Unawareness of illness in chronic schizophrenia and its relationship to structural brain measures and neuropsychological tests.

Institute of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.68). 12/2000; 100(1):49-58. DOI: 10.1016/S0925-4927(00)00063-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The present study seeks to elucidate the relationship between unawareness of illness in schizophrenia and frontal lobe dysfunction, in addition to investigating the relationship between lack of insight and sociodemographic and clinical variables. Twenty-one medicated schizophrenic patients, recruited from in- and out-patient wards at Ullevâl Hospital, underwent the Scale to Assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder (SUMD), neuropsychological testing, psychiatric symptom ratings and neuroimaging procedures (CT). Also, 21 matched normal controls were neuropsychologically tested. CT data were assessed blindly by two experienced neuroradiologists, according to the degree of ventricular enlargement and/or sulcal widening, and an assessment of localisation of atrophy was made. Unawareness of illness was correlated with neuropsychological measures related to executive functioning, but not with other neuropsychological measures. Five patients showed slight frontal atrophy, while two showed moderate frontal atrophy. The remaining 13 patients did not show signs of frontal lobe atrophy. Frontal lobe atrophy documented by structural brain measures was associated with poor insight in schizophrenia. Furthermore, Anergia (BPRS), GAF score and 'undifferentiated' sub-diagnosis correlated with SUMD scores. Unawareness of illness in schizophrenia may be related to frontal lobe deficit. Also, awareness of illness may not be related to general psychopathology, but rather to specific aspects.

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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the relative contributions of negative symptomatology, insight, and coping to quality of life (QOL) in a sample of 92 consecutive outpatients with stable schizophrenia referring to the Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatric Section, University of Turin, Struttura Semplice di Coordinamento a Valenza Dipartimentale (SSCVD), Department of Mental Health ASL TO1, Molinette, Italy, in the period between July 2009 and July 2011. In order to assess the specific effect of negative symptoms on QOL and the possible mediating role of insight and coping, two mediation hypotheses were tested, using multiple regression analyses specified by Baron and Kenny (1986). Our findings suggest that (a) higher negative symptoms predict a worse Quality of Life Scale (QLS) intrapsychic foundations (IF) subscale score; (b) attribution of symptoms and coping-social diversion have a direct and positive association with QLS-IF; (c) patients high in negative symptoms are less likely to use attribution of symptoms and coping-social diversion; and (d) attribution of symptoms and coping-social diversion act as partial mediators in the negative symptoms-QOL relationship. The prediction model accounts for 45.3% of the variance of the QLS-IF subscale score in our sample. In conclusion, our results suggest that insight and coping-social diversion substantially contribute to QOL in patients with higher negative symptoms. These factors are potentially modifiable from specific therapeutic interventions, which can produce considerable improvements in the QOL of this population.
    Psychiatry Research 07/2014; 220(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.07.019 · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Impaired insight into illness is a prevalent feature of schizophrenia, which negatively influences treatment adherence and clinical outcomes. Little is known about the effects of aging on insight impairment. We aimed to review the available research literature on the effects of aging on insight into illness in schizophrenia, in relation to positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms. Ultimately, we propose a trajectory of insight in schizophrenia across the lifespan. MethodA systematic Medline (R) literature search was conducted, searching for English language studies describing the relationship of insight into illness in schizophrenia with aging. ResultsWe identified 62 studies. Insight impairment is associated with illness severity, premorbid intellectual function (i.e. IQ), executive function, and memory. Insight impairment improves modestly during midlife, worsening again in late life. It tends to fluctuate with each episode of psychosis, likely in relation to worsening positive symptoms that improve with antipsychotic treatment. The relationship between insight impairment and cognitive dysfunction appears to attenuate with age, while the relationship with lower premorbid intellectual function is preserved. The association between impaired insight and negative symptoms is unclear. Conclusions The available literature suggests that the course of insight impairment follows a U-shaped curve, where insight impairment is severe during the first episode of psychosis, modestly improves over midlife, and declines again in late life. Future studies are required to investigate the trajectory of insight into illness and its core domains across the lifespan from prodromal phase to late life. Copyright (c) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 11/2014; 29(11). DOI:10.1002/gps.4154 · 3.09 Impact Factor


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Apr 28, 2015