). There were no significant differences between the two groups in week 12 changes for HOMA-IR or fasting triglycerides (- 0.18 ± 1.24 vs 0.39 ± 1.39, p = 0.181; - 26 ± 76 vs - 10 ± 81 mg/dL, p = 0.679, respectively) (telmisartan vs placebo). Further, there were no significant between group differences in week 12 changes for other fasting lipids, body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, as well as various measures of lipid particles (p's > 0.100). The DXA assessment showed no significant differences between the two groups in week 12 changes for fat mass, lean mass, or total mass (p's > 0.100).

Conclusion: In the present study, adjunctive treatment of telmisartan did not seem to improve body metabolism in schizophrenia patients receiving olanzapine or clozapine. The implications for future studies were discussed. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov Identifier: NCT00981526.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-019-5181-zDOI Listing
June 2019

Citalopram in first episode schizophrenia: The DECIFER trial.

Schizophr Res 2019 06 30;208:331-337. Epub 2019 Jan 30.

National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders, Mental Health Institute, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, 139 Renmin Middle Road, Changsha, Hunan, China.

Antidepressants are frequently prescribed in first episode schizophrenia (FES) patients for negative symptoms or for subsyndromal depressive symptoms, but therapeutic benefit has not been established, despite evidence of efficacy in later-stage schizophrenia. We conducted a 52 week, placebo-controlled add-on trial of citalopram in patients with FES who did not meet criteria for major depression to determine whether maintenance therapy with citalopram would improve outcomes by preventing or improving negative and depressive symptoms. Primary outcomes were negative symptoms measured by the Scale for Assessment of Negative Symptoms and depressive symptoms measured by the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia; both were analyzed by an intent-to-treat, mixed effects, area-under-the-curve analysis to assess the cumulative effects of symptom improvement and symptom prevention over a one-year period. Ninety-five patients were randomized and 52 (54%) completed the trial. Negative symptoms were reduced with citalopram compared to placebo (p = .04); the effect size of citalopram versus placebo was 0.32 for participants with a duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) of <18 weeks (median split) and 0.52 with a DUP >18 weeks. Rates of new-onset depression did not differ between groups; improvement in depressive symptoms was greater with placebo than citalopram (p = .02). Sexual side effects were more common with citalopram, but overall treatment-emergent side effects were not increased compared to placebo. In conclusion, citalopram may reduce levels of negative symptoms, particularly in patients with longer DUP, but we found no evidence of benefit for subsyndromal depressive symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2019.01.028DOI Listing
June 2019

Association between catechol-O-methyltransferase genetic variation and functional connectivity in patients with first-episode schizophrenia.

Schizophr Res 2018 09 3;199:214-220. Epub 2018 May 3.

Department of Psychiatry, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York 10116, United States.

Dopamine in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in cognitive performance and regulates by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) expression. To clarify the effect of COMT genotype on cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia, we performed DNA genotyping, cognitive evaluations, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in antipsychotic-naïve patients with first-episode schizophrenia (FES) and matched healthy control subjects. We found that all cognitive domains were impaired in patients with FES compared with healthy subjects. Moreover, COMT genotype influenced the verbal learning performance in healthy subjects, but not in patients with FES. Resting-state fMRI data revealed that patients with FES exhibited higher functional connectivity degree centrality in the medial PFC and lower degree centrality in the parietal-occipital junction than healthy subjects. Furthermore, patients with FES who were COMT Met allele carriers had higher degree centrality in the medial PFC than those with the Val/Val genotype. In contrast, in healthy controls, Met allele carriers exhibited higher degree centrality than healthy controls with the Val/Val genotype in the left hippocampus and left amygdala. There was a negative correlation between the degree centrality value in medial PFC and score of the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R) in FES patients with the Met allele. Our findings suggest that COMT genotype differentially influences pathways related to cognitive performance in patients with FES versus healthy individuals, providing an important insight into schizophrenia pathophysiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2018.04.023DOI Listing
September 2018

Association of Hippocampal Atrophy With Duration of Untreated Psychosis and Molecular Biomarkers During Initial Antipsychotic Treatment of First-Episode Psychosis.

JAMA Psychiatry 2018 04;75(4):370-378

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Importance: Duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) has been associated with poor outcomes in schizophrenia, but the mechanism responsible for this association is not known.

