Familiality of symptom dimensions in schizophrenia.
ABSTRACT The division of schizophrenic symptoms into three core dimensions - psychomotor poverty, reality distortion, and disorganisation - is well established. When factor analytic studies have included affective symptoms they have identified two additional dimensions - manic and depressive. Whether these five dimensions represent underlying psychopathology of a genetic or environmental aetiology remains unclear. The aims of this study were to perform factor analysis of symptoms in a group of familial schizophrenic patients and to investigate the familiality of the symptom dimensions identified, and their relationship to clinical characteristics. Symptoms were recorded, using the Operational Criteria Checklist for Psychotic Illness, for 155 Caucasian subjects with an RDC diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or psychosis of unknown origin, from 61 families multiply affected with schizophrenia. Factor analysis indicated five symptom dimensions: depressive, manic, reality distortion, disorganisation, and psychomotor poverty. The psychomotor poverty, disorganisation, and manic dimensions were shown to be familial. Psychomotor poverty, disorganisation, and reality distortion were all associated with deterioration from premorbid functioning and chronic course of the disorder. In addition, psychomotor poverty was significantly related to poor premorbid functioning, as well as to single marital status and unemployment at onset. Disorganisation was significantly related to single marital status and unemployment at onset. The familiality of the psychomotor poverty, disorganisation, and manic dimensions supports their use in the delineation of homogeneous subsets for genetic studies.
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ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to identify (1) the factor structure of anomalous experiences across the psychosis continuum; (2) qualitative and quantitative differences in psychotic experiences (PEs) between “non need-for-care” and two clinical groups: psychosis patients and individuals at ultra high risk (UHR) of psychosis. We aimed to distinguish which types of experiences would be related to malign (need-for-care and/or help-seeking) versus benign outcomes.European Psychiatry 01/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2014.12.005 · 3.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Contour integration is a fundamental visual process that recovers object structure by representing spatially separated edge elements as a continuous contour or shape boundary. Clinically stable persons with schizophrenia have repeatedly been shown to be impaired at contour integration but it is unclear whether this process varies with clinical state or whether it arises as early as the first episode of psychosis. To consider these issues, we administered a contour integration test to persons with chronic schizophrenia and to those with a first episode of psychosis. The test was administered twice-once at admission to short term psychiatric hospitalization and once again at discharge. A well-matched healthy control group was also tested across the same time points. We found that contour integration performance improved to the same degree in all groups over time, indicating that there were no recovery effects over and above normal practice effects. Moreover, the schizophrenia group demonstrated poorer contour integration than the control group and the first episode group exhibited intermediate performance that could not be distinguished from the other groups. These results suggest that contour integration ability does not vary as a function of short-term changes in clinical state, and that it may become further impaired with an increased number of psychotic episodes.Schizophrenia Research 10/2014; 159(2-3). DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.09.028 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The power of SNP association studies to detect valid relationships with clinical phenotypes in schizophrenia is largely limited by the number of SNPs selected and non-specificity of phenotypes. To address this, we first assessed performance on two visual perceptual organization tasks designed to avoid many generalized deficit confounds, Kanizsa shape perception and contour integration, in a schizophrenia patient sample. Then, to reduce the total number of candidate SNPs analyzed in association with perceptual organization phenotypes, we employed a two-stage strategy: first a priori SNPs from three candidate genes were selected (GAD1, NRG1 and DTNBP1); then a Hierarchical Classes Analysis (HICLAS) was performed to reduce the total number of SNPs, based on statistically related SNP clusters. HICLAS reduced the total number of candidate SNPs for subsequent phenotype association analyses from 6 to 3. MANCOVAs indicated that rs10503929 and rs1978340 were associated with the Kanizsa shape perception filling in metric but not the global shape detection metric. rs10503929 was also associated with altered contour integration performance. SNPs not selected by the HICLAS model were unrelated to perceptual phenotype indices. While the contribution of candidate SNPs to perceptual impairments requires further clarification, this study reports the first application of HICLAS as a hypothesis-independent mathematical method for SNP data reduction. HICLAS may be useful for future larger scale genotype-phenotype association studies.