Objectives: To determine whether hippocampal volume loss occurs during the initial 8 weeks of antipsychotic treatment and whether it is associated with DUP, and to examine molecular biomarkers in association with hippocampal volume loss and DUP.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A naturalistic longitudinal study with matched healthy controls was conducted at Shanghai Mental Health Center. Between March 5, 2013, and October 8, 2014, 71 medication-naive individuals with nonaffective first-episode psychosis (FEP) and 73 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were recruited. After approximately 8 weeks, 31 participants with FEP and 32 controls were reassessed.

Exposures: The participants with FEP were treated according to standard clinical practice with second-generation antipsychotics.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Hippocampal volumetric integrity (HVI) (an automated estimate of the parenchymal fraction in a standardized hippocampal volume of interest), DUP, 13 peripheral molecular biomarkers, and 14 single-nucleotide polymorphisms from 12 candidate genes were determined.

Results: The full sample consisted of 71 individuals with FEP (39 women and 32 men; mean [SD] age, 25.2 [7.7] years) and 73 healthy controls (40 women and 33 men; mean [SD] age, 23.9 [6.4] years). Baseline median left HVI was lower in the FEP group (n = 57) compared with the controls (n = 54) (0.9275 vs 0.9512; difference in point estimate, -0.020 [95% CI, -0.029 to -0.010]; P = .001). During approximately 8 weeks of antipsychotic treatment, left HVI decreased in 24 participants with FEP at a median annualized rate of -.03791 (-4.1% annualized change from baseline) compared with an increase of 0.00115 (0.13% annualized change from baseline) in 31 controls (difference in point estimate, -0.0424 [95% CI, -0.0707 to -0.0164]; P = .001). The change in left HVI was inversely associated with DUP (r = -0.61; P = .002). Similar results were found for right HVI, although the association between change in right HVI and DUP did not achieve statistical significance (r = -0.35; P = .10). Exploratory analyses restricted to the left HVI revealed an association between left HVI and markers of inflammation, oxidative stress, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, glial injury, and markers reflecting dopaminergic and glutamatergic transmission.

Conclusions And Relevance: An association between longer DUP and accelerated hippocampal atrophy during initial treatment suggests that psychosis may have persistent, possibly deleterious, effects on brain structure. Additional studies are needed to replicate these exploratory findings of molecular mechanisms by which untreated psychosis may affect hippocampal volume and to determine whether these effects account for the known association between longer DUP and poor outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.4595DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5875378PMC
April 2018

Optimizing the Pharmacologic Treatment of Individuals With First-Episode Psychosis.

Authors:
Donald C Goff

Am J Psychiatry 2018 02;175(2):101-102

From the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, New York University School of Medicine, New York.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17101126DOI Listing
February 2018

The Genetics of Endophenotypes of Neurofunction to Understand Schizophrenia (GENUS) consortium: A collaborative cognitive and neuroimaging genetics project.

Schizophr Res 2018 05 3;195:306-317. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

The Cognitive Genetics and Cognitive Therapy Group, Department of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.

Background: Schizophrenia has a large genetic component, and the pathways from genes to illness manifestation are beginning to be identified. The Genetics of Endophenotypes of Neurofunction to Understand Schizophrenia (GENUS) Consortium aims to clarify the role of genetic variation in brain abnormalities underlying schizophrenia. This article describes the GENUS Consortium sample collection.

Methods: We identified existing samples collected for schizophrenia studies consisting of patients, controls, and/or individuals at familial high-risk (FHR) for schizophrenia. Samples had single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array data or genomic DNA, clinical and demographic data, and neuropsychological and/or brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. Data were subjected to quality control procedures at a central site.

Results: Sixteen research groups contributed data from 5199 psychosis patients, 4877 controls, and 725 FHR individuals. All participants have relevant demographic data and all patients have relevant clinical data. The sex ratio is 56.5% male and 43.5% female. Significant differences exist between diagnostic groups for premorbid and current IQ (both p<1×10). Data from a diversity of neuropsychological tests are available for 92% of participants, and 30% have structural MRI scans (half also have diffusion-weighted MRI scans). SNP data are available for 76% of participants. The ancestry composition is 70% European, 20% East Asian, 7% African, and 3% other.

Conclusions: The Consortium is investigating the genetic contribution to brain phenotypes in a schizophrenia sample collection of >10,000 participants. The breadth of data across clinical, genetic, neuropsychological, and MRI modalities provides an important opportunity for elucidating the genetic basis of neural processes underlying schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2017.09.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5882601PMC
May 2018

Predicting relapse in schizophrenia: Is BDNF a plausible biological marker?

Schizophr Res 2018 03 19;193:263-268. Epub 2017 Jul 19.

Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA, United States; School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, United States. Electronic address:

Understanding the biological processes that underlie why patients relapse is an issue of fundamental importance to the detection and prevention of relapse in schizophrenia. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a facilitator of brain plasticity, is reduced in patients with schizophrenia. In the present study, we examined whether decreases in plasma BDNF levels could be used as a biological predictor of relapse in schizophrenia. A total of 221 patients were prospectively evaluated for relapse over 30months in the Preventing Relapse in Schizophrenia: Oral Antipsychotics Compared to Injectables: eValuating Efficacy (PROACTIVE) study. Serial blood samples were collected at a maximum of 23 time points during the 30-month trial and BDNF levels were measured in plasma samples by ELISA. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analysis indicated that BDNF was not a significant predictor of relapse, hospitalization or exacerbation. Regardless of treatment group (oral second generation antipsychotic vs. long-acting injectable risperidone microspheres), baseline BDNF value did not differ significantly between those who experienced any of the adverse outcomes and those who did not. While contrary to the study hypothesis, these robust results offer little support for the use of plasma BDNF alone as a biomarker to predict relapse in schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2017.06.059DOI Listing
March 2018

The Long-Term Effects of Antipsychotic Medication on Clinical Course in Schizophrenia.

Am J Psychiatry 2017 09 5;174(9):840-849. Epub 2017 May 5.

From the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and New York University Langone Medical Center, New York University School of Medicine, New York; the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany; the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Division of Psychiatry, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria; the New York State Psychiatric Institute and New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York; the Department of Psychiatry, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands; the Department of Neuropsychiatry, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan; and the Department of Psychiatry, Chinese National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders, Mental Health Institute, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, P.R. China.

Concerns have been raised that treatment with antipsychotic medication might adversely affect long-term outcomes for people with schizophrenia. The evidence cited for these concerns includes the association of antipsychotic treatment with brain volume reduction and with dopamine receptor sensitization, which might make patients vulnerable to relapse and illness progression. An international group of experts was convened to examine findings from clinical and basic research relevant to these concerns. Little evidence was found to support a negative long-term effect of initial or maintenance antipsychotic treatment on outcomes, compared with withholding treatment. Randomized controlled trials strongly support the efficacy of antipsychotics for the acute treatment of psychosis and prevention of relapse; correlational evidence suggests that early intervention and reduced duration of untreated psychosis might improve longer-term outcomes. Strategies for treatment discontinuation or alternative nonpharmacologic treatment approaches may benefit a subgroup of patients but may be associated with incremental risk of relapse and require further study, including the development of biomarkers that will enable a precision medicine approach to individualized treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.16091016DOI Listing
September 2017

Loneliness in schizophrenia and its possible correlates. An exploratory study.

Psychiatry Res 2016 Dec 26;246:211-217. Epub 2016 Sep 26.

Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, NY, USA.

Social attachment is a biological and affective need. When this need is not met, people experience loneliness. Loneliness is associated with impaired social cognition, and is a risk factor for broad based morbidity across the adult lifespan even after controlling for multiple factors. However, little is known about loneliness in schizophrenia. Eighty-seven non-depressed individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (including 51 inpatients) and 58 control subjects completed the revised UCLA Loneliness scale. Social cognition was assessed with a self-report questionnaire and a performance-based task. Social trait perception was assessed with a facial task. Comorbid medical diagnoses were available for all inpatients. Patients reported greater loneliness levels than controls, while in- and out-patients did not significantly differ. In patients, loneliness was associated with self-report measures of social cognition. Patients' loneliness scores predicted a diagnosis of drug abuse/dependence, number of drugs used, hypertension and abnormal hemoglobin A1c levels. Patients experienced higher levels of loneliness than controls, independently of their objective social isolation. Loneliness did not rely on the same psychological processes in patients than in controls. Loneliness in schizophrenia is a symptom that deserves more scrutiny, particularly as it relates to the high prevalence of metabolic syndrome in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2016.09.043DOI Listing
December 2016
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